10 types of coats every woman needs in her wardrobe
These are the types of coats that will always ensure you have outerwear for every occasion
There are certain types of coats that are well worth having in your arsenal. A wardrobe staple, owning a selection of styles will help ensure you always have the ideal outer layer, whatever the weather.
A true sartorial building block, the best winter coats can pull together the simplest of outfits but with so many types of coats on offer, it’s hard to know where to start. An item you're likely to wear on repeat for several months at a time, investing in the best quality you can afford is a wise choice, and selecting the types of coats that defy trends will mean you can enjoy your purchases for years to come.
From classic trench coats that work spring through 'til fall, the best leather jackets that give any look a cool edge, to cozy teddy and puffer coats that will help you beat the winter chill. No capsule wardrobe is complete without a selection of coats and jackets to foolproof your look.
10 types of coats every woman needs in her wardrobe
1. The Trench Coat
Versatile, comfortable and perennially stylish, the best trench coat is one of the hardest-working types of coats you can own. Its lightweight nature makes it the perfect trans-seasonal piece. A key minimalist capsule wardrobe piece, when it comes to how to style a trench coat, it's the ideal answer for what to wear over a dress and light knits during early fall, or over blazers and boots for a great winter outfit idea. Take a cue from Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (the ultimate trench coat style reference) and opt for a go-with-everything neutral shade such as camel, tan, sand, beige or khaki for ultimate longevity. Leaning towards the smarter end of the sartorial scale, the trench coat is a go-to if you want to keep your outfit looking polished. With a built-in-belt to cinch you in at the waist, it's also one of the best slimming coat styles you can own.
RRP: $64.99 / £39.99 | If the budget doesn’t quite stretch to designer, this iteration from H&M is an affordable alternative. With all the classic trench coat traits from the double-breasted design to the self-tie belt, you won’t regret investing in this beauty.
RRP: $285 / £180 | Give the trench coat a more pared-back look with this sleek navy design from Cos. In a flattering A-line silhouette, it’s made from a recycled polyester-wool blend for added warmth, whilst ticking that sustainable box too - winning.
RRP: $2,490 / £1,790 | A Burberry trench coat is the most iconic trench coat design there is. Featuring the signature Burberry check print under the collar and on the lining, the Kensington trench has a crease-resistant structure to keep it in pristine shape.
2. The Wool Coat
If you’re looking for a coat that is warm and smart, the best wool coats have got you covered, literally. Forever chic and a brilliant insulator, wool coats come in a variety of silhouettes from double-breasted designs to oversized cocoon shapes for an elegant and effortless aesthetic. For chilly evenings, look to the coats with high wool content - we’re talking 70% and up, as these will be the warmest. Stick to classic shades such as camel, black, and navy if you want the utmost versatility or add interest with a timeless check print. Alternatively, go for ultimate impact and opt for a bright pink or red wool coat to tap into the latest fashion color trends 2023.
RRP: $2505 / £2400 | A black wool coat is an instant classic that’s sure to go with everything in your winter capsule wardrobe. Crafted from a wool-cashmere blend for an added dose of luxury, the belted design offers a universally flattering silhouette.
RRP: $245 / £247.50 | Boost your mood and your outfit with this fiery red design. Crafted from premium Italian wool, it has a straight, slim fit and a concealed button underneath the lapel to create a high neck effect. The tailored silhouette adds instant polish.
RRP: $1,055 / £595 | This has an oversized cut for a more relaxed fit. With 99% wool content, it’s breathable yet extremely snug, ideal for cold weather days when you have to still head to the office. The soft plaid print adds interest, whilst keeping it easy to style.
3. The Puffer Coat
No coat has made a comeback quite like the puffer coat. The once scruffy style reserved for dog walks and football managers now reigns supreme for the coat trends 2023, available in sleek silhouettes and stylish colorways making it a go-to for every day. The best puffer jackets can even be worn over your favorite party dress as designer Dries Van Noten demonstrated on its fall runway. Traditionally filled with feather down - or a vegan alternative - the puffer jacket is often dubbed the duvet coat thanks to its ridiculously cozy style. The key to keeping your puffer looking polished is to look for belted designs for added structure, or cropped silhouettes to avoid swapping the figure.
RRP: $279 / £205 | The adjustable drawstring waist adds structure to this oversized design, ensuring your shape isn't consumed by the coat. The black hue keeps it sleek and versatile. Perfect for throwing over your jeans or the best midi dresses.
RRP: $320 / £300 | This OG puffer is one of the best North Face jackets to invest in. Tapping into the current love of '90s fashion trends, it’s packed with Responsible Down Standard (RDS) goose down and the boxy, cropped style makes it a go-to for petites.
4. The Raincoat
There’s no denying a raincoat is a wardrobe essential but the practical coat doesn’t skimp on style either. From fashion-forward translucent designs to classic Crayola hues, there are heaps of stylish designs out there that you can weave into your winter looks. Chances are you’ll be wearing the best waterproof jackets straight through to spring thanks to its lightweight design. Size up if you want to add extra layers during the colder months and look to breathable fabrics to avoid any stickiness. An ideal partner for a capsule wardrobe for travel, the best waterproof styles often pack down to nothing, making them one of the best types of coats to pack for a trip.
RRP: $194 / £125 | Stylish and practical, the stunning teal hue keeps this beauty looking premium. With pockets aplenty, it features tapered seams to stop water from getting in and an adjustable hood to keep you extra dry. Ideal for every day.
RRP: $110 / £79 | For cool, contemporary designs that get the job done, look no further than waterproof pros Rains. This unisex jacket features flap pockets, adjustable cuffs and a fishtail hem and is available in heaps of chic shades.
RRP: $128 / £125 | Brighten up a rainy day with this zesty and sustainable design. Crafted from recycled polyester, there’s a hidden drawcord for a more defined shape or you can keep it relaxed and layer over the best sweaters for added warmth.
5. The Parka Coat
Though mention of a parka might have you thinking of Nineties Britpop, recent seasons have seen the style elevated to a far more sophisticated proposition and it's one of the types of coats to invest in to bolster your outerwear wardrobe. As such, it’s now a hero of the off-duty wardrobe and ideal if you're looking for practical and stylish options for an over 50s capsule wardrobe. The beauty of the best parkas lies in its function - this is the coat to wear on wet and windy weekends. Choose a style with a hood (adjustable toggles are a bonus) in a shower-proof fabric such as cotton poly. Large pockets negate the need for a handbag if out walking or dashing to the shops.
RRP: $6,495 / £3990 | Has a parka coat ever looked so chic? The lightweight design makes it a year-round winner and the adjustable waist offers a flattering, A-line silhouette. Finished with a quilted panel for a high-end look and added protection.
RRP: $1,495 / £1,250 | Canada Goose is ideal for what to wear in the snow thanks to the padded body and down-filled hood with a removable faux fur trim for extra style points and the pockets are fleece-lined too, one of the warmest types of coats to buy.
6. The Camel Coat
Made iconic by Max Mara in the early Eighties, the camel coat has long been acknowledged as an outerwear classic and with good reason; the sophisticated neutral is universally flattering and compliments every colour in a fall/winter wardrobe, from black to cream, red to navy. A trusted go-to for fashion editors, supermodels and royalty (both the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Sussex are fans) look for luxe wool iterations in a timeless, tailored silhouette.
RRP: $600 / £299 | Sometimes less is more and this elegant, tailored design will see you through many winters. Crafted from 100% wool for a toasty feel, there's a handy internal pocket that's ideal for keeping your valuables safe on your commute.
RRP: $525 / £325 | This classic wrap coat will keep your camel coat outfits looking undeniably sophisticated. Layer over workwear or add polish to weekend looks and team with some flared jeans - big in this season's denim trends 2023 and heeled boots.
7. The Teddy Coat
While there are many types of coats you should consider for your capsule wardrobe, the marker of a successful coat lies in its versatility, comfort and timeless appeal. However, that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Textured coats, from faux fur to shearling, tick all the boxes while offering up a hefty dose of fun (not to mention warmth). Having been championed as one of the key fashion trends 2023 on the runways for several seasons, fuzzy outerwear has secured itself as a forever trend, making for a savvy investment. Use to add tactility to plain separates, give substance to light fabric underlayers, or wear as an entrance-making cover-up for what to wear to a winter wedding.
RRP: $2,775 / £2,220 | In an icy blue hue, this fuzzy-textured coat will give any outfit a stylish upgrade. Made from an alpaca-blend fleece for added coziness, layer over winter white outfits for a speedy way to exude how to dress simple but stylish.
RRP: $133 / £88 | A cream coat always looks luxurious and the teddy borg fabric gives it a playful touch. Keep it tonal and layer over warm browns and rich caramels for a pulled-together look that will tap into this season's fashion trends and beyond.
8. The Gilet
For the best type of coats to wear on the days when the weather just can't make up its mind, the best gilets are ideal for layering. A sleeveless design it comes in many iterations, depending on how warm or smart you want to go. When it comes to how to style a gilet, quilted and puffer gilets are great for weekend adventures, layered over a fine knit and teamed with a pair of the best mom jeans. Or keep it polished in a longline tailored design for the 9-5, layered over a blouse and some tapered trousers. Faux fur and fuzzy shearling will add warmth and texture to your look and are great paired with midi dresses for a '70s boho vibe.
RRP: $599 / £299 | Mastering the art of smart-casual, this leather gilet is a luxurious layering tool. The puffer design will keep you warm, whilst the buttery-soft leather gives it a premium finish.
RRP: $89.90 / £59.99 | We love the retro vibe of this faux suede gilet, perfect for jazzing up a simple knit or layering over a floaty floral dress for added texture. The contrast fleece lining ensures a snug feel.
9. The Coatigan
Introduced to our wardrobes back in the Noughties, the coatigan has become an outerwear staple thanks to its highly wearable appeal. A sartorial hybrid, it combines the tactile coziness of a cardigan with the substance and structure of a coat, making it the ultimate cover-up for those milder fall and springtime days. It can also be layered under a larger coat with the best scarves throughout winter for extra warmth. When it comes to picking the perfect one, look for light yet warm styles in a cotton or wool mix. Dropped sleeves, collarless necklines and an open front make for a stylishly relaxed and figure lengthening look.
RRP: $210 / £150 | The perfect cardigan to cocoon yourself in, this has an open front that will draw the eye along your silhouette. Available in oatmeal and dark gray, wear it as an outer layer alone or layer it under a longline coat in the winter.
RRP: $31 / £22 | This statement cardigan has maximum impact with minimal effort required. Just layer over the best t-shirt and jeans to elevate your weekend look. The built-in-belt pulls you in at the waist and the fringed hem leans in to that boho aesthetic.
10. The Leather Jacket
While biker jackets have long been regarded as a trans-seasonal wardrobe staple, longer styles are well worth considering for the cooler months. For the best leather jackets, think less Matrix, and more retro; opt for slim-fit, midi-length styles in a Seventies-inspired palette of conker, tan, ink, or snake print for a directional feel. Leather pieces tend to come with a high price point but invest in the best quality you can as good quality leather gets better with age. If your wardrobe is an animal-free zone, there are plenty of vegan-friendly designs that are just as chic.
RRP: $1,675 / £999 | British clothing brand All Saints is renowned for its premium leather jackets and they are well worth the splurge. Give yours added texture and warmth with this shearling style, just add black skinny jeans and biker boots.
RRP: $169.99 / £109.99 | Tick two trends in one with this faux leather trench coat. A flattering belted silhouette, it gives a classic trench a cooler edge. Available in cream or black, layer over a mini dress and knee-high boots for a modern feel.
RRP: $478 / £538 | Introduce some color to your leather this season with this rich green shirt-jacket hybrid. A stylish transitional jacket, it has a relaxed fit so there’s plenty of room for layering. Style with wide-leg jeans and the best white trainers.
Charlie is the Deputy Fashion Editor at Future plc across multiple women’s magazines including Woman & Home, Woman and Woman's Own.
She bagged her first magazine job in 2009 and has previously written for titles including Stylist, Closer and Dare. Over the years Charlie has embraced anything that was thrown at her from styling celebrities to testing out the best jeans on the high street to writing about must-have beauty buys.
With a weakness for a printed midi dress, Charlie is on a mission to shop more sustainably and loves finding new ethical brands and second-hand buys.
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