Master Guide to Materials of Jackets and Coats: What Jacket or Coat Should I Wear?

what jacket or coat should I wear

Fall and Winter is the time of the year when the weather starts cooling down and jackets and coats usually become an everyday necessity. In September, I did a detail style guide on how to mix and match fall colors and jewels tones check that out here. Today’s style guide is breaking down different materials of jackets and coats for any fall or winter situation. What is the difference and is there a difference? What jacket or coat should I wear for (insert place or reason). I am going to be answering those questions today.

First what is the difference between coats and jackets? You hear the word coats and jackets a lot in fall and winter. They can seem to interchangeable . Generally, jackets are shorter (to the hips) and coats are longer (past the hips even to the ankles). But what really makes the difference between jackets and coats, besides pure aesthetics (what it looks like), is in the material used.

Jackets and coats differ in what material is used to make them, which in turn affects things like cut, shape, look, level of warmth, level of resistance to water etc. There are so many jackets and coats but I am summarizing the main ones you will encounter most.  Below I am going to discuss 5 main jackets and coats that are most often used in fall and winter.


Fleece Jackets/Coats – Fleece jackets and coats are soft and have a more fitted shape. Most fleece jackets are short only coming to the hips. They are usually super fashionable and super popular in the fall and winter. They are great jackets for providing a good amount of warmth. The material used in fleece jackets is usually synthetic wool or polyester or even nylon. It is warmer than your average athletic jacket or bomber jacket for example, but it will not usually give you the highest level of warmth. Also the material is not usually water resistance. If you live in a climate like me that gets cool but rains a lot during the fall/winter season then fleece is not the most practical.

Trench Coats– Trench coats are a fashionable choice for fall and winter. Usually Trench coats can be very much like fleece jackets/coats in having wool or some type of synthetic blend with polyester being the most common. Most regular trench coats are not water resistant (unless you get a raincoat which is a sister coat to the trench). They do have a higher level of warmth in a sense than a fleece jacket just because they cover more of you. Trench coats are past the hips and sometimes are as long as ankle length. This helps keep your legs warm so this is a practical type of coat to have for colder temperatures.

Parka Jackets/Coats – Parka Jackets are easy to throw on for fall and winter. The shape is usually wider and any parkas that I have seen, are at the longest covering the hips. The material is light. Parkas are not a warm option for the cold temperatures. The material used is nylon, polyester, and cotton. Cotton is a breathable material , and super easy to wash, but it is not the warmest materials for when the temperatures drop. Polyester is even a little warmer than cotton. If you get a Parka, nine times out of ten it will be water resistance because of the materials used. I live in Houston, so it does not get super cold here, but it is rainy during the fall and especially the winter. One an average winter day in Houston, it can be a range of thirty to fifty degrees, then it usually warm up to as high as seventy degrees . Parkas are a good option for climates, like Houston,  where winter is not super cold,   because if rain happens, you are good to go but you will also not be overheated.

Puffer Jackets/Coats – Puffer Jackets really combine everything that is practical in a fall and especially winter jacket and coat. Puffer jackets and coats are not bought for fashionable sense. I am just being honest.They are well puffy hello lol. The lining is super padded making the puff effect in the jacket/coat. This is a good thing because the thick lining will keep your chest warm.  Puffers provide warmth for cold temperatures but it is not heavy to wear. Puffers can also get wet. That is a perfect combination to have. Overall a puffer jacket/coat is a must have in your wardrobe.  Puffers are perfect for cool temperatures and rain in winter like Houston, and perfect for actual cold temperatures like up North. I am a fan of Puffer Jackets. Yeah they are not super cute like fleece coats but cute goes out the window when you need to keep your body healthy and warm. I can not go without my puffer jacket in the winter.

Wool Jackets/Coats – Wool is the heaviest out there. The warmth level is through the roof.  Even better If you do a wool coat (remember the difference of coat and jacket) your whole body will be warm and it will be liking wearing blankets out lol. The only downside is that wool gets heavy as heck when wet. Wool jackets and coats are not really water resistant. If you deal with ice or rain where you live, think about just using wool jackets and coats when its dry and always have your puffer jacket/coat handy.

Hope you enjoyed this style guide. Who knew there was a science to this stuff? Yes there is a difference among all the jackets and coats you see for fall and winter.  So the next time you are thinking what jacket or coat should I wear, I hope you can use this guide to help. I am not a material expert or clothing maker but this is from my own personal experience and research as well. I always appreciate feedback as well on any blog posts so feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

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Love, Naomi Noel



15 thoughts on “Master Guide to Materials of Jackets and Coats: What Jacket or Coat Should I Wear?

  1. Oh wow, such a helpful post Naomi! You make me understand coats and jackets more since I come from a tropical country.. I would call them outerwear in short *LOL*

    Actually I love trench coats because they simply look so stylish on IG hehe.

  2. I loved this post because it really simply breaks down THE best coats and jackets:) I love parkas and wool coats! My absolute top favourites. xoxo

  3. I prefer coats, but now it’s very cold In Italy, so during the day I prefer to wear jackets!
    Thank you so much for sharing
    Have a great weekend!

  4. Oh wow, I never knew there was science to this stuff for real! I always just worn my coats and calling it “winter jackets” ?
    You are right about parkas though, Thayer my favorite but they don’t keep me warm at all. So I usually go for the puffy coat (hides in embarrassment) lol.
    Thank you Naomi for this lovely tips!

  5. Living in Montreal, I am all about the puffer jacket!! That’s pretty much all I wear from November to March unfortunately!! Hoping that this winter won’t be too bad but we’ll see 😉

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