The Ultimate Fall/Winter 2017 Coat Guide

I was going to title this post 5 Coats Every Woman Should Have, but I hate articles that tell you what you should have. Plus your coat wardrobe largely depends on the climate in which you live as well as your lifestyle, so I’m dubbing this The Ultimate Fall/Winter 2017 Coat Guide instead. It did take me all day to put this post together so hopefully it lives up to its title.

The Ultimate Fall/Winter 2017 Coat Guide

Obviously, take the weather in your neck of the woods into consideration, but if you live in an area that has much of a winter, you probably need a few different coats.

It’s nice to have a coat for dressy occasions, something heavy for the coldest days, something lighter for milder days, something long enough to wear over tunics and long cardigans, and something short and sassy for when you want to look cute and don’t want a lot of bulk.

Then of course you probably want something that is rain resistant, whether it be a rugged outdoorsy raincoat or a classy trench.

I’m also trying to keep the price point on the modest end of the spectrum, but I threw in a few select luxury items as well for anyone looking for those. Plus, it’s fun to dream!

With all that in mind, here are 5 types of coats you may want to have in your closet this year and what styles and colors are trending.

#1. Down/Puffer Coat

Must Have Winter Coats: Down Puffer Coat

A down/puffer coat is the #1 coat than someone living in a colder climate needs — either that or a super warm wool coat (see #2.) In my neck of the woods, I like to have a long puffer coat so it covers my thighs and bum when I sit down on a cold surface or if I’m going to be doing a lot of walking outside in the cold. Plus I like to have at least one coat that’s long enough for wearing over tunics and long cardigans.

Down fillings are generally the warmest, but there are some good synthetic insulated jackets nowadays as well. Again, take your climate and lifestyle into consideration.

Of course short puffer and quilted jackets are useful too, and I like to have one of those for the days that aren’t as cold or when I just don’t want the bulk of a long coat. I will link up some of each in the shopping widget below.

I also prefer a hooded puffer coat — bonus if it’s detachable. I often use a hood in lieu of an umbrella or hat, so that is something I always look for. I’m linking up some with fur (or faux fur) trimmed hoods and some without. These are still trending, but I’m seeing more and more without the fur trim these days, and I feel like they’re more practical.

Even though down coats can be bulky, you don’t have to look like the abominable snowman. Look for one with some shape to it that makes it figure flattering. If you do a lot of traveling, consider a packable down jacket. They’re made to pack down to almost nothing, and they’re super lightweight as well.

SALE ALERT >> Up to 40% off select styles at Lord & Taylor PLUS 15% off regular price and sale items with code LOVE. As always, free shipping on orders over $99.


#2. Wool/Wool Blend Coat

Must Have Winter Coats: Wool Coat

A wool coat is another great option for those of us living in colder climates. Look for 100% wool for the warmest coat, but you should be good with at least 60% wool.

I like to have a wool coat that’s dressy enough to wear over my nicer church outfits and for other dressy occasions. It’s fun to have a more casual wool coat too, but a nice wool dress coat is always my first priority. The walking coat pictured above with the belt-like inset is super flattering and also gives it a dressier look, and it’s 33% off right now. It also comes in black and winter white. J.Crew has a similar one that is 40% off right now, and it comes in a bunch of gorgeous colors.

SALE ALERT >> 40% off fall favorites & 30% off everything else at J.Crew with code GOSHOP. This includes some really gorgeous coats!

A classic reefer coat is a nice style to have as well. It’s a little more casual than the ones with the fitted feminine styling, and I also love the edgy, modern look of this paloma coat. The J.Crew chateau parka is another silhouette I like a lot, but it is not on sale.

Right now the trend is towards the cocoon style, but a classic silhouette is always in style. This is also a good opportunity to introduce a color to your coat wardrobe. A red, teal, or green wool coat is a gorgeous accessory in addition to keeping you warm in the elements, or how gorgeous is this blush pink!?!

SALE ALERT >> Take an extra 25% off at Andrew Marc with code 35YEARS (excludes $99 down specials) plus free shipping on U.S. orders over $75. FYI, Andrew Marc makes a really nice coat.  


#3. Active/Waterproof Coat

Must Have Winter Coats: Active/Waterproof Coat

I don’t really have an active/waterproof coat because I don’t do anything outdoorsy except run (and that requires its own set of gear) and occasionally hike (and I’m a fair weather hiker.) LOL! But if you’re an active person and like to do things outside in the wintertime (ski, snowboard, hike, etc.), having a coat that is appropriate is important. Look for a coat with flat, sealed seams to keep water out and a waist or bottom drawstring is helpful for keeping out the cold.

I always think of Lands’ End when I think of active coats like this, but there are other brands that do a good job in this department as well. The North Face and Columbia are two that come to mind.


#4. Trench Coat

Must Have Coats: Trench Coat

Every list of must-have coats includes a trench coat, so far be it for me to contradict this tried and true advice. I don’t wear my trench coat very often, but it does come in handy sometimes and I wouldn’t want to be without it. Mine has a lining so it’s warm enough to wear on milder winter days, but I don’t think I’ve ever used that. If it’s cold enough to use the liner, I just throw on my long puffer coat or short quilted jacket. Still, that is something to look for if you want one that is more versatile.


#5. Leather Jacket or Faux Leather/Suede Jacket

A leather or faux leather/suede jacket isn’t really a must-have, but it’s definitely fun to have! There are a lot of options here — genuine leather is always a classic, but there are a lot of good faux leather options these days, and suede is fun for a change.

Some styles are dressier and some are more rugged, so go with what works best with your wardrobe and lifestyle. Also pay attention to what styles looks best on you. I’m always drawn to the asymmetrical moto style jackets with the flaps across the chest, but I’ve learned that I look better in a simpler style that zips straight up the front with no flaps. Some are collarless and that is usually a dressier look. The waterfall collar is a big trend right now, and it’s a fun variation on a more traditional suede or leather jacket. (Usually you’ll find that in a suede.)

As far as colors go, black and brown leathers are always classic and you can’t go wrong with either. It just depends on your wardrobe and what you’ll wear the most. Grey, burgundy, and plum are all really pretty in both leather and suede, and all colors of suede are trending right now. That’s a fun way to add a pop to your outfits. I would try to spend less on a color than I would on a more classic black or brown.


I think that about covers it. I hope this was helpful. As always, I’m happy to answer any questions you may have in the comments.

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