We awakened to a soft sifting of snow this morning, the first of the year. And when we headed out this afternoon to show my parents around our neck of the woods, we all bundled up in our winter coats. The temperatures were in the low 30s. So I thought it might be time to share my winter coat guide for this year.
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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. I said the same thing last year, but I’m still determined to add the right utility coat to my wardrobe when I find it.
A utility coat is similar to a utility jacket, but it provides more warmth and is often longer. I think the above Fjallraven Vidda Pro Wool Padded Jacket at Backcountry 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’m actually shopping for one today. And I’m sharing several 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 or lining.
Quilted Coats and Jackets
Whether you need a rain coat or just an all purpose, I find it’s good to have a not-so-heavy coat in my closet in the winter, too. Otherwise, I’m stuck with coats that are big and heavy and hot when it’s just a little cool outside.
This year I purchased this classic quilted long black coat, and I’ve worn it more than any other coat. Sure, it’s lightweight, but that’s what many of us need if we live in a warmer climate. Plus, I found the size medium is roomy enough to allow me to add on layers underneath if necessary.
I also purchased this shorter quilted jacket. It’s about the same consistency and provides about the same amount of warmth, but it’s just shorter.
Quilted coats are really trending this year. Here are some other lighter weight winter coats. These are great options for travel, living in warmer climates and for transitioning between seasons. And the coats I’m sharing here are a little dressier than a barn or field coat, in case you were wondering about the difference. These just aren’t as rugged.
I never owned a puffer coat until I moved to Ohio, so if you live in a warmer climate you may not need one either. But these days I wear a puffer coat almost every day of winter and into spring. I purchased this Cole Haan hooded down and feather jacket in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale during the summer of 2019, but it’s still available and has recently been restocked at Nordstrom. Mine is in the color cashew, but this down and feather jacket comes in four other great neutrals, and it’s currently marked down by about 50%. I sized up to a large for a roomy fit, so I could layer on warmth underneath. I love this coat!
But last year I decided to invest in another puffer coat, this time in black. My Bernado Packable EcoPlume™ Hooded Walker Coat is silky soft, but oh so warm. It can easily be bundled up and packed, so it’s a great option if you’re traveling to a cold climate. It’s been restocked at Nordstrom, but not in the black. However, I love the soft blue, fig and charcoal options.
I also purchased this shorter puffer jacket in olive green this fall. I like it for a sportier and more casual vibe. This playful coat runs true to size and is available in other colors as well. It’s marked down 28% right now, too.
And, finally, I purchased this lightweight Barbour Shaw hooded puffer jacket in this year’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. It’s still available at Nordstrom Rack for a nice price. Mine is the latte and it’s also available in dark navy. This jacket is pretty light weight and very, very soft.
Some things to consider when purchasing a puffer coat include:
- the weight or thickness or heft of the jacket (Even a lightweight puffer coat can be very warm, depending on the filler used.)
- a hood or detachable hood
- an inner bib for added warmth at the torso
- closer – zip, snap, combination
- pockets (zip, snap, etc.)
- fur lining
- inner lining
I wore puffer and quilted vests a lot more when I lived in Arizona. In fact, they sort of were my coats. Ha! Wow, what a difference a climate makes! So if you live somewhere with a milder winter, you may enjoy topping your outfits with one of the trending puffer or quilted vests. I still have several and definitely wear them.
My Bernado Packable EcoPlume™ Hooded Vest above is ultra soft and lightweight, but it’s a good quality vest and it keeps me warm. The hood is not detachable, but that really doesn’t both me. I think it creates a very upscale but sporty vibe. I also like that this vest is a bit more fitted than some. I have a size medium and it fits very nicely. This vest also packs really well.
Colorful vests like the one I’m wearing above are still available and fun to wear. But I do think vests in a neutral such as black, taupe, navy or even dark green look a little more elevated and current. But don’t let that keep you from wearing your more colorful vests. They’re a great way to add a splash of color to a winter outfit.
And if you’re really looking for warmth, I really believe my L.L.Bean fleece vest is my warmest!
Wool or Wool Blend Top Coat
I really think a good quality wool or wool blend coat is a must for a woman who plans to get out and about at all. This elevated coat, especially in a neutral, is the perfect topper for a dress or dressier outfit. But you can also wear a pretty wool or wool blend top coat over jeans and a sweater.
I purchased my camel Halogen Double Face Wool Coat in last year’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and have thoroughly enjoyed wearing it. I imagine it will be in my closet for years to come. That’s the beauty of purchasing a decent quality wool or wool blend coat: you’ll wear it for years. My Halogen Double Face Wool Coat is still available, but currently not in the camel. It runs true to size.
My black coat is over 20 years old and I still wear it frequently during the winter.
Below is a shopping widget filled with classic, beautiful winter coats in solids. I suggest having at least one wool or wool blend coat in a beautiful, versatile solid for the winter. And even if you don’t live in a terribly cold climate, I think a smart woman has a good, classic coat at the ready. You never know when you might need one for something like a funeral or even a wedding.
Oh, and what about length? If you wear a lot of dresses, I think it’s smart to have a longer top coat. Your coat does not necessarily have to be as long as or longer than your dress or skirt. But if you wear a lot of dresses and skirts you might prefer to have one that looks more like a dress coat. On the other hand, if you wear a lot of pants and you don’t need a longer coat for warmth, a shorter silhouette can look smart and on trend.
Fashion & Fun Coats
But while I’m all for having the necessities for staying warm with a classic wardrobe, I like the idea of having a few fun coats, too. These are the extras, but they can still keep you warm. Right? And keep in mind that sometimes people never even see what you’re wearing under your coat. So your coat is definitely a fashionable piece of your wardrobe.
I purchased this Ralph Lauren Wool Blend Reefer Coat last year in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, too. I’m tell you. The NSale is the sale to buy coats for me. This Wool Blend Reefer Coat is available again this year, but the price is back at full price of course. I will tell you that this is a very enjoyable coat. I’m wearing it true to size (an 8), and it fits nicely.
I also enjoy my Levi’s plaid coat. I purchased this one in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale three or four years ago.
My plaid coat is still available, but not in this particular color combination. It runs true to size or a little large.
Finally, I purchased this beautiful pink Daphne topcoat last year at J.Crew. They carry this coat every year, but in different colors. They don’t have this bold pink this year, but they do have a pale icy pink and some other nice colors. And I absolutely LOVE this plaid Alfie topcoat.
I love wearing a fashion coat like these as an outfit accessory. Especially if I’m going to be wearing my coat a good bit of the time I’m out, I think it’s smart to make that coat count.
All of the coats in the shopping widget below come in some great colors and/or prints. They may not show up that way in the widget, but click through to see the fun colors.
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Blessed for My Day
I mentioned previously that we have a Christmas tree with all shepherd ornaments. I love to think of Jesus as my Good Shepherd. Most days it is not a stretch for me to realize that I really am a lot like a dumb sheep. Ha! I tend to make the same mistakes over and over, get easily distracted and fail to pay attention to danger until it’s too late.
But Jesus is so good to shepherd me tenderly. He is patient with me. He leads me watchfully and is ever vigilant. I’m grateful for the times He has warned me about impending danger and led me out of harms way. How has Jesus tended to you as a shepherd lately?
When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’” ~ Matthew 2:4-6