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14 Jackets and Coats to Keep You Warm Inside and Out

In many parts of the world, the nights are getting longer and the days are getting colder, and you probably need a cute jacket and/or coat that will actually keep you warm. Alternatively, perhaps you are ready to make the dive into a denim jacket and want to know which denim jacket paths have been trod before you. Either way, we’ve got you covered. This is what we wear.

Rachel, Varsity/Letterman Jacket


My IRL jacket is actually from the children’s section at Target; it’s blue and yellow with a patch that says “C Division” on the front. Unfortunately for children and for you, Target no longer appears to sell the exact same jacket, but that doesn’t change the fact that varsity jackets are the perfect item of clothing. They’re versatile, look good with everything and you always look like you made a ~fashion choice~ intentionally, not like you threw on the closest thing to the door before you left the house. Furthermore, they ping very gay, but not in a way that will get you dirty looks from straight people. I think straight people are onto bomber jackets, but I am guessing it will take them maybe another nine months to fully get wise to varsity jackets. If you’ve been wondering how to signal to other queer people that you’re queer, the answer is a varsity jacket. Virtually every time I wear mine I get complimented on it, and that compliment is virtually always from a queer person. Truly a #lifehack.

LaneiaDenim Boyfr-BARF SOUNDS Jacket

laneiaOh here we are with your basic denim jacket that is just dying to hang out with you by the bonfire. It keeps you moderately warm. It displays your patches and enamel pins. It awaits your Sharpies and your paint splatters, your dirt, your blood, your earthy guts. This jacket knows what time it is. (It’s denim jacket time.)

Mey, Boohoo Plus Satin Bomber Jacket


As the leader of the Gay Grease Gang Pink Ladies (along with my co-rizzo, Cecelia, who has this same jacket in a smaller size), I pretty much had to get this jacket. But even if I wasn’t obligated, I still would’ve because it’s super cute and stylish and goes great with my aesthetic. This is probably my favorite jacket I’ve ever owned.

Erin, ASOS Oversized Wrap Front Coat


When you introduce cold weather I often become immobilized in the morning, unable to transition from sleep clothes into real ones. This jacket is an enabler. If, say, I don’t necessarily make it out of sleep pants, no one’s necessarily the wiser. They could be cool, expensive health pants in this jacket. A t-shirt becomes a distressed top. Fashion!

Heather, The North Face Thermoball Full Zip Jacket


When I lived in Georgia, I hardly even needed a coat. Not that it doesn’t get cold in the south; just that you’re always moving from central heating and air to central heating and air, with a temperature controlled car ride in between. A coat in Georgia serves the purpose of keeping you from shivering when you’re taking a short stroll into and out of a building, or while you’re waiting for your heat to warm up in your car. New York City is a whole other beast, because you’re walking everywhere all the time, and sometimes it’ll be, say, the middle of December and your landlord still hasn’t turned on the heat. (Yes, it’s illegal, but try telling that to him.) Anyway, the point is, I have a lot of coats now that I live in the northeast and my favorite one is my fall time coat because it’s basically like wearing a sleeping bag on my body. It’s soft and warm and doesn’t take up too much room when I stow it away in my backpack. It’s machine washable. And it’s layerable (which is important because another thing about NYC is temperatures inside buildings in the winter fluctuate 30 degrees in any given direction).

Cee, Levi’s Trucker Jacket


I have the commuter version of this, so it’s water resistant and has reflective patches. I’ve used it as my it’s only kinda raining jacket for two years now. If it’s really cold out I’ll wear a cable knit wool sweater or a hooded sweatshirt underneath.

Alaina, 1969 Denim Jacket


Denim is the queen of my heart. She’s warm enough to keep me from shivering on an early fall morning in Texas, but not too warm that I need to take it off once the temperature rises. She also increases my cool points by 100000% whether I’m wearing it with a dress, shorts and a tee, or fancy chinos and a button-up. Plus! You can put pins all over it!

Carrie, Modcloth Open Roadie Jacket


We don’t really do weather here in Los Angeles (though it is raining as I write this, hooray!), so our jackets don’t need to be particularly hardworking – but this one more than suffices. The sleeves and waist are partially quilted, so it keeps heat trapped in when you need it. But it’s still very breathable if you leave it unzipped. I ordered this jacket years ago and didn’t wear it for a long time because I never felt badass enough, to tell you the truth. Now that I’ve hit my fashion stride and know I deserve to look great at all times, thank you very much, I’ll pull it out the second it gets chilly. Modcloth doesn’t carry this specific jacket anymore, but you can rock some similarly striking alternatives.

Yvonne, Denim Jacket


I only own one jacket and it’s this one. In Texas, this is basically the only jacket you need for fall and most of winter. It’s warm enough and stylish enough to go with all the things. As my lovely coworkers who beat me to contributing to this post have said, denim jackets look extra cool if you add pins!

Karly, Denim Vest Jacket


This spring I went to A-Camp for the first time and like a lot of people (at least four in my cabin alone), I became envious of The Outsiders cabin, who wore cool denim vests with patches and buttons. So immediately after camp I secured a vest and decked it out. But with the cold weather approaching, I still don’t want to give up my denim vest. So I bought this denim vest jacket. It isn’t very warm but it’s still 80 degrees where I live, and I’m still wearing it anyway.

Stef, Brooklyn Industries Fjord Coat


For years I bought the cheapest coat I could find and for years I wore two hoodies underneath and still shivered my way through bitter New York winters spent working nights next to the open doors of various concert venues, enduring various strains of assorted illnesses like a big dummy. At long last, I blew some of my hard-earned cash on this Brooklyn Industries coat and let me tell you, it’s like a giant sleeping bag you can walk around in. I’ll never go back. Bury me in this thing.

Raquel, New Look Padded Bomber Jacket


Like most hip queers (see above), when fall comes I’ll wear my light denim jacket like it’s a second skin. There are days, however, when you need something just one step up in warmth, and a two-step up in cool. Those are the days for your bomber jacket.

Firstly, let’s be real: there are very few things hotter than a lady pilot. Secondly, this is the perfect jacket for laundry days. The neutral olive-green goes great over everything. This girl is literally wearing, like, a cheap white Hanes tee and sweat pants and look how hot she looks. Button up? It’s a dressy night out. Cute dress and some high-tops? Perfect for a stroll down Brooklyn ave. Ratty t-shirt? Ooh, are you in a band? Glitter bandeau + repurposed cheerleader skirt? You’re probably Cecilia and you can pull off literally anything, you glorious diamond.

(P.S.—that size-zip arm pocket is the perfect spot for hiding emergency tampons or gum or whatever. You’re welcome.)

Sarah, Soia & Kyo Pearlie Coat


If you live in the Midwest, especially in a city where you primarily get around by public transportation, your first line of defense against the fluctuating weather patterns is your jacket. I had lived in Chicago for about four years when I decided to invest in what effectively can be described as both a jacket and a down-filled sleeping bag, and it’s the an amazingly perfect coat that I still wear five years later. The Zafina Jacket by Soia & Kyo is by far the best coat I’ve ever owned. I had to apply for a credit card to officially purchase it, but it was completely worth it. I haven’t needed to buy a coat in so long that this style it’s gone from the entire internet, but! You can get a similar style to the coat I own here.

The jacket features an enormous hood that sort of looks like you’re rocking a lady cobra situation, which I’m a huge fan of. It also has a double-zipped closure and the interior is full of down, so it keeps you WARM, which is I think the whole point of having a coat? The pockets are lined with a soft flannel-like material so, basically it’s nice in there. It’s also form fitting, which is not my experience when looking for effective coat options. Most of the time really warm stuff ends up looking shapeless and like an actual sleeping bag. When zipped up, it hugs your body and gives it shape, so you can look attractive whilst staying warm. Win-win! I also get ridiculous amounts of complements on this coat, so if you love those extra affirmations, this is another great way to stay warm during the colder months! Also my cat really enjoys using this coat as a makeshift bed.

Carmen, Bad Girl Varsity Jacket


I don’t want you to buy this jacket because I’m very protective of my brand and I hate owning the same things as other people and if I see you in it I will have to stop wearing it. But I do want you to know I own it.

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    • to be fair they told us fall jackets but my fall jacket is (don’t tell anybody) an urban outfitters pleather jacket that they don’t make anymore and i couldn’t find anything that was close enough. but damn i will defend that brooklyn industries coat until the death.

  1. 1000% Team Heather here. A lovely sleeping bag coat with plenty of layers is the way to do things in the Northeast when you’re walking from place to place. You should also check out Baffin Cush slippers. They are legit sleeping bags for your feet.

  2. Almost all of these styles are incredibly feminine. What about for those of us who want a more masculine style and more than a flimsy jacket because we don’t live in LA??

    Seriously, though, I need a good winter coat. The only one I have is a ladies style, and I’m not sure I can handle that this year. But finding a men’s coat to fit my body is problematic. Wtf can’t clothing be gender neutral in style, yet made to fit the bodies that want them?!

    • A good old fashioned pea coat is the easiest find for a more masculine style that fits a woman’s body. I’ve had good luck in military surplus stores / thrift stores, or even men’s departments in stores that sell “husky” sizes (to fit over the boobs/butt areas). LL Bean also makes quite a few options in the women’s department that are more gender neutral styles.

      For dressier looks, I go GH Bass consistently.

      For waterproof / more athletic fits, Columbia has a lot of options in both the men’s and women’s departments depending on what you’re looking for.

      Hope this helps!

    • I personally favour the great coat. Or I go with a hoodie underneath the chunky 3/4 length paded leather jacket I found at a charity shop for £9. £9! I may no longer go there, as it’s a Salvation Army one and I’ve learnt a little more about the SA’s policy on having no openly LGBT members, but damn, that was a good find. If I ever manage to wear it to pieces, I’m going to be heartbroken.

    • If you want really warm and gender neutral looking cut that’s fit’ll still consider your tatas an’ smaller shoulder and you got the money for it, ski jacket or coat.
      Women’s black ski jacket.

      I live in an area that doesn’t snow and the national chain athletic shops what little they care in ski or snowboard jackets and coat is often black, even the women’s.

      On the lower scale would be a “field jacket” and the fancy pants side the peacoat or trenchcoat which tend to be gender neutral enough even in the women’s department. Also those zip up insulated vests.

      On the lowest end is thermal fleece hoodies.

  3. Oh man, I’m so jealous of all of you (well, except for Stef, Heather and Sarah) who do not need to worry about silly little things like weather. Up here in Ottawa we’ve been having an unseasonably warm fall, so I only switched from my leather jacket to my pea coat for the first time today, and I likely won’t have to break out my heavy duty winter coat until December. That’s right folks – in some places, we don’t just have one coat for each season, we have to have THREE.

  4. this is super relevant to my interests! i’ve been wanting a new winter coat. both the warm(er) coats i own are 10-15 years old, and i’m boooored with them. plus one has a gigantic hole in the pocket that i’ve sewn back up only for it to rip back open countless times, and pockets are really important.

  5. HempHoodLamb
    They have a Fake Lamb Fur lined heavy duty linen coat that doesn’t get wet, has a million pockets that are also fur lined, is heavy af and keeps even me warm in the wintery winter times.
    It’s organic and vegan and fair trade and Seashepherd even sells a line of them with their logo on the buttons.
    I hope not to have to buy any other coat in the next ten years.
    If you’re anywhere really cold or, what’s worse: wet and cold, this is the coat for you.

    I also own a Superman (I pretend it’s Supergirl’s S) red leather jacket, that’s sold by leather stories eu

  6. I needed to get a good winter work jacket because I didn’t want to ruin my nice city jacket and now all that I wear is my winter work one.

    It’s this: https://www.marks.com/en/categories/workwear/mens-workwear/view-all/product/washed-canvas-sherpa-lined-hooded-jacket-16347.html#16347%5Bcolor%5D=DKBRWN

    Cheaper than a Carhartt and better quality imo. It’s lined and so warm, has so many pockets I can store my necessities (Swiss army knife, lighter, flashlight, chap stick, pen) without trouble, and the sleeves zip off to make it a vest! It’s not waterproof, which sucks for my climate but it is great otherwise.

    It’s not flattering and it’s definitely very utilitarian, but I highly recommend it as a work jacket

  7. When I lived in places with cold winters, I wore an array of 70s vintage ski jackets. Easy to thrift, utilitarian, and if you can find one with down fill, you’re golden. These days when I visit my folks in Montana, my winter uniform consists of a flannel, underlayers, a giant puffer vest, and wool-lined gloves. Maybe I end up looking like a lumberjack, but maybe that’s what I was aiming for ;)

  8. I just want to say to everyone that i currently live in idaho, where it gets below zero in the winter. i just don’t like winter coats, so i don’t buy them. I would rather be super cold wearing a sweater and this small jacket than be warm wearing a jacket i don’t look good. fashion over function, you guys.

    • But you could have both!

      I can’t find anything like it, my google foo has failed me, but there was this fancy lady blazer suit jacket thing an aunt gave me when I was 14 that was super styling, gave waist-less me an illusion of a waist. It was suede and a had one giant button that was a fancy jeweled pin and fastened the jacket shut with hidden hook eye closures rather than a button hole.

      I wore thin lacy 2 piece to my winter formal, it was 40 degrees out with a wind chill coming off the lake and that magic little jacket kept me warm without making me sweat.

      Wish I had a pic of it or was able to find something like because I’m weirdo that catalogues people’s fashion tastes and it falls in line with your witchiness in my slightly stalkerish opinion.

  9. OK so I’ve had a couple of orders from the states and Canada so I’ll add my two cents…even though the shipping cost might put some people off (although NZ$ so still good versus US$).

    I sell Oilskin jackets (sometimes known as waxed cotton). Basically a really high quality cotton that’s been waxed to make it 100% waterproof. And the different styles/linings determine how warm they are.
    The stock I have online at the moment is end of season (as we are coming into summer) and next season I’m adding a couple more cuts that suit a women’s figure better (although I consider all the styles unisex).

    Hey its not high fashion but it’ll last you forever.


    Email me and I’ll send a discount code to my queer family.

    • Hey, I love this stuff. Stylish, utilitarian, waxed cotton which lasts forever, and all at a great price point. Tell us more about your role in the company? Currently trying to figure out how to work that fencing jacket into my wardrobe…

      Also what’s a “mini XL” in terms of sizing?

  10. I live in Alabama now, and I lived in Texas before that, so I have a TON of warm-weather gear that I don’t actively wear (though I will NEVER get rid of it all, yo – that would be like abandoning my dream of moving back to the northeast and if I have the closet space what’s the prob, right?) but I love when I do get to pull it out. Right now I am rocking the brown bomber jacket I got about a year ago on a Black Friday sale, even though it’s a bit overkill. Tonight it’s supposed to drop about 45 degrees though (yes seriously) and then who’ll be warm and awesome? This Kat, that’s who. I’m also a big fan of my fake leather motorcycle jacket, which looks very much like something Hugh Jackman wore in the Wolverine movies. I love that damn thing. Both of the jackets I just described are water and windproof, which is huge, and necessary even in the south. Best of all, both of them have – guys, seriously, you need this in your lives – the secret inside breast pocket. Why would you ever put your wallet anywhere else? The only thing that kills me is, these are men’s jackets, and yet they are STILL tight in the shoulders and upper back…do they not make coats for men with muscles anymore? Damn hipsters and their “slim” styles that need to DIAF. I have strong feelings about this, you guys.

    Obviously my recs are coming to you from the tomboyish side of things, but I wasn’t seeing that much up there that I’d want to rock, except for the varsity jacket (and I have my actual letter jacket, from HS, for that). But if you want to be crazy stupid butch like me, you need to get all the Tough Guy Jackets :)

    • Okay, I’m glad it’s not just me thinking that. I mean, I have like skinny 17 year old teenage boy shoulders, so things to fit…but I wonder how dudes who are not skinny 17 year olds get things to fit bc I wear a men’s medium…

  11. I loooooove my patagonia nanopuff jacket. Was it outside my budget? Yes, even though I got it on sale and as far as jackets/coats go it’s honestly not that expensive.. Does it make me look like every other dirtbag kayaker out there? Also yes, but I’m kinda going for that.

    If you’re like me and broad-shouldered, get the men’s version of the jacket. Or if you’re like me and think that men get better colors for most sporty outerwear (though it’s gotten astromonically better since I was a kid), get the men’s version of the jacket. The men’s version is just broader in the shoulder and a slightly looser cut overall.

    Cons of the nanopuff–it is not waterproof at all, so you need some sort of shell for rainey/sleetey days, but just wait until like january and go to a ski/snowboard shop and get a shell for like 60-80% off. The nanopuff DOES dry out super fast though (on cold days I wear it beneath by drysuit that is currently more like a dampsuit due to a torn wrist gasket and a loose neck gasket, so if I spend time upside down, it gets soaked, but will be dry after like 1 hour in the car with the heat on, which is better than any item of clothing I’ve ever owned).

  12. I wore my Outsiders sleeveless denim jacket to uni the other week. Just in case I wasn’t out enough yknow :P.

    Although funnily, a course friend came up to me and said ‘I just knew you were a hufflepuff!’. Apparently they were trying to work out which house everyone in the course would be in, and she’d got me bang on.
    Hufflepride indeed!

  13. It’s too cold for it right now, but gosh, I need to get a varsity/letterman jacket. I’ve been sort of discovering what I like to wear, I guess you could say (over the past few months I’ve aquired my first flannel and my first few plaid shirts and I’ve found some super comfy shirts and long story short it feels pretty great ^^’), and a varsity is definitely something I need. :D

  14. MEY I love you love that jacket, I was going to buy it when honey and I were going to go as Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood for Halloween, which we didn’t wind up doing. (she was an insufferable gay and I was a formal apology) but it’s very cute.

    I live in Seattle and layer a men’s ll bean waterproof shell on top of whatever cardigan + scarf situation I’m wearing and that’s how I survive in this world. Hoodies when I don’t have to be at work, but I have to be at work a lot and cardigans is my professional+personal self compromise.

  15. Could someone extensively review some parkas? The cryptic midwest farmers near me initially divined a really calm winter and then suddenly began preaching of a no good very bad winter and I want to be prepared.

  16. Thank you Heather for validating my theory about why I do not know how to dress in DC winters. I have no idea what to wear in — degrees, because I’ve never been exposed to — degrees for longer than the 47 seconds it might take me to walk from my car into wherever I’m going in SC. Also, I could heat up my car before getting in it. So now my wife is having to teach me how to dress. She very politely suggests that I might want a scarf, or gloves, or a thicker coat, etc. I’m grateful that she protects me from the hypothermia I would suffer from without her assistance.

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