All the Top Winter Jacket Styles for 2018 in One Place

Photo: Getty Images/Cavan Images
We're finally making that seasonal shift from sweater weather to outerwear no longer being elective. It's a wardrobe transition that confounds more than a few every year. Since your coat is essentially your outfit for an entire season, the sartorial stakes are pretty high. The market is completely oversaturated with more options than you could ever sift through—a problem which led to the creation of this glossary of winter jacket styles.

Shopping for a coat comes down to picking the style that both fits your aesthetic and your cold weather requirements. But you can pretty much find every jacket style with different levels of insulation so what it's really a matter of homing in on a silhouette and letting that filter down your options.

"Brands that focus on material and construction quality are the same brands that are thinking about the longevity of their designs in the ever-changing, trend-driven fashion landscape." —Jeff Johnson, co-founder and creative director of outerwear brand The Arrivals

To help you do this, take some advice from Jeff Johnson, co-founder and creative director of outerwear brand The Arrivals. "Follow quality," he says. "Brands that focus on material and construction quality are the same brands that are thinking about the longevity of their designs in the ever-changing, trend-driven fashion landscape." When you're looking for a jacket that'll work this season (as well as for seasons to come), Johnson suggests asking yourself a few questions: "Does the product keep you warm and dry? Is it comfortable? Does it fit within the context of your lifestyle?" If it achieves these things, then you'll have a timeless piece in your hands and on your body.

If you're looking for something that nods to this season's aesthetics, Johnson says that the three major trends he's seeing are puffers coats, texture (faux fur, shearling, teddy material, sherpa, fleece, etc.), and "GORP (good old raisins and peanuts) core," which "takes design and styling cues from nostalgic mountaineering and outdoor apparel trends," he says.

With all of this in mind, here's a breakdown of every coat and jacket style to lead your winter wardrobe shopping.

The Aviator jacket

winter jacket styles
Photo: The Arrivals

The Arrivals Moya III, $1,095

Available in sizes XXS to XL

This is an example of function giving way to fashion. The aviator jacket started as a military jacket worn by pilots (think iconic photos of Amelia Earhart or Tom Cruise's turn in Top Gun), but it's slowly gone from airforce issue to mainstream staple at this point.

Today, shearling-lined styles are the most popular amongst the street-style set. "We challenged ourselves to reinterpret a typically fashion driven silhouette, by working hand in hand with our tannery to create a water-proof Merino Shearling, blurring the lines of fashion and function," The defining traits of this type of jacket are a combination of leather, shearling, and metal accents.

The Bomber jacket

winter jacket styles
Photo: Azalea

Azalea Oversized Bomber Jacket, $106

Available in size M/L

This is another style that draws its inspo from the armed forces. Bomber jackets peaked in 2017 in terms of trends; however, they've proven to have staying power and are now a streetwear staple, either on its own or as a layer under a more heavy duty coat. If you're looking for one that'll stand the test of time, stick to the basics (read: one not covered in kitsch) because, although Gucci-type OTT aesthetics and opulence are in right now—they won't last as long as a classic version will.

The wool overcoat

winter jacket styles
Photo: Madewell

Madewell Bergen Cocoon Coat, $298

Available in sizes XXS to XXL

A cocoon coat or a wool overcoat feels like one of those fashion choices that indicates that you're an adult who has their life together. It's a more menswear-inspired silhouette perfect for the person obsessed with blazers. It's also versatile and plays well with everything from your go-to leggings to an overworn band tee. This season, oversized iteration of wool coats are the way to go. Plus, they offer plenty of room for all your cozy long sweaters and layers.

The Cropped Faux fur coat

winter jacket styles
Photo: Aeryne

Aeryne Dawood Jacket, $245

Available in sizes XS to XL

A cropped faux fur coat is the pearl earrings of outerwear. It's a slightly dated concept that has recently gotten a youthful and chic facelift. A cropped version (versus the below long one) is great for the person who lives in their leggings and sneakers year round. This specific model from Aeryne is also excellent because it's machine washable—that's right machine washable faux fur.

The Long faux fur coat

winter jacket styles
Photo: Lazy Oaf

Lazy Oaf Yellow Leopard Coat, $192

Available in sizes S to L

This style is a particular favorite (and my default choice since I've been 12 years old): the long (faux) fur coat. Personally, I love the style because it's so soft, it's a good length, and makes you look very dressed up with minimal effort. Plus I'm pretty sure if we could glimpse into what a 20-something Eloise was strutting around in at The Plaza in, it would be exactly this coat.

The Parka

winter jacket styles
Photo: Gap

Gap 2-in-1 Parka, $178

Available in sizes XS to XXL

As far as winter jacket styles go, a parka means business. It hasn't gone through much innovation or reimaginations since its inception for a reason—it does what it sets out to do...and does it well. Because this is such a serious stalwart in the outerwear category, you can find a good one (like the one above) for a pretty affordable price.

The Puffer jacket

winter jacket styles
Photo: Aritzia

TNA The Super Puff, $228

Available in sizes XXXS to L

The puffer jacket is one that Johnson says used to be a staple created almost exclusively by outdoor brands. Since the early aughts, however, partially because of Missy Elliot and partially because of how warm they are, the puffer's become a ready-to-wear favorite. This specific model from Aritzia is water repellent, filled with responsibly sourced down, and designed to keep. you warm in temperatures as cold as -22 Fahrenheit.

The Pullover poncho

winter jacket styles
Photo: Bandier

Think Royln Heroine Poncho, $248

Available in sizes XS/S and M/L

Is a hotdog really a sandwich? Is a poncho actually a jacket? These existential ponderings aside, a poncho is a jacket-lite and great for days when you're running to the spin studio and back. The polyester material of this particular style means you don't have to worry about your sweat-drenched shirt making your outerwear smelly. A poncho also layers well with all of the cashmere sweaters that are otherwise hidden under your coat.

The Robe coat

winter jacket styles
Photo: Rachel Antonoff

Rachel Antonoff Louie Quilted Robe, $428

Available in sizes XS/S, M/L, and L/XL

Carry your bathleisure predisposition into the winter with a belted robe coat. It's your post-shower robe but insulated enough to keep you warm outdoors. It's also the middle ground for people who don't want their coat flapping in the wind—but don't want to be completely buttoned up either.

The Sleeping bag coat

winter jacket styles
Photo: Norma Kamali

Norma Kamali Sleeping Bag Coat, $600

Available in sizes XS/S and M/L

Regardless of what a Google search will tell you, there's really only one sleeping bag coat and it's this iconic Norma Kamali number. Although this is the OG, no-frills style, you can find cropped, belted and other seasonal versions to suit your tastes.

The Teddy jacket

winter jacket styles
Photo: The Side Party

The Side Party Dede Sheepskin Zipped Jacket, $169

Available in sizes S to L

The teddy jacket is basically the natural evolution of your stuffed animal obsession. The texture is shorter than fur but shaggier than fleece, and traditionally it comes in a more cropped silhouette. This year, though, designers en masse have started introducing longer versions, making it possible to wrap yourself in the plush stuff from head-to-toe.

The Trenchcoat

winter jacket styles
Photo: & Other Stories

& Other Stories Belted Trenchcoat, $249

Available in sizes 0 to 10

The trench coat was (arguably) invented by Burberry in the 1800s, which speaks to its timelessness and longevity since it has remained in the public's fashion eye ever since. If you're nervous about investing in a coat, this is one of your safest bets since you have 200 years of evidence backing it up. While you'll literally always be able to find the traditional tan version, this season is about texture and pattern.

The Trucker jacket

winter jacket styles
Photo: Levi's

Levi's Patchwork Teddy Trucker Jacket, $148

Available in sizes XS to XL

As attached as you are to your denim jacket, it's basically impossible to turn that into your winter hero piece. The trucker jacket is the more seasonal (read: cozy) answer to that. This one, in particular, is an on-trend combination of subtle patchwork and teddy material. A trucker jacket is by definition, oversized. It's also boxy and a combination of utilitarian accents like pockets and easy to use metal buttons.

the Varsity coat


winter jacket styles
Photo: Opening Ceremony

Opening Ceremony Double Breasted Varsity Jacket, $695

Available in sizes XS to XL

The Varsity jacket beckons to old-school 1950s Americana—muscle cars, jukeboxes, and diners. And because varsity jackets tend to come from, you know, varsity sports, you can snag an authentic one at most thrift stores or vintage shopping online. You can also, however, find a number of high fashion interpretations of this jacket (like the one above).

To live your best life this winter, here's what you need to know about your year-round iced coffee habit and which chapsticks a derm says you should stock up on.

This story was originally published on November 3, 2018; it was updated on November 21, 2018. 

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