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Our New York fashion expert says these are the best coats for the whole family

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Which coats are best for the whole family this season?

This month of January has seen some of the coldest days of the year, and it’s no surprise that many families are ready to bundle up in new winter coats. While classic puffer jackets remain popular and suitable for all ages, our New York fashion insider says they’re not the only styles to consider this season.

Fashion trends for 2022 feature an eclectic mix of bright colors, prints and cuts, some of which hark back to previous decades. Modernity in design is also embraced, especially utilitarian and convertible styles that are just as stylish as they are functional. Even kids’ jackets pick up on some of the year’s top trends, including neutral plaid prints and jacket-inspired designs.

What to know before buying coats for the whole family

Essential features of winter coats

No matter how stylish you want to look in a winter coat, if it doesn’t cover your cold weather needs, it’s not an ideal option. Instead, let functional characteristics guide your search. Believe it or not, several coats that tick boxes on your “needs list” could be among this year’s most stylish styles.

  • Insulation: Most winter coats are insulated with down or polyfill. Although high-end coats often have down insulation, there are polyfill styles that are plenty warm for a fraction of the price.
  • Water resistance: Styles with water-resistant shells repel moisture, making them suitable to wear in the rain and snow. This feature is usually found on performance jackets, such as those worn for winter sports or commuting.
  • Pockets: Multi-pocket coats have room for the essentials, which means you can shrink larger purses or backpacks. Some coats have dedicated pockets for specific items, such as smartphones or headphones.
  • Detachable hood: For some wearers, removable hoods are essential because they eliminate bulk. Depending on the style, removing the hood can completely change the look of the coat.

How to find a coat that suits you

One of the biggest challenges of buying a winter coat is finding the right one for you. Ideally, the coat should have enough room for base layers, including sweaters, but the style shouldn’t overwhelm your figure. That said, some wearers may prefer a size larger for a better fit with certain coats.

There are also a few more form-conscious considerations to keep in mind.

  • Sleeves: The sleeves should reach the palm of your hand, and if they don’t, you may end up with cold wrists.
  • Cut: Flattering styles often have defined or tapered waists, giving wearers a figure-of-eight silhouette.
  • Shoulders: The shoulder seams of a coat should fall slightly outside the shoulder to allow comfortable movement, including reaching and driving.
  • Adjustable features: Several coats have adjustable features, such as drawstrings at the waist or Velcro hems, which can be tightened to seal in drafts.

Popular coat trends for 2022

This year’s coat trends run the gamut, and according to our fashion expert, there are plenty of styles worth considering if you want to update your winter wardrobe with a bold new addition.

Classic puffer jackets are winter mainstays year after year, and in 2022 there are several styles with contemporary details. Cropped puffer jackets echo the season’s ski and resort wear trends, while kids’ styles are available in a myriad of plaid patterns, like this buffalo plaid jacket.

Levi's jacket

Faux shearling is one of the most popular affordable styles for men’s and women’s coats. The material is warm and luxurious, not to mention lightweight and comfortable. This men’s Levi’s jacket features a casual style in corduroy with a faux shearling collar.

Parka Tommy Hilfiger

Utility styles remain the top picks, especially for commuters and travelers embarking on their first excursions in nearly two years. Many styles feature multiple pockets, large-tooth zippers, and adjustable features. Oversized jackets also fall into this category, like this Tommy Hilfiger parka.

The best coats for everyone in the family

The best coats for women

Calvin Klein Women's Short Quilted Coat

Calvin Klein Women’s Short Quilted Coat

The chic cropped down jacket has a stand-up collar that keeps the neck warm, even in cool or windy weather. It is available in four on-trend colors, including champagne, which has a pearlescent finish.

Sold by Macy’s

Michael Michael Kors Women's Oversized Plaid Coat

Michael Michael Kors Women’s Oversized Plaid Coat

It’s simple to dress up this neutral plaid style with leather gloves and boots, or you can go casual with sneakers and a cream beanie.

Sold by Macy’s

BCBGeneration Women's Faux Suede Coat

BCBGeneration Women’s Faux Suede Coat

This modern teddy-inspired coat features cozy sheepskin in all the right places, including the hem and cuffs. It has an elegant oversized notch lapel that easily coordinates with most scarves.

Sold by Macy’s

The North Face Women's 1996 Retro Nuptse Jacket

The North Face 1996 Retro Nuptse Jacket — Women’s

As stylish as it is functional, this jacket is a favorite among outdoor adventurers. The treated fabric protects against light rain or snow, while you can trap heat with the oversized collar and adjustable cuffs. If the weather warms up, this entire jacket can fit in a pocket for maximum portability.

Sold by Countryside

Cottonwoods GORE-TEX Backcountry Jacket - Women's

Backcountry Cottonwoods GORE-TEX Jacket—Women

It’s not a lightweight jacket; it’s for the adventurer who needs their clothes to be as tough as they are. This rugged option is made using a durable three-layer GORE-TEX construction that lets you brave any storm. The sleeves have a segmented design so you can have freedom of movement.

Sold by Countryside

The best coats for men

Marc New York Men's Berwick 3-in-1 Jacket

Marc New York Berwick Men’s 3-in-1 Jacket

This convertible jacket can be worn three ways, including as an essential quilted gilet. It’s a great example of the utilitarian trend with a functional design and crisp, clean lines.

Sold by Macy’s

Kenneth Cole Reaction Mens Raeburn Wool Blend Overcoat

Kenneth Cole Reaction Mens Raeburn Wool Blend Overcoat

Perfect for commuting or dressy occasions, this Kenneth Cole wool-blend coat looks regal, especially in its rich camel colour.

Sold by Macy’s

Calvin Klein Men's Hooded Puffer Jacket

Calvin Klein Men’s Hooded Puffer Jacket

Calvin Klein’s boxy style is a contemporary take on the quilted parka. It is available in vibrant colors, some of which sport glossy or shiny finishes.

Sold by Macy’s

    Arc'teryx Atom LT Hooded Insulated Jacket—Men's

Arc’teryx Atom LT Hooded Insulated Jacket—Men’s

This hooded jacket has synthetic insulation that keeps you warm, even when wet. The outer shell is wind resistant and protects against light rain. The flexible yet durable design makes it ideal for sports activities, while the gusseted armpits add comfort.

Sold by Countryside

Patagonia Nano Puff Insulated Jacket—Men's

Patagonia Nano Puff Insulated Jacket—Men’s

If you’re looking to add warmth without weight, the Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket is a solid option. The highly packable design makes this jacket perfect for packing when space is limited. It features a water-resistant ripstop shell that keeps you comfortable whatever the weather.

Sold by Countryside

The best children’s coats

Epic Threads Toddler Girls' Pals Packable Parka

Epic Threads Toddler Girls’ Pals Packable Parka

The vibrant, space-saving parka comes with a matching drawstring bag that features cool characters, from unicorns to cats.

Sold by Macy’s

The North Face Big Boys Gotham Jacket

The North Face Gotham Big Boys Jacket

A popular style to wear to school, this jacket has a water-resistant shell and ribbed cuffs to protect kids from the elements.

Sold by Macy’s

Kinderkind Toddler Fur Bomber Jacket

Kinderkind Toddler Fur Bomber Jacket

The cozy pink bomber jacket features a plush shell and snaps that little hands can open and close on their own.

Sold by Macy’s

CB Sports - Big Boys Quilted Jacket

Big Boys CB Sports Quilted Jacket

This hooded puffer jacket comes in four stylish color block options, including a camo-inspired style. The hood is fully lined with fleece to keep the ears warm.

Sold by Macy’s

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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.