Three choice tips for finding the perfect winter outerwear plus what’s new in store

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For some people winter means a few months of bearing the cold until spring pops up again. For others winter means fashion. We fall in the latter category. Why shiver from November to March when you can clothe yourself warmly – and in style? Perhaps if you change your mindset, the winter won’t be a barren landscape. Instead it will open up into a winter wonderland where your closet becomes your sanctuary and the snow-laden streets become your runway.

If you’re anything like us you find it difficult to pick the jacket that’s just right for you. We don’t mean that somehow, somewhere right off the factory line there’s a jacket with your name emblazoned in bold across the breast pocket. What we mean is it takes a while to find a brand you like, to find a fit you like, all the while snagging one that’s en vogue, too.

This goes for both men and women. Ladies…guys struggle with this, too. They don’t want to be walking around with a jacket that’s too big, too small or even so last season. Really, it can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Focus on these three tips and you’ll be golden…and warm…and fashionable.

Quality matters

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This is perhaps priority numero uno when buying a jacket. A lot of us have no doubt locked eyes with a coat we love from across the room but once you get up close you see that it will barely last a few washes, maybe barely a season.

A good marker for finding quality outerwear is both in brand and material. When in doubt, always remember that Helen and Brett and the rest of our helpful staff are in store to make sure you stay warm on top of looking good. Just ask us. Other than that, be sure to check the tags. See if cheap acrylics make up the bulk of materials. If they do, steer clear.

Save room for layering

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You bought that sleek jacket as bespoke as possible but you can’t fit even a thin sweater underneath. What’s the point if you can’t layer in the middle of winter? Now you’re going to freeze your butt off in subzero temps because you couldn’t do without that ultra form-fitting jacket. Trust us, people will notice your uncontrollable shivering long before they notice your fashion sense.

There’s a way to be warm, comfortable and timeless. Make sure there’s some wiggle room not only in the torso but in the arms as well. Nothing is worse than having your layers twist and turn underneath your coat until once you get home and you’re nothing but a giant Chinese finger trap.

Warmth>Fads

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This last tip kind of completes the two we already outlined above. Give in to quality, save room for layers, and lastly make sure that the outerwear you buy is going to be warm enough – layers and all – right out the door.

Easier said than done seeing as how we’re not in thick of winter yet. But use your best judgment. Feel the fabric and feel the consistency, if you think you can brave the coldest of days in your hometown then you’re set. (Luckily we have outerwear that addresses all the above concerns plus is guaranteed to stay timeless and fashionable for years to come.)

Now to what’s new in store this season. We’re introducing Snow Peak outerwear to the shop, a Japanese lifestyle clothing line dating back to 1958. Interestingly enough, an accomplished mountaineer created the brand – so you know it’s good.

The brand’s primary aim is to “seek harmony between people and nature…to manufacture with such high quality standards that you’ll pass them on to the next generation like a great wrist watch.” Excited? We are! (In fact, get excited for spring already, too, because we’ll be doing a shop in shop with Snow Peak for the sole purpose of giving you a refreshing take on camping and the outdoor lifestyle.)

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Next up we’ve got Nau where being better exists more than just in their outerwear, it’s their philosophy, too. They’re a brand bent on sustainability. They examine the environmental impact of every fabric they choose as well as everything that goes into the final product, often using recycled materials along the way. Not only that they make certain every last stitch will stand the test of time.

Sorry fellas, the Nau pieces we have in store this season are only for women. Don’t fret though. All our other great brands – in addition to Snow Peak – are still in shop. Come in to see what’s new in Penfield, Filson and Dark Seas.

And remember, stay warm out there, friends.

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