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The Types of Coats to Permanently Keep In Your Closet

A definitive guide.

types of coats
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A good coat is an essential part of your closet, especially for those who regularly battle the wind, snow, or rain. (See here for a list of other essential pieces to invest in.) Most of us own a few variations, such as a jean jacket or a wool coat, but there are several key styles you should always have on hand, from your functional raincoat to a trendy puffer. Before you go shopping with a vague idea to buy another coat, look through the list ahead to make sure you have the necessary ones hanging in your wardrobe. Plus, we broke down the differences between coats like a peacoat and parka for a little fashion history 101. By the end of this story, perhaps you'll finally be convinced to invest in a cape coat? Or, maybe, finally, swap out that trench you've had for years? Either way, your coat game is about to get a whole lot fresher.

Street Style - New York Fashion Week February 2018 - Day 5
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Puffer Coat

Puffer coats may be the butt of all penguin jokes, but we still love them. These jackets are designed with sections that are puffy between the stitching and filled with down insulation or synthetic fibers to keep you warm. Don't let the puffiness fool you, though, they're more lightweight than they seem.

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Lucy Floral Puffer
Farm Rio farmrio.com

You can recognize a Farm Rio piece anywhere, simply because of the Brazilian brand's unique use of colors and prints. For fall/winter, Farm Rio takes its DNA and channels it into this puffer meets fleece outerwear that is not only vibrantly beautiful, but also reversible,  should you want a fully printed piece.

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Downtown Duvet Puffer Coat
Free People freepeople.com

If your favorite place in the world is your bed, slip on this puffer coat. The outerwear will give you those same comfortable, lazy day vibes, though the only downside is you might never actually leave your house once this is on. Oh well.

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Women's Trino Puffer Natural White
Allbirds allbirds.com

Allbirds is expanding its categories, and one of its newest debuts is this puffer outerwear made from natural and recycled materials such as merino wool, recycled nylon, and Tencel Lyocell. Style the winter white puffer with your favorite outfits all season long.

Street Style - New York Fashion Week February 2017 - Day 8
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Here's a short history lesson of the peacoat. The jacket style has been around since the 1800s, where it was first worn by those in the Dutch navy. (The name itself originated from the Dutch word "pije," which described a coat made from coarse wool fabric.) The British navy then popularized the peacoat and the style eventually made it to the American Navy, where sailors, known as reefers, donned it as their uniforms. Today, this classic jacket goes beyond the deck of a ship and is enjoyed by everyone.

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Double Breasted Wool Blend Peacoat
Lauren Ralph Lauren nordstrom.com

This peacoat is as classic as it gets, which suits those who don't want to get too adventurous with their outerwear choices. With this timeless piece in your fashion arsenal, you'll be able to wear it for seasons to come.

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Faux-Fur Double-Breasted Peacoat
J.Crew jcrew.com

Fancy a furry peacoat? Unlike the wool options, this textured outerwear gives the classic peacoat a fun trendy spin. Don't worry, the coat will still be equally as warm.

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Double-Breasted Peacoat
Balmain harrods.com

This tailored peacoat is made from luxe wool cashmere and comes with logo-embossed buttons for that luxurious touch. Pair with riding boots and a collared button-down for the ultimate preppy outfit.  

Street Style: Day 4 - LFW September 2017
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Trench Coat

Like the peacoat, the trench coat has a history rooted in the military where officers wore them, literally, in the trenches. You'll recognize the characteristics of this outerwear quickly: the double breasted style, a waist belt, shoulder straps, a storm flap, and it usually comes in a khaki shade. Over the years, the style has been tweaked and played with so you can find trench coats in various colors and prints but its silhouette remains the same.

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Mallory Trench Coat
Cupcakes and Cashmere shopbop.com

What's interesting about this beige trench coat is the houndstooth back, which takes this classic style from snooze to surprisingly cool. Even better, all sizes are still available and it's currently on sale!

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Green Croco Jedoun Coat
Daily Paper dailypaperclothing.com

The least mundane trench coat there is. This neon green outerwear comes with a belt to cinch everything in and is oversized with embossed crocodile print. 

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Suede Trench Coat
Coach coach.com

Obsessed with the '70s? This outerwear draws inspiration from that decade though with a modern approach. The double-breasted suede trench is fitted and has a long hem, perfect for the tall gals out there. 

Street Style - New York Fashion Week February 2018 - Day 7
Daniel ZuchnikGetty Images
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Wrap Coat

If you've ever thought about leaving the house in your robe, you'll love the wrap coat. The robe-like style has no annoying zippers (my hair always gets caught in it) or buttons you have to fumble with. Simply tie the belt around your waist and head out the door. You can find the wrap coat in various lengths, colors, and fabric. Personally I love the leather Loewe option, ahead.

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Drape Front Wool & Cashmere Wrap Coat
Vince nordstrom.com

How I'd describe this Vince coat: It gives you the comfort of a bathrobe, but is ten times more chic. Wear it with a beige turtleneck, jeans, and suede ankle boots for a sophisticated look.

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Petite Wrap Coat With Belt
Fashion Union us.asos.com

Petite girls, here's a wrap coat you can wear without it wearing you. No more tailoring or DIY-ing your outerwear to make it wearable, just slip this one on and go.

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Manuela Icon Belted Camel Hair Coat
Max Mara net-a-porter.com

Few can compete with the outerwear selections from Max Mara. This coat is made from soft camel hair and looks great for layering over chunky knit sweaters, dresses, leather skirts, and more. The coat is pure sophistication. 

Street Style : Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2018/2019 : Day Three
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Parkas were originally made from caribou or seal skin for those in the U.S. Army. They've been through many variations since then, from sateen blends to now cashmere blends perfect for aprés ski wear. What makes parkas unique is that they're one of the best coats to survive harsh winters in. You can choose from a fur-lined outerwear to more lightweight option like this one. This style of coat is like a form-fitting furnace.

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Shiny Effect Parka
Zara zara.com

This parka is water repellent, shiny, has pockets, and special zippers to keep your body heat from escaping into the cold air. We're sold.

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Trench Inspired Parka
Fenty fenty.com

We're huge fans of all the pockets on this coat. Just think of everything you can stuff in there, from your wallet to power bars to hand sanitizers, which are crucial these days.

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Cotton Twill Parka
H&M hm.com

This lightly padded parka features a lined good and a high collar to protect your neck from the wind. To make this coat even more snug, there's a drawstring at the waist. 

Street Style: September 21 - Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019
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Cape Coat

A cape coat is like a better, more fashionably designed blanket you can wear out of your apartment. This comfy piece usually drapes over the wearer, though some are more fitted, and looks slightly dressier than your everyday winter parks or peacoats. If you're looking for a timeless piece that offers you some street style points, a cape is the way to go.

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Wool Cape With Large Double Breasted Buttons
Calvin Klein amazon.com

This cape coat is one of the most innocuous options to wear if you have an aversion to crazy color or prints. Call it your beginner's cape.

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Quilted Padded Cotton-Blend Shell Cape
Rag & Bone net-a-porter.com
$298.50 (70% off)

This quilted cape coat has a lot of drama thanks to the oversize, billowy shape. You'll make a street style statement wherever you go in this number.

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City Cape
See by Chloé chloe.com

Your cape is your armor, so stand out in a stylish option from Chloé. This sandy colored one goes back to the fashion houses' archives—founder Gaby Aghion loved warm hues. 

Street Style - LFW February 2019
Edward BerthelotGetty Images
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Rain Coat

The rain coat is one of the most functional pieces of outerwear you should have in your closet. There are plenty of adult-approved versions of the ones you wore in your childhood, from floral designs to standard colors like olive or black. Opt for one size larger, so you can layer another coat underneath.

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Single Breasted Raincoat
BERNARDO nordstrom.com

You can rock this coat on rainy or non-rainy days alike, since the exterior doesn't look like your typical glossy/shiny raincoat. Take notice of the big front pockets too for easy access to your keys and wallet.

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Women's Original Lightweight Waterproof Jacket: Dark olive
Hunter hunterboots.com

Hunter rain boots are iconic, so you shouldn't expect anything less than perfection from the label when it comes to all its rain gear. This coat is waterproof but lightweight and has an open back vent for breathability. It comes in several colors.

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Translucent Rain Jacket
Levi's nordstrom.com

Most coats conceal your true outfit underneath, but not this translucent rain coat! You can show off your look without getting drenched by that sudden down pour. 

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