Blasting wind, dropping temperatures and rain cannot stop your days. Choose your winter jacket with this guide to live the season with style and warmth.
A New Winter Coat, Not A Dilemma
Choosing this seasonal essential is not only a matter of personal taste because many factors will influence your buying decision. A winter coat – like any fashion item – needs to last longer than the season, suit your body shape but with the right touch of comfort, and perform well. Your next jacket is a real investment, and your health will earn much from the right choice.
Before looking at options and styles, you need to answer some personal questions.
How To Choose Your Winter Jacket
For which occasion are you going to wear your next coat? What are you going to wear underneath? What do you expect from your jacket? These simple questions are at the base of your quest.
The occasion will give you an indicator of the level of formality of the coat you need. If you plan some winter sports and high-intensity activities, you will need complete freedom of movement and air circulation that a light-lined jacket can give you. It will be up to you to add the layers you need. For walks and casual errands, either a hooded parka, a squall jacket or a puffer jacket can work well; while, formal events will find the best solution in a tailored coat in classic materials like wool and, for example, a military-style long coat.
The rule of thumb for winter fashion is layering. Layering your clothing will allow you to adjust your outfit to the weather by adding or removing a layer depending on how the real or perceived temperature changes. Your winter jacket should be roomy enough, not just for those who do sports, but for everyone. You can go up one size to ensure you can add your layers without feeling too tight and uncomfortable or, even worse, sweating. Moreover, with a larger jacket, you can wear a simple shirt or tee while staying warm and enjoying a casual oversized look.
The Secret: Filling And Materials
Pay attention to the outer material and filling to select the right winter coat for your region. If your climate conditions are not too harsh, a shell jacket can protect you enough, but if you need warmth above all, you might want to look for a natural material like wool or a blend of wool. Wool is the best natural material for warmth, but it needs to be treated to be water-resistant as it can easily get wet. For mild conditions and everyday use, a fleece jacket or a sherpa jacket with give you warmth, a casual look and a cosy sensorial feeling.
If you are looking for good insulation, you might find two main options: down and synthetic filling. Down jackets feel more luxurious and expensive. Their insulation power is high, while their weight is extremely light compared to synthetic alternatives; however, they need extra care and might lose their thermal abilities if get wet. On the other hand, synthetic-padded jackets are less expensive, low maintenance and more water-resistant. With time, they might lose volume which can impact their properties. Down or synthetic, taking care of your winter jacket is crucial to keep its qualities and properties ready for the next winter.
Winter Jackets And Colour Choice
Some great classics for any winter coat are neutrals. Whether it is the evergreen black, grey or earthy tones, these choices will give you plenty of possibilities with your layers and overall look. You can also beat the gloomy weather by wearing a coat in your favourite colour or going warmer or cooler with a shade that complements your skin tone. Why not brighten up your day with a hot pink puffer jacket or add a gentle touch with a women's padded coat in muted blue? Comfort can go hand in hand with style and your style!
Key Features To Look For
Product labels and specifications on websites will answer your questions about the warm rating of your jacket, a quite fluid parameter, and the fill power of your down jacket, which is measured in cubic inches per ounce and indicates the ability of down to expand and create air pouches to provide insulation.
You might also need to keep in mind the difference between water-resistant, water-repellent and waterproof when having multiple options or you live in a rainy area. Water-resistant fabrics are tightly woven so that water has less chance to penetrate them; waterproof fabrics act as a physical barrier against water but might overheat your body, while water-repellent fabrics withstand water and humidity thanks to a DWR coating.
Less technical features that still matter are about style and practicality. A detachable hood can protect you from rain and wind exposure, a removable fur trim will add an extra wintry touch when you want, and zipped or inner pockets will help keep your belongings always safe.
Taking Care Of Your Winter Jacket
Read the washing label to understand which temperature and cycle you can use or if a visit to a dry cleaner is better for your coat. Depending on the external fabric and filling, you might need to take different actions. For example, jackets with a laminate film should be washed often because their protective layer will deteriorate with ease in contact with dirt and mud; jackets treated with DWR might need a new coat of repellant, while natural fabrics might create some pesky pilling you need to remove delicately with a specific shaver.
Give some love to your winter coat, and it will give you some warmth back next winter.
Winter jackets might recall adventures in the great outdoors, but they are your best companion everywhere you go and whatever the occasion during the coldest months. Winter jackets and coats for women and men are available in so many styles that your choice, after reading this guide, will be a pleasant journey at Lands'End.