It seems that winter coats are a little like marmite, either loved or loathed; something of a parental enforcement when growing up or an annoying addition to your LBD on a night out.
But, in our opinion, a strong winter coat is the hardest working item in your wardrobe – both practically and when it comes to style.
It’s not just an easy way to elevate an outfit; if you nail your coat game not even the worst weather can prevent you from taking on the world.
What’s more, a good coat has the power to leave a lasting memory: think Kate Moss in her Tom Ford white velvet number on her wedding day or Rosie Huntington-Whitley in Bottega Veneta.
And this year’s trends are bound to get you excited. Think XXL woollen trenches, oversized puffers and faux fur galore.
The catwalks had it all. Whatever your trend preference, we’ve done the hard work for you and tested the best, whatever your style, from classic dogtooth prints to teddy-bear coats.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
French Connection buona faux fur long coat: £170, French Connection
Designers and high street brands alike have gone big on faux fur coats this season, but this olive green number stood out as a favourite. Don’t be deceived by its lightweight feel, it is unequivocally warm. Create easy impact by wearing over jeans and a jumper or add some serious glam by throwing on over your LBD.
M&S wool blend dogtooth print coat: £99, M&S
With its broad shoulders, oversized fit and classic houndstooth print, this coat channels serious AW19 Chanel vibes. The heavy woollen weighting makes it warm as well as a serious statement piece. Size up to nail the XXL winter coat trend.
Mango belted wool coat: £99.99, Mango
Versatile and timeless, a black woollen coat should have a space in every winter wardrobe. Despite being chunkier than the other wool coats we tried, the cinched-in-the-waist silhouette was universally flattering. Perfect for throwing on over your workwear, or layering with knits, the options are endless. The best thing of all, it will never go out of fashion, so you can enjoy it year on year.
Everlane ReNew military parka: £158, Everlaneâ
Longing for the warmth of your duvet on your morning commute? Enter this coat. Made from 100 per cent recycled fabrics, including 55 renewed plastic bottles, you’ll not only nail your cold weather attire, but you’ll be doing your bit for the environment too. The unique design means it’s less puffy than a puffer but just as warm, and the hood provides much-needed protection from the elements. Available in sizes XXS-XL and in three colourways, this really is one for everyone.
Palones belted robe coat: £200, Palonesâ
Camel tailoring is all the rage this season, and this one from newly launched British label is a standout for us Chic, eco and totally timeless, it made us feel like we were in Max Mara, but for a fraction of the price. The added bonus, it comes with two belts so you can switch up your look. Choose from a matching camel-coloured tie for a slimline look or a faux-leather belt for added contemporary edge.
Warehouse double breasted check coat: £96, Warehouse
It’s hard not to love a coat that is both flattering – thanks to its fitted silhouette – and blanket-like. The check print, wrap design and thick fabric mean this has the perfect amount of trend-led appeal. What’s more, despite its burnt-orange hues, our redhead tester was pleasantly surprised by its non-hair-clashing qualities.
Bershka puffer coat with belt: £49.99, Bershkaâ
Not only a practical choice, a stylish one too. Puffer coats are back again this season, all thanks to the likes of Burberry and Chanel, and this high-street option is a firm favourite. The detachable belt gave a two-in-one feel: opt for a cinched-at-the-waist approach or a Balenciaga boxy look. Either way, we love it.
Pull & Bear four-button synthetic wool coat: £45.99, Pull & Bear
Nothing exudes timelessness like a double-breasted pea coat. We were surprised by its warmth and flattering cut. For a polished and tonal look, pair it with warm shades of brown and neutral. Or if you’re not convinced by winter white, it also comes in black or a Givenchy-inspired check, both equally as stylish.
Miss Selfridge Sofia teddy trucker coat: £35, Miss Selfridge
Fluffy coats are a smart choice this winter. This faux shearling coat adds instant warmth and comfort, sans the bulk. The cropped silhouette and tortoiseshell buttons made it feel very on trend. Available in three colours, we were also tempted by the checked option.
Kitri paloma leopard-print faux leather puffer coat: £136, Kitriâ
Kitri is reliable for its dresses and workwear, but it is now a key player in the outerwear game. And we’re obsessed with this off-duty puffer, which ticks all our boxes: leopard print, faux leather and oversized. For an added duvet feel, it is also available in a longer length. Whichever one you choose it’s guaranteed to add some extra fun, as well as warmth, to your winter wardrobe.
The verdict: Women’s winter coats
Choosing the perfect winter coat is no easy feat, but much like the Queen we think faux fur is the way to go. And you can’t beat a coat that is both chic and totally versatile, which makes French Connection’s buona faux fur long coat our winner. For something a little more practical, we loved Everlane’s eco-friendly ReNew military parka.