Your stance on winter may go one of two ways. Perhaps you’re one of those folks who thrive between the months of December and March. You spend your weekends hitting the slopes, taking in the picture-perfect snowy mountains. And then there are others who dread the moment when the season rears its ugly head, so much so that we’d do anything to escape and spend the next few months soaking up sunshine elsewhere. Feelings toward the season aside, there is something I think we can all agree on: There’s nothing as glorious as a good winter coat. They’re chic! They’re cozy! They’re toasty! And the biggest outerwear trends of 2023, which are a mix of understated and bold looks, are especially splurge-worthy.
“Let’s face it: When it comes to winter, your coat is your best friend, so it’s a great investment piece,” explains Gaëlle Drevet, founder of cult-favorite label The Frankie Shop. She says that her clientele (aka, Frankie girls) turns to styles that can effortlessly elevate their cold-weather outfits. “Chances are they may already have one of our oversized coats, a silhouette we carry season after season,” she says. This time around, though, she feels they’re opting for something more fitted or perhaps a nice faux fur jacket. “It’s all about styling and adding a few more interesting shapes to your wardrobe,” she adds.
Citizens of Humanity’s Creative Director Marianne McDonald echoes Drevet, explaining that the brand’s customers are searching for a new shape or a silhouette that “expands the imagination and brings a new element to their wardrobe.” The main takeaway here? Winter is much more enjoyable when you’re bundled up in a feel-good topper. On that note, scroll ahead for the full rundown of the season’s top coat trends.
Up The Fuzz
Taking off your super soft robe and facing the teeth-chattering outdoors is, well, probably not something you look forward to in the mornings. Fortunately, outerwear rendered in fuzzy textures will keep you cozy during your commute into the office. “Shearling coats offer the perfect balance between statement and warmth,” says Gabby Cadet, fashion office associate at Moda Operandi. (First time shopping for the piece? Check out this handy-dandy guide for some expert tips.)
Jenna Schwartz, president and creative director of New York-based outerwear brand SAM., is also noticing an uptick in the fuzzy texture, as well as other equally snuggly materials like sherpa and faux fur. Adorn yourself in one of the toasty materials, and even the most frigid days will, hopefully, be a smidge more bearable.
This season, The Frankie Shop is offering outerwear with lots of extra length. “They are such powerful silhouettes with strong shoulders,” says Drevet. “It’s the quickest outfit formula that will elevate your look and prepare you to walk out the door in a jiffy.” A bonus: You needn’t worry too much about your bottoms, as the outerwear will be the focal point of your outfit.
Puffers in fresh designs are amping up for winter, notes Woolrich’s global chief product and merchandising GM for North America, Alessandro Villa. The brand’s most popular (and unexpected) takes on the winter essential? The Virgin Wool Long Down Parka, which Villa says is crafted with luxury loro piana wool and the Knitted Wool Down Jacket, made with a premium Italian blend. There’s also Nanushka's coveted faux leather style or FARM Rio’s print-happy looks, should you being looking for something with even more oomph.
Short And Chic
Cropped jackets were omnipresent on the Fall/Winter 2023 runways, spotted at shows like Heron Preston, Sergio Hudson, and Dion Lee. So, if dramatic ankle-hitting styles don’t resonate with your style (or you, like me, are only 5’2), look to the season’s itty-bitty silhouettes. Experts, including Marzia Bellotti, creative director of KHRISJOY, and Schwartz, point to the teeny-tiny look as one of winter’s most in-demand styles. And if you’re into a bomber style, tap into two trends at once with Victoria Beckham’s waist-skimming iteration, which she Cadet says is key to achieving a laidback, cool-girl look. She suggests pairing the piece with cargos and tailored trousers.
After seasons of oversized, slouchy silhouettes leading the outerwear pack, Bellotti believes the pendulum is swinging back to styles with a closer fit to the body. “This can still incorporate interesting elements such as exaggerated shoulders or details made from leather and shearling,” the expert clarifies. “A more classic aesthetic is trending, but people still seek individuality and creative expression.”
Check out any major retailer (Moda Operandi, Net-a-Porter, Shopbop, etc.), and you’ll notice the sites are teeming with luxe trench coats in unexpected cuts and fabrics. Why? Cadet says the silhouette is reigning supreme right now, thanks to the ongoing quiet luxury trend. “They’re incredibly versatile (with the right layering, the design goes from fall to winter to spring) and add a touch of polish to any look,” she notes.