Searching for a coat that fits like a dream can be surprisingly tough. Sure, there are bound to be countless winter coats that fit you fairly well. But do they flatter you, boost your confidence, and keep you comfortable? The right coat checks all these boxes while providing you with upgraded features that protect you from the elements. What does it take to track down the coat of your dreams? It's all about the search process.
Don't underestimate the value of high-quality materials. These are destined to stand the test of time, live up to the challenges of daily exposure to weather, and fit you better. Quality isn't just about fabric, either, but also construction. The best winter coats are thoughtfully designed to take into consideration the unique needs of all body types. They're stitched meticulously to allow for space in all the right places to keep your movements fluid and graceful, not choppy and hindered. You can often determine a coat's perfect fit simply by the placement of its seams on your shoulders. It should line up directly with the boniest portion for greatest comfort. It's less concerning if the sleeves are slightly longer, as these can be hemmed. Signs of sloppy stitchery can take away from the integrity of the coat and usually mean a shorter life expectancy in general.
No matter what type of coat you favor—a long down coat or a parka, for example—it's important to consider the space between the fabric and your layering piece. Considering that you'll wear the garment during fall and winter, it makes sense to select a coat that will accommodate a sweater, cardigan, or vest underneath. However, approach this with caution. You don't need to go the oversized route; a coat that's too big won't keep you warm; it will simply hang on your frame. But one that's too tight performs differently, too. It could feel suffocating, restrict your arms from moving freely, and compress so tightly that it actually stops warming you efficiently.
Even the warmest winter coat won't do you any good if you haven't put it through rigorous personal testing. This is something that you should reserve for the MVPs in your closet—namely, winter gear that you expect to keep you warm without limiting your every moment. This is precisely why it's helpful to go through the aforementioned motions of raising your arms, crossing your arms, rolling your shoulders, and crouching. Does it maintain its shape and move with you instead of contorting oddly and making it difficult to maneuver? Check the closing mechanisms, too. If they pop open just because you twisted your body, then the coat isn't right for you. Remember, your coat is your cold-weather companion—it's going to be there for you no matter what you have on your agenda. It should accommodate your unique needs without letting you down!
The coat's length also plays a role in how well it fits. In an ideal world, your women's outerwear is just as flattering to the eye as it is comfortable on your body. Height matters because it directly connects to how well you move in the coat—and it also helps you narrow down your choices right away to make the shopping process simpler. If you're petite, opt for a style no longer than approximately the middle of your thigh. Anything longer can overwhelm your frame and look too voluminous, especially if you're wearing layers on a cold winter's day. If you want to convey the illusion of length, opt for a belted coat to create a more streamlined silhouette. In addition, if you're tall, don't shy away from long, lean coats that fall below the knee—they're made for you. Just make sure they're cut in such a way that negotiates your figure nicely while allowing some extra room for layering pieces as needed.
Size charts and guides exist for a reason—to provide you with a far more precise idea of how well the coat in question will fit your body. Take your own measurements before you start clicking through your options, as this can help you narrow down your focus to a few key contenders and make it much easier to find the right coat in the perfect size. Most charts are very well defined, with specific measurements for bust, waist, hips, and arms. Note your numbers, then start whittling down your choices based on preferred features. That will help make your hunt more effective and focused.