How to Choose a Great-Looking Winter Coat

You can definitely get more than one season of wear out of a coat, but mere utility is not the only thing to consider when coat shopping. A good coat is an investment piece – it should be versatile enough to wear in many different ways and high enough in quality that you can wear it season after season.

But you should remember that your coat is the first part of your outfit that people see – and the last, for that matter. You need a coat that’s both functional and stylish, and one that works with your body shape. Here’s how to choose a great-looking coat this winter.

Consider Your Body Shape

Just as with any other piece of clothing, you need to consider your body shape when shopping for coats. The right coat will flatter your body shape. If you have a pear-shaped body, go for a longer coat that will deemphasize your wide hips while adding some details at the top for balance – think ruffles, pleats, embroidery, or a high collar. If you’re an apple shape, grab a medium-length coat with a long waist for a slimming effect. Single-breasted and asymmetric coats are a good choice for apple body shapes.

If you have a rectangle body shape, you’ll also want a coat that elongates and emphasizes your waist. Choose a coat with a flared bottom, with features like patch pockets, embroidery, or applique around the bottom. If you have a triangle body shape, with wide shoulders and narrow hips, a coat with a flared bottom can also accentuate your hips and make your figure look more feminine. Choose something with a wide bottom and a busy top, such as a wide collar or ruffles.

If you have an hourglass body shape, you’re in luck. Just as with most clothing, you can wear whatever type of coat fits you. However, you’ll generally look best in something with a belted or otherwise cinched waist that will show off your classic silhouette.

Get the Right Fit

While some women’s coats, like teddy bear coats, are meant to be worn oversized, getting the right fit is important if you want to look good in most styles. The sleeve of your coat should come down to the crease between your thumb and forefinger while you’re holding your arms relaxed at your sides. Belt loops should hit at your natural waistline.

The coat should fit at the shoulders, neither being too narrow nor too wide. A vented hem can also help your coat fit better, while adding a feminine touch. If you’re the kind of girl whose body size fluctuates a lot – and who isn’t – a coat in a wrap style can give you some leeway for those days when you need a little more (or less) room. But don’t be afraid to take a high-quality coat to a seamstress for alterations – things like cuffs and belt loops are easy to alter, and these types of small alterations can make a big difference.

Shop for Versatility

When you’re shopping for women’s coats, look for one that can be worn on many occasions, and in many different ways. A faux fur coat can look glamorous and keep you warm, and a brightly colored puffer jacket will make it easy for your friends to spot you on a crowded street or ski slope. But a long wool overcoat in beige, navy, gray, olive green, or black will go with most outfits, and look stylish too.

Try on Many Coats

With so many different styles of coat to choose from, it just doesn’t make sense to stick with the same style of coat you’ve been wearing for years. To find a coat that will look amazing on you, try many different styles and lengths. You might not think that an oversized teddy bear coat or a leather bomber jacket would be your type of thing, and you’ll never find out any different if you don’t try some on.

Aside from how you look in it and how warm it is, comfort may be the most important feature to look for in a coat. You’re going to be wearing this garment to keep you warm and cozy in cold weather, and you don’t want something that will pinch, restrict, or itch. If it does, you might never want to wear it, and what’s the point of a coat you don’t wear?

Choosing a new winter coat can be a real project. Take your time to try on different coats in different styles, and choose something that flatters your body shape, so you can stay coz