I don’t believe that there are bad coats, only bad use of them. In other words, the more time you take to select your coat according to your needs, the more comfortable you will be during the winter months. There are several points to take into consideration in order to be sure to choose the right coat, so I hope that these few points will help you make the right choice.

 

1-The hood: Do you want protection from the snow and cold wind? If so, then a hood is a must. Make sure that it is the right size so that it fits on your head properly.

 

2-The coat’s closure: Whether it be a zipper or buttons, it is important to check the closure of the coat. Remember to take into account the style and use that you are looking for. It is true that buttons may sometimes fall off, but on the other hand, some coats simply do not give off that special look with a zipper.

 

3- The sleeves: When choosing a coat, always check that the sleeves are the right length and that they are not too tight. If you are choosing a coat for your child, it is always a good idea to go one size up, just in case your child grows during the winter.

 

4- The pockets: I think it is always better to have pockets because they become very handy. Take the time to insert your hands in the pockets to make sure that they fit your hand and anything you may want to carry in them. Some coats have pockets that are too small or may even be fake pockets.

 

5- The length: The length of the coat is very important, especially for tall girls and women. Make sure that the coat is not too short so that it will block the cold. If you are looking for a coat that covers your behind, I suggest that you sit while trying it on in order to avoid having a bad surprise while waiting for the bus on a cold bench after buying the coat.

 

6- The labels: It is very important to read the labels when buying a coat, especially because these labels give you information on the fabric, quality and properties of the coat. Take the time to read the care label. All this information will help you determine whether the coat is the right one for you.

Identify the care label inside your jacket

 

For those who have missed my first article on how to choose your winter coat, you can read it first for helpful advice before continuing to read the the table below that discusses the different coat fabrics available.

Here is a table to better help you understand coat labels:

 

FabricProsConsPrice
Real Wool • Releases heat slowly and therefore offers more protection against the cold
• Very warm
• Can withstand up to 35% of its weight in water without becoming wet
• Even if wet, it retains its insulating properties
• Does not retain smells
• Requires less care than other fibers
• May cause allergies for some people
• Becomes heavier with humidity
• Takes a lot of time to dry
• + expensive than synthetic fibers
Fur • Very warm
• Durable
• Some shops sell recycled fur*2
• May cause allergies for some people
- Very expensive care
• Very Expensive
Polyester
Polyethylene Naphthalate
Polyethylene terephthalate
(for the shell)*
• Protects against the wind
• Prevents the leaking of down feathers
• Very breathable
• Light and compressible
• A higher longevity than nylon
• – resistance to abrasion and frictions
• Over time, care does not affect its performance
--------
Nylon
Polyamide
(for the shell)*
• Protects against the wind
• Prevents the leaking of down feathers
• Very breathable
• Light and compressible
• Higher resistance to abrasion and frictions
• Higher longevity than polyester --------
Synthetic fibers
(for padding)
• Absorbs humidity, but dries very fast
• Even if wet, it keeps its insulating properties
• Performing better in a humid environment
• Hypoallergenic
• Absorbs humidity
• Sometimes heavy compared to down
• Does not provide the same level of insulation as down
• Low maintenance
• Less expensive than down
Down
(for padding)
• Very good insulating properties
• Very durable compared to other insulating materials
• Very light compared to other insulating materials
• Loses its insulating properties when wet
• Once wet, takes a long time to dry
• May cause allergies for some people
• More expensive but more cost-effective on the long run

* For the shell: The top layer of the coat, which serves as protection to the insulating material.
*2 Here is an example of a local brand where you may purchase used furs: http://www.harricana.qc.ca/

It is not always obvious what the properties of a coat are. You also have to take into account the fact that fabrics may be treated and such processes may add or remove some of the fabrics properties. In addition, this table only references coats, so do not compare the polyester of your sweater to that of a coat. If you should ever want to invest a reasonable amount of money in a coat, I suggest that you do your research and also look for information on the right type of coat for you.

As our designer Ashli here at Joshua Perets used to tell me: “When you go shopping, you have to be careful not to get carried away by new styles or trends if they do not match your lifestyle or usage. Otherwise, you're not going to have what you truly need or like in terms of comfort and taste. It is always important to think about your needs and taste when you go out to buy something as important as a winter coat.”