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A coat should be stylish and durable, sure, but what we’re looking for first and foremost during winter’s chill is outerwear that’s all about deep, comforting warmth. Which can be harder to find than you might think. What’s the best material to choose? If I opt for down, am I going to look like I’m wearing a comforter? Can I count on wool to keep me warm when the temps drop below 30? What’s the deal with synthetics? Here’s more intel for you to make your decision—in addition to the 25 best winter coats for your consideration.

RELATED: 25 Not-So-Boring Basics That Will Spice Up Your Winter Wardrobe

What’s the Warmest Material?

Truth: There is no one warmest material. Plus, your desire for the keeping warm should be balanced with the activity you’re using your coat for. (Just imagine wearing that ankle-length puffer to go on a hike, or rocking a Gore-Tex ski parka to a fancy dinner, and you get the picture.) Here’s a few of the most effective materials at keeping out the cold (and, in some cases, wet) and why they’re on our shopping list.

Down: Natural and Synthetic

Ultralight, ultrawarm and ultra-packable, down is nature’s comforter, and synthetic down is the man-made version. Down is a sort of mini-feather that grows on the underside of a goose that traps warm air next to the body of the bird. In the past few decades, the ethical considerations of down harvesting and the complications of ensuring a humane supply chain have inspired many consumers to consider synthetic down, which is allergen-free and less prone to collecting dust and mold. Whether natural or synthetic down, the more ounces of fill, the greater the warmth. One caveat? When it gets wet, down loses its insulating ability and can become a soggy mess.


When DuPont chemist William Gore started a company in his Delaware basement in the late 1950s, little did he know he’d change the face of outdoors activity forever when, after a decade of work, his son stretched a polymer to create a super-strong, microporous material that has low water absorption but allows breathability. Gore-Tex started being used in clothing in the mid-‘70s, and the trademark is shorthand for waterproof, windproof and breathable garments that would later go everywhere from the ski slope to outerspace. While technical fabric innovations have advanced in the years since, Gore-Tex is still among the top blue-chip choices for waterproof material.

Wool and Polyester Fleece

According to the International Wool Textile Organization, wool is warm because it creates a “microclimate for the body that can quickly adapt to changing situations,” retaining or releasing heat or moisture. As for wool’s reputation for feeling scratchy? Wool experts say that the material is only irritating when its fibers are spun too wide—superfine Merino wool, for example, is soft and actually beneficial for people who suffer from eczema or dermatitis. Polyester fleece, by contrast, is warm precisely for the opposite reason—it traps body heat because it does not have the capacity to breathe.

And now, onto the coats.


1. Aofur Women’s Hooded Faux Fur Lined Coat

The faux fur along the cuffs and edges of this parka are a touch of glam you’ll want during a snowy day, while the knee-length silhouette will keep out the wind.

$77 at Amazon

Available in sizes Small to 3XL


2. Everlane Cocoon Wool Blend Coat

This simple, chic coat is cut from a wool-nylon blend that is light in both weight and color, perfect to layer over a sweater or two for extra-windy days or to just button on over a tissue turtleneck for the spring thaw. The boxy shape and slouchy shoulders mean this overcoat will provide maximum versatility.

Buy It ($250; $125)

Available in sizes 00 to 16R


3. Orolay Women's Thickened Down Jacket

Famously dubbed “the Amazon coat,” this iteration has six big pockets and a set of side zippers that come in handy when you want to cool down are highlights of this bright down-filled jacket. The fleece-lined hood is a bonus for the snow.

$150 at Amazon

Available in sizes XXS to 5X


4. Topshop Brooke Double Breasted Long Coat

This double-breasted overccoat looks like wool but wears like iron—it’s just the outerwear you’ll want to wear layered over your basic winter neutrals.

Buy It ($135; $79)

Available in sizes 2 to 12


5. Columbia Women's Icy Heights II Mid Length Down Jacket

The 450-ounce fill of down and zip front make this long jacket a keeper for the coldest days. The front and back of the jacket are baffled like a quilt, so the down stays evenly distributed (and you stay dependably warm). Available in nine colors, this Columbia design a great choice if you’re in the mood for a touch of beet red or teal.

$102 at Amazon

Available in sizes X-small to 3X

Saks Fifth Avenue

6. Milly Eldridge Faux Shearling Teddy Coat

Now’s your chance to wear a combination of a bath robe and your childhood teddy bear out into the wide world. Yup, this textured polyester blend outerwear feels just that good.

Buy It ($450)

Available in sizes S to L


7. Kenneth Cole New York Hooded Puffer Coat with Faux Fur Trim

One hundred percent polyester fill provides the warmth in this figure-hugging puffer coat that makes us think of dainty spins on a frozen lake. Of course, it’s going to look just as nice when casually unzipped in the grocery store check-out line.

Buy It ($148; $100)

Available in sizes XS to XL


8. The North Face Hyalite 550 Fill Power Down Jacket

The 550-fill down is going to keep you warm, while the cropped shape and hood will look cool with jeans and leggings alike.

Buy It ($199)

Available in sizes M to XL


9. Cole Haan Bib Insert Down & Feather Fill Coat

An inner zip closure and bib insert combined with a stand collar makes this puffer ideal for protecting you against even the most persistent chill. Not to mention, the ruched side panels narrow the waist a bit to add definition to your shape.

Buy It ($300; $150)

Available in sizes Small to X-Large


10. Bernardo Herringbone Print Belted Puffer Coat

The bananas design of this coat is going to rake in the compliments: It’s got a waist wrap closure (like a wool coat), but it’s just as insulated and quilted as most other puffers.

Buy It ($695)

Available in sizes Small to X-Large


11. CAMEL CROWN Women’s Waterproof Ski Jacket 3-in-1

Why just get one super warm outer layer when you can have three? This waterproof ski jacket includes a fleece inner lining you can wear on its own and waterproof windbreaker. But when you wear the two together, you’ll have a hooded coat that will stand up to the show and freezing rain.

$94 at Amazon

Available in sizes Small to 3XL


12. The North Face Women's Shelbe Raschel Fleece-Lined Parka

The secret warming agents to this minimalist chic coat? A water repellent finish, a polyester fleece lining and internal cuffs that keep your body heat from escaping.

Buy It ($179)

Available in sizes XS, S


13. Avec Les Filles Faux Fur Coat

This hot pink faux fur in a roomy sack-style is made to wear with tall black boots. Don’t forget your attitude.

Buy It ($190)

Available in sizes XS to L


14. Marc New York Nimbus Quilted Hooded Puffer Coat

The chevron quilting is what makes this coat look sleeker and more expensive than most other puffers. Further, the felt collar and microfiber pocket lining are going to help keep your neck and hands toasty warm.

Buy It ($150)

Available in sizes XS to L


15. Michael Michael Kors Leopard Hooded Packable Down Puffer Coat

We’ll just be over here chilling in our too-cool-to-be-for-real leopard print jacket during our next trip to the slopes.

Buy It ($190)

Available in sizes XXS to XXL


16. French Connection Irena Faux-Fur Coat

Two textures of faux fur make this easy coat feel a bit more dramatic. The drop shoulders are like a wearable hug, so get ready to feel comforted.

Buy It ($124)

Available in sizes Small and Medium


17. Levi’s Faux-Sherpa-Lined Bomber Puffer Jacket

Want a throwback cheer squad feel with your tight jeans and cowboy boots? Hello, Levi’s! Besides the styling, this jacket delivers serious neck warmth because you can zip the sherpa-lined collar all the way up, then tighten it around your chin.

Buy It ($120; $80)

Available in sizes XS, M, L


18. Halogen x Atlantic-Pacific Short Double Breasted Coat

Influencer Blair Eadie collaborated with Halogen on this kicky little crop poly-wool blend pea coat, and we love it for many reasons. But mostly because it has the power to turn even the most casual pic into a fashion moment.

Buy It ($199; $119)

Available in sizes Small to Large

Urban Outfitters

19. UO Faux Shearling Black Longline Coat

This vegan leather coat has got the fuzzy-look lining of shearling; it’s pieced together convincingly enough that it looks like leather.

Buy It ($125)

Available in sizes XS to L

Saks Fifth Avenue

20. Acne Studios Belted Double-Face Wool Coat

Two layers of fine wool meet in this classic coat with updated details like oversized side pockets and a large notched shawl collar.

Buy It ($1,450)

Available in sizes 0, 2, 8


21. Soia & Kyo Alita Puffer Coat

The shiny black finish to this puffer reads as urban cool, while the angled zipper pockets, large hood with adjustable draw cord and waterproof fabric mean it’s going to keep you cozy.

Buy It ($495)

Available in sizes XS to XL


22. BB Dakota Fur Elise Faux Fur Coat

This thigh-length beige affair is sewn so that it looks like mink pelts were pieced together to make a coat. However, the faux fur design is totally animal-friendly.

Buy It ($159)

Available in sizes XS to L


23. Cupcakes and Cashmere Vera Coat

The poly-wool fabric has a brushed finish that looks like vintage-cool mohair. The plaid is so preppy-cute and will look great with brown leather boots.

Buy It ($180)

Available in sizes XS, S


24. Kendall + Kylie Sherpa Front Zipped Utility Jacket

This cropped number features a patchwork of caramel and rust, accented with pink pockets. Sure, it sounds crazy, but it looks super cute on this fuzzy little drop-shoulder jacket.

Buy It ($195)

Available in sizes S to L


25. Arc'teryx Patera Women’s Parka

The most elegant arctic-ready coat we’ve seen, the inner layers of down insulation are snuggly while the waterproof-yet-breathable Gore-Tex outer layer protects you from outdoor hazards from ice storms to that splash from a curbside bus.

$649 at Amazon

Available in sizes X-Small to X-Large

RELATED: 8 Ways to Match Your Face Match to Your Outfit This Winter

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