Stay fashion-forward in below-zero temps.
No matter how much time you spend putting together your outfits or incorporating the latest seasonal trends into your outfit rotation, there comes a time when function overtakes form and you have to hide your style away underneath protective layers. Covering up a well planned look can be a bummer, but fall and winter coats don't have to be. Depending on the type of coat, your outerwear can reflect and enhance your personal style. Even better, a bold statement coat can telegraph your aesthetic even if you're wearing your most basic separates underneath.
When it comes to choosing what types of coats you'll be wearing through the colder months, there are a few major factors to consider. First and foremost, the weather forecast is going to dictate your outerwear lookbook. Thankfully, our favorite fall and winter coat silhouettes can be translated over light- and heavyweight types of coats. For example, you can capture the elevated aesthetic and long lines of a lightweight trench coat in a warm woolen duster or cashmere peacoat.
Naturally, your go-to cold-weather staples also play a major role in planning what types of coats to work into your outfit rotation. If you're a year-round miniskirt devotee or a 24/7 leggings enthusiast, you'll likely need a longer coat to keep your bottom half from freezing. If you prefer trousers or suits, a cropped style might suit you better. Whether you prefer a polished, minimalist look or are drawn to an edgier, streetwear aesthetic, you don't have to compromise your personal style just to keep warm in the winter. To bring you the best and snuggliest coats for this season, InStyle tapped fashion expert Bella Gerard as well as stylist and author Andrew Gelwicks to break down what's what in the world of outerwear. From toasty puffer jackets to sleek and elegant trench coats, these are the 17 types of coats you should try for 2023.
A Quilted Coat
Celebs like Katie Holmes love quilted coats for the frostier parts of spring, but this outdoorsy style works equally well for fall and winter. They're a lightweight option that seals in warmth, making them especially ideal for folks who like to layer sweaters or cardigans. The style can evoke a bit of "grandma energy" (in a good way), so if that's not your vibe we recommend opting for a quilted coat in a vampy fall shade like copper, burgundy, or red.
A Duster Coat
Halfway between a trench and a robe sits the duster, a long coat with a dramatic silhouette that never seems to slip out of style. “[Dusters] brings me back to the era where celebs wore dresses over jeans, studded belts over their dresses, and a duster jacket to top it off,” celebrity stylist Shea Daspin previously told InStyle. “I’m a sucker for nostalgia, not to mention a dramatic shape that can billow in the wind."
A Puffer Coat
Gelwicks names mid-length puffer coats like Norma Kamali's Hooded Sleeping Bag Jacket among his picks for iconic all-weather coats. "They're playful and statement-making," he says, adding "I love how they are functional and can completely transform an outfit."
To toggle or not to toggle? That's the question, at least when it comes to duffle coats, a type of coat made from a heavyweight, all-leather wool material and featuring loop and toggle closures instead of buttons or zippers. The charm is found in the details of this less commonly spotted coat. Not only can the toggles range from subtle to statement-making, but duffel coats often sport hoods which make them a snuggly option for colder climates.
A Robe Coat
According to Gerard, "A long robe coat might be the most timeless, versatile piece of outerwear one can invest in." This type of coat delivers the length of a trench or duster with a looser, slouchy fit. Its slightly oversized silhouette, which can be belted at the waist, offers endless styling options. "The silhouette pairs as well with jeans and riding boots as it does dresses and heels. You can wear it open, belt it with the included tie, swap in a belt with some hardware to edge things up, or a gold chain belt for evenings," Gerard recommends.
A Trench Coat
"A nicely tailored trench coat is an absolute must-have for everybody's wardrobe," says Gelwicks. "The trench is adaptable to any outfit — elevating a casual fit, or simply complimenting a more formal or professional look." It's worth noting that trench coats, tailored or otherwise, are on the more lightweight end of the outerwear spectrum. If you love the silhouette but need a heavier option, try a leather variation.
A Cape Coat
"Don't shy away from the idea of a winter cape," says Gerard of this vintage style that she describes as "very Blair Waldorf meets Samantha (the best-dressed American Girl doll by a mile, of course)." When weather calls for full-coverage outerwear, a cape coat delivers elegance and practicality. "For formal events or parties," Gerard explains, "a cape is a fancy, femme silhouette that keeps you warm but still shows off the important bits of your outfit."
A Shearling Coat
Don't sleep on shearling. If you favor cropped silhouettes, a shearling moto jacket is the perfect type of coat to keep you warm when the temperatures drop. Meanwhile, full-length shearling coats are a great choice if you prefer to wear miniskirts or short dresses all year round. For vegan fashion girlies, we recommend shopping brands like Jakke that design cruelty-free statement shearling coats like the black and purple one pictured above, using faux shearling made from recycled water bottles.
Offering the warmth of a robe coat and the classic style of a trench, a pea coat combines form and function, and is unlikely to ever go out of style. Traditionally designed in navy or black, khaki and tan variations are now much easier to come by. When shopping for this type of coat, pay close attention to fit as the slim silhouette might require you to size up if you plan on wearing thicker sweaters.
A Parka or Anorak
Gerard and Gelwicks agree that a sporty down parka is one type of coat worth keeping on hand. "They keep you insulated and warm throughout each winter," says Gelwicks who recommends shoppers turn to heritage outwear brand, the North Face, as "they have new trendy styles, as well as timeless ones." Because they're well insulated but also lightweight, this style can deliver an oversized silhouette without weighing you down.
A Cashmere Coat
“Cashmere anything is a yes for me,” Kate Wasserbach Moore, stylist and found of Abel Honor New York previously told InStyle. A cashmere peacoat, specifically, is "an exquisite investment piece that will keep you cozy and stylish throughout the season and beyond." Since the magic of a cashmere peacoat is its luxe material and not its silhouette, this type of coat looks equally luxe in long and short styles.
A Leather Jacket
The oversized leather jacket trend isn't going anywhere and we're extra delighted that this bulky silhouette is here to stay through the winter months. Not only is a leather coat in an aviator or moto style a classic piece of outerwear, but the roomier fit allows you to comfortably layer on your chunkiest knit sweaters to your heart's content.
A Colorful Statement Coat
A colorful statement coat like the plaid Delpozo coat in the photo above might seem too bold for everyday wear, but there's good reason to consider adding one to your winter wardrobe. "The better my collection of coats, the easier it is for me to stick to a simple wardrobe underneath," explains Gerard. " If my coat makes the statement, I'm fine with denim and a black turtleneck underneath. Otherwise, I'm buying lots of incredible clothes and no one is seeing them, because they're being covered up by the same damn coat every day for three to four months!"
A Cuffed Coat
If you want your personal taste to be reflected in your outerwear but aren't quite ready to slip into a full-out statement coat, try easing yourself into the world of bold coats one cuff at a time. Gerard is a fan of Saks Potts's shearling-trimmed coats which offer colorful cuffs and double-breasted trim on a classic silhouette without throwing you straight into the statement coat deep end.
A Leather Trench Coat
The striking combination of a trench coat silhouette and the edginess of a leather jacket are combined in this type of coat, one of Gerard's favorite styles. "If I were to build a full coat wardrobe entirely from scratch, it would have to include a black leather trench," she says. While this type of coat is definitely an investment piece, don't let that deter you from incorporating one into your winter wardrobe. Not only can you dress it up or down, the same way you would a khaki trench, but it can be worn from fall through spring in all types of weather.
A Faux Fur Coat
Faux fur coats aren't just playful, they're surprisingly good at doing a coat's main job: keeping you warm. It's never a bad idea to opt for a neutral-colored coat, but with so many vibrant faux fur coats out there, taking a step or two out of your color palette comfort zone can really pay off. To get started, take a look at the purses and bags you carry most often in the winter months. If there's lots of brown and beige, go for a warm-toned faux fur in red or yellow. If you've got more black and navy, try ceruealan or royal blue.
Perfect for weather that's chilly, but not cold, shackets — half-shirt, half-jacket — are becoming more and more of a modern classic type of coat. In fact, Wasserbach Moore considers the shacket to be "a must-have for fall because it effortlessly combines the comfort of a shirt with the warmth of a jacket."
Related: 14 Ways to Wear Shackets for Fall
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Read the original article on InStyle.