How to Choose an Investment Coat That You'll Wear For Years to Come

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Now that the weather is getting colder and your trendy denim jackets just can’t withstand the challenge, your closet needs a change that will keep you warm for more than just one season. Picking an investment coat can be super scary; it requires a bit more money than needed for a casual jacket, it has to be able to keep you warm and dry according to your local climate, and it needs to match your style! Luckily, once you know what exactly you’re looking for, finding the perfect coat for you is easy and fun.

Know your climate

If you live in a place that experiences heavy snow and rain in the winter months, finding a coat that is waterproof is essential. And they don’t have to be super bulky or extra insulated! Nordstrom, Everlane, and L.L. Bean all carry high-quality and stylish waterproof coats, but you can even find something durable enough at H&M for half the price! It's all about knowing the kinds of weather this coat needs to deflect. Windier climate? Go for something knee-length. Expecting freezing snow? Go for something insulated or lined with your favorite material.

Know your style

Just because you’re picking a coat that is function-first, fashion-second, you don’t have to give up on getting yourself something trendy that fits your style! Color, pattern, silhouette, features, and more are all under your control so you can ensure that you will fall in love with this coat every year you take it out of storage. First, take a look at your current wardrobe; you don't want to invest in something that won't fit your look or something that will fall out of fashion. Are you missing a classic print, something like plaid that never goes out of style? Are you an all-black, all-the-time kind of girl? Are you falling for fall plums and olives this season? Do you want to experiment with an eye-catching pattern? Do you want extra pockets? A hood? Detachable lining? You’ll have this coat for a while, so have fun picking it out and don’t sacrifice style for functionality!

Know your price point

This is a tough one, because not everyone has $100-300 lying around for a brand new coat. But we’re talking about an item of clothing that will keep you safe and last you a lifetime. If you're trying to save money this season, browse the clearance and sales sections of your favorite retailers – or shop during the summer when prices drop! If you're ready to invest, read some reviews and go for it! Trust me — I’m the most frugal person I know and I rarely spend over $30 on any single article of clothing, but I honestly look forward to taking out the winter coat I splurged on back in 2015 every year. It seemed like a lot of money at the time, but I haven’t had to worry about safely commuting in the winter for three years! Remember – most often (but not always!) you get what you pay for. There is an appropriate winter coat for you at every price point, but don’t be afraid to spend the extra dollar.

Know your retailer

This is my biggest piece of advice: shop local. Sometimes the best way to know if you’re getting a coat that will meet your needs is by shopping for coats made in your own city. My winter coat is the Moto Fishtail Parka from Brooklyn Industries (no longer in production.) I remember falling in love with the color, the fit, the silhouette, and the features, but feeling nervous about its level of protection. When I brought this up to my sales representative, she assured me that all BI clothing is made in Brooklyn and meant to hold their own against New York City's unpredictable winters. I was sold, and she was right. Look up retailers in your city and have a visit! You’ll know that the product you’re buying is supporting a local business and will give you the exact levels of protection you’re looking for. Stay warm!

About The Author

Junior queer linguistics major at Hunter College whose hair is brown on the left and some color or another on the right.