All You Need Is: A Fabulous Coat

It’s been said before, and it’s true: all you need style-wise in winter in the northern climates is a fabulous coat.

If you follow me on Instagram (please do, it’s right here), you’ll see that in all my New York City pictures I am wearing a long black hooded puffer coat. Underneath, who knows? A cirque Du Soleil costume, my flannel jammies, a vintage 1930’s Charles James ballgown? That’s because in NYC I almost never took off my coat.

I wasn’t the only long-black-coated figure in Midtown. Sandy said he couldn’t spot me in the crowds if I had my hood up, because he couldn’t see my almost-white hair. I blended.



I think puffer coats can look fantastic (mine is rather bland) and I might have gone with a larger, more colorful scarf. I’ve found that – chunky though they may be – puffers are hands-down the warmest coats. Knee length and with a hood, and I was never cold in the parts of me covered by this coat.


A sleeker, chic-er puffer coat. On a good sale too.


A wool or mostly wool blend is also warm but needs a cozy sweater underneath. There are lots more great-looking wool coats, in wonderful colors and shapes, like this one:


Love this color, and the asymmetrical closure on this coat. Wool blend with a great stand-up collar.


And a faux shearling/faux fur combination may be my next choice for winter in New York. This one looks just delicious, and as it’s faux, it’s easy to clean and store. I don’t do real fur unless it’s on a vintage piece, but I don’t stage protests for those who do. I just like the fur to stay on the animal until he/she is done with it.


This faux suede/faux shearling coat is amazingly warm. Also available in olive.


I’d love to hear from you who know more than I about staying stylishly warm up north (I’ve been in Florida for 30 years); please advise in the comments, and stay fabulous.



A few of my favorite cold-weather pieces:

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  1.   21 septembre 2012hmm je ne connais pas l&rtruo;ausqe donc dur à dire :s.. moi j’adore mon remington c’est tout ce que je peux dire!!!

  2. Woolen socks. If my feet are warm, I’m happy. I only live in central NC, but wear woolen socks most of the year — even in late spring and early autumn, they are great insulators.

  3. Living in Ottawa, a great winter coat is a must. But part of my problem is that I need to be warm when I’m outside, but the malls and stores have the heat cranked up, so then I roast. And wearing my good wool coats to run errands is a no-no. Cars are covered with salt residue and my coat gets dirty fast climbing in and out of my car, leaning to put stuff in the trunk etc. I bought an inexpensive puffer at Zara a couple of years ago. Great colour, quite slim, light weight…and it’s washable. Problem solved.

  4. Even though I live in Denver, I don’t have a ton of really warm coats. Because most of the time, I go from inside the warm house, to the inside of the car.
    Since I’m not an outside girl, you will rarely find me hanging out in the cold and snow.
    But the times we’ve visited NY—I will end up layering with my long underwear and many other layers. Then I can still wear a fun coat and be warm!!

  5. Hi, Well, I live in New Jersey so I need warm coats! I have a few puffer coats, one long one and a couple of cover the butt lengths and like everyone said, they are really the warmest coats I have. I resisted for a long time buying one thinking they would be very ugly on but I’ve found a couple that are decent. The trick for me to keep warm is wrapping a warm scarf around my neck and making sure the back of the neck is covered (or else put your collar up). Also, warm boots are a must. The coats do a good job but if your feet are cold, then you’re cold all over!

    • I grew up in new Jersey and remember the winters! You’re so right about keeping your neck warm. xo

  6. Living in California, we have a short window to wear coats…which is a bummer because I love a fun coat! My go-to in the mornings and running around is a short North Face black puffer. My others, are more fun. If I’m going to wear a coat, I figure it might as well make a statement. I have a leopard print wool topper, python rain coat, sleeveless black fur collar and my latest addition, a vintage 1960’s belted red coat that I just had to have~ I also wear puffer vests, about 8 months out of the year as we have cool mornings here, and I am always cold!
    Hope you had a Happy Holiday!

  7. Living in Ontario means I have a closet full of coats. Coats for semi-cold weather, cold weather and coats for bone chilling I-don’t-wanna-go-outside weather.

    I have a vintage floor length coat that I can’t tell if it is real or faux fur, but it is very warm and heavy. Probably weighs 15 lbs. I have a massive puffer coat that covers my bum that I use strictly for shovelling the driveway or days when the temps dip below -10 C. It looks really ugly but it is crazy warm. I look like a red version of the Michelin Man when I wear it.

    For everything in between I have a bunch of other coats that can be layered up. A common thing to do is get a nice Gortex fully lined jacket and then buy a thin-ish puffer coat and layer it underneath. Looks good and works like a charm.

    And of course hats, gloves and scarves go without saying.

    Looks like you had fun and managed to stay warm!

    PS…there is a blog post now up on Sherry’s blog (Petite Over 40) about the 40+ blogger meet-up.


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