A wool coat can be an important investment. They come in a variety of shapes and forms, from business blazers to thick pea coats. Due to the variety of choices, it may take some consideration to decide what type is right for you. Some things to consider include the intended use of the coat, how cold it gets where you are, how long you want the coat to last, and how much you intend to spend.
As a fabric, wool has a number of advantages. It is naturally water resistant, thanks to the lanolin it contains, although you may start to smell like a wet sheep if your coat gets too wet. Wool is also an excellent insulator, and a coat made of it will keep you warm when other fibers might not.
This fabric has a few disadvantages as well, however. If it gets wet through, it will be very heavy and take a long time to dry. Most wool garments are also dry clean only, which can be expensive and time consuming. In addition, wool sometimes irritates the skin, and for this reason, garments should be lined with silk, cotton, or another similar material so that the fibers will not cause itching.
Wool coats come in a number of weights. Some wool is light enough to be worn in the summer time in some areas and can lend the wearer an air of style and sophistication. Thin wool tends to drape very well, making it extremely flattering on most figures. Thicker weights are designed for overcoats and cold weather. Thicker wool will cause the figure to bulk out, which is an important thing to think about when buying a coat.
If you are a businessperson, you may want to consider a blazer or slim lined long wool coat. This type of coat could keep you warm and looking professional. Most wool blazers have a matching set of pants or skirt as well, so that you can maintain a well put together and matched look. Longer coats can be worn over a business suit and checked at the door or hung up in your office. In well heated buildings, this is a good option because it would allow you to wear lighter clothing underneath, and still be warm when you went outside.
If you are looking purely for warmth, a pea coat or another type of thick wool overcoat is worth investigating as well. Pea coats tend to have a more square cut, which could make you look more boxy, so try on several coats and find a fit that flatters you. These coats tend to be thick and lined, meaning that they will keep out most cold winds. When trying on an overcoat, try to wear multiple layers underneath it, so that you will get an accurate idea of how it will look and fit.
Generally, the more expensive the wool coat, the longer it will last. Sometimes you can get a deal on a quality coat: just be sure to look for solid, even stitching, strong and well woven fabric, and 100% wool content. In thinner wool garments, a wool/cashmere or wool/silk mix would be acceptable as well. When you do decide to purchase an expensive coat, make sure that it fits you really well and see if tailoring is available; many reputable stores will tailor fine coats to make them the ideal fit for the wearer.