Must-have outerwear

December 24, 2013


If you live in New England, you have been riding the weather rollercoaster along with me these past few weeks. It has plummeted from unseasonably warm to frigid cold and climbed back up again, with another drop on the near horizon. Because of these severe shifts, my coat closet has been put to the test. During the temperature flux, I think I have used every single piece of outerwear that I own from lightweight rain gear, to vests, to leather jackets to the heaviest of down coats. Thankfully, I felt like I always had what I needed and it got me to thinking about putting together a list of must-have outerwear. Here is the final result…

Down Coat

Essential cold-weather gear, the down coat is truly your warmest alternative for those bone-chilling days. Select one with a drawstring or belted waist so that you are warmer, not wider.

Wool Dress Coat

If it’s cold out, you are often making first impressions in your outerwear, so don’t forget to have a dressier option for more important occasions.

Spring/Summer Raincoat

Not only will your raincoat keep you dry, but it will also save your other outerwear from being damaged in the rain.              

Fall/Winter Raincoat

For those wet, dreary days when there is also a chill in the air. If it’s not cold enough for snow, but still most definitely cold, you’ll need a water-resistant coat with a warm lining.  (Note: The S/S raincoat and the F/W raincoat can be one in the same if you can score yourself a topper with a removable lining!)

Down Vest

Often overlooked, the down vest can bridge the gap between fall-weight and winter-weight outerwear. And, if you spend a lot of time in your car, it’s a great option for warmth without being constricted.

Leather Jacket

An integral part of any modern wardrobe, the leather jacket can transition from day to night and pair with everything from casual ensembles to dressy looks. 

Denim Jacket

This goes-with-everything (yes, even jeans!)  jacket will carry you through spring, summer and fall and can even be used as a layering piece under other coats and jackets in the winter.

Army Surplus-Inspired Jacket

While leather and denim definitely come first, this third lightweight option will immediately multiply your outfit choices.

Workout Coat
 If fitness is a part of your life, then you should have the outerwear to go with it. Make sure to include a jacket in your arsenal that you can work out in and/or use to commute to and from the gym so that your other outerwear never gets stinky, smelly or otherwise damaged.

 Of course, there are numerous other styles of outerwear that can add variety to your wardrobe and put the perfect finishing touch on your look. And, perhaps your lifestyle or the climate that you live in demands an addition to (or a subtraction from) this list. But, no matter the situation, these suggestions should give you a good starting point if you feel that your coat closet is in need of revamping.

Happy Shopping! And, if your celebrate it, have a warm, toasty and very Merry Christmas!

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