While the chief job of a winter coat is to keep the wearer (you,) warm and as unaffected as possible by chilly weather, wind and snow, as surely as there have always been winter coat producers for women, the job of the winter coat does not stop there. Any winter coat must project your best image, if you ever plan on wearing it. Probably going as far back as Adam and Eve’s post-apple need for attire, Adam may have been content to throw any old thing or loincloth on, but you can bet that Eve spent a decent amount of time on putting together her newly required form of dress. While a growing number of “Adams” out there are becoming more and more particular about their public image and fashionable dress, typically, they are also a lot more “fine” with making do than their female counterparts might be.

Keeping Warm is the First Consideration for Many
While exceptions are always to be found in any area, style matters. An exception might be the coats that perform life-saving warmth, say, for residents of Antarctica, where the average daily temps range around −63 °C (−81 °F). Function would dominate fashion here, but most likely, you don’t live anywhere with such extreme temperatures, and this places you in the category of including other aspects in your selection process beyond how safe you’ll be, no matter how low the temp might get. Still, you probably hope your winter coat will enable you to brave the winter warmly and protected. Good news–there are some awesome, “hot” new coats for your best protection and look this winter!

It’s All in the Details
For the most advanced warming technology, opt for either real or synthetic down, and if the coat comes with a lining, you’ll even get more protection from the frigid air. Wool is big this year, and it comes in a lot of different textures, depending on how it’s woven. When it comes to more of a dressy finish, a wool coat is what to look for. With a good lining, you won’t have to go as heavy to bulk up the coat. Asymmetrics are big this year, with offset buttons, zippers and other styling details. Over-sized, bold collars nicely frame your face and give a new ambiance to your winter style. You’ll find a lot of inspired design efforts directed to this year’s coat collars. And generally, the “it” length falls somewhere just above, “at” or just below the knee. Faux fur trim accents many of the dressier versions, except the ones where it’s added to the border of a hood of the down filled choices.

Size Issues?
If you’re worried about not wanting your coat to add too much volume to your form, there are a myriad of nice, really thin coats that do a fine job of comforting, even in sub-zero temps. Of course, the tufted down-filled varieties are always a great fall-back, if you don’t mind the silhouette increase. Look for the new, ultra light down that’s becoming the go-to fill for today’s highest quality winter coats. You’ll find a lot of creative stitching in the down filled coats, and cool hem tricks, like a tulip-opening hem. If you go with down-filled, make sure the outer layer is waterproof, as down, whether real or faux, does not handle being wet very well.