I’m originally from Florida, so when I first moved to New York City in the fall of 2015, let’s just say I was embarrassingly unprepared for just how cold the winters get. The icy air and snow can be brutal (I had to learn what a squall was the hard way—that was not fun!), so I quickly realized that the importance of a dependable and durable winter coat could not be overstated. I spent five years living in the city and over that period I amassed a collection of coats and jackets for all kinds of weather. I’ve since moved to the sunnier city of Los Angeles where I don’t have much of a need for thick outerwear, but I’m hoping I can pass along this bit of fashion knowledge so you can bundle up with style.
Here, I rounded up the eight types of coats that you should have in your closet so you can be prepared for the freezing cold, miserable days ahead. (Can you tell I’m a summer person?) From insulated puffers and fuzzy shearlings to waterproof parkas and trenches, keep scrolling to get the low-down on all the different types of coats and jackets to have in your winter wardrobe.
Puffers are a winter coat classic. There used to be a time when I totally wrote them off because I didn’t want to look like a walking marshmallow, but trust me, these are your friends. With their insulating features and all-around comfortable padding, you’ll have a substantial buffer between you and whatever cold weather you’re walking around in.
Shearling coats are my favorites. I’ve worn the same one from Mother Denim every winter in New York City, so I have a soft spot for this style. The textured lining will keep you cozy, and they often have wide collars that you can fully button up for extra protection from the elements.
Duster coats and jackets are for those who want some more length to their outerwear. You can also wear some of these styles indoors as loungewear if it happens to be chilly inside your apartment as well.
A parka or raincoat is absolutely essential not just for winter, but for any season! It’ll definitely come in handy when there’s rain, snow, sleet, hail, and who knows what else falling from the sky. A coat with waterproof, durable materials that can stand up to the elements will keep you toasty, and you can add thick knits and long sleeves underneath them for more layers.
Some wrap coats have other closures to them and feature a belt as an extra styling option, while others are left completely open with only the belt to keep you wrapped up. Either way, they help with that whole effortless look and are easy to throw on when you’re heading out to your neighborhood cafe for some much-needed coffee.
Quilted coats often have standout seams and extra insulating materials sewn inside. The padding of these will be a lifesaver come wintertime, and some styles can actually be layered under a larger coat if the weather calls for it.
Tailored coats often have more structured shapes and have a menswear vibe to them. They have a more fitted look and many are double-breasted with buttons. If you’re dressing for a fancy occasion, but you still want to keep warm, you’ll want to go with one of these types of coats.
A trench coat is just as necessary for winter as it is for spring. You can fit tons of layers underneath it, but it also does its part to keep any wet snow or rain out. They usually have good ventilation too, so you won’t overheat.