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When you set out to find the perfect jacket to ward off the bitter cold of winter, you’re probably looking for a trusted name-brand coat that looks sleek and is stuffed with enough down to handle even the lowest temperatures. Although this is how many people go about shopping for their new winter parka, it’s an imperfect approach. Yes, you want a coat you can wear without that goofy Michelin Man look, but the outerwear brands that dominate the market don’t always use the best technology available – down included. You should instead look for these five things in your next winter parka.
1. Only buy water- and wind-resistant fabric
You might not think of rain when you think of winter, but you sure do think of snow and wind. Even if that snow doesn’t instantly soak your parka, it’ll eventually melt, so you’ll need fabric that keeps all the moisture on the outside. And that wind is a formidable force too, so make sure your parka’s fabric is ready to defend you from those nasty outdoor gusts. With the right fabric, your parka will keep you as warm and dry as a life-sized heat lamp.
2. Look for sleeves with storm cuffs
Fabric isn’t the end of the story. Just because a parka is well-built doesn’t mean it’ll properly cover that bare skin between your jacket’s arms and your gloves. That’s why storm cuffs exist: These flexible additions to the end of each sleeve cover that wrist gap and lock out cold, moisture, and wind. Certain parkas hide their storm cuffs so you can continue to look sleek while properly keeping yourself warm.
3. Pockets, pockets, pockets
Let’s face it: No parka is complete without ample pockets. But do your pockets work with you? Do they fit your phone and your keys, and even a wallet if you don’t want to bring your bag in the snow? Are they too small to hold your things and your hands? Ample and strategic pocket space helps keep your hands free so you can brace yourself if you slip.
One of the biggest challenges with finding the right parka is choosing one that both looks and feels good. Some of the warmest parkas are the least stylish, and some of the sleekest jackets will leave you freezing. That’s why you should look for a parka with adjustable features.
Think about it: Wouldn’t you look so much better if your parka included a waist cinch that accentuates you instead of burying you under inches of fluffy down? That’s how you can get away with layering your favorite sweater while sacrificing that flattering hourglass shape. You should also look for a parka that lets you go with a partial zip or button. Reverse zippers and matte snaps do the trick, giving your parka flexibility for both fashion and function – turns out you can look good while biking to yoga in sub-freezing weather!
5. Seek out all-weather features, not just snow
These days, winter doesn’t always feel like winter. It’s not infrequent that you’ll wake up to a cold morning that, by midday, warms to almost spring-like temps. That’s why your parka should be able to shape-shift in a moment’s notice. If your parka comes with a hood, make sure you can unzip and remove it. If that hood has a warm fur trim, make sure you can easily take that off too.
Does a parka exist with all of the above?
January’s Lee parka has all five things that you should look for in the perfect, buy-it-for-life coat. Its fabric is waterproof and windproof and uses ultra-warm synthetic down instead of the less warm traditional down found in so many jackets. It comes with storm cuffs you can easily hide while protecting your wrists from frostbite. It has pockets for days (including one that fits all your basics). It’s sleek and modern, and it has a full waist cinch and flexible zipping and buttoning options. Its removable hood has its own removable fur lining – in other words, the Lee has all the qualities the perfect parka should have.
If you’re looking for the parka that has everything you need for the winter, then take advantage of January’s exclusive discount for PeopleHype readers! When you buy your new parka from January’s website, use the code INEEDIT20 at checkout to get 20 percent off.
With this deal, you can rock a fashionable parka at an unbeatable price – and you’ll stay warm no matter the weather, too.
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