Finding the perfect winter coat is one of the most challenging aspects of living in a cold-weather city.
It’s an expensive purchase which can be tough to swallow, but when you think about cost-per-wear and the actual benefit you’re getting from the coat it’s one of the most important winter necessities you can invest in.
I still cannot believe that when I moved to Chicago I only owned one coat. I have embarrassingly over-corrected at this point after living in cold climates for going on 7 years now, and obviously I’ve learned a lot along the way.
Here are my tips for the most important things to consider when purchasing a winter coat:
1. Check the insulation and weather specs
The best advice that I was given the first time I was looking for a winter coat was to read the details carefully around the insulation and weather proofing. You’d be shocked at how many “winter coats” aren’t actually equipped to withstand true winter weather. My favorite thing about Canada Goose is that they’re made for braving the worst of winter. You can see the temperatures that they’re made to withstand and you can see exactly what your jacket is made of (the fill).
2. Assess the sizing
Since I’m on the petite side, I pay very close attention to the sizing of what I’m looking at. I’ve learned that if you want a true winter coat it definitely needs to go down to your knees. I have a shorter jacket that I use when snow isn’t as heavily involved, but if you’re actually trekking around in wintry mix your legs will be freezing! I aim for one that will hit me around the knee, but no longer. I don’t like the full length style on me personally. The one that I’m wearing is an XS just right for my height!
3. Pay attention to the little details
You may tend to overlook the smaller features that come with a lot of things, but in a coat like this these little details make all the difference. In this case the two way zip closure is amazing because it’ll actually serve as a barrier against snow getting inside (the worst!). It also has fleece lined front pockets (hello warm fingers!) and headphone access for when you want to listen to music on the go. I always utilize this feature going to and from work and start either a call or my music before I walk outside. There’s nothing worse than having to take off your warm gloves in the snow to answer the phone!
4. Choose a color wisely
I’ve seen girls pick out blush pink winter coats (which is v millennial and trendy), and arctic white winter coats, but at the end of the day snow is wet and dirty, and that’s not going to stay as pretty as it comes for that long unless you opt to never go outside. It’s just not practical. I’ve had a black winter coat forever, so this time I decided to go with the plum because it’s subtle but a little different. You can never go wrong with black though!
Especially when it comes to more serious purchases I always look to Nordstrom first. Not only is their customer service out of this world (I’ve been a customer for over 18 years and have never had a bad experience with their team), but they have the best selection for all options. If you’re looking at something that needs to keep you this warm and protected, you definitely want to have the best options in front of you.
This is the epitome of a Saturday or Sunday errand running look for me in the winter (yes winter, because apparently we skipped fall!). I picked up these sneakers back on the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale after much debate (and your input) and have been loving them. I only ever do classes or shorter runs, so they’re perfect for me and I also love the rose gold swoosh.
With the holidays fast approaching this is also an incredible gift idea if that someone you love has been wanting to upgrade their winter coat but hasn’t treated themselves yet! Don’t forget to check out the Holiday section for more gift ideas, holiday style inspiration and more!
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Photos by Bekka Palmer
This post was sponsored by Nordstrom. As always all opinions are my own!