I am guilty of owning (several) jackets that are purely for aesthetic purposes and not for keeping me warm. Now that I’m in college and I actually have to walk everywhere, those jackets just aren’t cutting it anymore.
As mentioned in our guide to clothes for college, a really important part of a “real adult” wardrobe is jackets and coats that fit well and are meant to last.
Below is a list of the essential coats and jackets everyone should own. You’ll see items that may be a little more of a splurge here, but trust us, a jacket that’s meant to last will be your saving grace when you’re forced to walk to class in rain, sleet, snow, hail, and pretty much anything else in between!
Jean jackets are a classic piece that will never go out of style; plus they literally go with everything. They’re a great layering piece for fall and spring, especially when it might be a little chilly in the mornings. You can wear the jacket to class, and then tie it around your waist for an effortlessly cute look.
These jackets all center around that classic denim look that goes with everything; definitely feel free to experiment a little with the distressed Target jacket, though! It’s at a lower price point, $32, so you can afford to try something different. The Levi’s jacket is a classic for $50, and the Madewell jacket is a high-quality splurge at $118.
(Faux) Leather Jacket
Leather jackets are a quintessential “it girl” piece. They instantly make any outfit look edgier. Real leather is awful for the environment, and seeing as faux leather is more within the typical college girl budget anyways, I recommend opting for a faux leather jacket over a real leather jacket.
Both of these faux leather jackets are in the $50-$60 range and from great stores that are reputable. I’m personally a huge fan of moto-style leather jackets, and these are two fabulous examples of this particular style!
When it’s raining outside, you’ll be happy you have this piece. Try and look for a raincoat that suits the climate where you’ll be wearing it most; if it’ll be hot and rainy, look for a lightweight shell. If it will be cold and rainy, look for a raincoat with lining or buy a size up so you can wear bulkier sweaters or sweatshirts to stay warm.
The Columbia windbreaker is an excellent layering piece if you enjoy hiking or running outdoors. The trench coat is a nice classic addition to a closet if you’re facing rain in a more professional environment, while the colorful windbreaker is a great option for people who like to have an extra pop of color on a gloomy day.
Winter Coat (Mild Edition)
This winter coat selection is for those who are going to school in an area with little to medium amounts of snow; make sure you still buy a coat that will keep you warm on the freezing days, though. You have to walk to class!
For these coats, since cold weather does not play as much of a factor, I focused on picking fun options that will work well during mild winters. The faux fur details are right on trend this season!
Winter Coat (Arctic Tundra Edition)
If you’re going to school further up North, where heavy snow is the norm, it’s time to embrace your inner marshmallow and buy a huge puffy coat.
While it may not be seen as a fashionable item by your favorite style bloggers, there are definitely some good options out there that can be fun. The least cute situation is turning bright red from the cold and becoming a human popsicle. Embrace the puffy coat.
Taking on cold weather means buying a warm parka from a reputable retailer. The North Face is a popular option for those braving cold weather on the regular, but L.L. Bean and Century 21 offer some great options too!
What did you think of these must-have coats and jackets?
Are they a part of your everyday wardrobe? Which style is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.