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Which kind of jacket or coat should you reach for this winter?

We’ve all noticed it — the weather’s been getting colder by the week. So which coat of the many stuffed away in our closets should we reach for? A lined trench? A wool pea coat?

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By Martin Castro (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: November 12, 2014

seinfeld

We’ve all noticed it — the weather’s been getting colder by the week. So which coat of the many stuffed away in our closets should we reach for? A lined trench? A wool pea coat?

Students who are investing in a winter jacket have to consider the benefits and drawbacks of different types of coats.

Parkas are heavy winter jackets that are usually quite warm and insulated. They’re thick, densely built jackets that do a great job of keeping you cozy and shielding you from the wind. Parkas are generally longer than other types of jackets, so they offer you more warmth and coverage from the wind, wrapping up your body like a burrito.

Pea coats and other wool-based coats offer several benefits in the winter weather, but they also have some drawbacks.  Wool coats work well at keeping the user warm, especially since they are thick enough to insulate you from the wind. However, wool coats don’t do a very good job when it starts to rain, and the weather lately has been quite wet. Wool coats don’t usually have hoods, nor are they water-proof — so if it starts to rain and you don’t have an umbrella, a wool coat isn’t going to help you very much. In this respect, parkas have the wool coats beat. However, wool coats are usually the more stylish option.

Heavy winter jackets are great if it’s snowing or raining heavily. These jackets are usually pretty bulky, however, so one has to ask oneself: do I want warmth or convenience? Having said that, there’s always the possibility of adding multiple layers of clothing to any outfit for warmth, thereby avoiding a really bulky jacket  or coat. However, again it’s a hassle to deal with a bunch of layers during the day, so be prepared to navigate that hurdle should you choose this option.

Ski and snowboard jackets are what you might see people wearing on the slopes of Whistler. But every now and then during the winter you also see people don their ski jackets to brave the cold while running errands or going to school. Now, these jackets don’t look particularly professional, or even all that fashionable; they’re pretty amorphous in shape. Avoid having to wear this type of jacket unless it’s really cold and the weather calls for it.

Whichever type of coat you do choose to wear throughout the winter months, make sure that it’s warm, keeps you dry, and isn’t a hassle to deal with in between classes. This way you’ll have one less thing to worry about as you prepare for finals and the coming semester.

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