What to Look For in Your Autumn/Winter Coats

Although a lot of retailers are delaying the release of their warmer pieces and collections, I think that it’s safe to say that now is about the right time to start thinking about coats in the Northern Hemisphere.

I’ve recently begun to feel the chill as soon as I step outside for work on early mornings, which persuades me to bring out my lovely coat collection again. What I’ve found is that even after half a year, there are certain coats that I simply can’t wait to wear again, and these are some of the things that I’ve found made them worth it.

Warm and Insulating Fabric

This is the main reason you wear a coat, right? If it can’t do the basic job of keeping you warm, then it’s just not going to cut it.

I’ve experimented with a few different materials in the past without realizing what they were. Once I researched and understood fabric properties, that was when I learnt about the materials to look for.

If you’re someone like me who gets cold very very easily, then in terms of your fleecy or felt textured coats, I would definitely opt for anything containing a large amount of wool or cashmere. This is because they are fantastic insulators, as their natural properties worked so well on the animals they were shaven from. I would also avoid polyester felt materials as it did very little to keep me warm.

Though saying that, I find more water proof or faux fur versions of polyester coats pretty effective at keeping me warm. One of my waterproofs is actually a ski style jacket, so they’re made to protect you from zero to sub zero temperatures. And faux fur has a very thick layer with the ability to trap some warm heat into it, making it lovely and toasty to wear.

Pale Neutral Colors

Now this one isn’t really a hard and fast rule, but for many reasons these colors work pretty well. Depending on whether your skin tone is warm, cool or neutral, you can opt for a light beige, light grey or either color. As great basic colors, they can match pretty well with any pops of color that you want to wear underneath, without overshadowing your outfit.

My favorite thing about these pale neutrals is it can hide most kinds of lint! I have pets and their fur can get everywhere in a matter of seconds. My lovely felt textured coats just attract these things! But when I wear a color that isn’t just black or white, it’s harder to see the lint if it’s there. So less maintenance for your coat! (which I like the sound of).

Classic Patterns

If you’re not a fan of having a plain coat, then patterns are always very easy to style in the colder months.

Things like tweed, herringbone, tartan or argyle are the most common ones that always come back in September. I personally love these patterns, and you can wear them in most color combinations too!

Another great thing about patterns is it’s ability to hide lint well again! I’m a fan of anything that doesn’t require too much constant maintenance, so this one wins for me too.

Length

If you want your coat to do the job of warming you up, you should expect that more fabric will help with this function. The perfect length for most people is where it hits between the knees and the thighs. This is partly because it’s practical and is less likely to hit the ground or get in the way when you’re bending down. Also it’s generally a good and classic proportion for it to hit at (it’ll look better when it’s belted too).

However the colder it gets, the more reasonable it will be to opt for a longer coat, even a floor length one. This will protect your legs too and the chill will take longer to reach you.

If you’re shorter like me, a floor length coat is doable, but wearing a belt or a cinched in waist will enhance your look and focus less on you being a short block of color. However, this look is good for everyone if they want a bit more definition.

A Good Lining

Another essential component of a good quality coat is whether it has a lining. If your coat doesn’t then that’s fine, but I find that the ones that do are made with some level of care. With your inner lining, it will help to protect the material on the outside of your coat and potentially help it last a lot longer.

That protection could be from some level of body odor (I know it gets warm in there!), protection of both fabrics wearing out too quickly, and also that extra layer of insulation to keep you even warmer. I also find it stops the fibers from the coat from coming off onto my clothes, as the lining is normally polyester and the inside of the coat fabric is more loose, which could cause even more lint to come off onto your clothes.

Pockets

In general, my favorite feature of most items of clothes are the pockets. The best ones are the two pouches, one on either side of your hips. They’re such a handy thing to have, and quite literally too as you can put your hands in there and warm them up!

But of course there are many other purposes for them too, like storing your phone, keys, gloves and other important little bits. It just makes for a great easy to access place on your self.

And you can always put your hands in those pockets if you’re standing about waiting for something and you’re feeling a bit awkward! (I’m joking, but we all do this for some level of comfort).

So these are the few things that I gravitate toward when choosing my favorite coats to wear this winter. You might find you already pick these styles automatically too, or it’s something you want to try. Whatever it is, have fun picking coats and remember to stay warm first!

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