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It’s a question that seems to pop up every year: what kind of winter coat should you get? These tips for choosing between wool and down for your winter coat may help.
Where Will You Wear Your Coat?
Will you be rolling around in the snow with the kids or walking around the local outdoor shopping mall? Are you back to going in to the office or still working from home full time? Where you’ll wear your coat and what you’ll be doing in it can help you choose what kind of coat you need.
The nature of a down coat, with its warm layer of feathers inside, makes it a great choice for cold weather. However, this factor also limits the variations of the cut and style to just a few choices, including quilted, hooded, or combination coats with removable waterproof outer layers. It’s possible, however, to get creative with styling a down puffer jacket to make it an essential element of your winter wardrobe.
Wool coats come in single- or double-breasted styles, classic cuffed and buttoned sleeves, or dolman sleeves, with various types of collars.
How Warm Do You Need To Be?
Down is very warm—if it stays dry. Most down jackets and coats encase the insulation within nylon or synthetic fabrics, but in really wet weather, your down coat is going to get soaked. If you live in a place that gets a lot of cold winter rain or snow, wool might be a better bet. Wool is water-resistant and wicks moisture away from your body. It dries quickly when hung in a place with sufficient air circulation.
How Long Do You Want It To Last?
Coats that are well cared for will last a long time. Down parkas need some special care—it’s important to avoid cuts and snags that could tear the outer layer and expose the down filling inside. Although you can patch these tears, the coat won’t ever be the same. Styles and trends in down coats change from year to year, too. One year, everyone is wearing heavy down jackets with a faux fur fringe around the hood, and the next year, it’s all about the stuffable, packable jacket you can stow in a little drawstring bag.
Wool coats tend to defy fashion trends. Invest in a classically cut wool coat in a timeless color like camel, navy, or black, and have the sleeves altered to be just the right length for you—you could have your winters covered for years to come!
Of course, these tips for choosing between wool and down for your winter coat ultimately rest on your personal taste and style. If you can afford it, your wardrobe will benefit from having both outwear options.