Brrr! It’s already very cold here in Cincinnati, and they tell me last winter was a warm one and to expect chillier temps this year. Oh my! But I’ve been preparing. Oh, yes I have! And I want to make sure you’re prepared with beautiful outerwear for this winter, too. (I’m barely getting this post in before winter officially starts, December 21st!) So today I’m sharing my winter coat guide. I’m sharing my six outerwear staples along with shopping tips and links to great deals.
Now, since I’m originally from Georgia and lived about twelve years in Texas and then about 14 years in Arizona, just above the Mexico border, I’m well aware that not all of my readers need all the winter coats. Nor do you necessarily need the heaviest duty coats. But many of us do. And for those of you who live further south than I do, you and I both know there are days when you do indeed reach for those heavy coats. I simply want us to be prepared…stylishly.
Of course there are other factors that contribute to the coats you need, as well. So you do you and take from this list what meets your needs. This is not an outerwear essentials list. But I would consider these six categories well worth your consideration, especially if you also do any traveling.
This is the one category I’m sharing in which I actually still do not own a coat. But it’s on my list and I’m looking for a good deal. A
A utility coat is similar to a utility jacket, but it provides more warmth and is often longer. I think the above Adirondack Barn Coat from L.L.Bean is a perfect example of this rough and ready coat. This is the kind of coat I’d like to have on hand for outdoor activities such as raking leaves, cutting down a Christmas tree or just going for a walk in the woods.
I wouldn’t say this coat is absolutely essential. I don’t have one. But I’ve ordered the Adirondack Barn Coat to check it out. And I’m sharing several other choices that I think fit the bill in the shopping widget below.
Shopping Tip: For a utility coat, I’m looking for rip resistant fabric such as canvas and an added layer of warmth such as a flannel lining. I also suggest looking for plenty of pockets and some stylish detailing, like patch pockets or a contrasting collar.
Casual Rain or Water Resistant Coat
If you live in a climate where you get significant rain or snow, you’ll be wise to add a suitable coat to your wardrobe. I think that in the winter it’s nice to have a rain or water resistant coat that also provides warmth. If you choose one that is roomy, you can layer on layering tees, sweaters and even a quilted vest underneath to provide additional warmth.
I purchased the above Shaw Waterproof Raincoat in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this summer and wore it a good bit in the fall. Especially if you live in a warmer climate, this coat would hold up well throughout the winter, too. I think I got a better deal on it in the NSale, but it is marked down a little again.
But depending on your lifestyle, you might prefer a rain or water resistant coat that looks a little dressier. I love the look of these next two. Both are available at reduced prices right now at Macy’s.
I’ve shown the Michael Kors hooded, belted rain coat in navy, but it also comes in black. I love the streamlined look of this coat. This coat is usually $220, but right now it’s less than $100 with code FRIEND. And the Via Spiga hooded water resistant coat, also regularly over $200 and now less than $100 with code FRIEND, comes in three colors and all three have that darling leopard print lining peeking through.
Of course, if you’re in a cooler climate you may also want a parka, which is really a winterproofed raincoat. These coats are wind and water resistant and usually have a more substantial lining. I’ve included a variety of raincoats and parkas in the widget below.
Puffer, Quilted or Fleece Vests
Again, I wouldn’t say a vest is necessarily an outerwear essential, but they definitely have their place in many modern, classic wardrobes. I have half a dozen puffer or quilted vests, some I wear for outdoor workouts, others for casual outings.
The features to shop for in a vest really depend on how you plan to wear it. If you’ll be wearing it as an outfit completer plus to provide moderate warmth, look for a vest that adds some style to your look. Consider faux fur, animal print, metallic or pretty colors you enjoy wearing.
If you plan to wear your vest as a mid layer under a puffer or top coat, I’d look for a fairly thin quilted vest. I appreciate the deep pockets in this diamond quilted vest from Talbots. I can easily fit my phone in the pocket and then snap it for safety.
Shopping Tip: If you’re shopping for a quilted vest to walk or run in, look for one with pockets that will hold your phone and/or other essentials. I also like my workout vest to have both zip and snap closures. And I want to be able to wear several layers of clothing underneath.
Honestly I never owned a puffer coat until I moved to Ohio, but now I have two. Last year I purchased this Cole Haan hooded down and feather puffer coat in cashew. I love this coat! I did size up to a large just so it would be plenty roomy to wear over several other layers. Right now it’s 50% off and well stocked in a variety of sizes and colors.
I love having a puffer coat in a lighter neutral in my wardrobe. It’s a fresh site in a sea of black coats, which of course are probably more practical. And I did purchase a black puffer coat for that reason. I wanted something that would go with absolutely everything, pack well and keep me warm. So during the NSale I purchased this Bernardo Packable EcoPlume™ Hooded Walker Coat. This coat feels lightweight, but keeps me toasty warm. It’s so very soft, too. And it has straps inside that the coat easily packs into.
My Bernardo Packable EcoPlume™ Hooded Walker Coat is no longer available in black, but I love the garnet red and deep ocean blue, too.
Shopping Tip: I prefer a puffer coat that at least covers my bum. While you can certainly find puffer jackets that hit at the waist or slightly below, for this kind of investment I want as much coverage as possible. I also look for puffer coats with some definition at the waist, both zip and snap closer (although my Bernardo does not have that feature), a hood (I don’t really care if it’s detachable or not), roomy pockets and packability.
Classic Wool or Wool Blend Top Coat
You can wear a classic wool or wool blend top coat with absolutely everything from dress slacks to jeans, from a dress to joggers. This classic coat will elevate any look, but it will also keep you warm. On the other hand, I strongly suggest you do not ruin a beautiful elevated ensemble by topping it with a utility coat. And if at all possible try not to wear a puffer coat over your dress or slacks either. That’s when you really need that wool or wool blend top coat.
Pro Tip: (I’m calling this a pro tip because I’ve lived extensively in the south before moving to the north!) I suggest every woman have both a sturdy winter coat for everyday wear as well as a classic, more refined wool or wool blend top coat in your wardrobe. You don’t have to buy a new one every year. In fact, my black top coat that is hanging in my closet right now is about 20 years old…and I love it and wear it.
I’m wearing my Jones New York coat above. It’s about 20 years old, but I still enjoy wearing it. Here’s a similar one at Macy’s and, originally $460, it’s less than $200 with code FRIEND. This is why I can say with full confidence that investing in a beautiful, classic wool or wool blend coat is a worthy investment for any woman’s wardrobe. When I purchased this coat I lived in Texas. I wore it infrequently there and in Arizona, but I had it in my closet for those occasions when I did indeed need it. And I was glad I did.
I purchased the Halogen Double Faced Wool Coat in the NSale, and I’m pretty sure I wore it Thanksgiving, but I didn’t get a photo of it evidently. Camel coats are really on trend right now, but, like my black coat above, it will never really go out of style either. This coat is 39% off again, but it’s almost sold out, too. But I’ll share other camel options as well as other beautiful neutrals in the shopping widget below.
Shopping Tip: I suggest having at least one wool or wool blend top coat in one of your preferred neutrals: black, camel, grey, brown or navy. For this all purpose coat I’d steer clear of hoods or trendy elements. Tie belts are extremely flattering because they define the waistline, but button up coats can look very elegant. Watch the pocket placement to make sure they don’t add visual weight at the hips or waist. Finally, I suggest that if you only have one top coat that it be at least knee length so that it pairs well with dresses and skirts.
A coat doesn’t have to just keep you warm; it’s a great outfit accessory, too. So I love having a few additional coats in my closet that both ward off the cold and add interest to my outfits. This is where I add a splash of color, plaids, animal print, faux fur or even metallic.
This is also where I add shorter coats to my wardrobe. The Ralph Lauren wool blend coat above is a great example of what I refer to as a fashion coat. This coat isn’t as versatile as my black or camel coats, but it does indeed work well in my wardrobe because of the colors in it.
My faux fur leopard print coat is no longer available, but this one is quite similar, well stocked and on sale.
Spoiler Alert!!! I’m sharing a peek into Wednesday’s YouTube video. Have you subscribed to my channel?
And I’ll be sharing this pretty pink coat worn six ways in tomorrow’s YouTube Video. Stay tuned! I’ve got some great outfit ideas to share with you. Unfortunately the Daphne topcoat is sold out in my heathered rose. But it’s still available in other equally pretty and interesting colors. I especially love the color “lavender field” and it’s marked down with another 20% off when you use code FESTIVE. Plus, it’s available in most sizes still. But if you just love this pretty pink, I suggest you check out this boiled wool coat in amore pink at Talbots. You can get one item there for 50% off right now.
Finally, I have this red, black and cream plaid coat that I bought two years ago in the NSale. I absolutely love wearing it and get compliments every time I do. So don’t be afraid of plaid or colorful coats. They add life to your wardrobe. Of course my Levi’s plaid coat is no longer available either, but these three are similar…and 64% off!
Shopping Tip: When looking for a fashion coat to add interest to your outfits as well as keep you warm, keep silhouette in mind. You still want a coat that will flatter your shape. Look for colors that will “play nicely” with the other pieces in your wardrobe, but don’t be afraid of a bold splash of color. It will work well with the neutrals in your closet.
Thanks for stopping in today. I wish you a warm and toasty day! Be sure to check in tomorrow for 5 (plus a bonus!) ways to style a colorful coat this winter.
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Blessed for My Day
As we turn our focus to Christmas, it’s easy to get so caught up in the trappings of the holiday that we neglect to truly appreciate the significance of the historical event it celebrates. God came down. Think on that a minute. Jesus, God incarnate, left heaven, took on flesh and all the neediness of being human, dwelt among ordinary people, faced constant misunderstanding and ridicule and ultimately died in our place. You can’t get any more “come down” than that.
Throughout time people have devised ways to try to reach up to God, even to somehow attain to His glory. But all those efforts are vain and misguided. God came down. And when He did, He revealed Himself to us. Jesus showed us God’s character, spoke His words, devoted Himself to His priorities and fulfilled His mission. Today let’s take joy in the fact that God so love us that He came down.
No one has seen God at any time; God the only Son, who is in the arms of the Father, He has explained Him. ~ John 1:18