It’s an equally exciting and daunting prospect, going out shopping for the elusive winter coat that will keep you warm and make you feel more put-together than a hoodie and ugg boots. There are so many styles, colours and price tags to choose from. Who knew finding “the” coat required a checklist?

 

Well, it does. So here you go:

 

Quality
The best fabrics for warmth are wool and cashmere… and ain’t nobody got time for cashmere when there are other things to buy! Many coats are a blend of materials, and the percentages/ratios differ from coat to coat. Polyester and acrylic will do little to keep you warm, so pick a coat with the highest percentage of wool that you can find.

 

Style
Knowing your body type will help narrow down your search. For guys, a traditional coat ends midway between your thigh and your knee. Double- or single-breasted, belted or unbelted – it all depends on your body shape. For women, full-length coats only really work on taller people, while mid-thigh-length coats work for most ladies.

 

Fit
Few coats will provide 100% of the heat you need to stay in a decent mood during the winter months. Buy your winter coat one size bigger than you would buy a normal jacket so that you have room for layers underneath. Buying a coat that fits perfectly over your favourite white T-shirt means not being able to tie your shoe laces when you swap your tee for a chunky knit!

 

Versatility and colour
Dressier vs sportier: it’s the age-old battle. A formal coat is great for the office, but will look out of place at a weekend braai. A duffel coat will work well for less formal offices and at your kid’s soccer match on Saturday. The winter coat you choose should last you a long time. As tempting as a polka dot coat may be, start with neutrals such as black, navy, grey or camel.

 

Final note: There’s one thing that every single good winter coat should have… pockets. (If for no other reason than to stash a winter runny nose tissue!)

 

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