2017 Update: Check out our latest roundup of winter coats that work as hard as you do!
Sure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.
After the weekend we’ve had (thank you Jonas), it may seem a bit silly to talk about professional-looking coats — after all, when it’s freezing, nasty and disgusting outside, being warm and dry are the primary considerations. Particularly when working from home is easier than ever, if you make it into the office at all, no one should be judging you for blizzard attire like an expedition coat and Sorels. But it isn’t blizzarding every day in the winter, and I still think a wool coat (or, fine, even a slim-fit puffer coat like some of the ones we featured on our roundup of washable coats for CorporetteMoms) does look more professional. Shop for a winter coat that covers your thighs (for warmth, as well as the most versatility — nothing looks quite so silly as a peacoat and skirt), and be sure to size up if you need to to accommodate a sweater or blazer beneath your coat. (Other great layers: silk turtlenecks and long johns can add serious warmth without bulk, and there are so many puffer/fleece vests that I’m kind of tempted to try them under my winter coat on really cold days.) I’ve always looked for a wool/cashmere blend as the best (the cashmere makes it warm; the wool makes it durable), but I’ve also heard great things about alpaca’s warmth; these days you can find technical enhancements to wool like Lands’ End (pictured after the jump; it’s good to 10 below!!) or lined with thinsulate, like some J.Crew and LL Bean coats. Ladies, what coats are you wearing this winter? How many do you have; which ones do you think are the most professional-looking, which are the warmest, and so forth? Have you recently bought any coats you love?
First, a roundup of some special interest coats:
- Hall of Famers: J.Crew, Patagonia, LL Bean,
- Under $250: Lands’ End, LL Bean,
- Petite sizes: J.Crew, Fleurette, Cinzia Rocca Due, Lands’ End, LL Bean,
- Tall sizes: J.Crew, Lands’ End, Lands’ End,
- Cusp sizes (14, 16, 18): Cinzia Rocca Due, Lands’ End, LL Bean,
- Plus sizes: Lands’ End, Fleurette, Cinzia Rocca Due, LL Bean,
- Maternity sizes: Japanese Weekend, Modern Eternity, and Tart (check out our Guide to Maternity Workwear on CorporetteMoms!)