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How To Shop For The Best Coats This Season

Everyone should have a versatile, stylish coat for fall and winter. But with all of the options out there, how do you know which ones will look good and keep you warm and protected from the elements? Let’s chat about how to shop for coats, the best materials, and even some chic options we’re currently eyeing for our own closets

How To Shop For Coats This Season

Styles

Are you more of a trench coat wearer? What about pea coats? You’ll want to keep your personal style in mind when selecting a coat. After all, if you opt for a material or cut that doesn’t really go with your current cold-weather wardrobe, it defeats the purpose of wearing it! Here are some popular coat styles out there:

  • Trench coats: These popular coats are typically long and slimming. There are also plenty of weather-resistant, lightweight options out there. They can also be worn with any type of outfit, but they look especially polished at the office. 
  • Pea coats: Whether you have a capsule wardrobe or you’re just shopping for a timeless, versatile option, a pea coat is a great way to go. Keep an eye out for double-breasted options — they tend to be warmer. 
  • Parkas: If you live in a winter wonderland, you should definitely have a parka in your rotation. These styles tend to be more relaxed and extra warm. 
  • Military Jackets: Shopping for a lightweight option? Military jackets can be warm, form-fitting, and have remained in style for years. 

Materials

There are so many outerwear options out there, so learning how to shop for coats can be overwhelming. So when shopping for coat materials, you’ll want to consider your personal style and its purpose. Are you shopping for more of a fashionable coat or something to keep you protected from the elements? Consider the following popular materials:

  • Leather: Equal parts stylish and durable, leather coats and jackets only get better with age. You may only be limited to a handful of color options, though. 
  • Wool: This fabric is extremely durable and comes in a multitude of colors. 
  • Cotton: Similar to wool, this fabric will offer plenty of color options. Unfortunately, it may not be as warm as wool.

Insulation

Depending on your climate, you may want to opt for a waterproof outer shell. Check the labels to see if the materials are waterproof or water-resistant. For more protection against harsh wintery weather, you’ll also want to opt for a coat that’s insulated. There are three types of insulation available:

  • Down: This classic option provides plenty of warmth, but it may not hold up very well against moisture. 
  • Synthetic Fibers: These will hold up pretty well against snow and rain, but it may not last as long.
  • Pile Fabric: This material is similar to sheep’s wool. It’s also water-resistant and lasts longer than synthetics, but coats with pile fabric insulation usually aren’t very thick. 

Features

Pay attention to zippers, buttons, and snap closures. A coat that only has buttons may not offer too much protection against wind gusts. You’ll also want to check the zippers on water-resistant coats — sometimes the zippers themselves aren’t waterproof. Also, if you’re buying a parka, always opt for the styles with two-way zippers. These will be warmer. Cuffs on coats should also be tight to lock in warmth. 

The Best Coats & Jackets To Wear This Fall & Winter

1. J. Crew Quilted Cocoon Puffer with PrimaLoft, $188

J. Crew Quilted Cocoon Puffer with PrimaLoft

This cocoon coat features a slim fit and a high collar (perfect for blocking out blustery winds). 

2. J. Crew Cocoon Coat, $365

J. Crew Cocoon Coat

One of the best-selling, customer-favorite coats since 2011, the cozy cocoon silhouette is back in its most luxurious form. Made from exclusive stadium-cloth wool, this cocoon coat will keep you warm through even the chilliest winter weather.

3. Madewell Dumont Quilted Coat, $198

Madewell Dumont Quilted Coat

Cozy and quilted, this wrap coat is padded with eco-friendly PrimaLoft® insulation, a warm-as-down alternative made of 100% recycled content (aka, one jacket = five plastic bottles).

4. Everlane The Italian ReWool Overcoat, $298

Everlane The Italian ReWool Overcoat

The coat you’ll reach for time and time again. Made of recycled Italian wool, the Italian ReWool Overcoat has a clean finish and a double-face for added warmth with a premium feel.

5. Everlane The ReNew Military Parka, $198

Everlane The ReNew Military Parka

Puffer-level warmth—without quite so much puff. Filled with 100% recycled, high-performance PrimaLoft insulation, this water-resistant parka has a relaxed, military-inspired fit that looks streamlined over any outfit. It has a snorkel hood, fleece-lined hand pockets, and internal sleeve cuffs to keep you warm even when it’s blustery out.

6. See U Soon Sidney Textured Coat, $218

See U Soon Sidney Textured Coat

Inflected with a vintage sensibility, French brand See U Soon combines Parisienne chic with contemporary silhouettes crafted from natural, super-soft textiles.

7. Patagonia Radalie Water Repellent Insulated Parka, $199

Patagonia Radalie Water Repellent Insulated Parka

An ultra-versatile parka with recycled Thermogreen insulation keeps you warm whether you’re headed up a mountain or caught in a sudden storm.

8. H&M Wool-blend Coat, $199

H&M Wool-blend Coat

Coat in a soft, felted wool blend. Collar, concealed buttons at front, and diagonal welt side pockets. Long raglan sleeves with a tab and adjustable buttoning at cuffs. Lining in recycled polyester. Wool content is recycled.

8. The North Face Arctic Hooded Faux-Fur-Trim Parka, $299

The North Face Arctic Hooded Faux-Fur-Trim Parka

When there’s a frigid chill in the air, cozy up to this insulated parka from The North Face that combines a waterproof, breathable exterior with down fill to help create a resilient barrier against inclement weather.

8. Lauren Ralph Lauren Wool-Blend Hooded Coat, $206.50

Lauren Ralph Lauren Wool-Blend Hooded Coat

A detachable button-off hood updates this classic coat, while a rich wool blend and “Lauren Ralph Lauren”–engraved buttons lend timeless style.

Now that we’ve covered how to shop for coats, it’s time to shift our focus to sweaters. And whether you’re shopping for yourself or a loved one, these best-selling cashmere sweaters should be on your list. Shop the best cashmere sweaters of 2020.

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