One school of thought when it comes to winter coats is to go for broke on an expensive piece you’ll wear year after year. While there’s no question a nearly-$1,000 Canada Goose parka engineered for arctic temps will keep out the cold, what if you can’t — or don’t want to — drop that much cash on a jacket? Or what if you’d rather rotate through a closetful of cheaper winter coats so you aren’t bored to death with your pricey puffer by springtime?
To discover nice-looking, warm coats that won’t set you back more than $300, we consulted with three fashion directors and editors who assured us there’s no need to sacrifice comfort or style when you’re on a budget. Their picks below, for men and women, range from practical puffy jackets to ultracozy sherpa options.
Thanks to a combination of technical innovation and the prevailing popularity of gorpcore-style puffy jackets, it’s possible to find heat-trapping, insulated pieces at a variety of price points. “We’re in luck this season because puffers go with everything,” says Shannon Schafer, senior fashion director at Nordstrom. “Balenciaga influenced the trend by showing puffers with many looks on the runway and they’re now so trend-forward you can even pair them with a dress or a suit.” She likes the unique quilted pattern of Patagonia’s ultra-lightweight “micro puff” jackets, which are just as efficient at keeping you warm as bulkier — and pricier — versions.
The men’s version also has a hood that’ll keep you warm and dry in unpredictable winter weather.
Robert Nowill, global content and style editor at Farfetch, agrees that puffers are the way to go when looking for a warm winter coat that won’t break the bank. “Wherever possible, I try to spend winter in clothes that feel as close as possible to going outside in my duvet,” he says. With a faux-fur hood and large patch pockets, this affordable jacket from the New England-based outdoors brand Penfield resembles far more expensive puffy parkas.
As for what Nowill wears himself, he specifically likes “a heavy-duty puffer that fastens high up the neck,” like this hooded men’s Champion jacket.
Metallic puffer coats
If you want to stand out in a sea of dark-colored down jackets this winter, Schafer recommends opting for a shiny gold or silver jacket. She likes that they’re statement-making yet versatile enough to go with most outfits. Made from goose down and finished with a water-resistant coating, this shiny North Face coat is surprisingly functional.
This similarly glitzy style is filled with a warm down-alternative and costs just over $100.
You can also try this oversized metallic Champion jacket in bright blue — the NASA-inspired patches have a certain space-age appeal.
The shiny jacket is also available in a bold silver metallic model for men.
For men, Nowill likes Carhartt’s Phoenix jacket for its utilitarian appeal and warm, faux-shearling lining.
Sherpa is also a very smart option if you’re not interested in going the full-puffer route. We’ve already investigated the appeal of fuzzy, faux-fur teddy coats, and this plush version from MKT Studio — a favorite brand of Shopbop fashion director Caroline Maguire — is one that would make going outside on a freezing cold day a little more pleasant. It’s currently 25 percent off, and comes in an unexpected navy shade that puts a twist on the standard teddy bear-brown look.
For when you want something drape-y with all the comfort of your favorite robe, we like this warm sherpa coat for men that hits mid-thigh.
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