Wardrobe Wednesday: Is it time for a new winter coat?

Photo: aliexpress.com

I hate to bring this up, but we are getting to that time of year when we start thinking about those cold winter months ahead and getting ourselves prepared. Have you started thinking about purchasing a new coat this year? Here are some facts and tips for you to consider before hitting the mall.
A puffer coat has been on trend for several years now. It is practical and fun, but most importantly, warm. This style of coat or jacket has a signature quilted design with sections that are "puffy" between the stitching. They are filled with down insulation or synthetic fibres, both of which can provide a high level of warmth depending on how well they are made and the quality of the synthetic fibres.

Ahh, but not all insulations are equal...

First, let’s clear up the misconception about what down is. It isn’t feathers. It is either goose or duck plumage which is the fluffy stuff under the feathers.

Positive aspects of down:

Down creates clusters that trap heat while being breathable allowing moisture to wick away from the body.

It is extremely light and easy to compress which makes it great for travel.

It retains its shape even when packed tightly.

There are different levels of effectiveness which is measured by fill per cubic inch from 400-900. 900 is the warmest, lightest and most expensive.

Mature goose down is the warmest and lightest. It’s fine, fluffy and the most expensive.

Duck down is denser, heavier and much less expensive than goose down.

Some manufacturers blend down and feathers because the more down, the more expensive. Hence, the more feathers the less expensive. But keep in mind if you buy a down-feather combo coat you risk getting poked by the point of a feather!

Negative aspects of down:

The down can clump up.

It doesn't repel outside moisture. Therefore, it isn’t good in wet or humid conditions.

Down can lose its insulation properties when it gets wet.

It is slow to dry.

And, worst of all it gets a funky smell when it gets wet. No one wants to smell funky!

Your second choice is synthetic fibres also known as poly-fil. Poly-fil is 100% polyester fibres designed to replicate the look of down.

Positive aspects of poly-fil:

It’s quite a bit cheaper than down.

Synthetic fibres are water resistant and dry quickly, which makes this a great choice for outdoor winter activities.

This type of coat is washable. How handy is that! It is so resilient that it maintains its integrity through countless washes.

One of the most positive aspects of synthetic fibres for a lot of people is that they are hypoallergenic.

Negative aspects of synthetic fibres:

Poly-fil isn’t nearly as warm as down.

The coats need to be heavier to achieve warmth which makes them bulky.

Synthetic fibre coats aren’t easy to pack or fold.

Now you’re wondering, which is better. Both have great qualities, so your decision should depend on two things - what activities you will be needing it for and what’s your budget? Whatever you choose will be a good decision!

Karen has had a passion for style and fashion most of her life. Her lifelong dream came to fruition 17 years ago when she opened her boutique Moda Elle in Plaza Pointe Claire. Karen prides herself on excellent personalized service and truly loves to make her clientele happy. She recently doubled the size of the boutique in order to serve the well-dressed West Island women better.