How to choose a winter coat: 7 important considerations

How to choose a winter coat: 7 important considerations

How to choose a winter coat: 7 important considerations

You deserve a new winter jacket this year. It’s a coat you’ll wear often, especially in cold climates, so you should invest in a high quality jacket that will keep you warm and be the envy of your fashion-forward friends.

When you invest in good-quality coats, you need to know your options before you buy. You need to consider where the coat will be worn, the temperatures in your region, and many other considerations—including how water resistant it is. 

Here are seven important considerations when choosing a good quality winter coat:

1. Where will I wear the jacket?

Before choosing a winter coat, consider where you will be wearing it because that may help you narrow down your choices. This will also impact the style and material you choose. 

For example:

  • If you plan to wear your jacket outdoors for winter sports or high-intensity physical activity, you’ll likely want a jacket that you can layer, and that doesn’t restrict your movement. 
  • If you’re using it for more casual, low-intensity activities (like walking through the city or running errands), you may want a warmer wool jacket to keep you warm in freezing temperatures. 
  • If you wear it to formal events or the theatre, look for one that’s more stylish with less bulk.

2. How do I choose the right coat for my body?

Your body type can help you choose the perfect coat that looks fabulous on you. To find a flattering winter coat fit for your body type, here are some recommendations:

Should winter jackets be tight or loose?

Jackets should not sit too tightly against your body. This is to ensure you have breathing space between your body and the inner layer of your jacket for your body heat to circulate easily. If you plan to wear sweaters or bulkier clothing, ensure you still have enough breathing room. 

Should you buy a jacket a size bigger?

Buying a jacket one size bigger is good if you expect to wear layers underneath or plan to be gaining weight in the future (like during pregnancy). This will give you room for growth and fit layers underneath for extra warmth.

To buy the right winter jacket online, you’ll need to take a few measurements. Common measurements when sizing for women’s jackets include your bust, waist, hip and sleeve length. For men’s jackets, know your neck, chest, waist, and sleeve length.

How do you know if a winter jacket is too big?

The best way to know if a jacket is too big is to try it on. Try it on with your typical clothes underneath so you can see if you have enough mobility. Also, check for:

  • Air circulation: You want enough room for air to circulate between your body and the jacket liner, so you don’t overheat.
  • Check shoulder seams: Your shoulder seams should sit at your shoulders. If they stretch halfway down your bicep, the coat is too big. 
  • The hug test: Wear the jacket and give yourself a big hug, reaching as far around your body as possible. If you feel too much tightness or mobility restriction in certain areas, try a bigger size. 
  • Stretch arms forward: Wear the jacket and stretch your arms straight out in front of you to check for mobility and that your wrists aren’t too exposed.
  • Stretch arms upwards: Wear the jacket and stretch your arms straight upwards. Make sure your tummy doesn’t get exposed. 

Check out these Mia Melon jackets that compliment every body

3. What color winter jacket should I buy?

Color is more of a personal preference. Take into consideration what accessories you’ll be wearing with it (your hat, gloves, and scarf, for example) and ensure it’s color coordinated. If in doubt, go with neutral, grey, black, or white. 

You can also look for jacket colors that match your skin tone. For example, if you have a cool skin tone, you’ll look fabulous in colors with undertones of pink or navy blue. If you have warmer skin tones, try a jacket in brown or earthy tones. 

4. What fabrics are the warmest?

When looking at natural fabrics, wool is one of your warmest options for a winter coat. You can often pair it with synthetic insulation for added warmth. Always ensure the outer layers are waterproof. If your inner layers get wet, they won’t provide you with the warmth you need to stay dry and warm in cold climates. 

5. What fabrics are waterproof? 

In addition to warmth, you’ll likely want a jacket with some waterproofing or water resistance to protect and keep you warm in rain or snow. The most common fabrics for the outer layer of jackets are nylon and polyester, but these are both synthetic fabrics. 

For eco-conscious fashionistas, the naturally sourced fibres of wool or wool blend fabrics can provide just as much warmth in a winter jacket, even for longer periods outdoors. 

Wool is naturally water-resistant, but many winter jackets include an additional Durable Water Repellency (DWR) treatment so water beads off the surface effortlessly. You can purchase and apply additional DWR spray to maintain the garments' water repellency in the future. 

6. How do I know if my jacket is warm enough?

Winter jackets generally include a weather rating to give you an idea of how warming the coat will be. The jacket layers and fit make a big difference, but the right materials will make all the difference for a cold weather jacket. 

Wool makes a fabulously warm jacket to help you stay cozy and comfortable in the winter months. It’s a natural fabric that is warm, resistant to tearing, and breathable, so you get the insulation and circulation qualities you need in a winter coat. 

Do I need an insulated jacket?

Winter jacket insulation materials generally come in either synthetic or, down. Mia Melon offers a unique thermal membrane in our winter coats. , or thermal membranes. Only our coats come with thermal membranes that I am aware of.

Synthetic insulation provides water resistance, is machine friendly, and is not as expensive as other jacket insulators. But it can add significant bulk to your jacket, which can hinder your mobility. Our synthetic down-fill is less bulky than normal synthetic insulation and down-fill. More warmth with less bulk, especially with a thermal membrane

A down-filled winter jacket can help you stay warm, is lightweight, and has a long lifespan if properly cared for. But, when it gets wet, it loses its effectiveness.


A jacket with a thermal membrane bonded between microfleece and wool will act as insulation and protect you from water and wind. It deflects heat back towards your body, so you need fewer jacket layers for warmth. Mia Melon’s Hailey winter coats have this membrane layer and are warming to -15C (-13F) without the extra bulk of a puffer jacket to achieve the same warmth. 

Check out these waterproof dog jackets with this same warming membrane. 

7. What other winter jacket features do I want?

There are other functional and aesthetic features you may want to consider when choosing a winter coat this year:

  • Pockets: Most winter coats have pockets, but you may prefer ones with zipper enclosures or buttons.
  • Removable Hoods: The convenience of a removable hood, like most Mia Melon styles offer, is great for those surprise sunny winter days when a head covering isn’t necessary.
  • Zippers: If you're choosing a winter coat with a zipper, look for one that is durable. Two-way YKK zippers are a good choice for a winter jacket. 
  • Wind Flaps: This fabric will cover and protect the zippers of your jacket from exposure to wind and rain, extending the lifespan of your zipper. 
  • Faux-fur trim: Faux-fur is a perfect choice for your stylish winter coat. In the Anna coat, it’s included in the removable snap hood. 

The right winter jacket can be used in fall and winter—and sometimes into the early spring season. Pay close attention to the material of your coat, as it will be a key factor in heat retention and style. 

Mia Melon has a range of stylish cotton and wool winter jackets for men and women that even your most fashion-conscious friends will envy. We carry coats for every season and every style. The jackets in our collection are modern, fashionable outerwear that will keep you cozy and comfortable all season long!