To do its job, a coat must keep you warm in frigid conditions without overheating. But the best coats are also beautiful, flatter the body, and help to express your style.
Every year, we scour the market for the best parkas, jackets, and coats, then test our favorites to make sure they perform against the elements. Often, they’re equipped with new technology or innovative materials. But this year, many brands are particularly focused on aesthetics, creating outerwear with striking silhouettes designed to make a statement.
This makes sense. After two pandemic winters, when we have been isolated and alone, many of us are looking forward to spending the cold months around other people. If you’re in the market for new outerwear this year, you’re likely looking for something that celebrates the return to normal: a coat that makes you happy and articulates your personality.
After exploring dozens of options, here are the five that stood out to us. Each is stylish, warm, and durable enough to last many winters to come.
A Customized Puffer
Aritzia, The Super Puff, starting at $225
Canadian brand Aritzia knows what it takes to keep people warm in the bitter cold. It has designed the ultimate puffer jacket for northern winters, tested to keep you warm when the mercury dips to -40°F. The jackets feature a water resistant fabric along with 700 fill responsibly sourced goose down.
But the brand’s real innovation is allowing you to customize this jacket. By offering hundreds of options, you can pick from endless colors and a range of lengths, from a short bomber jacket style to ankle length. You can also pick from different material finishes, including shiny high gloss, matte, and a vegan leather. Prices vary depending on the combination you pick, but they’re all affordable, maxing out at under $400.
Prana, Kromata Bomber Jacket, $310
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly option that is fashion forward, Prana’s bomber jacket fits the bill. This jacket was inspired by Nordic style, particularly evident in the city of Copenhagen. It has a matte, industrial aesthetic, with a removable faux fur hood. But it’s also designed to perform well in the Northern European climate, with 650 fill responsibly sourced down, ribbed hems and cuffs that keep the cold out, and pockets lined with fleece to keep your fingers warm.
Prana prioritizes ethical sourcing. All of the materials in the jacket are certified by Bluesign, an organization that tracks chemical pollution in the supply chain. And all of its garments are Fair Trade Certified, ensuring workers were treated with dignity and paid a living wage.
Nap Dress, In Jacket Form
Hill House Home, Reversible Edie Puffer Jacket, $375
If your taste veers towards the feminine, you likely spent the pandemic wearing Hill House Home’s wildly popular “Nap Dress,” a comfortable, ruffle-sleeve dress designed to take you from a midday snooze to a zoom. The brand has now created Nap Dress-inspired outerwear. The Edie puffer is a clever jacket that is reversible, creating two distinct looks. It comes in two different floral patterns that takes a page from the brand’s dresses. When you flip the jacket inside out, it is solid blue, for a more subdued look.
The puffer performs well in the cold. It is filled with PrimaLoft Black Thermoplume, a down alternative that mimics the texture and warmth of goose feathers. The exterior is made from recycled polyester that is wind-proof and water resistant. And it is designed to be worn as a ski jacket when you hit the slopes.
A Cozy Wool Coat To Wear For Years
Jenni Kayne, Cashmere Overcoat, $645
If you live in a warm part of the country, or are looking for a transitional coat, this cozy piece from California-based Jenni Kayne is a good investment. Made from wool, cashmere and alpaca, it is cozy and warm on mild days, and is a good alternative to a trench coat.
This coat is designed to be versatile and durable enough to last years. It comes in two neutral colors—camel and olive—that can be dressed up for work or formal occasions, but also pairs well with casual everyday outfits. (It looks great with jeans and Chelsea boots, for instance.) But one of its best qualities is that it looks flattering on many body types, creating a sleek long silhouette. You can add the belt for more definition around the waist.
An Elegant Splurge
Canada Goose, Marlow Coat, $1,175
Canada Goose is known for its heavy duty parkas, worn by people who work in the coldest places on the planet, like researchers in the Arctic. Historically, the brand has leaned into gender neutral aesthetics, but this year, it designed a collection of women’s coats that has a more feminine touch. It’s part of the brand’s women-driven push this year: The coat was unveiled in Canada Goose’s Fall/Winter 2023 campaign, which featured an all female cast, shot by Annie Leibovitz.
The Marlow Coat (along with its longer counterpart, the Marlow Parka), has a chic belted waist and a high collar. But it doesn’t compromise on performance. This coat will keep you warm in temperatures to -4°F thanks to its 750 responsibly sourced goose down and is made from a water repellent fabric that will keep you dry in the snow. I wore it in the midst of the first cold front in Boston and felt toasty.