Note from the editor: If these are sold out, be sure to check back frequently… most brands need to restock after the crazy holiday shopping season!
Winter is one of the most magical times of the year…for about two days.
But after that, it’s just freakin’ cold. Snow squalls, frozen mornings, scraping ice off your windshield. Maybe the old people who move to Florida have it right.
Guys, just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you have to throw on that big ugly jacket you’ve had for years.
Yes, if you’ve got the right winter coats, it’s actually so easy to look great all season long.
Today, we’re going to cover our four favorite warm winter coats (and we’ll even toss in three medium-weight options) so you can look great and stay warm even when it snows for the one-squillionth time.
Florida, we love you, but with these awesome jackets, we’ll hold off for another year.
Everyday Winter Coats For A Smart Sharp Style (not for Arctic exploration or extreme temperatures)
Maybe it goes without saying, but if you find yourself in deeply cold environments, like Alaska or up in Canada, forego style for the sake of survival.
Sure, you’d look fantastic in a chunky knit cardigan running the Iditarod, but you’d wake up dead. Not a good look.
All of our suggestions are meant to be taken with a little dose of common sense.
If you’re in, say, Minnesota, it might not be a great idea to wear a quilted jacket over a T-shirt on the coldest day of winter. But most of these coats will be fine with multiple layers on those non-record breaking days.
So now that we’ve absolved ourselves of the responsibility for any fashionable hypothermia, let’s dive into our four favorite winter coats!
Warm Winter Coat #1: The Classic Parka
The parka is a classic winter coat, and it’s the heaviest on our list.
Parkas can handle some pretty cold weather (layers underneath help) so they’re a great choice if you live in a northern or midwestern city.
Most parkas are made with at least a water-resistant shell. While not all are weather-proof, most will do just fine if the rain or snow starts to pick up.
Our favorite parka is the Land’s End Men’s Expedition Winter Parka.
Land’s End offers five different colors, but if you’re just dipping your toes (or whole upper body) into winter coats, we recommend something like navy or black.
You can’t go wrong with those darker neutral tones and they’ll fit with just about everything in your wardrobe.
One of the great things about shopping with Lands End is that they usually have discounts available. You can pick up this parka when it’s at a great price and get it for a fraction of the MSRP.
This bad boy works down to -34°F degrees, and that’s just the coat with no mid-layers.
One issue with parkas is that they can get pretty bulky. One of the reasons we like the Lands End parka is because you can cinch the waist to slim your profile.
The waist pockets are great because they have buttons on top, AND slits in the side. It’s like two pockets in one! Naturally, when the wind picks up, you want to keep your hands in your pockets and these side-entry pockets are perfectly positioned to keep your hands warm when you need to.
Your parka should end mid-thigh. You want to cover your whole core, but you’re not going with the same extra coverage you might find with a trench coat.
If you go with our Lands End choice, size down. Don’t think about it too much, just size down. Lands End tends to make all their clothes on the larger side. But parkas, in general, are built a little bigger.
For an alternative, we’re also big fans of the Canada Goose Expedition Parka. Triple FAT Goose makes great parkas as well. And LLBean has a parka called the Baxter that looks great (you’ll probably have to size down with this one, too)
Warm Winter Coat #2: The Quilted Car Coat
The quilted car coat is our ideal winter coat. It’s got enough weather resistance to beat cold days but isn’t so heavy that you end up looking like a marshmallow man when layering.
The texture you get from the quilting adds a little interest to the coat overall. Plus, it’s great on its own for fall and spring.
This is our go-to coat for traveling, too. With layers, it’s warm enough to beat most cold days (barring blizzards and the arrival of the Night King). And if it only gets chilly at night where you’re going, it’ll be totally comfortable and stylish on its own.
Again, our favorite here is the Land’s End Quilted Car Coat.
It’s got a super cool two-toned look to it with matching corduroy collar.
We’re big fans of the olive car coat with the brown corduroy. We’re still sticking in that sweet neutral range, but it’s a little different than the navy and black you’ll see everywhere in the streets.
As with the parka and all other Land’s End products, size down.
The Quilted Car Coat has pleated flap pockets with that same awesome dual pocket technology they had in the parka. I love that. So many extra compartments, but none of the bulk.
The brass snap buttons offer a nice, classy touch. Another cool thing about this coat is the two-way zipper—it’s great because you can unzip from the bottom when walking to give your legs a bit more room to maneuver.
In the back, you’ll see double-vents which isn’t very common. This definitely adds more flexibility when moving around, or you can snap them shut if you’re worried about back-chills.
Pair this car coat with a sweater or a suit jacket… it works equally well with either. The navy blue option was a close second, but the olive was just too good to pass up in our opinion.
This car coat is your best option for most occasions. It’s versatile in a smart, sharp wardrobe, and not as intense as the parka. That being said, it’ll still keep you warm in most situations.
For a great alternative, we also recommend the Barbour Heritage Liddesdale Quilted Coat.
Warm Winter Coat #3: The Classic Wool Peacoat
Man, we love peacoats.
How could you not?
They’re a staple for all smart, sharp dressers. The heavy wool is great for keeping the cold away and the structure they add is great.
Our top choice for value is J.Crew’s Dock Peacoat. J.Crew has a ton of different color options available, and like Land’s End, they seem to have sales year-round so you can usually get a killer price on one of these.
We really love the olive for the Dock Peacoat, too. Again, olive is technically a neutral color (#menswearneutrals), but it’s a departure from standard black, navy, and charcoal. That being said, we do recommend your first winter coat be in one of those darker shades. There’s a reason why black, navy, and charcoal are so common—they just work with everything.
The only drawback to peacoats is that they can become really heavy over time. It’s wool and insulated, which is great for staying warm, but it can wear you out over the course of a day.
Peacoats are tough on those days where it starts cold and gets strangely warm when the sun comes out. Then you’re stuck with a heavy coat and it’s just uncomfortable.
For that reason, we think the car coat has a slight edge over the peacoat, but we’re still huge fans of this classic winter staple.
Perennial favorite Spier & Mackay has a polished, classy peacoat, which is a great alternative to J.Crew’s version.
Warm Winter Coat #4: A Classy Topcoat in Wool Cashmere
If you want to go with a more formal look, a camel wool cashmere coat is an incredible investment. But do note… more often than not, they are investments.
But when you have one, it’ll last you most of your life. We don’t necessarily recommend it as your first / only winter coat, but it’s an amazing option for when you want to go more upscale with your winter wardrobe.
Spier and Mackay is an excellent brand and they make a great version of the camel wool overcoat and a surprisingly affordable price. Their clothes are elegant and they don’t break the bank.
We’d choose this when looking for a coat that pairs well with a suit. But just because this looks great paired with a suit doesn’t mean you can’t wear it with jeans. You don’t have to go formal, but the camel wool coat just unlocks that option.
If you’d like an alternative to the Spier and Mackay, check out J. Crew’s Ludlow Topcoat.
3 Lighter-Weight Winter Coats for Warmer Climates
You thought you could get away with just four recommendations, didn’t you?
Well, these three lighter- to mid-weight coats are also nice to have on those weirdly warm days of winter that pop up here and there.
These also work if you run a little hotter and find you don’t really need a heavy winter coat… or maybe you just live in a warmer climate.
1. A Water-Resistant Trench Coat (with bodywarming liner)
A trench coat is a classic. It’s our coat of choice when carrying a Tommy gun, preferably worn with a fedora. (haha)
A trench should come down just above the knee. When it’s raining outside, you want all that coverage. It doesn’t add a ton of warmth, but the trench is invaluable when things get stormy outside.
Some trenches have built-in body warmers, which is a definite bonus.
2. A Killer Leather Jacket
Who doesn’t want a leather jacket?
They’re one of the best buys you can pick up in fall, and they’ll last you well into winter, too.
AllSaints makes fantastic leather jackets in a variety of styles. The leather they use to make their coats is super soft and beautiful.
One of our favorites is the biker style because it has interesting quilting on the shoulders. Complete with an asymmetrical zipper, this jacket’s got the hallmarks of classic biker coat.
If you’re not ready for all the frills and fashion-forward elements of the Biker, check out All Saint’s Cafe Racer and Bomber style jackets. These are more toned-down but have great texture and fit in perfectly during fall and winter.
3. Ultralight Down Jacket
Last up, we call this one the “pack-master.”
Ultralight down jackets are musts in our opinion because they’re so easy to pack.
You can literally roll this jacket up into a little ball and stuff it in your day bag. If you’re not sure whether you need a coat or not, just pack this and bust it out when things get chilly.
Uniqlo has one of our favorite ultralight down jackets. They also carry a vest version and we love both. Whenever Uniqlo has a great sale, we recommend picking up both the vest and jacket as they seem to come out early and often when the weather starts to cool.
Stay Warm All Season Long With These Winter Coat Suggestions!
Alright, gents… you came for four recs and you ended up with seven.
And truthfully, you can’t go wrong with any of these choices.
If you love to layer up and have a ton of sweaters around the house, pick a lighter coat and mix and match with what you already have.
If you’re just starting to dress with a smart, sharp style, get a classic coat in a neutral color. That’ll be your base and you can build from there.
We may not know what that the groundhog says yet about the amount of winter we have left ahead of us, but you can count on these coats to make you look great and keep you warm at the same time.