Every season there's a stand-out trend that the fashion world pounces upon and refuses to put down until the next big thing catches its eye. This AW12, the trend of the moment is volume. From catwalks to street style, voluminous looks have dominated, with cocoon coats populating our wardrobes for the big chill ahead. This season, where there's fabric, there's volume. We love it, and here's why.

Where it all began

There's been a distinct focus on Forties shapes this season, with the waist and a shapely silhouette taking centre stage. However, as much as we love a nipped waist, when it comes to outerwear specifically, we can't resist burying ourselves in a cosy cocoon coat.

Created in the 1957 by Cristobal Balenciaga, this voluminous shape which envelopes the body is a key influence for outerwear in 2012.

The key components

If you've been romanced by the cocoon coat this season, there are a few components to note, for a suitably voluminous look.

Dropped or rounded shoulders

Cocoon coats have whipped out the shoulder pads and dropped the seam from the edge of the shoulder, sometimes falling to the mid-arm (dropped) and other times not exisiting at all (rounded). Look out for this soft, unstructured shoulder and you have yourself a cocoon coat.

Clean lines

Fastenings and details are kept clean on cocoon coats, with understated zips, concealed buttons and hidden pockets all keeping to the minimalists' un-fussy aesthetic.


Something of an obvious one, but cocoon coats are pumped with volume, and don't highlight the waist. However, a few styles do come with belts to nip the waist (accentuating those acres of fabric), or belt it yourself if you want to feel a little more shapely. The essence of the cocoon though, is to be big and bold.

How to wear it

Volume can be a tricky trend to pull off; if you're petite you can feel that cocoon coats swallow you whole, but don't be afraid, if the proportion is right, it will work. Try a shorter style and belt your waist. We suggest our Sally or Hallie coat.

If you're tall, then lucky you! A cocoon coat is your best friend, try something longer and bolder like our Reid or Lillyanne coat.

For more inspiration on shape, volume and AW12 outerwear, take a look at our outerwear feature.