Keep warm and mostly dry in the cold winter months in a women's parka. Women's parkas come in a range of colors and materials. There's a parka to fit almost any figure and budget. Since a parka isn't exactly known for being a stylish garment, get creative when shopping and think of ways to improve its appearance a bit.
Parkas come in several styles. You've probably seen the super-puffy, down parkas that were popular for a while. Other styles include belted parkas, fur-lined hooded parkas and military-style parkas. Not all parkas are built for winter weather. You can find some without any filling, which are great for the fall and spring. A parka can reach to mid-thigh or stop at the hips.
The style you choose depends on where and when you'll wear the parka. A down or polyester-filled parka is great for sledding in the snow or for walking around a city in the dead of winter. So that you don't look like a giant marshmallow, look for a filled parka that's slimmer and less puffy. A long, filled parka that fits close to your body may be just the thing.
If you want a more tailored-looking parka, choose one with a belt. Some unlined parkas have a drawstring belt built in to the jacket. Others have a tie belt, much like a trench coat.
Keep your head warm by choosing a parka with a hood. Some hoods are removable while others are fixed. If you want an extra bit of detail, choose a hood with faux-fur lining or trim.
Filled parkas usually have either polyester batting or down feathers inside. Some jackets have a mixture of both. Down may be warmer than polyester, but some people object to it, since it comes from young birds. The exterior of filled parkas is usually nylon, though you may be able to find other fabrics, such as cotton.
Unfilled parkas may be nylon and light enough for a spring day. Another option is a cotton twill parka without any filling, which is a great option for hiking in the fall. Other fabric options include polyester and denim.
A parka can zip closed or have large buttons. Some parkas have large pockets on the front, such as two large, square chest pockets and two pockets on the hips. Some are solid colors. Common parka colors include olive green, dark blue and gray. You may find a parka in a pattern, such as plaid or stripes.
The cost of a parka depends on its brand, style and materials. A down parka will cost far more than an unlined, cotton twill parka. A designer parka can cost hundreds of dollars while a parka from a discount, fast-fashion outlet may cost as little as $50.
Since you'll probably wear a parka frequently, it's best to try it on before you buy. You'll find parkas at department stores, as well as boutiques and discount stores. It is possible to order one online. If you decide to buy online, look for a store that offers free returns, in case the parka doesn't fit.