Tuesday, 22 September 2015

12 of the best new parkas–autumn’s must-have coat

Last year a I bought the ‘perfect parka’ from Mint Velvet.  Actually I bought two, as the daughter ‘borrowed’ the first one when hers started looking too worn and I spotted the alternative colour in the sale and snapped it up.  They’ve both been worn over and over again, both out in the wilds of Bucks and in London and other cities.  A really good parka is the most versatile coat you can own.

Madewell shell parka with detachable faux fur trimSuprdry parkaFrench Connection waxed parkaOasis Harriet waxed parkaTed Baker navy parkaWhistles black waxed parkaO'Neill black parka, navy blue alsoPoetry parka with removable fleece lining

The perfect parka has certain essential elements
It mustn’t be too heavy, but needs to be warm at the same time

It has to protect you from the rain – doesn’t need to be waxed but it can be

Definitely it has to have a hood – fur trimmed or otherwise – do not buy a parka without a hood…..

At the same time as all of this it has to look modern so you can wear it from hillside to city

Look for a drawstring adjustable waist and plenty of pockets, preferably zipped, and then don’t be surprised if you find gloves/dog treats/cash/kleenex when you go to take it out out next season.

If you buy a parka with a faux fur lining that doesn’t come out be aware that you may get too warm on less chilly days, but it will take you further into winter.

This usually means some investment, and it’s worth spending a little bit more on something that is going to last you for several years.  Parkas don’t come and go, they’re firmly in the fashion radar and so if you find a really good quality one it will last and last.

On the subject of hoods, they can be detachable or not, and the faux fur trim, if there is one, can also be detachable, some offer all options, check the details.

Oasis Premium ParkaMint Velvet navy parkaTommy Hilfiger Tara ParkaWhistles Tyler navy parka
PS did I say this?  Do not even consider buying a parka without a hood.  You will live to regret it…….

Also, if the weather gets really chilly a parka will most likely not do the job – through snow and ice.  Then you’re talking about down or shearling.  On to those very soon.

John Lewis  have an excellent selection of parkas online including most mid-market brands.  If you want good quality and reasonable prices also look at Oasis.