Summer‘s faded away and new styles in jackets and coats seen on runways last spring are now in stores and making their way into closets. There are a wide variety of trends in outerwear this season, with classic and retro-inspired styles taking the lead. One of the dominant themes for Fall 2009 / Winter 2010 is investment dressing. In keeping with this theme, many leading designers included timeless designs for jackets and coats in their collections.

Biker chic is a hot trend this season, influencing boots, clothing and accessories. Black leather jackets embellished with studs and oversized zippers were striking entries in the collections of Jean Paul Gaultier, Robert Cavalli, Stella McCartney and Baby Phat. The leathers used this season are buttery soft with a more feminine twist on biker style with details like decorative topstitching, wide collars and body hugging tailoring. Layering a biker jacket over a feminine skirt or dress is one of the newest looks of the season.

Jackets influenced by menswear are another one of this season’s hot looks. Tuxedo and dinner jackets were seen on the runway in collections from Calvin Klein and Phillip Lim. These upscale boyfriend jackets can be coordinated with matching skirts and pants for a suited look, or worn over a short skirt with a bold animal or graphic print. The hottest colors for menswear-inspired jackets are black, white and shades of gray.

Another hot trend in jackets is the fur chubbie. This cropped fur jacket hearkens back to both the1970s and the 1930s. This season’s chubbies come in shades of black and gray, as seen in Lanvin’s collection, or are brightly colored. Colored fur jackets in deep shades of purple and magenta are purely fun and mostly for the very young, best worn over a light chiffon skirt or dress or a pair of jeans.

A tailored coat lends a classic touch to any outfit. Beautifully tailored camel coats in wool and cashmere are among the big ticket investment pieces for this season. Michael Kors, Jason Wu and Donna Karan all included classic camel coats in their collections. Tailored coats in basic black and gray are also a popular trend, as well as coats made of dark tweeds and houndstooth checks, which were shown on the runway by designers as diverse as Karl Lagerfeld and Jil Sander. In these days of value-conscious shopping, a classic tailored coat is a worthwhile investment.

Capes are one of the freshest trends this season. Available in a wide range of styles and fabrics, a cape is a great layering piece that can add an element of sophistication, fun or practicality. Almost every major designer included a cape this season, from Alexander McQueen to Louis Vuitton, to Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren. Most of the longer capes feature front closings and openings for the arms running the gamut from flowing ponchos to the very tailored. A well-made, timeless cape is another garment that promises its owner a long-term return on investment.