New York Women Know It: These Are The Best Winter Coats

Meet your winter must-haves.

by Kendall Becker
Originally Published: 
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winter coat
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New York City is a city known for its stylish residents. On the hottest days of summer and the most bone-chilling days of winter, you’re still apt to be impressed by the outfits you spot in SOHO or on Madison. With cold weather approaching, the best coats for a New York winter, hand selected by the stylish residents of the city, can serve as a solution to your dreary-weather blues.

In fact, if you ask the women of New York about the woes of outerwear, you may just be surprised at their excitement for the category. These experts in the art of layering know that winter coats can actually elevate any look if done right. So, before you invest in just any piece of practical outerwear for the season ahead, the creative women of New York are offering up the winter coats on their radar this season for you to check out, too.

From fresh takes on the puffer jacket inspired by an aprés-ski mentality, to artfully crafted details like embroidery and fringe (yep, you read that right), there’s an option for every aesthetic out there. So, prepare to fight the cold in an inspired way this season. There’s plenty of room to turn a practical purchase into one that lets your personal style shine.

We only include products that have been independently selected by TZR’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

Return Of The Classics

“I'm very much in the mood to see a return to the classics; aprés-ski puffers, ‘70s shearlings, and menswear-inspired bomber jackets,” Kate Davidson Hudson tells TZR. The editor in chief of legacy Italian retailer LuisaViaRoma is also known for her strategically minimalistic personal style. “All feel like easy yet elevated solutions that will become the linchpin of my fall and winter wardrobe.”

To get specific, she suggests the fitted cropped silhouettes at Jacquemus and oversized, cocoon-like shapes at Rick Owens when it comes to updates on the puffer jacket. “I also love all of the new iterations on the classic shearling jacket. Jacquemus, Chloé, and Lou Lou Studio do some of my favorite new season options. And, the oversized bomber jacket is the piece I will be incorporating throughout my transitional season coat wardrobe to carry me from the fall to winter months,” she says, ensuring that perennial styles like these are a worthy investment.

Neutrals For The Win

Content creator and digital marketer Coco Bassey knows never to ignore a smart, foundational staple. Glance at her Instagram feed, and you’ll see that Bassey has an affinity for elevated silhouettes and neutral styling cues. So, it only makes sense that her best tip for choosing a winter coat is to invest in a neutral hue.

“I always want to make sure my coats go with everything else in my wardrobe, so I opt for classic colors: blacks, creams, browns, and grays. Probably the most color you'll see on a winter coat of mine is if it's in a plaid or checkered print,” she says.

Narrowing down the options, she has her eye on the iconic Max Mara teddy coat. “It's like the warmest, fuzziest and most fashionable blanket. I've had the pleasure of [borrowing one from the brand] during Fashion Week, and I've been obsessed ever since,” she tells TZR. With a recommendation like that (Let’s be real, who doesn’t want to feel cuddled up in a blanket?), a cozy, neutral option is certainly one to add to your winter wishlist.

East-Meets-West Edge

Sari Sloane is the founder of the westside, a California-inspired boutique that’s brought a taste of the laid-back aesthetic over to the East Coast. Sloane’s personal style is the perfect embodiment of West Coast Bohemian meets polished, New York sensibility — and she continues that code even into winter.

“We have stores on both coasts, so I’m constantly drumming up inspiration on my trips to Los Angeles. I enjoy the effortless attitude of the West Coast and I try to replicate that in my style on the East Coast, she says.”

When it comes to her cold-weather essentials, she says that they must be “fun and have a little edge, so fringe and color block options are really catching my eye.” She adds, “one of my favorite coats in our fall collection is the Colorblock Shawl coat that we have this season that is a fun balance of style and function.”

Perked Up Puffer

Stylist Allison Berlin has offered up advice on the iconic show What Not to Wear to high-profile New Yorkers, so you can trust she knows a thing or two about what works in the city. Her non-negotiable? A coat must do its job.

“I hate feeling the cold, so outerwear is something I invest in, and I encourage my clients to do the same. A great outerwear piece completes any outfit and makes an entrance, or that crucial first impression,” Berlin says — and yes, it really is that important.

“This season, I'm looking for an oversized puffer that is wearable, but has the right amount of impact,” she tells TZR on narrowing down her outerwear selects. While it’s undeniable that a puffer jacket will keep you warm, Berlin offers up how to take the look to the next level; “I'm pushing myself to lighten up with cream and other light neutrals. I'm loving all the great textures out there from vegan leather to cozy shearling — whether you go for all-over shearling or just a furry collar.”

It’s All In The Details

You may know Maria Tash for her intricately designed jewelry, but she also has an equally thoughtful approach to personal style. With her delicate earrings and necklaces, it’s unsurprising that Tash is elevating her winter coats with small details that go the extra mile. She explains, “I love a cinched waist and belt over outerwear. People normally associate a belt with holding up pants or over a dress to create a defined waist, but this accessory, more than any other can transform a silhouette, and makes a coat that others may have, individualized and unique.” Her suggestion on choosing the right one? Go one size larger than you’d normally wear and choose a complementing color.

To take styling one step further, Tash is also adorning lapels with one-of-a-kind pins. “After watching some movies from the 1930s-1940s, I purchased some vintage diamond dress clips to add to lapels of my trenches and outerwear to make them even more interesting,” she says. This is the perfect solution for taking a tried-and-true coat and updating it for a personalized approach.

Oversized Obsession

Lisa Aiken is known for her impeccable taste — whether that’s through her work as fashion and lifestyle director at Neiman Marcus or gracing the streets of global Fashion Weeks with her eye-catching looks. So, when it comes to selecting the most coveted coats of the season, it’s not difficult to trust her opinion.

This year, Aiken is taking a “more is more” approach by leaning into the oversized aesthetic. “Everything is oversized, whether that’s a strong shouldered masculine overcoat which is a forever staple or a longer length luxe robe coat. The exaggerated puffer is a New York essential and has been given a fashion update,” she says. Seeding through the many options on the market, she says her personal wishlist includes “several super-chic leather and shearling options that would be incredible investment pieces for years to come.”

And, choosing an of-the-moment outerwear look doesn’t stop there; it’s all in how you wear, too. Aiken suggests, “on the styling side, refresh any silhouette by layering a hoodie underneath then opting for a cap instead of a beanie. Adding a pair of chunky lug sole boots is an instant update.”

Practicality Is Key

Rachael Wang is an industry-leading stylist and consultant who’s on a mission to help move the industry towards sustainable and ethical practices. She leads by example when it comes to both her work and personal style as she’s “most excited about brands that are designing outerwear with recycled or lower impact textiles” this season — and every season.

For many, their instinct is to look towards glossies or social media when seeking inspiration; as for Wang, she’s looking outside of the typical box. She says, “I always find inspiration in people who dress for utilitarian purposes. I look to communities who have inhabited cold weather climates for generations and how they layer for function.” To put that notion into action, she says, “it's all about oversized for me for the ease of layering as well as a feeling of ease and comfort.” Who can’t relate to rushing out the door and throwing on a coat only for it not to fit over your chunky sweater? With oversized outerwear, that worry goes out the window.

Keep It Cropped

Get acquainted with Desyree Nicole, the founder behind up-and-coming label Todd Patrick. Her designs have been loved by the likes of Joe Jonas and Jeannie Mai Jenkins. Basically, she has a keen eye for what the future of fashion looks like across markets.

When it comes to outerwear, Nicole is taking a sporty-chic approach. Her go-to? Cropped silhouettes. “Lately, I’ve been gravitating towards puffer coats and cropped outerwear; I think it transfers over well as the seasons change.” And, cropped silhouettes allow your bottoms to have a fashion moment, too. She says, “a nice puffer with clean trousers always kills” and adheres to her personal code of “everyday wear but elevated” — an approach that’s easy to get behind.

Shield Of Style

Stylist to trendsetters like Olivia Palermo and Ashley Benson, Jacqueline Zenere has an eye for looks that are cool but most importantly, also wearable. She dresses clients with a “bicoastal and beyond” approach as they may just be anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice.

“Growing up in Chicago, having a great coat wasn’t so much a desire as it was a requirement. Bundling up is in my DNA, so much so that when it comes to styling my clients or myself for street style, outerwear sets the tone and direction of the look,” she says. “All coats are a sort of armor to the wearer: a shield from earthly elements. As a stylist, however, my interest in outerwear lies beyond basic function,” she tells TZR while coining the term “shield of style” for a winter coat.

So, when it comes to picking which style to invest in, Zenere leans towards building an arsenal rather than sticking to one. This season, she’s narrowed it down to three: the two-tone (noting how “such a simple concept, can be so unique”), the extra cozy “sleeping bag coat” that’s been seen in BTS shots of And Just Like That, as well as a polished yet interesting duster.

Carefully Crafted

Wing Yau is the founder and designer behind WWAKE, the sustainably-minded fine jewelry company that merges art into her designs. If you’ve had the opportunity to familiarize yourself with Yau’s architectural pieces, know that her approach to dressing has an equally artful approach. “I’m obsessed with handcrafted details — embroidery, patchwork, colorful folds or ties; basically little decorative details on what is otherwise a big, practical winter jacket,” she says.

While it seems as though a coat like this may be hard to find, Yau has a fast favorite. “I'm in love with the work of J.Kim! They have such an interesting aesthetic that merges nostalgic Korean details and European silhouettes, I can't get enough. I especially love their Bale jacket, a traditional puffer silhouette, marked with decorative cutouts that tie together like little Korean handkerchiefs that carry a lunch!” Practicality meeting beautiful, storied details? That makes for an immediate “add to cart” moment.

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