What To Know About Your Next Winter Coat

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Ahhh, winter. Heaters, cake, a lower frequency of shaving and my favourite – the clothes!

One thing we can all agree on is that getting the perfect winter coat can be hard when our old one dies and it’s also an added expense from anything between $100 and even into the thousands if we’re talking designer. But how do you know what you’re paying for and how can you pick the right one? In this weeks instalment of That Effortless Bitch, you’re going to learn how to shop for a winter coat effectively so you can buy an investment piece that you hopefully won’t need to replace for years.


Step One: Consider your climate: We get so caught up in the idea of winter and a big heavy coat that we sometimes forget the Australian winters aren’t as harsh as other parts of the world like the United States or Europe.

What we do need to think of is what the coldest times are likely to be so you can consider your cost per wear, if it’s the type of coat you’ll only wear on a random cold snap day in winter, it’s not the best investment.

However, if you buy a medium weight coat, you can always layer underneath on a particularly freezing day and you’ll at least get more wear out of your new coat.

Step Two: Understand Fabric Quality: Brands constantly trick us into thinking something is better quality than it is, and that’s usually indicated by the price. If it’s a few hundred dollars, we’ll automatically associate that with quality, if it’s black it can look more expensive, if it’s a statement coat we’ll get excited by the colour and forget the fact that it needs to keep us warm and last through a few winters. So, what’s good quality and what should stay on the rack?

Look for woolen coats, and search the inside tag for a fabric list. Every item of clothing you purchase will have this little tag tucked away somewhere inside. It may also tell you if the garment has canvas or fused interfacing, the best quality for wash and wear is always canvassed in this respect but fused can be a cheaper alternative and if you’re looking for a cheap quick fix that you only plan on wearing for two seasons than the latter is the way to go.

Step Three: Make Sure It’s Winter Proof: Check the jacket for lining to ensure it’s thick enough and if the coat has a rather high price tag ($550 or more) then try to feel between to lining and the external fabric for any wadding or insulation. If the lining and the exterior is made of a thinner fabric, it’s not going to keep you warm.

Step Four: Check For Fit: When buying a coat, you want there to be enough room to wear a knit underneath and you want to be able to button it up and have it not pull across your bust or stomach. If you start seeing an ‘X’ shape forming where the button closes, you’ll know it’s a touch too tight. Also, check the length, if you plan on wearing the coat with heels, you can afford to do a longer length, but if you want to do either flats or heels, consider buying a shorter (knee length) style or have it taken up.

Last but not least, look at the shoulders. The shoulder seam should sit right on the edge of your shoulder, not hang over the edge or be sitting closer to your neck. If the area where the shoulder meets the arm sits flat and doesn’t make your upper arm bulge, you’ve found the right one. Don’t ever let a sales assistant talk you into buying a jacket that the shoulders don’t fit correctly on, it’s the most expensive alteration to get and the tailor will need to spend a lot of time on it, meaning that you’ll more than likely be spending upwards of $100 getting it perfect when it could have been perfect had you sized up or down at no extra cost.

Last but not least: REMEMBER YOUR STYLE! We can’t help it if we fall in love with something in a store and have to have it or we find that there’s a lack of options available locally, but there are always other options. Think about your wardrobe and the colours in it so you don’t come home with something completely different. You don’t want a statement coat that goes with nothing and feels like a one trick pony. Save your self some money and invest in a coat that makes you feel fabulous and keeps you warm while you strut your stuff.


  1. Avatar for Bohemian Foodie

    Amazing, thank you for sharing – if I ever visit Australia again I’d love to meet you and shop with you! 😉

    1. Avatar for Alarna Hope

      Thank you, and yes, next time you’re in Sydney we can set up a shopping day!

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