winter coat guide

The Best Winter Coats

It’s winter and it’s cold and we don’t want to wear a coat! But, you asked in reply to my Insta Stories to write about them, and therefore, you shall receive. We live in Cleveland, and like it or not, the weather kinda sucks here. It’s been only a few weeks of cold and we’re already over it! If we have to wear coats, they might as well be cute, don’t you think? Especially since we’re going to be wearing them for the next 4 – 6 months straight!

And, while there are a lot of really stylish looking jackets out there, the reality is, a winter coat needs to be warm, that’s its’ life purpose… It’s a piece of clothing that requires an investment so it can do the job right – it’s no good to look fab but freeze your a** off, ya know?

Fashion + Function

Just as with shoes and bags, there are a few brands that set the standards (both aesthetically and functionally) and then there are others that hit the mark either aesthetically OR functionally. In an ideal world, you want BOTH. My personal belief is, that when buying a winter coat, it’s a time to splurge a bit and spend as much as you comfortably can — I like to use the cost per wear formula, partly to justify my addiction, but also because it just makes sense. Think about it, we wear winter coats EVERYDAY for months straight. And, in so many places we don’t even take them off (think grocery store, mall, bus, taxi… you get the point) so, if there’s a place to invest, this is it.

THE Winter Coat Guide

The creme de la creme of winter coats are those that successfully hit that axis of fashion and function, here are some favorites, organized by category…and at every price…

Each type of coats serves a different purpose when getting dressed. So, when building a functional winter coat wardrobe, it’s ideal to have one coat from each of the below categories BEFORE going, going deep with one particular type of outerwear.



A puffer is a classic, all-purpose winter coat. It works well with casual clothes and workwear AND it wipes clean – three cheers for that, right? And, the updated slim styling and warmth technology allows you to look slightly puffy but not like the Michelin Man. I love a longer puffer to cover the tush with a lower profile shoe and a shorter puffer with a higher boot.  Don’t let the hemline of the puffer fight with the top of your boot. 


The parka is an easy every day coat that gives a sporty feel. The fur lined versions give a current, and easy update to any winter coat wardrobe. 


I’m a big fan of the classic cloth overcoat – it works for almost every scenario and rarely goes out of style. On the warmth continuum, they’re not quite as toasty as a puffer or fur but, if layered, can do the trick nicely, especially if there is cashmere in the fabric. It’s one of the top items on my clients’ shopping lists. 

“Going Out Coat”


A question that comes up time and time again with clients is what coat to wear over that “going out outfit”. My answer… a little fur, a little sparkle, a little tweed. Something different than a typical Tuesday.  Here are a few favorites. And one more thing. None of these need to be reserved for just “going out”. Mix them up with your jeans for an effortless cool-girl look.


So there you have it. Winter coats that are both stylish and fit the purpose of keeping you warm and toasty. Let me know which one you’re going to chase away the winter blues with.

Affiliate Links

Since the purpose of this blog is to take the stress out of getting dressed, we try to make it easy on you by sharing shoppable links (accessed by clicking the PINK words or the actual photo) with awesome readers like you. We want to let you know, some of those contain affiliate links for products. There is absolutely no additional cost to you if you take action (click, purchase, subscribe) with one of these links. As a result, we will earn some coffee money from your click.  But we promise to drink it while creating more ad-free, helpful content like this.


Links updated Jan. 2020

Header Photo: Molly Nook



Cleveland-based personal stylist and fashion blogger.

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