WITH autumn approaching and retailers beginning to launch their AW21 collections, it's time to talk about the winter coats around. You can never be too early or prepared, right?
We've been secretly excited for the chill to set in ever since we clocked our eyes on this season's coats at London Fashion Week back in February, and oh my! what treats there are in store.
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From statement Penny Lane-style faux fur-trimmed collars and leather trenches to classic padded heritage jackets and bright blazers, this season's best winter coats for women combine style and function in the best way possible.
And whether you're looking to pay a nod to the catwalks or invest in a more timeless winter staple, there's no better time to start shopping for winter coats so you can be well and truly ready for a cold snap.
This season's key trend is anything leather (or pleather): all the key collections in all four cities showcased a leather coat in some way, whether it was Burberry's leather-lined showstopper or Saint Laurent's tan trench. Puffers are another mainstay this season: think bolder and brighter than ever before.
Here, we've rounded up the best winter coats for women available online and in store now.
Best parka for the city: The North Face's Brooklyn Parka
- The North Face Women's Brooklyn Parka, £330 – buy here
Parka jackets are the ultimate winter jacket to snap up this season to protect you against harsh weather conditions.
This North Face Parka is waterproof, insulated with 550-fill down, has ribbing inside cuff at sleeve opening
and a fixed hood with adjustments to keep you extra warm and dry, plus there's the option to add a touch of femininity to its shape with the hidden waist adjustment.
The parka is ideal for those wanting warmth on their cold winter dog walks, but also for everyday wear because of it's breathable seam-sealed vent features.
Best trench coat: Zara's Water-Repellent Oversize Trench Coat
- Zara Water-Repellent Oversize Trench Coat, £79.99 – buy here
A trench coat is ideal for the transition from autumn into winter, when the days are mild but rainy.
What is even better is Zara's trench is waterproof and water-repellent, has an adjustable hood with drawstring and cord lock, also features dual front fastening with zip and snap buttons and deep pockets.
The oversized fit is also having a huge moment right now – so be sure to snap this one up quick.
The black shade makes this coat versatile enough to be worn all winter long.
Best leather jacket: & Other Stories' Fitted Straight Leather Blazer
- Fitted Straight Leather Blazer, £265 from & Other Stories – buy here
A leather jacket is a timeless and essential option for year-round wear.
With workwear-style blazers key this season, we've picked out this amazing structured leather blazer by & Other Stories which boasts a straight silhouette and shoulder pads to take you from day to night.
Style it with a leather trouser, if you dare, for a sultry head-to-toe ensemble.
Best faux-leather jacket: Missguided's Soft Faux Leather Oversized Blazer
- Soft Faux Leather Oversized Blazer Black, £48 from Missguided – buy here
If you love the look of the leather jackets and blazers that are SO in right now but don't want to buy real leather, then this little Missguided number is for you.
Style it with jeans and a t-shirt for an elevated every day look.
This blazer has an oversized fit, so if you'd like a more regular fit, size down.
Best Penny Lane coat: Saks Potts' Foxy Faux Fur Trimmed Leather Coat
- Saks Potts Foxy Faux Fur Trimmed Leather Coat, £1360 from Selfridges – buy here
Did someone say Almost Famous?
Coats that Penny Lane herself would be proud to own are very much in vogue this AW20: think the fluffiest Mongolian faux-fur trims known to man and the most cinched in of belted silhouettes.
We are absolutely in LOVE with this leather version by Saks Potts: it's completely extra and guaranteed to make a statement. The brand is a relative newcomer to the fashion world, having launched in 2017, but its covetable coats are completely out of this world.
This leather beauty also comes in green if you REALLY want to go all-out.
Best shearling coat: Stand Studio's Hazel Faux Shearling Jacket
- Stand Studio Hazel Faux Shearling Jacket, £360 from Netaporter – buy here
A shearling coat is an everyday winter piece with a high fashion twist.
This faux shearling number will keep you warm without sacrificing on style.
With its designs, the Scandinavian label Stand Studio "pays tribute to simplicity." And the 'Hazel' style is a perfect example, this coat is artfully minimalist, cut from faux shearling in a boxy silhouette with concealed fastenings, for the lightest of wintry looks.
Best for special occasions: Arket's Double-Face Wool Coat
- Single Button Wool Coat for £190 from Arket – buy here
A smart black coat is perfect for all occasions—especially for work, fancy dinners and formal dos.
This Arket number is a classic design with a slightly oversized silhouette with dropped shoulders. It's designed to fall above the knee and has front buttoning and side seam pockets.
It's made from an exclusive double-cloth material, so it's guaranteed to last the distance.
Best print coat: Stand Studio's Leopard-Print Coated Faux Snake-effect Leather Jacket
- Stand Studio Snake-Print Coated Faux Snake-Effect Leather Jacket , £312 from Farfetch – buy here
Animal print coats are big every season, and this AW21 it's the turn of sultry and sexy print which has really come into its own.
Expect to see it in an array of colourways and a variety of silhouettes: from boxy styles to fitted blazers.
We've got our eye on this button-up faux leather style by Stand Studio, which is perfect for the season with its longline silhouette and relaxed fit that's ideal for layering over your winter knitwear.
Grab it now (on sale) or regret it later!
Best mountain coat: Arc'teryx's Nuclei FL Jacket
- Nuclei FL jacket, £250, from Arc'teryx – buy here
For those going hiking or climbing, this insulated jacket from Arc'teryx is a must.
Don't let its hefty price tag scare you, this is a worthy investment for those planning a serious adventure.
Windproof, light, and packable it will protect you from damp and cold even in alpine environments.
If blue is not your colour, it is also available in red.
Best for the great outdoors – North Face's Hikesteller Insulated Parka
- Women's hikesteller insulated parka, £180 from North Face – buy here
This insulated parka from North Face is made for those who want to keep warm while enjoying the great outdoors, without compromising on style.
Made for hikers, it's warm enough for the coldest mornings and features waterproof and padded fabrics.
It's also lightweight as well as feminine and will blend easily with your everyday wardrobe. If this colour isn't for you, the coat is also available in classic colours like blue and navy.
Best puffer coat: North Face's 1996 Retro Nuptse Jacket
- Women's synthetic city puffer jacket, £270 from North Face – buy here
A puffer jacket is a fashion must have to keep the chill out on cool city nights.
Its oversized stylish silhouette creates the perfect cocoon shape to hide in when the weather turns colder.
We're obsessed with rose colour but it's also available in black, if you're looking for something that will easily blend in with any outfit. If you want to go all out and make a statement with your puffer, then you should definitely go for the tan forest floor print option.
Which is the warmest winter coat for women?
Puffer coats and parkas are some of the warmest winter coats you can find—and The North Face does a stellar job of combining fashion with function with its goose-down filled parkas.
If you're shopping on a lower budget, synthetic-filled puffers still have padding which insulates and helps to regulate your body temperature.
Faux fur and faux shearling coats are also warm and cosy for cold weather—teddy coats are a real favourite, and just happen to be one of the most stylish outerwear silhouettes of the season.
What is a longline coat?
Longline coats are typically coats that fall below the mid-thigh or knee.
They provide extra coverage and warmth, and are available in a range of styles and fabrics; from a classic longline woollen coat to a longline puffer.
Trenches, parkas and faux fur styles can all come in longline silhouettes.
How should a women's winter coat fit?
Finding a winter coat that keeps you warm, ticks your aesthetic preferences and fits properly can be a challenge.
When it comes to getting the right fit on your winter coat, you want to make sure the coat will be comfortable even on days when you have several layers on underneath.
Even if you don't plan on ever doing up the button or zip, a general rule is to never buy a coat that can't close.
You should also consider your height when selecting a winter coat: if you're on the shorter side, don't pick a coat that's too long or it will throw off your proportions (taller people tend to suit hip-length coats).
Now, the fun part: choose a style you feel comfortable in, whether that's belted or oversized, loose or slim-fitting.
What month do women's winter coats come out in the UK?
New winter coats in the UK usually start to come out around the beginning of September, as the AW collections start to be released. We know that technically winter doesn't officially start until December, but with this UK weather you can be sure winter coats will be available soon after summer's over, and we'll be wearing them too!
How thick should a women's winter coat be?
The thickness of your coat depends mostly on personal preference and the weather conditions of where you live. We'd say a good warm winter coat should be wind-proof and waterproof, like the Parka and Puffer from North Face. Other lighter jackets like the blazer jackets from Missguided and & Other Stories could be worn underneath a thicker jacket too.
What is the best winter coat for women?
First and foremost, be sure that there is a winter coat to suit everyone. Winter coats are the best accessory of the season, so picking the right one can be difficult. If you're a fashionable person who loves the latest trends, then you'll die for the Saks Pott's coat. If you prefer to put comfort first, the North Face puffers are the ones for you, keeping you cosy and warm all winter long. Finally, if you love a staple timeless piece that will not go out of style next winter, you should definitely check out the Zara trench coat.
Enjoyed our guide to the best winter coats for women? Why not check out our recommendations for this season's best comfy and stylish joggers?
We've also rounded up the best work dresses here.
If you're in the mood for a shopping spree, check out our other fashion must haves.
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