UPDATED FOR 2016
Brrr it’s getting cold in ‘ere! Winter is here, or coming, depending on where in the world you live and when you’re reading this post 😉 One way or another you’ll be experiencing the depths of winter sometime soon, so you’ll need a winter coat or jacket to get you through a few horrible months of the miserable British winter weather.
Buying a good winter coat is not only important for the first year you purchase it, but it can become a good investment piece, lasting a good few winters before you need to splash out and buy another. With that said, investing in a good jacket is not only worth it because you’ll be getting much better quality which will be noticeable when you wear it, as well as it lasting longer than a cheap and cheerful coat.
My winter coat and jacket collection has grown over the past few years, and I have quite a few of the bases covered with quite the selection, including my Pull and Bear Parka, Barbour Chelsea Quilted Jacket, Adrian Hammond padded jacket and of course the daddy of them all, my Canada Goose.
The Canada Goose Is Hands Down The Best – Buy One!
I would love to advise you to go out and spend near £600 on a Canada Goose jacket, but things are not that simple. In my opinion if you need a coat for a harsh winter there is simply no better than a Canada Goose. I got a Chilliwack Parka a few years ago, and it was a godsend for 2 bad winters we had. It does come with a few problems in the UK though. For example, last winter was so mild I never actually wore it! They are amazing for harsh weather, and if it’s freezing cold, if there’s wind chill, or if it’s snowing, then wearing one will keep you toasty. However if it’s a mild winter and not really sub-zero temperatures, you’ll literally be sweating in one; They are not really designed for mildly-cold winters. There’s the price too, at around £600 it is rather expensive.
So what are the other bits of fashion advice when looking to buy a winter coat this year? Well there are a few options, and I will go into the different styles of jackets which are available at the moment.
Quilted jackets usually have a diamond or squared pattern to them, and they are usually quite light, made of polyester and will keep you warm enough providing it’s not super freezing cold and your other layers under your coat are substantial enough. Be careful when buying a quilted jacket, as you can get some paper-thin ones which are usually at the cheaper end of the market. Unfortunately it can be hard to tell by simply looking, so I would advise going and trying out a couple of brands in a store to check out the quality and see what you get for your money. Out of all the jacket types they are not the warmest, but they probably are the smartest, stylish and most versatile.
The biggest plus point about a quilted jacket for the winter is that they are smart. You can wear them to work, out to lunch, around the city or on a night out. A good stylish quilted jacket will never look out of place.
- Barbour Chelsea – £129 – here – I have to recommend this as I own one! It’s a really nice smart Barbour and has a tailored fit which I do like. I can give my personal recommendation to this.
- John Lewis & Co. Waxed Quilted Jacket– £110 – here – John Lewis have their own brand quilted jacket which comes with a corduroy collar and concealed zip front, available in navy or olive.
- Ted Baker NOAH – £199 – here – The NOAH from Ted Baker is a lightweight stylish take on a quilted jacket and comes with a zip up front, single button collar and in a navy blue colour.
- GANT Zip Up Quilted Jacket– £225 – here – A quilted jacket with a button up collar to keep you warm and concealed zip, this black jacket looks stylish and will keep the cold out.
- Superdry Apex Quilt £85 – here – With a design inspired from motorcycle jackets, it comes with a double zip, vibrant interior and an array of pockets to keep your valuables safe.
- Jouls Estate Jacket– £129 – here – A contemporary fit and brown in colour, this jacket looks incredibly stylish with golden zip and pockets trim finished, along with check lining.
Parkas are usually that little bit longer and can come with faux-fur (or in some cases real fur) hoods. They are good for the winter, and stand up to cold, harsh weather well. Typically they’re waterproof or resistant, so whether you’re faced with snow, rain, wind or all three, you should be in good shape with a parka. There are some really expensive options at the higher end of the market, with some more reasonable priced offerings at the other end. Brands like The North Face, Canada Goose and Woolrich offer protection against the coldest weather and have really strong brand qualities.
I have selected some parkas from different brands and from different price points; We have the Under £100 which are at the lower end but still good value, £100-£200 which are better quality, then the super premium range of over £250.
- Tommy Hilfiger Down Parka– £355 – here – The down parka from Tommy Hilfiger comes with a detachable faux-fur hood and a length which covers the hips.
- The North Face MCMURDO 2 – £370 – here – North Face are known for their parka jackets. The Mcmurdo 2 has a 550 goose down fill and is one of the more premium jackets in the collection.
- Woolrich Arctic Anorak – £535 – here – Regular fit and very warm, the Arctic Anorak comes with a finish with extra resistance to snow, rain and wind.
- Selected Homme Shhandrew – £150 – here – Blue parka in a thigh length fit, regular fit and made from 100% polyester.
- River Island Black Parka– £75 – here – Faux fur hood with a quilted lining and made from water resistant fabric.
- Jack And Jones– £110 – here – The heavy duty parka jacket comes in at a reasonable price and includes faux fur hood and a cotton-nylon blend for better protection against the weather.
Padded jackets, puffa, down filled, whatever the term you use to describe them, padded jackets are quite a popular choice for a winter jacket. They’re light, often made of nylon & waterproof and come in bomber, mid or longer lengths. One of their big selling points is that there is a wide range available in terms of price, as well as an abundance of different styles and colours. You can get super light weight bomber lengths from the high street brands, or get something more substantial from luxe-fashion labels. There’s a large choice in padded jackets. The advice would be, as with quilted jackets, to test drive a few before you buy. Usually with a padded jacket you get what you pay for, and of course getting a higher end label will result in a higher price tag, but not necessarily better at keeping you warm.
- Tommy Hilfiger Down– £165 – here – Super lightweight, bomber length and made from a polyester with a sheen finish.
- TOPMAN – £75 – here – A black puffa jacket from Topman made from 100% nylon, it comes with a zip up front.
- Superdry – £80 – here – The Fuji jacket from Superdry features a triple zip system, two front pockets and is a lightweight, padded design.
- Ralph Lauren – £215 – here – The Glen jacket from the Polo line comes without the constraints of a hood and is a showerproof padded jacket.
- Hugo Boss – £330 – here – Barel 1 from Hugo Boss features leather effect piping, 100% polyester outer and an 80% duck down filling.
- Hackett London – £295 – here – The Motto Down jacket from Hackett London is a down jacket with soft touch, chest pocket and made from 100% nylon.
Waxed jackets are made from waxed cotton which is water resistant, and were originally made for outdoor activities such as fishing, hunting and shooting. They’ve recently became popular in modern mainstream fashion, and when you think of Waxed jackets, Barbour is the brand that is synonymous with the style. They now have a wide range of styles available, including a collection inspired by Steve McQueen. One of the best aspects of the Barbour waxed jackets is that they are still made locally, near my neck of the woods, in South Shields.
Whatever style of jacket you go for make sure you buy a good one which will last you for the entire winter, and hopefully many more to come. Go for a timeless colour, I recommend something dark such as dark blues, greys and black, these colours never go out of style. If you can afford it I would advise getting a smart jacket for more formal occasions and times where you need to look a bit more sharp, and another for the really cold winter mornings going to work, and the more general cold conditions where keeping warm slightly overshadows looking super smart. My picks would be a quilted jacket and a parka. Layering up is always a good idea, so remember to have a read of my men’s Autumn/Winter knitwear guide and get yourself a warm, smart jumper or cardigan to pair with your Winter coat of choice.