What I’ve learned about choosing a good winter coat


Normally everyone chooses black or dark grey. This is so dirt doesn’t show up as badly, bla bla bla.. but really, if you get some dirt on it, or salt, it shows up MORE than if you had a lighter colour coat – the dirt looks beige on black or grey, and salt looks white.

However, I don’t recommned buying white or ivory coats because they’ll show general blackish dirt easily.

So the best colours for coats? Light dove grey, red, turquoise, or brown.

These colours are also good for the single fact that cars will find it harder to hit you if you’re in a deep ruby red coat, because you really stand out not only among the white snow, and the slushy browny-grey streets, but you also stand out in a crowd of black and dark grey coats. Plus red is an active, hot colour, so it really catches your attention when you see it.

Patterns are nice too. I like herringbone tweed or plaid, but I find those normally don’t ever come in the correct winter-appropriate fabrics.


Don’t get a coat that fits PERFECTLY. This is because you’ll end up wearing a sweater underneath, and tie a scarf around your neck. So what you need is a slightly looser winter coat to accomodate for that.


You know, I underestimated these suckers. I bought a beautiful cashmere dove grey coat, but it didn’t have pockets. I saw it as a positive because I wouldn’t look bulky and fat.

Nuh uh.

I carry bus tokens, gloves, an iPod, cellphone and PDA at any given time. I NEED, I CRAVE pockets. Deep ones. Ones that aren’t so shallow that things will fall out.


Ankle-length is ideal, but sometimes kind of bulky because you have to lift it up like a skirt, deal with trying to clim stairs while not stepping on the coat, or having others step on it…

So I recommend knee-length or just below. Anything higher, and your stomach (possibly) and normally-warm thighs will FREEZE. And hurt. I’m totally looking out for a knee-length coat for next winter if I decide to upgrade.


Wool. Wool. Wool. Unless you want to look like a puffy Eskimo, I heard those coats are light, puffy, comfortable and very good insulators against the snow and wind. But if you want to err more on the chic side, I’d go with wool. Don’t even try and play with fabrics that aren’t wool. They won’t keep you warm, and they’re just bloody heavy (my herringbone tweed coat is SO HEAVY, it hurts sometimes).


Look for one with a belt or a tie, or something interesting to really nip in your waist as a beautiful curvy woman. It might give you a bit more of a shape than a .. well, shapeless blob of a coat. Enough said.

Interesting details

You want something interesting to wear. You don’t want a BORING coat that makes you yawn every time you put it on. Look for a detail on the pockets, the belt (something cute?) or anything like that.

A hood

This is a personal choice but a hood is totally, totally, a must-have for me. Much like pockets. The hood is helpful for keeping light snow from melting into your hair and dripping down your face, making you look and feel like a drowned, cold, miserable RAT.

(Can you tell I’m bitter? :D)

I need a large hood to be able to just cover my head and keep the wind from hitting my cheeks, etc.

A high enough nuzzle area

Not as romantic/cuddly as you think. I’m talking about that little flap or area where you can button it, and it comes up to cover your mouth/nose, while you’re all nuzzled into your scarf.

Very helpful when the wind is going, and you’re wishing you didn’t pick something quite so fashion-y.



About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.