Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Winter Coat Cheat Sheet

One of the things I have realized as I've grown older is that not every winter coat is treated the same. Which I'm not just talking about quality and price, but depending on the material different coats are better suited for different types of weather.

I was recently doing a bit of research on the best type of outerwear for my upcoming trip to Amsterdam, as the average highs will be in the 40s and I often fall into the trap of thinking 40 degrees isn't cold. Anyways I was surprised how hard it was to find any information on what types of coats are best suited for different types weather, as you wouldn't wear the same jacket in 0 degree weather as you would in 40 degree weather.

I decided to take it upon myself to do some research on winter coats and create my own guide to winter coats that has all the information you might need in one place. Below I'm going to be focusing on different materials that winter coats are often made out of and the pros and cons of each material as well as the appropriate weather for each type of coat.

This is definitely going to be a functional over fashion post so if you came here in search of finding out the difference between a pea coat and a duffle coat you may want to look else wear. With that being said though I do believe that you can find fashionable pieces for each category, so I've included a few examples of coats at different price points for you to check out!

So if you're in the market for a new coat you have come to the right spot! I know I'm posting this mid-season, but hopefully this will also be a great reference for any future coat purchases.

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Wool
If you know me irl this will come as no surprise to you, but I am a complete wool advocate. Turns out wool isn't just timeless for the look, but the material is incredibly versatile also. Wool is a great insulator while still somehow remaining extremely breathable. It's also naturally water-resistant (note: I said water-resistant and not waterproof), but it naturally wicks away moisture from your body thus keeping you dry and toasty. Hence why wool is such a popular choice in cities like London where it's damp and cold year round. All-in-all I may be a bit biased but I love wool not only for it's classic coat styles but also it's versatility, but one thing you should not about wool is that when the weather drops below freezing wool isn't always the warmest option.

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Down
While down brings back childhood memories of my mom stuffing me into a giant marshmallow coat and sending me off to school, as an adult I am starting to realize how practical down can be and almost necessary depending on your climate. For example if you're living in New York City or further North down is a necessity. Made from goose feathers down is extremely lightweight but extremely insulating and is much warmer than wool. The only downside (sorry I couldn't resist) is that it isn't water-resistant and become basically useless once it gets wet. Though on the bright side you can find waterproof down coats. While down isn't the most stylish option it is most certainly a necessity for surviving harsh winters.

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Synthetic
Recent innovations in fabric technology has made synthetic insulation another practical option in choosing winter coats and definitely something to think about. Combining wool/down with a synthetic material has become increasingly popular. For example adding synthetic technology to down you can create a waterproof down coat or adding synthetic insulation to wool can give you a warmer wool coat. Synthetic is going to be a bit more breathable than down so it definitely is a good option if your going to be active. Synthetic materials is also a good thing to consider if you're concerned about price as synthetic insulation is going to run a bit cheaper than wool and down coats.

Synthetic fibers can be really confusing as they often have more than one name. Most of the brands and companies that have developed these textiles have copyrighted and/or trademarked these fibers so they often aren't referred to as the same thing. But when I'm talking about synthetic I'm not referring to polyester and acrylic (both things you should stay away from when looking for a quality coat), but materials like Thinsulate, Thermoball, and PrimaLoft. These are all extremely technical fabrics that can compete with natural fibers like down and wool.

Now before I sign off I need to finish with the most important thing you should be doing when shopping for a quality winter coat and that is checking the tag and seeing what the coat is really made out off! Definitely check to make sure what your buying is what you think you are paying for. For example wool coats will often say wool blend but when you check the tag is will be only 3% wool, so definitely check the tags!

Hope this helped anyone looking for a winter coat!!

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

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