We Try Before You Buy: The Best Winter Coats of 2023

Our We Try Before You Buy series aims to take the stress out of shopping and eliminate the number of Post Office visits you make each month to return failed online orders. We test new-season buys and styling ideas so you don’t have to. 

After a disappointingly short summer and a strangely warm start to autumn, we’re finally starting to lean into the cooler weather that comes with the end of the year, and that can only mean one thing: coats. It’s the only reason to get excited about darker nights or having to contend with wearing tights, and no fashion editor is exempt from the satisfaction that comes with finding The One. Of all the sensible investments you make for your wardrobe, coats are up there with bags and boots as the kind of piece that can truly last a lifetime. They can be handed down through generations and, if you look after them, still look just as fresh as the day they were bought. In fact, some coat buyers are so dedicated that they set about snapping up key versions in August, but we’re more inclined to turn our attention to outerwear when the weather really starts to change, and we might just be there.    

So for our latest instalment of We Try Before You Buy, we’re discussing the very best coats on the market. Shearling! Camel! Leather! They all deserve a place in your wardrobe, but we wanted to make sure that we covered all of the coat styles our editors consider the best of the best. We also have a mix of price points, ranging from investment designer buys to gems we found on the high street (thank you, M&S and COS). Our aim with our try-ons is always to give you practical tips when it comes to sizing or explain how certain details actually look in real life, so our editors have all given a thorough review of their chosen coats to ensure you won’t regret that purchase.

Keep scrolling to see the winter coats we think are truly worth investing in in 2023.


best winter coats 2023: M&S shearling coat


Nicole M Gomes

“Once again, M&S has nailed the brief. Every detail of this designer-passing coat adds to the overall expensive look. From the dark chocolate hue that’s both on trend for the season and universally chic to the metal closures, you’d never guess this cosy coat was from the high street. Keep your eyes peeled for this to land in store if you miss it online, as the oversized fit is great when layering thick knits underneath during the cooler months. Alternatively, you could size down for a neater fit. The collarless design is yet another chic aspect to the silhouette, which I’ve highlighted with the accompaniment of a turtleneck.” — Florrie Alexander, commerce writer


Autograph Borg Jacket With Wool


best winter coats 2023: COS wool coat


Nicole M Gomes

“This COS coat flew off the shelves last year, and was spotted on every influencer and editor from London to New York and back again. So, when we saw that it was back for 2023, we knew we had to try it out. Luckily, it really does live up to the hype. It is unbelievably warm and cosy (it’s made from 72% recycled wool) and has a lovely funnel neck with a spread collar and button closure, giving it a softly tailored, cocoon-style silhouette that looks so chic. Shape wise, it’s definitely oversized. I’m a size 12-14 (depending on the brand) and 5’7″, but I ordered a size small. It fit perfectly over my dress but I’d want a medium if I was looking to layer chunky knits underneath it. For under £300, I think this is such a fantastic buy. Now I just need to decide between this beige hue or the classic black… Wish me luck.” —Poppy Nash, managing editor



COS Oversized Rounded Wool Coat


best winter coats 2023: max mara belted coat


Nicole M Gomes

“I’ve been wanting to slip into this Max Mara coat for years thanks to its classic colour and timeless silhouette. As soon as I put it on, I knew it was a keeper. It has a slightly oversized fit on me (I’m 5’3” for reference) but thanks to the belt, I could cinch it in at the waist for a more fitted look. The quality is incredible and it kept me so warm, which is why this coat deserves a spot in my wardrobe for many years to come.” — Grace Lindsay, junior beauty editor 


Max Mara Madame Coat

best winter coats 2023: arket puffer coat


Nicole M Gomes

“As soon as the first signs of autumn approach, you’ll find me practically living in puffer coats. It’s the socially acceptable version of being wrapped in a blanket outside —what’s not to love? This year, I’ll be in ARKET’s Down Puffer Jacket, which has a glossy polyester shell and is filled with recycled down for the perfect pillowy feel. I found the coat had a slightly larger fit, but this wasn’t an issue for me as it features an adjustable hem at the bottom. I love the detail of the two-way zips, and really appreciate it having a hood, especially with how unpredictable the weather can be as we change seasons.” — Jerrylyn Saguiped, affiliate manager 


Arket Down Puffer Jacket

best winter coats 2023: toteme short coat


Nicole M Gomes

“As someone who thinks over every purchase she makes incredibly thoroughly, you can imagine the hours I spent deliberating over buying Toteme’s scarf coat. You know the one: the cover-up that’s dominated your social media feeds for three winters now, with an appeal that’s showing no signs of waning. With its oversized silhouette, thick, felted-wool fabric, contrast whip-stitched edging; and chic, built-in scarf, in my opinion, it’s as close to perfection as a coat can get. I finally took the plunge last winter and it proved to be my most-worn piece of the season. I was wearing it up until May this year and was overcome with joy when I pulled it out of its garment bag again for the first time this month. It’s a  statement but it’s also incredibly wearable and versatile—I wear it on the regular with jeans and tailoring, but also with slip skirts and dresses. Easily the most-complimented item I own, I’m legitimately considering investing in one of the other gorgeous colours.” — Maxine Eggenberger, deputy editor 


Scarf-Neckline Felt Jacket


best winter coats 2023: massimo dutti trench coat


Nicole M Gomes

“In my opinion, a trench coat is a wardrobe staple for the autumn and winter months. It’s such a versatile style, and can so easily be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. This Massimo Dutti one comes in a classic camel colour, and I love the smart collar and belt detailing. Sometimes I find that trench coats can look a little shapeless on me, but this one has a tailored fit that definitely gives it a more premium feel.” — Grace Lindsay, junior beauty editor 


Massimo Dutti Voluminous Trench Coat with Belt

best winter coats 2023: raey maxi coat


Nicole M Gomes

“I love the oversized fit of the Raey funnel-neck blanket coat; I took a size down and it fit perfectly. It’s really comfortable, doesn’t feel too heavy and is incredibly soft. Even though it’s a definitely a thick coat, I didn’t overheat when wearing it throughout the day. Maxi wool coats are great to throw on over any outfit to look smart whilst keeping cool in the colder months, and you can wear this one open for more of a slouchy look, or you can do up the buttons to form the funnel-neck for a polished finish.” — Sophie Cookson, insights manager


Raey Oversized Belted Funnel-Neck Blanket Coat


best winter coats 2023: rixo bright colour coat


Nicole M Gomes

“I just can’t help it; I’m a firm believer in more is more, and when it comes to looking for a coat I’m going to wear all autumn and winter, it needs to be something that packs a punch. Think less quiet luxury and more head-turning. As soon as I saw Rixo’s patchwork suede coat it ticked every box: premium quality fabric, a flattering length, and although it undoubtedly makes a statement, the rich autumnal colour palette goes with many more outfits that you might expect. For the next few months I’ll be happy wearing this with dresses, shirts and fine knits. Be sure to size up for a fit that will accommodate chunky winter jumpers—this is a slinky, streamlined fit purposefully designed not to be too bulky.” — Remy Farrell, shopping editor 


Rixo Milly  Patchwork Coat



best winter coats 2023: mango leather coat


Nicole M Gomes

“At this point it’s fair to assume that I’m trying to build a wardrobe filled with trench coats of all the colours of the rainbow; I’ve got the classic beige, a green, a brown and a yellow on the way. But it was only recently that I realised how much I needed a leather trench too. I may look like I’m trying to give Shaft or Blade a run for their money, but let me tell you now— your autumn wardrobe is not complete without a leather trench coat. I’ve found that it elevates and adds a touch of edge to even the simplest of outfits. This one from Mango is perfect for nights out when you don’t want to wear a coat that’ll ruin the look, but will still do a good job of keeping you warm. Don’t be put off by the price—I know it’s a little steep for the high street, but because it’s real leather you can buy it now and it wear forever.” — Joy Ejaria, social media editor


Mango 100% Leather Trench Coat

best winter coats 2023: joseph black coat


Nicole M Gomes

“The perfect black coat is hard to find, so when you find The One, you better act quickly. For me, this black Joseph coat is everything a great coat should be and more. I’m broad-shouldered, so you might think I ought to stay clear of anything with shoulder pads, but actually, I find the opposite to be true. A shoulder-pad silhouette seems to balance out my frame, making my outfit appear structured and neat rather than oversized and baggy. The double-breasted closure adds to the elegance of this well-tailored, button-down coat for a look that’s both comfortable and effortlessly smart. Easy to layer with a light knit or tee, I’ll be coming back to this coat all season long.”


Wool Chichester Coat

Next Up: These 6 Autumn-Ready Shoe-and-Dress Combinations Work Every Time


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