Buying a Winter Coat: 20 Dos and Don'ts main image
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Buying a Winter Coat: 20 Dos and Don'ts

Do: Keep Your Location in Mind

Do: Keep Your Location in Mind

Your location’s weather is key in deciding on a coat. For example, if you live in Alaska, a lightweight pea coat isn’t your best bet. Ignore this advice and you’ll end up with a coat that sits in your closet all winter simply because it’s too warm/cold to wear it. 

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Don't: Choose Something Impractical

Don't: Choose Something Impractical

We love those breathtaking coats from the runway, but they’re expensive and impractical to wear. Be warned: If you buy one, it will end up functioning as a piece of art in your closet rather than a piece of wearable clothing.

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Do: Look at Recent Trends

Do: Look at Recent Trends

If coats with large buttons are fading out of style in favor of more streamlined ones with belts, take that into consideration. The last thing you want to do is buy a brand-new coat only to find that you look five years behind the times! 

(image via Instagram)

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Don't: Buy Based Only on Trends

Don't: Buy Based Only on Trends

Yes, you should take current trends into consideration, but trends should not be the sole deciding factor when it comes to coat buying. Many trends will be out of style within the next couple years, so never sacrifice practicality for fashion.

(image via Instagram)

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Do: Think About the Future

Do: Think About the Future

A coat is a big purchase, so you probably want it to last a couple seasons or more. The trick is to find that perfect balance between trendy and classic. Take this advice and you’ll never have to worry about being out of style again!

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Don't: Buy a Low-Quality Coat

Don't: Buy a Low-Quality Coat

It’s tempting to scour the racks for a coat on the cheap, but you’ll pay for it when that coat doesn’t provide you any insulation on a chilly winter day. Instead, look for discounted items from higher-end retailers. You’ll end up with a much better deal.

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Do: Evaluate Your Personal Style

Do: Evaluate Your Personal Style

Think about your current favorite pieces in your wardrobe. Are they minimalistic and modern or bold and colorful? Look for a coat that has those same qualities to ensure that you will not grow tired of it after one wear.

(image via Instagram)

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Don't: Buy The First One You Find

Don't: Buy The First One You Find

You should scour a variety of stores before you make the commitment to a single coat. There are countless styles and price points available to you, and if you truly want to find the best coat at the best price, you’ll take advantage of shopping around!

(image via Instagram)

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Do: Take Your Wardrobe Into Account

Do: Take Your Wardrobe Into Account

If you have mainly neutrals in your wardrobe, you may want to consider adding a pop of color by buying a coat in red or olive green. Also, take silhouettes into account. If you wear a lot of dresses, opt for a trench coat rather than a pea coat.

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Don't: Buy One You Don't Love

Don't: Buy One You Don't Love

If you’ve shopped around and just can’t find the perfect coat, don’t settle for one that’s tolerable. In a month or two, you will regret it when you’re walking downtown and see your dream coat in a window of a random boutique but don’t have the money to buy it. 

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Do: Buy One That's Versatile

Do: Buy One That's Versatile

Unless you have the money to buy a separate coat for work, a night out, and running errands, you should buy one that works for all three. Classic styles, such as a trench or duster coat, fit the bill perfectly. They’ll never look out of place with your outfit!

(image via Instagram)

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Don't: Buy a Coat With Fake Pockets

Don't: Buy a Coat With Fake Pockets

You’re going to be pissed come January when you want to stick your freezing cold hands in your pockets and remember they’re not real. Either forget the pockets altogether or find one with pockets that will keep your fingers warm when you need it. 

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Do: Search for Coupons and Sales

Do: Search for Coupons and Sales

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices or you’ve found a coat you absolutely can’t live without, don’t buy it… unless you have a coupon or it’s on sale. You never regret an impulse purchase more than when you realize you could have gotten it cheaper. 

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Don't: Buy an Uncomfortable Coat

Don't: Buy an Uncomfortable Coat

If it’s gorgeous but a little tight in the shoulders, don’t get it. No matter how much you love the way it looks, you’re never going to want to wear it if it’s uncomfortable. Trust us, you’ll find one that’s beautiful and fits wonderfully. Just keep searching! 

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Do: Invest in a Quality Piece

Do: Invest in a Quality Piece

A coat really is an investment. It’s rare to find a quality piece for less than a couple hundred bucks. If you go with a cheap $30 coat, you’ll have to replace it over and over again when it wears out. Buy a high quality one, and you’ll only have to buy it once! 

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Do: Look at the Lining

Do: Look at the Lining

As demonstrated on Seinfeld, a great jacket can be ruined by terrible lining. So before you fall head over heels in love with a coat you see in a storefront, take a look at the lining and make sure it’s something you love (or can at least replace). 

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Don't: Buy One That's Too Snug

Don't: Buy One That's Too Snug

When the temperature drops below freezing, you’re going to want to be able to fit more than a thin shirt under your coat. Consider sizing up so you can wear a sweater or a light jacket during the coldest months of the year.

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Do: Consider the Insulation

Do: Consider the Insulation

There are four types of insulation to choose from: wool, fleece, synthetic, and down. Down and wool are typically considered to be the warmest. Some people can be allergic to these types of insulation, so be sure to try it before you buy it. 

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Don't: Buy an Untailored Parka

Don't: Buy an Untailored Parka

If you live somewhere like Wisconsin or Maine, it is 100% necessary to have a parka as part of your winter wardrobe. Unfortunately, most parkas make the wearer look larger than they actually are. You can counter this by buying one that’s tailored or belted. 

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Do: Look for Small, Unique Details

Do: Look for Small, Unique Details

If you want a coat that’s going to garner you tons of compliments, you can’t buy the same one that everyone else bought at Nordstrom. Look for a coat that has memorable detail that will make you stand out, such as embroidery or antique buttons. 

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