How to Shop for a New Pea Coat
I really do love a good coat. It’s so unfortunate that we can only really wear them outside! I think that a nice coat can really create such a polished look, especially in a professional sense.
When I think of coats for work, I generally tend to gravitate more towards the pea coat style—in other words, some sort of wool like fabric that can vary in length depending on the style.
Over the past several years I have been gradually adding to my coat wardrobe. I currently have a collection of about 4 pea coats that I can wear throughout the fall, winter and spring.
In this post, I am sharing some of my favorite coats and how to decide which colors and quality to buy, based on your needs and budget. I have also linked to the same or similar coats that I am wearing in these photos so you can shop away!
What Color Should I Get?
Different colors and prints are some of the most fun things to play around with when it comes to outer wear. There are so many beautiful colors to choose, from the bright and bold to softer pastels and neutrals. I tend to purchase more solid neutral colors when it comes to coats (gray, camel, black, navy, etc) so that it is easier to match my coat with whatever outfit I am wearing. My thinking is, the more I can wear the coat, the better the return on my investment. If the coat is some bold color or has a print, then I likely won’t be able to wear it as much (because it likely won’t match many of my things) and it won’t deliver that much of a return on my initial investment.
So, if you’re just starting out on building up your coat wardrobe, and deciding on color and prints, I would suggest that you find a coat that you like, and before buying it, think about how it would look with 5 different outfits in your wardrobe. If the coat seems like it will go with a bunch of things that you will wear with it, then it will likely offer a good return. If not, then maybe explore other options that may work better with your clothing.
I really gravitate towards neutral, solid colors, as they match almost everything from professional wear to casual wear, and are easy to dress up or down.
How Much Should I Spend?
Coats can get pretty expensive, but there are also a lot of super affordable options as well. So it’s kind of hard sometimes to decide how much one should be spending, when there is such a vast range of prices and quality. I like to use the following rule of thumb—if I KNOW that I am going to be wearing the coat a lot and that it is going to be a closet staple, I will go ahead and spend a little bit more if it’s something I really like, because I want to invest in a quality piece that I will wear for years. If it’s just a novelty piece, and something that I’ll just wear every once in awhile, I will not spend that much on it, even if it’s something that I really love. The quality doesn’t have to be as good either, since I won’t be wearing it that much, and thus it will suffer less wear and tear (though it must still look good!)
This red coat in the photo above is one I purchased from H&M a few years ago. I am fairly certain that it was under $40. I’ve only worn it a handful of times, but to me, that was a fair trade-off for what I consider a novelty piece.
Where Should I Shop?
Much like the broad selection of pricing and colors, there is also a broad selection of retailers which offer coats like the ones I am wearing in these photos. When looking for a new coat, I tend to start my search by looking at the larger department stores and seeing what the styles and selection looks like from a bunch of different brands.The camel coat I am wearing in these photos was a purchase from Nordstrom last year under the brand Top Shop.
I also like to look at a few designer labels as well, just to see what the current styles and what’s trending. I always like to check out Theory for inspiration. They make really beautiful coats.
One retailer that I’ve found that has surprisingly good quality coats (and often good deals and sales) is Banana Republic. Both the gray and navy coat in these photos are ones that I’ve purchased from them. The quality is quite good for the price, in my opinion.
Below, I’ve linked to a selection of coats that are similar to the ones that I’ve wearing in these photos. Happy shopping <3
Exact (this is the same brand and style that I have, updated for this season, I tucked in the flap pockets on my coat for a smoother look).