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Your essential winter coat guide

Your essential winter coat guide

Picking the perfect winter coat is no mean feat. It’s a commitment, an investment, and the centrepiece of your outfit for an entire season – and likely longer. In fact, a good winter coat will last you for years to come, and even though the goal is to choose a style that you can throw on and go in, the process of finding the perfect one shouldn’t be a decision you throw on so easily. 

You might be looking for a weekend warmer, a classic cut that will fit perfectly with your work wardrobe, a stylish piece to get you through this season, or all of the above. We’ve whittled down the options and picked the top four styles that blend fashion with function to keep you looking cool whilst braving the cold this winter. 

Parka

You may think of the parka as being is rooted in certain subcultures, but if you pick the right style, it’s a versatile and functional weekend jacket that anyone can pull off. Freddie says, “Go with the original, bigger style and avoid minimal interpretations or other fabrics like fur linings or hood trims – a parka is best done without the extras.”

What's especially great about parkas come deep winter is they're padded for extra insulation, and their pockets and fastenings are practical for time spent outdoors. When styling, avoid skinny jeans and thin t-shirts and go for sturdy denims, hardworking leather boots, and chunkier knitwear to match the thicker fabric, longer silhouette, and cosy hooded finish. Opt for black, navy, or rust shades with minimal features, and you won’t need to be Gallagher to pull it off.

Overcoat

The overcoat is an undisputed winter staple. Thick and heavy weight, it’s naturally suited to cold-weather outfits rather than the light, summery fabrics. Traditionally, an overcoat is well-tailored and made from wool, making it sturdy and hard-wearing. The vent on the back – which should always be unpicked – has its roots in horse riding attire, allowing the coat to fall on either side of the saddle. Although it has no specific function in modern designs, the vent remains as a nod to the overcoat’s origins. 

“Pick something classic with two or three buttons and a notch lapel, which keeps your overcoat versatile for styling over a t-shirt or a suit,” says stylist Freddie Kemp. “If you’re looking for something to wear to work, try a double-breasted silhouette. Single breasted is more casual, but still thick and warm for wearing over lighter layers.”

Peacoat

A peacoat is typically a double-breasted, military-style coat that perfectly blends style with practicality. The thick collar, durable fabrics for insulation, and sturdy design make it a functional choice for cold weather. Whilst the shorter cut is more casual than an overcoat, the high neck fastening works well with a scarf. 

Peacoats are versatile enough to suit most styles of dress, but if you’re going formal, it should never be worn shorter than your suit jacket. Freddie says, “Wear a peacoat with your normal smart casual options, like a shirt and chinos, or with less-formal workwear. The cut should be clean and sharp, not loose-fitting or slouchy, so look for a good quality fabric and stitching, internal lapel buttons, and epaulettes on the shoulders as marks of a top notch piece.”

Puffer

A puffer jacket is traditionally padded with down, making it more lightweight than a parka whilst still offering the same warmth and insulation. It’s moveable and great for time outdoors, and is easily packable for your commute or changeable weather conditions. Freddie says, “If you’re more environmentally minded, look for ethically sourced down, or a good quality fake filler.” Ecoalf and Knowledge Cotton are great sustainable outerwear options.

If you’re looking for a coat in brighter shades, a puffer is the right choice for you, as the lighter fabric holds colour well without looking too bold. Puffers are the most casual coat option, but also the most versatile as they’re easy to throw on with almost any outfit, from streetwear to smart shirts.

Picking a winter coat comes down to where you’ll wear it and what you’ll wear it with. Now we’ve broken down the options, all you have to do is wait for the cold weather to come.


Words: Ella White
Photography: Jake Millers
Styling: Freddie Kemp