Coats are a year round staple in San Francisco. Depending on the fabric weight, cut and color, you can find yourself wearing a coat in any of the Bay Area’s four seasons. Here are five tips to finding a high quality coat that you will wear for many seasons to come.
1. The quality of the fabric is of utmost importance. One of the best materials for warmth and style is wool. Melton, a dense felted wool fabric, is one of the preferred fabrics for a coat. Melton is treated with heat and pressure to bind fibers together which makes it wind-resistant. Wool melton delivers comfort, warmth and elegance with a beautiful yet structured drape. Often wool melton fabrics are combined with a small amount of nylon for extra durability. Test the “hand” of the fabric or how it feels when touched. A high quality wool garment should be soft to the touch and not itchy or scratchy.
2. A coat should be well stitched. The top stitching should be clean, straight and evenly spaced. The seams should match and any pattern lines should line up.
3. Well-made coats include details made with luxurious materials like genuine leather, high quality zippers or buttons and breathable linings. Coats that are lined will hang better and last longer.
4. On the interior of the coat, high-quality coats are manufactured with a fusible that reinforces certain parts of the interior of the garment. This fusible will prolong the life of the garment as well as maintain its shape over the years. A coat should have a gusset or pleat on the back lining to allow freedom of arm movement and bending
5. As for styling, look for a coat that is flattering to your shape. Make sure the sleeves are long enough so it looks like it was made for you, hitting you below your wrist and above the base of your thumb. Color is important, especially if you are looking for a coat to take you through several seasons. A neutral dark color is the most versatile. It can take you from day to night with a few accessory changes.