New Delhi, Jan 11 (Agencies): As the National capital experiences its coldest winters, Delhiites are on to re-discover the charms of the overcoat. While men can be seen flaunting it with formal suits, women have been wearing them with trousers, suits and even saris and young women are readily teaming them up with dresses, long sweaters, jeans and slacks too.

Knee-length and even longer overcoats are selling like hot cakes in the market, with people demanding not just neutral colours like black, beige, grey and brown, but also those in varied bright colours, styles and patterns.

Fashion designer Leena Singh of designer duo Ashima-Leena fame points out that 'long overcoats make for a classic silhouette'.

'They were quite popular in the British era and were worn a lot by Queen Elizabeth. But over time the trend has come to India too and people aren't shying away from it any more,' Leena said.

Kartik Mehra, 55, says he bought an overcoat for an official trip to Europe over 10 years ago and for a long time, he only wore it when he went abroad.

According to sales managers at clothing stores, the demand for overcoats has increased by almost double over the past two years.

'Winters in Delhi have become much colder now, so customers want cosier clothes that save them from the chill. There is a definite growth in the offtake over a period of two years. You can conveniently say it has doubled,' said Amit Nagpal, store manager at BG's, an apparel store for girls.

Over time the trend of wearing long garments with slim fit trousers and leggings has also grown manifold - fuelling the concept of overcoats. And one is no longer enough for fashion fanatics.

Among the colours, one can see stores offering a melange of pink, blue, rust, yellow, purple, red, and green.

College student Namita Tiwari, 19, feels the more the colours, the better it is.

'Being a college student, I have to go out every day and considering how cold it is, it will be really bad for my image if I wear the same coat every day even if it is with different sweaters and t-shirts,' said Tiwari, who was spotted trying on a lime green, woollen overcoat.

Today, overcoats are available across most local markets as well as stores of homegrown and international brands. They are priced at anything between Rs.2,000 and 15,000.