I’m having a hard time finding a warm winter coat to deal with the bone-chilling cold of NYC. I want a cute but VERY warm winter options! Not trying to go out in a hardcore parka or sporty-looking snow boarding jacket. I do not do winter sports and don’t want to look like it. Perhaps a list of cozy yet stylish options? Classy enough to walk into an office with but cute enough walking in NYC. It gets cold but that shouldn’t require me having to look like “Nanook of the North.” – Victoria
NYC is definitely a place where you’re expected to look stylish at all costs, even if it’s freezing out. So here’s what I’ve learned through the decades about winter coats and this city: There will definitely come a day when you’re going to be thankful for your warmest coat, even if it’s completely hideous. I’ve held on to a bright red down coat from the Gap since the early ’00s because there is always one day that my fashionable coat isn’t going to cut it, no matter how much I layer. The other thing about dressing for the cold in NYC is that your coat makes a huge first impression, so you have to make it count. Even though you should keep your warmest, most hideous coat as an option, that doesn’t mean you can’t go shopping for a stylish coat to be your workhorse for most of the winter. Get some tips for picking out one that can go casual or dressy, after the jump.
You can’t go wrong with a wool coat, especially one in a dark neutral (light-colored coats go against tradition in NYC, which is perfectly OK if that’s your intention). J.Crew makes a few coats in Stadium-Cloth, a compact, high-density wool patterned after the fabric used for vintage football jackets. The wool of this coat will stop the wind from hitting your body. You can also increase the style quotient of this coat by swapping the belt for a leather one, adding a chic hat and gloves, and pinning on some brooches.
I like a puffer coat when it’s not too, well … puffy. I saw this coat in Gap recently and was surprised by how streamlined and lightweight it is. The reviews haven’t been very favorable, but a coat doesn’t need to be extremely dense down to be warm — as long as it breaks the wind, you’re good. Plus, this one allows you to layer, which you’re probably going to do anyway for fashion.
I’m a big fan of the military trend, so I’m loving this parka. It would look great with jeans and sneakers, a dress and pumps, and anything in between. Although this parka is canvas, it is also filled with polyester so it’ll keep you warm.
If you find a really chic coat that you love, but don’t think it’ll keep you warm enough, add a fleece vest to the mix. The vest will help to keep your core toasty, but won’t inhibit the movement of your arms.