Finding the best winter coat to fit your needs may seem like a daunting experience. There are a lot of choices; certain coats have liners and extra layers for environments that are less than predictable. There are light-weight coats and heavy coats, and kinds in between. So, when it’s time to pick out the best winter coat for you, first you’ll have to decide what you need in one, and then you’ll have to find the right size for you.
First things first, finding a coat to suit your environment and your needs will be the best thing to keep you warm this winter. Think about where you live, although the weather is constantly changing, what are the temperatures like when the colder weather comes in? If you are hinting at 60 degrees F, for a low, then getting a windbreaker or a lighter-weight winter coat. If you live in this environment, but plan on going skiing or going up to a more mountainous region, purchasing an extra coat is a good idea.
Of course, they have coats for skiing, but the best winter coats don’t have to be an activity theme. Getting a coat for skiing and then one for when you aren’t skiing, but are still up in the cooler air, can seem like overkill on the jackets. But, it is an option, unless you find a jacket with layers.
Once you determine your needs for the coat, then decide if you believe a multi-functional, layered coat is right for you. Some questions you can ask yourself are:
- What will I be doing in the coat?
- Will this coat be for one type of activity only (e.g., skiing, snowboarding, going to school, ice skating, snowman making, etc.)
- What will I be wearing under the coat?
- How do I want the coat to feel (e.g., what kind of fabric do you like?)
- Do I want a coat with layers?
- Do I want a coat with a hood?
- Are you looking for down insulation or synthetic materials?
- Does my coat have to be waterproof or water-resistant?
- How heavy is the coat I want to buy?
- How many, and what kind of pockets do I need?
The best kind of winter coats are multi-functional and can keep you protected in many walks of the everyday and special activities.
Now that you know what kind of coat you are looking for, you’ll get to pick your size. Choosing clothes online can sometimes be a little hit or miss. However, there are some great ways to get a good idea of how an item will fit you and how it will last.
- Reading reviews is always a good idea — most people are pretty honest when it comes to reviews, and the ones that are written out of spite or anger are easy to spot. If the reviews have more good than bad, especially on the “fit,” then that is an ideal manufacturer to go with, if the coat states that the fit is inconsistent, then be wary of buying that style of a winter coat, no matter how cute it looks.
- Check out the “fit” guidelines. Many manufacturers have a “size to fit” chart; it’s how you tell what size you are, even if you aren’t in the physical vicinity of the actual merchandise. Most fit charts give weight, size, and height together so you know what size will work for you.
- If you aren’t buying your coat online, trying on coats is an option; however, you’ll still need to know what kind of size to start out with. Going into any coat purchase is better if you have measurements.
You will need to measure many parts of your body for the right fit of your jacket. However, one of the most important measurements needed will be the chest. If your body proportion is considered “standard” (aka your arms are not longer than average), measuring your chest may be the only measurement you’ll need to take.
For a looser fit, you’ll want to add one to two inches extra to your chest measurement. If you’d like a better fitting coat, make sure to measure your sleeve, shoulder, and jacket length. Unfortunately, international measurements are not all the same. If you’d like to buy a European jacket, the measurements are divided into more subsystems.
In conclusion, it’s not hard to figure out what needs you’ll have for a winter jacket once you determine your activity level and figure out the type of winter you have in your region.
When you figure out the best type of winter coat for you, going in with your chest and waist/hip measurements can only make the search that much easier.