Helpful Tips for Choosing A Winter Coat When You Are Petite

Looking for and finding the perfect winter coat when you are petite can take some true due diligence. Not many designers design winter coasts for petite bodies. We need to look for more than just length adjustment if we want it to fit and flatter.

A good winter coat is an investment. It is something that you want to have in your closet to wear for many years. If you are like me and live in the south that is especially true. You don’t have to wear a winter coat that many weeks out of the year.

Each year I try to add a coat of some sort to my outerwear collection. Below are things that I look for in a coat before purchasing. This way I know that I will like it and feel great every time I put it on my body.

Before we talk about finding great coat options for our petite frames here are a few other posts I have written that you might want to check out.

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The Best Winter Coats For Petites

An outerwear wardrobe is something that takes time to build. There are many different styles, textures, and weights of coats out there. Depending upon the climate where you live you may or may not need all types of coats that designers offer.

I live in the South and honestly don’t wear a heavy coat very often. Here in Atlanta, we are always in our cars so it’s really just dashing in and out of places most of the time. However, whenever I need a coat I need a good coat so I try to keep a variety around.

They do come in handy especially when you are traveling. I must admit that I do look forward to bundling up from time to time. Don’t know that I would want to do it daily for months at a time, but it is fun for a few days here and there.

So when shopping for a new addition here are the things that I look for in a winter coat for my petite frame.

My Checklist for a Winter Coat Addition

Wool or Wool Cashmere Blend for Warmth Without Bulk

Fabrics that don’t add bulk are a petite woman’s best friend. That is why I opt for wool or wool-cashmere blend coats. They are warm and do not make us look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Wool coats usually offer more slenderizing and elongating cuts and patterns. They are the perfect winter dress coat option. You can easily wear them with skirts and dresses or more more casually with jeans.

The camel coat that I have on above is a great example of a wool winter coat that does not add bulk. I can easily get a sweater on underneath the coat and it has a great neckline for adding a scarf. It is not available in petite sizing however, the only thing I had to do was shorten the sleeves. Another brand of wool and cashmere coats that I really like that works for petites is Fleurette. I have an older version of this peacoat and this car coat that I love to wear.

Silhouette and Shape are Everything in a Coat

Look for slenderizing lines in a coat. Yes, sometimes we all need that down jacket or puffer coat for cold days in the snow. Some will look better on a petite frame than others. You just need to pay attention to the amount of down in the coat and how the stitching is done.

The Perfect Length for You Is Key

Depending upon where you live and how cold it gets will help you determine how long your coats need to be to keep you warm. Since I live in a milder climate I like to have faux fur vests like this one to wear with jeans . I have this vest in two colors, black and brown. It is a little longer and works great with slacks or jeans. They keep my torso warm and are great for layering.

The other outerwear option that I like for a mild winter climate or fall for some people is a cape. They are so easy to throw on and just add some personality to you look. You just have to make sure that they are not too long or too full.

One brand that does a great job of making capes just for petites is Marta Scarampi. Her capes are beautifully made and will be a piece that you will wear many years. Feeling oh so chic when you put it on with anything in our closet.

Here are a few capes that I really like for petites.

However, if you live in a colder climate you are going to want a long coat that does not drag the ground. We can only hem them so much without altering the lines of the coat itself. Here are some good options.

Accent Your Waist

As a petite, accenting our waist is one of the best things that we can do when choosing outerwear. We always want to create that illusion and draw other’s attention up to our faces. It just helps elongate us so that we appear taller than we are. Some coats will have a great nipped in waistline, like this coat. Others will have the option of a belt.

Another thing that can make the waistline accent look great from behind is a little permanent belt detail like on the back of this coat.


Most people tend to buy neutral colors when it comes to outerwear, black and camel being the most common. Me included. Trying adding in a fun color next time around. They can be stunning on and honestly we wear so many neutrals on bottom that a pop of color will just brighten your day.

Shopping for Your Winter Coat

Some department stores will have a few petite coats. Shops like Talbots or Ann Taylor will also have a selection of coats in their stores. It’s always worth a try. Another thing that is nice is just to get a feel for what feels comfortable and sizing. That feeling of instant gratification and walking out of the store with a coat in hand is something to strive for.

However, I think that for petites our best bet is to shop online. Shopping at the beginning of the season when inventory and selection are abundant is key. I know that the idea of trying on wool when it is hot outside isn’t appealing. You will thank yourself for planning ahead when the cold weather arrives. Most websites have good measurements and you can see how you should measure yourself here. Also remember that you may want to size up if you need to layer heavier clothing underneath your winter coat.

If petite sizes are not offered in a coat that you really like, then here are some helpful tips on purchasing clothes that don’t come in petite sizing. I have been doing this for years.

Here’s how I like to do my online shopping/try on session:

  • Choose two or three styles that I think will be flattering and order all of them.
  • Order the same coat in two sizes.
  • Turn the A/C on and start trying on. Yes, I layer on the clothing just like it’s cold outside.
  • Make sure that I walk around in it, act like I’m driving in it, and sit down in it.

Decision time. Choose THE one or send them all back.

Stick With The Classics and They Will Treat You Well

I am a true believer in sticking with the classics when it comes to outerwear. Well, actually all of your wardrobe. They never let you down. So just remember to invest in good quality wool fabrics, puffer jackets that have a thin down lining, silhouettes, and cuts that flatter your figure. You will be able to enjoy those coats for many years to come. Your wear per cost will make you smile in the end.

THANKS, Let’s Keep In Touch

Thanks so much for stopping by and reading this post. I hope that it helped you in your quest to find a new winter coat. Let me know what your favorite style of coat is in the comments below.

You can also find me on Instagram and Pinterest. I would love for you to follow me there. I also have a newsletter that I send out every Sunday morning. In it, I share things that I don’t share on other platforms. I hope you will sign up by clicking here.

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  1. This was a very thorough post on how to select the perfect coat for a petite frame. And you included such beautiful options!

    1. Debi,
      Thank you. I have learned those tips via trial and error over the years.

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