1. Wanted: Softer Curves
"I wouldn't have picked this, but it looked amazing when I put it on," says silver-haired Nancy Ozelli of a cashmere and leather jacket that does an hourglass number on her lanky torso: A gold-buttoned side closure adds flattering width to the chest; hips seem shapelier with a pertly flared peplum. Big, audacious sleeves—these have intricate, origami-like ruching near the wrist—are among the season's chicest details.
2. Wanted: Less Waist, Stronger Shoulders
Artful draping is the way this tweedy herringbone wrap coat takes the straightness out of a boyish build. Roxanne Whittaker, 31, adores the drama of the shawl-like collar (it can also work as a hood); it puts the focus on the upper body, making her tie-belted waist look minuscule.
3. Wanted: A Leaner Lower Half
We pulled out a plum peacoat for actress Bonnie Chaplin, 29, who thinks a tailored cut suits her figure best. Sveltely fitted on top, it swells into a witty flounce that hides a problematic butt or belly. When a coat has any fullness, it's crucial to wear streamlined bottoms like this pencil skirt. Legs dressed in textured winter-weight hose and open-toe shoes further encourage a long line.
4. Wanted: A Leaner Lower Half
A cocoon shape makes tall, shapely Sarah Walatka, 23, feel snug and protected—there's room to move, marvelous camouflage, and none of the nerve-racking exposure you get with something seriously tight. Because this coat tapers toward the hem and is made of a not-too-thick virgin wool, it won't bulk you up. The mélange tweed works with any number of colors: We put together a cranberry knit dress, brown tights and gold shoes.
5. Wanted: Disappearing Hips
The A-line swing coat, flaring generously from the shoulder, is the 1950s' gift to pear-shaped women—and that's a lot of us. "It's made me more open to vintage looks," admits Valerie Broussard, 32. Treat this camel-and-white bold houndstooth topper as an accessory, layering it over dark, simple stuff like long gloves, skinny pants, and matching knee-highs and heels.
6. Wanted: Slightly More Height
Precision fit and scaled-down details—a becoming funnel collar, belted waist, poufy abbreviated sleeves—ensure that this glamorous brown twill won't swamp a small, curvy woman like 20-something Candice Cooper, a self-described coat addict. When more leg shows, you look taller, so a hemline that doesn't drag is another key for the petite.