When Should You Start Shopping for a Winter Coat?

For those who consider shopping a total sport (hi, kindred spirits!), strategy is most definitely involved. And the latest nugget to add to your playbook is a little bit jarring if you’re still nursing an addiction to sundresses and espadrilles: NOW is the time to be shopping for your winter coat.

“The best time to buy a coat is as early in the season as possible. They ship to stores beginning in early August,” Brooke Jaffe, Bloomingdale’s women’s ready-to-wear fashion director, explained. “If you wait until the weather cools down, there’s a high risk that the selection won’t be as robust and that coat you had your eye on won’t be available.” That simply cannot happen.

1 by O’2ND Neoprene Quilted Liner Coat, $525, bloomingdales.com

As for the aforementioned strategy: Part of my game plan is winnowing in on something I want or need and comparison shopping, both to find the best deal and to see what my options are. Shopping 101: Canvass the field before committing. So, Brooke, is there a risk that if I buy too early I’ll be missing out on something amazing later?

“There’s always a chance that other things will come in, but you’ll find the biggest selection in the early months. If you’re in the market for something specific or trend-driven, don’t wait until after September.”

If you’re the trend-driven type, there are three categories Brooke recommends paying attention to this season. And, good news for any fellow Northerners who shivered through half of last year—after that winter, designers are paying attention to making sure they send out pieces as warm as they are stylish.

“Mixed-media coats are great examples of how trends and warmth are being used together. Combinations include materials and textures from quilted leather to shearling.”

“Candy-color coats are also high on my list this season, whether an icy shade of blue or cotton-candy pink. They look really cool paired with ripped black or gray denim to balance the hard and soft aesthetics.”

“Anoraks are elevated this season and made for real warmth. I love them in a classic army green or navy. Brands like Moncler and Barbour did winterized bomber jackets, and we love how the sportiness can update any look.”

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