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  • Writer's pictureThe Black Fashion Beauty

How to Choose What Winter Coat to Buy (Petite Friendly!)


black model on runway with protective face mask in gray puffer winter coat

Hey, Beauties! The pursuit of a good winter coat can be a daunting one. Trust me, I know from experience, and considering you've arrived here (hi!), you probably do, as well. Here are some straightforward tips on how to choose what winter coat to buy this year.


Prioritize High-Quality Materials

black model wearing blush trench winter coat and thigh high boots

You want to find a winter coat with high-quality materials that will last over a long period of time. Please...don't compromise on this. If you do, you may very well spend more money on new, cheap winter coats every year or two rather than a well-made coat with better materials (second-hand options included!) that'll last much, much longer.


Now, this doesn't mean that you can't find a good coat for a reasonable price. It's100% do-able. But, you'll want to take a close look at the materials to determine if the coat is worth it. Here's what you should look out for in these three commonly chosen materials and two types of insulation:


Wool

Wool is one of the best natural insulators and materials. It's water-resistant, flame retardant, and it's not too stiff or flimsy. With these benefits in mind, there's no wonder why pure wool coats can be very costly. In fact, it's more common to see wool blends. If you take the wool-blend route, make sure that it's a reasonable amount used. No one wants a wool coat if it only makes up 20% of the materials!


Leather

A leather jacket is good for every season, but its windproof quality is one reason why it's good for the winter. Leather isn't waterproof, but it has some natural water-resistant properties. In reality, it's more common for companies and consumers alike to use waterproof treatments for extra protection.


If you aren't vegan or adjacent, I would highly recommend a real leather jacket. They won't crease like their faux counterparts, and they're better for the environment. Although there are five types of leather, genuine leather is the most common and affordable. So, I would start there instead of looking for a faux alternative.


Cotton

A winter coat made primarily with cotton is the perfect choice for those who are allergic to fleece and wool. Cotton's insulating properties help to keep you warm, but it's not as warm as wool during the cold season.


Despite this, cotton is still a solid choice, especially if you live in an area that doesn't get too cold. In fact, many trench coats are made with cotton gabardine. The downside is that although cotton has moisture-absorbing properties, the moisture tends to stick and not evaporate.


Down vs. Synthetic Insulation

down insulation good for winter coat

Another consideration to have while shopping is the type of insulation used in your winter coat. Many people consider down-filled coats to have the highest insulation quality. For those who don't know, down is taken from the undercoat of geese and ducks, not the feathers.


Down is known for being warm and lightweight. In contrast to its benefits, it should be noted that down loses its insulation properties when damp or wet. For this reason, a down-filled winter coat is best for cold, dry climates.


Another option is synthetic insulation. It's is known for its hypoallergenic properties, water resistance, and friendlier-than-down price tag. On the other hand, synthetics are typically bulkier than down. So, synthetic insulation is best for wet conditions.


Make Sure it Fits Well!

I'm sure you've heard by now that fit is the most important quality of a garment, and it's true. A good fit accentuates the best parts of your body. Your winter coat is no exception. The following are a few fit tips to consider while shopping:

  1. Don't make a decision based on S, M, L sizing. Measure your body for accuracy, and compare it to the size guide. You definitely want to take a few measurements of your bust, waist, and hips. For tips on how to measure yourself, check out this fit guide from Sew Addicts.

  2. Leave a *little* space for your sweaters and long sleeve shirts. The pinnacle of fall and winter fashion is layering. With that in mind, I, like many others, ordered a size or two up to compensate for my favorite sweaters. DON'T DO THAT! Not only will your coat not fit, but it also won't keep you warm. On the flip side, make sure your coat isn't too tight. Be mindful that your shoulders are in line, and that your chest and arms have some mobility.

  3. Test, test, test. Move around in the coat to get a good feel of how it will perform as you go about your day. Hold your arms out straight to check the arm length. If your wrists are exposed, it's too short. You can also raise your arms straight up to check the hem length, as well as other positions like crouching and crossing your arms.

Construction Details

twill winter coat with brown button details

Does the zipper snag? Does it have functional pockets? These are just a couple of questions you shoulder consider while evaluating the construction quality of your winter coat. You'll also want to take a close look to make sure the seams are fully closed so that cold air doesn't seep in.


Overall, check your winter coat for straggly mishaps. For example, loose threads or buttons and misaligned patterns are a sign of low-quality construction. So, even if it's aesthetically you and fits well, do not buy it. Your perfect coat is out there somewhere, just be patient!


Winter Coat Petite Style Tips

black model with natural hair wearing pink faux fur coat and crop top

For my petite ladies, the same rules apply, but here are just a few extra tips for you to consider:

  1. Shorter lengths are a safe bet. Especially a mid-thigh or cropped length. As petite women, garments tend to overwhelm our bodies. Combine that with a long winter coat, and it may wear you, instead.

  2. For longer coats, master the element of proportion. Essentially, you want to create a look with varied lengths. If the lengths are too similar, you'll wind up looking boxy. Ankle lengths are best for petite women because it will aid in creating a long line without making you look choppy.

  3. Choose colors wisely. Now, if you don't have a winter coat that fits you properly yet, I would strongly suggest starting with a neutral color for versatility. However, you can wear bold colors to add volume.

I hope this post helps you decide what winter coat to buy for your wardrobe. Let me know which style is your go-to in the comments!

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