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We Tested the 5 Best Plus-Size Winter Coats for Warmth and Style

Updated: Mar. 29, 2024

To prepare for cold weather ahead, we tested the best plus-size coats to take you through the winter months.

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We Tested The 5 Best Plus Size Winter CoatsCOURTESY KEYAIRA BOONE

Outerwear shopping is a must if you live or travel to a cold climate, so the best plus-size winter coat is something women will need. Unlike the best plus-size dress, a coat is something that needs to be integrated into your capsule wardrobe in multiple ways and work with a variety of outfits. It should be able to transition from day to night and fit in with the clothing you rely on day to day.

To offer shopping recommendations you can rely on and trust, we have tested some of the top options on the market to help you get a sense of what the best have to offer. Before picking up your next coat, think about your personal style and the activities you have lined up for the rest of the season to make the right decision to fit your lifestyle. Refresh your closet with the best plus-size winter coats that’ll perk you up through the chills.

Faux Leather Puffer
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Best overall plus-size winter coat

Lane Bryant Faux-Leather Puffer

Pros:

  • Modern design
  • Keeps you warm
  • Very comfortable
  • Functional pockets
  • Available in sizes XL to 4X

Cons:

  • Tough to store

There’s no competition for my Best Overall pick than Lane Bryant’s faux-leather puffer. It’s a quality transitional piece that’s warm enough to stave off a chill, but not so toasty that it’ll cause you to sweat or be uncomfortable. Through my testing of this oversized puffer, I found it to be versatile, stylish and functional. It has deep pockets and kept me warm all day without causing me to sweat.

The faux leather is made from 100% polyester, but don’t let that discourage you. Methods for using this material have evolved—it’s not stiff and waxy as it used to be. Because of its flexibility, it layers well over even the bulkiest of cardigan sweaters, zipping up all the way without an issue. I was worried that the material would crack or crease with extended wear, but it has held up well. There’s no hood on this best plus-size winter coat, but the high stand-up collar easily keeps the chill away.

It’s available in sizes 10 to 28, which translates to XL to 4X. You can get it in black and chocolate brown, which are sure to go with the rest of your cold-weather wardrobe.

Plus Size All Adventure Vest
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Best value plus-size winter coat

Maurices Plus Size All Adventure Vest

Pros:

  • Won't break the bank
  • Can be layered
  • Machine washable
  • Stores easily
  • Available in sizes 0X to 4X

Cons:

  • Only comes in two colors

Maurices is not usually on my radar for ready-to-wear pieces, so I was unsure about trying this option. However, I love pale blue and I love a vest moment, so I was willing to give its Plus Size All Adventure Vest a try. I was so happy to be wrong! It’s earned my Best Value award because I can wear it all year round—and you can, too, no matter where you live.

It’s not obvious when you look at it on the website, but this budget-friendly vest has a feature that endeared it to me right away. A nip in the waist turns this pale blue option up a notch. It’s not like having an oversized cloud on your chest. Instead, it’s like having a curve-hugging companion that keeps your arms free.

This vest, available in a peach pink and soft blue, is made from a slimming version of the puffer material. A thinner vest makes it more wearable than other options, and the knit ribbed paneling is breathable. It’s lightweight, snug and cozy, and at some point I literally forgot I was wearing it until the longer backside of the vest caught on my office chair. This is a cool pick to wear with your plus-size leggings, as this vest is longer in the back. Its pockets have individual zippers, making it easy to forget your purse and opt to just toss your phone in there. I did a 45-minute workout on the elliptical with my keys in my pocket and they did not jingle at all.

Toha24 Columbia Women's Joy Peak Mid Jacket Courtesy Keyaira Boone 01 Yvedit
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Best plus-size winter coat for extreme cold

Columbia Women's Joy Peak Mid Jacket

Pros:

  • Made with down-like synthetic insulation
  • Retains body heat and keeps you warm
  • Adjustable waistline
  • Available in various colors
  • Available in sizes 1X to 4X

Cons:

  • Doesn't have a hood

I have always been partial to The North Face, but it turns out Columbia is an outerwear staple for a reason. The brand can be relied on to give you a sturdy coat in a cheerful color, so I was excited to try its Women’s Joy Peak Mid Jacket. I was slightly disappointed that it didn’t have a hood, but outside of that the jacket was a success. Out of all the options I personally tested, this was the best one for those bone-chilling temperatures.

Available in sizes 1X to 3X, the material is not particularly flexible but the cut is spacious. It features zippered hand pockets, a chin guard and a comfort cuff with a thumb hole. This took some getting used to, but once I did I really liked it. The fabric was not bulky and it didn’t stick out. I was the only one who knew it was there.

The jacket has a smattering of thermal-reflective gold dots in the lining. It’s supposed to retain body heat and keep you warm in super-cold environments. I wore it outside in a snowstorm and it, along with the thumb cuff, kept me warm and toasty. Its simple design is packable, water-resistant and insulated. This best plus-size winter coat features a drawcord adjustable waist, allowing it to accommodate unexpected weight changes or pregnancies. The plush-lined collar is comfortable and useful as a pillow alternative on a plane.

Double Breasted Wool Coat
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Best formal plus-size winter coat

Lane Bryant Double-Breasted Wool Coat

Pros:

  • Sleek double-breasted button closure
  • Classic cut and hits at the knee
  • Functional, deep pockets
  • Heavy, yet comfortable
  • Available in sizes 12 to 28

Cons:

  • The neckline is open

One of the biggest wardrobe challenges I have is finding a versatile dress coat. I go to a ton of dressy events and locating outwear is always difficult. Some of the most stylish options I find are paper thin, making them unwearable for a lot of the year. Those that aren’t tend to be overdone and lined with tacky faux fur that itches. Lane Bryant’s double-breasted wool coat was way warmer than I thought it would be. The length of just at the knee attracted me to it, as I wanted something that could cover a shorter dress if need be.

This best plus-size winter coat is long, warm, and pretty. Plus, it has deep pockets. They appear shallow in the beginning but you can quickly snip open the threads to reveal their depth. This sleek coat has two buttons instead of an unnecessarily complicated series of fasteners, and I appreciated that. It’s a blend of polyester, wool, acrylic, nylon, and rayon, so the material doesn’t wrinkle.

Consider this a must-have for a winter wedding or just a work day where you want to feel extra put together. I wore this double-breasted coat to an event at the Newark Museum of Art and I received multiple compliments. Even the coat check attendant wanted to know where I got it from.

Amazon Essentials Women's Heavyweight Long Sleeve Hooded Puffer Coat
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Best plus-size puffy winter coat

Amazon Essentials Women's Heavyweight Puffer Coat

Pros:

  • Fully lined, quilted and insulated
  • Water-resistant
  • Feels more expensive than it is
  • Comes in a range of colors
  • Available in sizes extra-small to 6X

Cons:

  • Thumb holes feel a bit clunky

I have turned to Amazon for the best plus-size swimwear, headbands and sunglasses in the past, but I never considered turning to the retailer for outerwear. This gem-toned puffer changed my mind instantly! The first time I wore it on an early morning Trader Joe’s run on a rainy day, four separate people told me how much they loved it. The colors are saturated and it feels far more expensive to the touch than it is.

The water-resistant material made it feel more like a thicker rain jacket than a heavy down winter coat to me. The entire coat, including the hood and pockets, are fleece lined. You can also close it by buttons or zipper. When you are in a rush, it really helps to have buttons. When I was running back and forth to the car to put groceries away, I easily snapped them together. The downside of the thumb holes, however, is they were a little clunky here.

This jacket’s size range is extremely impressive. It goes from an extra-small all the way up to a 6X. It runs pretty true to size, but if you like a slouchy look I would recommend sizing up. It covered my hips so I didn’t have to worry about awkward cropping in my midsection. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that this coat comes in more than a dozen colors and patterns.

What to look for when buying the best plus-size winter coats

When choosing outerwear, it’s important to consider your lifestyle and the amount of storage space you have in your closet. If you need something warm, but you also need to be able to chase the kids around the park, then look for something that isn’t so bulky. And if your weeks consist of different events, choose a sleeker pick that’ll add to your outfit. Once it’s time to put it away, ensure that you’re not squeezing a giant puffer into a small space.

Types of plus-size winter coats

  • Formal coats come in a variety of, usually very thin, materials. You can find them in brocades, tweeds, silks and other materials. What you choose depends heavily on your comfort level and the situations you need to be prepared for. The double-breasted style is an underrated option you should consider, as it dresses up a casual look and grounds a dressy one.

  • Puffer coats come in handy for more than the outdoors. An expanded variety of weights make them great for intense blizzards and casual errand runs.

  • Vests come in multiple cuts. There are oversized parka-like vests, cropped vests, hi-necked vests and hooded vests. The best have zippered pockets so you don’t have to worry about your items falling out.

Why you should trust us

I’m a lifelong plus-size shopper and seasoned commerce writer who has written on the topic for over 10 years at sites like Byrdie, Essence, Insider, and Stylish Curves. I have watched the plus-size market evolve and regress and evolve again over the years, and I make it my mission to try any product I am considering multiple times so that I can verify it works in multiple scenarios. Covering celebrity trends and accessible interpretations of those trends has made up a great portion of the work I have done.

How we found the best plus-size winter coats

With a variety of options available on the market, I opted for the most affordable and accessible. I tested them over a period of several weeks and wore them in different temperatures. I’m a big shopper with limited closet space and I judged them on how well they stored, as well as what wearing them felt like. I judged based on how well each fabric was used to create the plus-size winter coat I was evaluating. This helped guide me to narrow the search down to the five best plus-size coats.

FAQ

Should you buy a winter jacket a size bigger?

You should buy a winter jacket a size bigger if you’re interested in a slouchy look or plan to wear several layers with it. If warmth is your ultimate goal, then you should go with something that fits close to the body and doesn’t allow for much gapping.

What color coat goes with everything?

Neutrals are your friend if you’re concerned about your plus-size winter coat going with just about everything in your closet. Think: blacks, browns, and grays. However, if it’s in the budget, add another coat in a pop of color for the days that call for it.

What style of coat is most flattering?

The style of coat that is most flattering depends on your body type and your personal preference. I felt most comfortable in the vest, as it hugged me well. However, you might prefer an oversized look, a cinched-in waist or something in between. It’s all about what you feel good in.