7 Essential Coats and Jackets

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Zara parka

It’s finally winter and that made me think about coats and jackets.

If you live in an area that gets all sorts of weather, having to wear coats is just a part of life. I know I’m guilty of having a lot of different coats that I only bought for their aesthetic value but have no real purpose. As I’ve been attempting to downsize my wardrobe, it got me thinking about the coats and jackets I absolutely do need. I probably don’t need five of them but I should have at least one. Here are the coats that I think everyone should absolutely have in their closet - especially if they experience all kinds of weather like we do here in Washington, DC.

denim jacket

H&M denim jacket

A well-fitting denim jacket is a staple and a classic! They always seem to come back on-trend every year. I got mine from H&M years ago but if I were to shop for one again, I’d look at Levi’s whose commitment to creating sustainable denim pieces is admirable, or Everlane with their radically transparent ethical manufacturing practices. Even better - hit up your local thrift shop! Don’t have access to a thrift store? Head to ThredUP or Poshmark. I’ve had a LOT of luck on Poshmark so I personally recommend this to all of my friends and to you!

utility jacket

Forever 21 Utility jacket

Every Fall, without fail, I reach for my utility jacket. They’re perfect for those mornings when the air is crisp and cool. The one I have is from Forever 21 and I bought it years ago when I was starting to build my own grown-up wardrobe. In fact, I’m actually surprised it’s lasted as long as it has! I really love the look of the leather sleeves against the olive canvas material as it adds something extra. When it does wear out though, I have my eye on this classic one from Everlane. If you’re up for a splurge, Barbour has a great one in a gorgeous navy color that also has a wax coating making it rain resistant.

moto jacket

BLANKNYC moto jacket

I LOVE the moto jacket silhouette. I was originally going to write “leather jacket” but frankly, the only jacket I can think of to get for me personally is a moto jacket though. This silhouette is universally flattering and gives any outfit an effortlessly cool vibe! Mine is from BLANKNYC and it was a splurge at $188 (slow fashion ftw!) but a great affordable option is this (vegan) leather one, also from BLANKNYC that’s on sale for $58. Like suede more than leather? Here’s one from Levi’s for less than $70.

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Stutterheim raincoat

To be honest, I never thought I would need a raincoat until this year. This past summer, DC got more rain than Seattle did all year which is an insane amount of rain! The rain would come so hard too so just an umbrella would be no use. I invested in this coat from Stutterheim. The price tag made me weep (it was $295 - even though it was on sale, it was still a huge investment for me) but the coat is well worth it for me. The brand makes all unisex coats and it’s probably the epitome of slow fashion. If you aren’t willing to drop too much money on a raincoat like I am (I admit, I can be unreasonable), here’s a more affordable option from ASOS - a cute navy striped number for $25. A better-quality one can be found at Levi’s as well for $43.

trench coat

Zara trench coat

When I first started creating my wardrobe, the first thing I knew I wanted was a chic trench coat. I got mine about 4 years ago at Zara. I wore it quite a bit this fall and I probably should take it to the dry cleaners soon (oops). Though my exact one is sold out, I am lusting after this one from Burberry which I would buy if I had all the money in the world. Looking for something more affordable? Here’s a great hooded version from London Fog. Need something even more affordable? Here’s a cute one from French Connection. Want something sustainable or ethical? Everlane’s got you covered!

Wool coat

J.Crew City Coat

I pretty much live in my wool coat in the wintertime. A chic wool coat will take you from work to play seamlessly! I’ve been wearing my J.Crew City coat non-stop since I got it last year. I would love to get this Everlane Cocoon coat someday though. J.Crew’s Lodge coat is also a chic alternative. Brooks Brothers also has a great herringbone option for those who like it.


Zara Parka

A parka is one of those pieces I would recommend you spend some money on and not cheap out. In my opinion, the quality of your parka can really make or break your winter! Mine is a great down parka and I got it from Zara a few years ago. I would like to someday buy this down parka from Patagonia though - their commitment to sustainable fashion is admirable! Looking for something more affordable? I bought this parka from Uniqlo for my grandmother because she wanted something super light but warm. She absolutely loves it!

Did I miss something here? What are some of the coats you think everyone should have?

DeborahShopping, Winter, Lifestyle