Winter demands that we all be prepared for anything. The threat of a runny nose, the flu, or worse is only half the battle. The other half involves dressing to keep warm enough in the seasonal chill. Add to that the more general winter worry of being caught in the cold without the proper gear, and you'll want to make sure your wardrobe is ready well before the first snowfall.
Start early and survey what clothes you already have that could work for this winter. Do you have a fleece jacket but not a winter coat? What about tops that are good for layering under puffer vests? A quick inventory of what you already have that is in good condition and fits will point you in the right direction for this year’s coat shopping.
A great way to do this is to open your coat closet and layout your outerwear on your bed so you can see everything at once. Then look in your clothing closet for layering options like sweaters and flannel tops. Having everything right in front of you will give you a much better idea of what items on your shopping list are “need to have” and what are “nice to have.” This is also a great way to start planning those fall and winter outfits that include outerwear!
Clearance sales are great, but unless you started last winter, they wouldn’t keep you warm this year when that cold weather first hits. A winter coat is enough of an investment piece that you don’t want to leave it to chance. The best time to shop is early. Labor Day may seem far from winter weather, but most winter coats are available by then, and it is a great time to start looking.
And don’t forget jackets! Fleece has great appeal, and for a good reason. It can function as an easy, effortless first layer and is suitable for more heavy-duty occasions. It's often the first piece to buy because it's the first piece anyone really needs. At the start of fall and even upon the first big chill, you'll be reaching for a women’s fleece jacket as it will last all season under the biggest, warmest top layers.
Do you have favorite stores (either online or brick and mortar)? If so, start there. If you have successfully found a women’s winter coat that fits your lifestyle at that store in the past, chances are you will again. Of course, Lands’ End is a great place to start, but if you don’t have a favorite retailer yet, look around a bit and see what’s out there. Different stores can give you different styles and color ideas. Buy a couple of fashion magazines that feature coats and settle in with a cup of tea for a bit of style inspiration. Looking at different retailer’s websites can be a fun way to see what might work for you. Jot down notes of what you like and what looks practical for your lifestyle and activities. This will help you be completely satisfied with your new winter coat when you do choose to buy it.
Online shopping is one of your easiest options. Make sure to measure yourself against the size charts and know the return policy of any retailer that you decide to try. Leave yourself a grace period if your first choice isn’t a keeper, and you need to return it. Also, keep in mind shipping costs; many stores grant free shipping beyond a certain price.
When the temperature starts to drop, it becomes clear that having the proper attire will make for a much more comfortable experience. For anyone who has experienced a serious winter, having versatile pieces that eliminate any real chance of chill makes the difference between hating the season and loving it.
At Lands’ End, we know a thing or two about cold winters, and we can meet your needs for staying cozy no matter what the mercury says. Always keep fabric content and temperature ratings in mind when you are shopping. A classic women’s wool coat can be a great choice, (especially for a more formal occasion or traditional streetwear). Still, a down coat can offer greater warmth while being lighter in weight and is an excellent option for all kinds of outdoor activities.
In addition to a great winter coat, don't forget women's winter boots. Unless you have a pair of toasty warm boots from last winter that will fit your style and are still in good shape, you will want to treat yourself to the warmth of new boots that coordinate with your new coat.
Staying ahead of your cold-weather needs is the easiest way to be happy with your wardrobe choices when the temperatures drop. And you deserve a warm and wonderful winter!