Warm Up With These Cool Down Coats

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If you’re not looking forward to winter, then you haven’t picked up the right jacket. Although science has helped us create new technical fabrics to keep us warm and dry, nothing feels quite the same as a coat filled with down. Light, airy and incredibly warm, down is a classic winter wardrobe staple that you should pick up before things really get frosty—not that there’s anything traditional about these designer pieces that will keep you warm in style.

 
 

The undercover down coat
We all know what the classic down coat looks like—puffy, ill-fitting and fit for arctic explorers. In fact, it’s hard not to pick out who in the crowd is wearing one. However, this cashmere knit coat from Thom Browne offers the form factor of a luxurious storm coat with an almost-invisible down layer to keep you warm. The dark grey palette and spread collar make it suitable for topping a suit, and its three-quarters length design will cover the bottom of your jacket no problem. Complete with a killer star pattern, it’s also a work of art. Who said down had to be obnoxious ($3900, Bergdorf Goodman)?

 
 

The ultralight jacket

One of the beautiful things about down is how warm it can keep you versus how light it actually is. The down experts over at Eddie Bauer have been producing a jacket that’s remarkably light—barely over 1.5 pounds—brimming with 550-fill goose down. However, its design is also light on bulk, making it perfect if you want to keep your look trim and tailored. They’re already sized to accommodate a light layer, so size down if it’s going to be a milder winter where you live ($149, Eddie Bauer). 
 
 

The extra heavy duty parka
However, you can choose to embrace the bulk to outlast practically any storm nature can throw at you. This car coat from Woolrich John Rich & Bros. has a detachable lamb’s fur collar for when things get a bit too frosty, but its real draw are the quilted exterior panelling with heavy duty down insulation, a heavy duty hood and a fail-safe front placket. Nothing is getting past that shadow check pattern unless you want it to ($625, Need Supply). 

 
 

Sleeveless sheen
Not all vests make you look like a poindexter. This one from Moncler provides cooler weather outfits a vibrant punch of much-needed colour, complete with a subtle shine on top. If you’re just out for a stroll on a day that doesn’t require something heavier, try layering a chunky sweater under the Tib Shine Down Vest’s rib-quilted exterior for an on-point look (/fashionstyle?post=910), or accessorize with leather driving gloves. A button front means you won’t get too warm if the sun peaks out for just a bit ($575, Nordstrom).

 
 

Leather meets down
In quite possibly the most unique pairing of insulation and style we’ve seen, John Varvatos takes a rock and roll-inspired supple lambskin leather jacket and quilts it with a robust down fill. It won’t take you through a country snowstorm, but it’s perfect for the urban warrior who will appreciate the zipper detailing, ribbed sleeves and a cozy hood hidden in the collar. Finish it with black jeans for a sleek and sophisticated look ($3,198, John Varvatos).

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