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Stay warm with wool coats this winter

By Paul Snelling Subscribe to RSS | January 30th 2012 | Views:

Wool is a natural fibre with a great many advantages, which is why it is so often used for both men’s and women’s coats, as well as for suits and many other high-quality garments. If you’re looking for a warm layer to finish your outfit and keep off the worst of the winter weather, you could do far worse than a good wool coat. As ever, though, there are variations in style and quality, and a few pros and cons to bear in mind.

Warm woollen coats

Temperature and weather will be uppermost among your concerns when looking to buy a new wool coat. Wool is a natural fibre and an excellent insulator – after all, it does outstanding service on its original owners, who are hardy enough to stand around on freezing hillsides in the depths of winter. This property is due to the amount of air trapped among the wool fibres – just like the insulation in a cavity wall, this prevents the conduction and convection of heat away from your body, keeping the warmth where you need it most.

Not only is a wool coat an excellent choice for keeping warm, but they are also relatively water-resistant and the naturally-occurring lanolin in the wool should keep off the worst of the rain. Because of its special properties, wool coats should usually only be dry-cleaned to avoid washing this out.

When looking for a wool coat you should consider the range of temperatures in which you will need it. Thicker coats are, of course, warmer, but the thickness of the fabric will also affect the cut of the garment. Thinner wool coats tend to hang better on the frame, and can bring out the best in your figure. They are more likely to have a higher percentage of cashmere, too. Thicker coats need to be chosen with some care, since they can make you look boxy or shapeless due to their tendency to drape less well – though this is by no means an insurmountable problem. These considerations will obviously be affected by your body type as well.

When not to wear wool

A good woollen coat is always an excellent addition to your wardrobe due to its warmth and style; wool is resistant to wrinkling in a way that other fabrics are not and always looks smart. However, you should bear in mind that wool has its limitations. Although it is resistant to showers thanks to the lanolin content, it is not fully waterproof, and so in heavy or persistent rain it will start to absorb water.

Whilst this isn’t too much of an issue for sheep, it can cause problems for a decent wool coat. For starters, wool is tremendously absorbent, and once wet through the coat can take a very long time to dry. There is also that characteristic smell you will instantly recognise in bad weather – the wet sheep effect. This is no great hardship, since generally if it’s pouring with rain you will typically want a properly waterproof coat, rather than one that is primarily designed to keep you warm.

Buying and fitting a wool coat

When purchasing a new wool coat make sure you wear as many layers as you would typically be wearing on a cold day, since this will give you the most reliable impression of its cut and the way it hangs on your figure. Try on a number of styles to find the one that best suits you, and don’t be afraid to ask for assistance if you are uncertain of what flatters you the most. After all, a good wool coat will be an investment that should last for many years and you should both look and feel good in it.

Paul Snelling - About Author:
For more information about Jaeger wool coats, Paul Snelling recommends you search for 'Jaeger' a luxury British brand renowned for designing stylish, innovative and superb quality womenswear, menswear and accessories - as featured regularly at London Fashion Week.

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