The Ultimate Guide To Buying A Stylish Winter Coat

stylish winter coat
Believe it: You don’t have to sacrifice fashion to stay warm this season. Here, stylist Arlene Matthews of Kit This shares her best insider input for finding outerwear that looks good and shields you from all that nasty winter weather. Fashion meets function indeed.

Figure out where to shop

“The secret to buying a stylish coat is first figuring out where to find a stylish winter coat,” says Matthews. While department stores and big-brand sites are easy and have lots of options, think outside the box: “I like to scour resale shops and sites for those fabulous one-of-a-kind finds, at a fraction of the retail price,” she says. This shopping strategy also makes it more likely that you won’t see anyone else wearing the same coat, instantly upping your fashion cred.

stylish winter coat

Shop based on weather

It sounds simple, but when considering a coat’s shape, length, and material, it’s more about buying for the weather than your body type, necessarily. “If you live in an area with crazy frigid winter weather, you’re going to want to invest in a long or three-quarter length coat, in a water-resistant material, with a large hood to shield you from the harsh elements.” says Matthews. Those rules apply no matter your body type, she adds, and there are many different style options to fit your taste.

Above: Maje Groomy Faux-Fur Trimmed Coat ($632; bloomingdales.com)

Don’t get too hung up on size

The good news? Winter coats are far more forgiving in fit than a pair of jeans or a dress, says Matthews. “You just want to make sure you can comfortably wear a sweater or a hoodie under your coat,” she adds. When in doubt, go a size up.

stylish winter coat

Don’t be afraid of color

We’d never knock neutrals, but something as simple as opting for a brightly colored piece instantly ups the fashion factor, says Matthews. “A boldly colored coat will stand out and just makes you feel happy,” she says.

Above: J.Crew Chateau Stadium Cloth Parka with Faux Fur Trim ($365; nordstrom.com)

Try layering for visual interest

Why stop at one coat when you can wear two? “Stylists love to layer and this applies to outwear, too,” points out Matthews. A few of her favorite combos: A leather jacket or sleeveless puffer worn with a wool overcoat, or a track jacket layered under a pea coat.

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