Whether you’re walking to work, running errands or heading outside for winter activities, making sure you’re properly bundled up is essential. And the most important piece in your winter wardrobe? A warm coat! Today we’re breaking down the anatomy of a coat so you can find your perfect fit for tackling the cold months ahead.
The warmest coats are, hands down, those made from down. Down coats with water-repellent or nylon outer layers are ideal, as down loses its insulative properties when wet—your worst nightmare during a wet winter storm! Keep an eye out for coats with a 650- or 800-fill number. The higher the number, the warmer the coat.
For the more fashion-conscious: 100 percent wool coats are your best bet for style without sacrificing comfort. They’re also a great option for warmer winter days. (Added bonus: Wool is wrinkle-resistant!) Just remember to double-check the material tag to avoid purchasing wool-blended coats—they’re not very warm. To stay extra cozy, consider wool coats lined with Thinsulate or flannel.
Length is more of a personal preference. The longer the coat, the warmer it will keep you—but that additional warmth (below the hips) is minimal at best.
Non-detachable hoods are best for winter wear. They tend to fit closer to the head, which minimizes gaps and spaces that cold air would infiltrate.
For the warmest coat possible, look for zippers that extend from the bottom of the coat all the way to your chin. While buttons and toggle closures look cute, they tend to let more cold air in.
Pockets are key when it comes to maximizing warmth—especially ones that are large enough to comfortably fit your hands, cell phone and portable hand warmers. Look also for fleece-lined pockets, which ensure extra coziness.