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7 Types of Winter Jackets You Need to Know

Before you go out to drop your hard-earned paycheck on your future go-to winter jacket, brush up on your outerwear knowledge.


In order to gear up for winter, you need to be well-equipped. But before you go donning layers uninformed, you might want to know the different types of winter-appropriate pieces of outerwear. We’ve picked seven pieces of outerwear you should know, each of which is built with functionality in mind. So before you make a decision on which winter jacket will be your go-to, survey the field and get informed.


The peacoat has origins with the Dutch — its name likely comes from the term pijjakker— and it became popular sailors from the Netherlands, Great Britain and the United States. Made from a dense and heavy, woolen fabric, the short jacket style features a wide lapel with an eight- or ten-button double breast front and hand pockets. It was cut short with a flared bottom to increase range of motion, vital for carrying out orders on deck. And, the wide lapel provided much-needed protection from the elements when stood up.

Of course, the coat moved on from its naval roots in the 1800s but is just as functional today. Its common fare in your local surplus store, but there are just as many modern interpretations.

Melton Wool-Blend Peacoat by Schott $425

Double-Breasted Checked Wool-Blend Peacoat by Barena $705

Dock Peacoat by J.Crew $298

Manchester Wool Peacoat by Todd Snyder x Private White V.C. $998

Short Peacoat by Dries Van Noten $1320

Trench Coats

First invented during World War I, the trench coat replaced heavy serge jackets worn by soldiers. Both Burberry and Aquascutum lay claim to the coat’s invention and are still the go-to brands for the style. Early trench coats were made from khaki-colored cloth of either gabardine, twill, or poplin, and featured below-the-knee length, a double breast with 10 buttons, raglan sleeves, epaulets, a storm flap, buttoned pockets and a belt at the waist.

Today, the trench coat can be seen pared down and done up in various iterations. Perhaps the most distinguishing factors for the style are its cloth and length.

Trench Coat by Burberry $2090

Waterproof Plaid Raincoat by Rains $185

Shelby Trench Coat by S.K. Manor Hill $845

Belted Trench Coat by American Trench $295

Duffel Coats

Much like the peacoat, duffel coats are cut with a dense woolen cloth which is speculated to come from a kind of cloth produced in the town of Duffel, near Antwerp. The main distinguishing details of the duffel coat aside from the coarse cloth are the hood and toggle closures which are often made of horn and jute. British-based brand Gloverall is the name that is usually associated with the classic coat and they’ve been producing the style since the 1950s.

Original Monty Duffle Coat by Gloverall $605

Duffle Coat by Montgomery $349

U Blocktech Duffle Coat by Uniqlo $130

Down Jackets

Down jackets come in all manner of forms and can even be seen in some the other styles on this list. Down originally was made using goose down feathers but are often seen today in synthetic materials such as polyester. Down jackets often are constructed in some sort of quilted or channeled stitching to keep the filling evenly spread throughout the coat as it can be prone to clumping without it.

Ultra Light Down Wide Quilt Jacket by Uniqlo $70

Quilted Down Puffer by Aime Leon Dore x Woolrich $675

Quilted Jacket by RRL $790

Corduroy Short Jacket by Todd Snyder x Crescent Down Works $698

Quilted Ring Coat by Kapital $594


Made by the Caribou Inuits to withstand arctic climates, the parka is a hooded garment that was originally made using caribou or seal skin. Today, the parka’s variations are more often seen with some kind of insulated filling and forgo the traditional animal skins for various kinds of woven fabrics. Anoraks, though also hooded, are slightly different and can be distinguished by their pullover style. That said, sometimes the term is used interchangeably.

ReNew Long Parka by Everlane $198

Isoogn MX Hooded Jacket by Veilance $595

Long Smock by Nigel Cabourn x Liam Gallagher $1005

Yates Genuine Shearling Hooded Parka by Ugg $2995

Gore-Tex Hooded Down Parka by Y3 $900


The overcoat category of outerwear has its many subsets, but in general, the style is longer, extending past the knees, is made from a heavy fabric such as melton wool and worn as the outermost layer, often over another lighter jacket. Topcoats, on the other hand, are made from lighter fabrics and do not extend beyond the knees.

Rasmus Overcoat by NN07 $500

Double Breasted Coat by Suit Supply $599

Brushed Overcoat by Massimo Alba $1,450

Flight Jackets

Flight jackets were originally produced during WWI for military pilots to withstand the frigid temperatures at altitude, a real concern especially considering the open cockpits of the day. Often, it would be made from leather and/or shearling and feature high collars, snug cuffs and hems. Today its iterations include the bomber jacket and varsity jacket, among others.

MA-1 Slim Fit by Alpha Industries $150

Wool Bomber Jacket by Private White V.C. $750

Leather Bomber Jacket by Everlane $298

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