Winter weather is pretty scary stuff. Ice, snow, cold temperatures, all of this can keep you from even trying to go outside. It’s a lot better to stay warm inside.
But no matter who you are, you can’t avoid the outside world even in winter’s bitter cold. So you need to know about the different types of winter coats that will protect you from this weather and keep you warm anyway. You need to know which coats are warmest, which styles you like best, and what functions these different coats have.
Different Types of Winter Coats
Protecting the body from winter weather is something that literally dates to the Ice Age. If humans hadn’t figured out how to use animal fur to keep themselves warm, none of us would be here right now looking at different types of winter coats.
Back during the Stone Age, you would wrap a thick animal hide around yourself and call it a day. But from these early days, outerwear became much more refined. It took on actual shapes and designs, and soon, it was made with all sorts of different materials.
Now, there are lots of different winter coats to choose from when you’re looking for a way to show off your cold weather style.
The anorak is made for the toughest, ugliest weather conditions. It is a pullover garment that goes on over your head. This means there are no openings and no seams, so water and ice can’t get inside.
The anorak is about hip-length, and it is hooded. It’s made to be very warm and insulating to hold your natural body heat around your body, protecting you against the cold.
The duffle coat was designed to take on the elements. This is a hooded coat that is usually made of wool to be moisture-resistant and warm even on cold days. Wooden toggles add a distinct feature to the design. Duffle coats are made to seal out the weather and the cold.
Fur coats are quintessential winter wear, but they have fallen out of style in recent years, as fur has become incredibly unpopular with animal rights activists. Fur is considered to be a cruel industry in and of itself because real animals have been used for their felts. Faux fur has started to become more popular as winter wear, but often, this is made to look very clearly like faux fur rather than being made to imitate the real thing.
The world’s first raincoat was created by a Scottish chemist in the 1820s. His name, Macintosh, became associated with the long, simple style of the coat and, more importantly, the waterproof fabric. Macintosh coats have a foldover collar, long sleeves, and a straight style that usually ends around the knees. This is now the classic raincoat, and over the years, the original Mac has had many imitators.
Parkas are designed to be heavy, thick coats that keep you warm even in the very coldest temperatures. Parkas are long-sleeved coats that are around hip-length and have medium-high standing collars. Parkas were originally created in Alaska, where temperatures are cold, and conditions are snowy and icy. Back then, they were made of caribou or seal skin. Now, they’re more often made with waterproof synthetic materials.
Made for British naval officers, the peacoat is a double-breasted coat, which means it has two rows of buttons down the front. The pea coat is about hip length and has a fold-down collar. The design is somewhat wide, flaring out slightly from the chest. The pea coat is traditionally made with wool, a naturally insulating and moisture-resistant material that stands up to the rigors of winter weather.
Puffer jackets are named not for their style but for their construction. Puffer jackets are made in many different styles, but they always have the distinct puffy look that gives these jackets their name. This puffiness is achieved with insulation, usually down, which helps you stay warm even in the coldest conditions.
The overcoat is a long coat style, usually around knee-length or longer, that is not belted. It hangs in a straight design or may have a slightly nipped waist. There are many different styles of overcoats that range from casual to fancy in design. They are made in many different materials, with wool being one of the most common.
Thomas Burberry designed the first-ever trench coat, which was made for British Army officers during World War I.
This conflict was marked by its trench warfare, which is how this coat got its name. Because it was so stylish and functioned so well at keeping officers warm and dry even in the wet European weather, the trench coat became popular in civilian fashion, too. Burberry continues to be a famous name in fashion to this day and continues to be a gold standard for trench coat style.
Trench coats are long, usually knee-length or longer, and have a double-breasted front in traditional designs. The trench coat has a matching belt, a foldover collar with short lapels and epaulets on the shoulders. That’s a nod to the military origins of the coat. Next time you watch a movie or series set during WWI, pay attention to the trench coats. You’re sure to see many of them.
Wrap coats are long, belted coats that are often made in wool or another warm, insulating material. Wrap coats are incredibly flattering because of the V-neck shape it creates at the chest and the matching belt. The wrap design emphasizes the curves of the body even as it makes your waist look smaller.
Wrap coats have a long, straight design and an elegant look. These coats are incredibly comfortable because they adjust to your body. You belt the coat to fit you, so it will fit you every time you wear it.
Wearing Different Types of Winter Coats
Ready to start wearing the different types of winter coats? There are plenty of different styles to choose from. You can choose coats based on style, based on warmth, and based on whether or not you’ve worn this design before.
Start playing around with different winter coats and see which styles you like the best and which ones suit your personal fashion sense the best. The more you play with winter fashion, the more you’ll find out that winter fashion can be really fun…as long as you know about your different winter fashion options.
There are a lot of different winter coats, a lot of different styles, and a lot of different materials that create them. It’s a lot of stuff to know. So if you’ve still got questions about caring for and wearing winter coats, no problem.
We’ve got the answers to the most commonly asked questions about winter coats. Once you get the info, you’ll know how to wear, style, store, and care for your winter coats like an expert.
Can winter coats be altered?
Winter coats are not cheap, and when you find one that keeps you warm, you want to hang onto it. But if your body changes…well, your coat may not fit as well. So can you alter it so it will fit? Some areas of some coats can be altered, but often, you cannot make big alterations to coats either way until you drastically change the coat.
Zippers and buttons can be replaced easily enough. Collars can be shortened or removed. Sleeves and bottom hems can be shortened.
A belt can be added, or some changes can be made around the waist, sometimes, to change the fit. Otherwise…not much can be changed. The shoulders of coats are difficult or even impossible to alter. If your coat doesn’t fit through the shoulders, you should think about getting a new coat.
Can winter coats go in the dryer?
Washing and drying winter coats is a pretty scary prospect. Yet, you’ve got to clean your coats sometimes. Snow, rain, and just general wear can make their mark on your winter coats. You don’t have to run to the dry cleaner every time you want to clean one of your coats.
Want to clean your coat? First, check the care label. The label should provide detailed instructions on how to clean the coat.
Many coats can be cleaned by hand in a large tub of cool water with a little gentle liquid detergent mixed in. Dip and dunk and swirl the coat without twisting or pulling, or rubbing the fabric. This will work for many materials, but not leather. You need special cleaners and techniques to clean leather.
Some coats can be machine washed and dried. Usually, coats must be turned inside-out and washed in cold water on the gentle cycle. Coats should be dried only on low heat. Puffer coats and down-filled coats can be machine washed and dried.
How to store winter coats?
If you have the space to do so and the coat is not so heavy that it could get stretched out and misshapen, it is best to hang coats up to store them. You can cover them with a garment bag or a trash bag if you haven’t got that to keep dust and hair off of them when you are not wearing them during the winter months.
Otherwise, fold coats and put them in plastic tubs. Vacuum-sealed bags can work for some coats, but any coats filled with down, such as puffer coats, should not be stored in vacuum bags because they will lose shape here. Wash coats and remove stains before storing.
How should your winter coat fit?
Winter coats are made to fit in all kinds of different ways. Some styles are wide and flaring, some are more slim-fitting. So how do you know if your coat is fitting the way it should?
Make sure the coat fits through the arms and shoulders. This is a huge indicator of whether or not the coat fits the way it’s supposed to fit. Can you move your arms in circles, moving all the way above your head? You should be able to move your arms freely in all directions without feeling any pulling across your shoulders.
How do the sleeves fit? Stretch your arms out. The cuff of the coat should not leave half your arm exposed. Only your wrist should be exposed, not your arm.
Check the fit through the arms and shoulders to know if your coat is fitting your body properly. An ill-fitting coat is going to ruin your overall look, and it will make you uncomfortable, too. No matter what you wear, make sure it fits. This will make you look better and feel better, and in fashion, confidence is the biggest element of your style.
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