I Lived in New York for 10 Years—These Winter Coats Always Stayed in My Closet


(Image credit: @claire_most)

Arguably, New Yorkers are some of the most qualified people to weigh in on winter staples. After living in the city for close to 10 years, I've seen it all, from bone-chilling polar vortexes to extreme arctic blasts. In short, the winters are no joke, so I learned quickly that good outerwear is one of the best investments. Fast-forward years later, I haven't really had to update my coat collection since—all the more reason to go for a piece that you'll still think is stylish in 10 years.

Ahead, I've nailed down the five outerwear styles that were my ride-or-die staples while living in New York. Not only are they practical, but I also firmly believe they are immune to trends, which means it's worth it to splurge a little more here. From puffers to pea coats, scroll below to see which styles made the cut.

Structured Wool Coats


(Image credit: @nlmarilyn)

From the office to weekend errands, there's no occasion where a sharply tailored coat doesn't fit in. Down to the details, I'm talking about crisp lapels, heavy buttons, and structured shoulders. It's a style that excels with denim as well as trousers.

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Cropped Puffers


(Image credit: @thevisuelofgrace)

As a New Yorker, you become well equipped to face the cold. A puffer is a crucial tool in a winter-wardrobe arsenal, but I prefer mine with a cropped twist. The shorter proportion lends nicely to styling with high-waisted skirts and pants. Plus, it's a little unexpected. 

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Faux-Fur Coats


(Image credit: @sylviemus_)

New York winters can go from mild to doomsday proportions in a heartbeat. Whenever an arctic blast or polar vortex hit, the first thing I grabbed was an outrageously big faux-fur coat. But other than their practical aspect, they're wonderful for giving off a "rich mom" vibe.

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Maxi Coats


(Image credit: @amaka.hamelijnck)

It takes a brave soul to wear a coat so long it risks kissing New York City pavement, but extra long and almost touching the ground is one genre of winter coat I always keep in my closet. The longer length just reads so chic with cool boots, black sunglasses, and a cozy scarf. 

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Aviator Jackets


(Image credit: @claire_most)

Last but not least, I never went through an East Coast winter without the help of an aviator jacket. With soft lining inside and sturdy leather outside, it provides warmth but can handle the brunt of the elements. If your style leans more casual, this is a silhouette that will highlight a low-key outfit like a knit set or baggy jeans. 

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Next up: You Can Have Too Many Black Coats—30 Vibrant Coats That Are the Solution

Fashion Market Editor

Indya Brown is a fashion editor, stylist, and writer living in Los Angeles. While going to school at Columbia University in New York City, she got her feet wet in the fashion industry interning at Elle magazine, Harper's Bazaar, and New York magazine's The Cut. After graduating in 2016, she joined The Cut as a fashion assistant, eventually working her way up to fashion editor. There, she worked on a multitude of projects, including styling inbook feature stories for New York magazine's print issue, writing and pitching market stories for The Cut, and serving as fashion lead for The Cut's branded content. While New York has been her home for over 10 years, she moved to Los Angeles in the midst of the pandemic in 2020 for a new chapter. Now she is a fashion market editor for Who What Wear, focusing on emerging designers, rising trends on and off the internet, interior design, and BIPOC creatives and brands. Aside from her duties as a fashion market editor, Brown is also a freelance stylist and writer, working on national print and video commercial campaigns for Sephora, The Independent, and Cadillac. Her bylines also include Harper's Bazaar, Vox, and The New York Times. But once the computer goes down and the emails turn off, she's likely eating her way through Koreatown, hunting down vintage furniture, scoping out new outrageous nail designs to try, or taking a hot cycling class.