When you’re looking for a perfect padded coat/jacket to see you through the winter months what do you think about – colour? length? shape?
As someone who’s recently arrived in Munich with a beautifully stylish padded coat that’s wrong for all the essential reasons, I’ve now defined what exactly you should be looking for when choosing one of these cosy coats. And it’s not any of the above – they come way down the list of requirements.
Firstly – How does it fasten?
There are thousands of padded coats around that fasten with a simple zip down the front. Ignore those totally. They’re incredibly annoying when you want to do them up in a hurry, when you’re out and about and you have to put everything down to get to the zip pull that’s lurking somewhere around your knees, let alone, if it’s a double zip, getting it working properly.
Yes of course you want a zip, but you also need a covered front with stud fastenings so that you can close your coat in a flash, whatever the length.
Secondly – What is the padding made of?
If you’re looking for a padded coat that will keep you seriously warm and insulated it has to have down in the padding. So check this. Many inexpensive coats won’t, and whatever they tell you about keeping you warm they won’t as well as down. Take it from one who’s discovered the hard way.
When you look at the label you’re looking for wadding or padding that doesn’t say polyester, but that says feather or down.
Thirdly – How does it fit?
I have an old long Max Mara down padded coat from the days when I was two sizes up from today. It’s totally back in style as it’s like a giant blanket puffer so choose your look, refined padding or bulky. Bulky will go out of style faster, but keep you very very warm.
Having said that, the coat I brought with me to chilly Munich is quite fitted, so that although I love the look it doesn’t work over anything the slightest bit bulky. I’m not advising you buy something that’s huge on you unless you love that look, but don’t go for something you can’t wear with a jacket or reasonably thick sweater underneath. In other words go half a size up rather than down, and try your coat on with something you’d want to wear it over before you decide, rather than going for the all out flattering ‘it fits me well’ look.
Other notes: Buy a coat with a hood, preferably detachable. Doesn’t matter if it unzips from the collar, doesn’t matter if it has a fur trim. Most importantly when rain, sleet or snow comes down the point of this coat is to keep you warm and dry everywhere….
Don’t buy one with a faux fur or fleece lining unless you can remove it. There are plenty of these around and you can get far too warm in them.
Be wary of belts – they’re fine if you’re tall and slim (or short and slim for that matter) but you can end up looking like the Michelin Man if you’re not careful.