If you live in a region with cold winters, chances are good that most of the women in your life already have a winter coat or two to get them through the coldest months of the year.
But if you'd like to help the lady in your life add to her winter coat collection, consider getting her one of these top five types of winter coats – the kind that every woman can use in her outerwear wardrobe.
Why get her a date-night coat? Because you want her to know that you plan to have many special events together in the year to come. These coats aren't absolute must-haves for women – most women can get away with wearing a more typical everyday coat when they're headed out for a dressy event or a special night out. But a dress coat pulls an outfit together, adding another layer of sophistication and luxury over her little black dress.
Coats for dressier occasions are usually at- or below-the-knee and are generally made in natural fabrics like for women's wool coats or even leather.
Look for a dress coat that'll match her going-out style – clean lines and modern looks for fashion-forward minimalists, rich luxury and opulent details (think gold buttons, beautiful linings) for women who prefer a more glamorous style.
A winter coat that lets her do more of what she loves comfortably is a present that she can use all winter long. So consider getting her a coat that lets her do more in the outdoors. If the woman you're shopping for has a preferred winter sport, like skiing or ice-climbing, there may be activity-specific gear she needs to do her thing. But a woman doesn't have to be a major outdoor athlete to get a lot of use out of a coat that's made to wear when she's active outdoors.
If you just want to help her keep warm and cozy on walks in the woods, or on trips to the local sledding hill, you'll want a well-insulated and waterproof winter coat. Details like wind-blocking covered zippers can prevent icy breezes from giving her a chill, and large, easy-access pockets are perfect for storing snacks or a spare pair of gloves.
There's a winter coat that covers her bases for the day-to-day forecast (more on that one next), and then there's the coat that she can use when winter weather hits at full, freezing blast. And while she may not use the warmest winter coats every day (it may be too warm for typical winter weather in most places), when the Fahrenheit really drops low, the extra warmth can feel like a lifesaver.
To protect against the coldest days, look for winter coats that offer plenty of coverage – from the tops of her winter snow boots to where her winter hat pulls down to her collar. While the top-to-bottom bundling might be too constricting for a typical day, it'll be worth it for winter's most freezing moments.
The everyday winter coat is a wardrobe necessity – the one she'll grab on her way to work, to school, to run errands, or just to walk around the block. And most women ask for a lot from their everyday coats: They want them to be warm and comfortable, be easy to wear and move around in, and to reflect their personal style all winter long.
Look for details that mesh with her personality – a bright color or a flashy style element like buttons, contrasting stitching or a jaunty belt makes a coat feel unique. Adding in women's accessories like scarves, hats, and gloves can make her everyday coat feel even more perfect for her.
Bright colors and bold patterns, like plaid, are popular on winter wear runways. But a bold pattern isn't an easy call for a woman to make in her everyday coat, because she's looking for outerwear that matches almost everything she wears – from her most subtle workwear to their loudest errand-running fun outfits. Instead, most women tend to be conservative in their choice of color and pattern, and in that way avoid coat-outfit clashes.
But if you're gifting her with a brand-new coat that will supplement her existing wardrobe, you have a unique opportunity to get her a coat that allows her to express her personal style. Pick a coat in a favorite color – options range from brightly hued pea coats and puffers to patterned parkas and raincoats. She'll be able to go out in style all winter, knowing she has a more neutral option when the situation calls for it.
Helping her build a selection of winter coats that match every forecast and activity is a gift that'll keep her body and her heart warm until spring.