Helpful Tips for Choosing a Winter Coat When You are Petite

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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 outwear collection. Below are things that I look for in a coat before purchasing. This way I know that I will like it and feel sassy every time I put it on my body.

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My Checklist for a Winter Coat Addition

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.

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. Here are a few examples:

  • Fluerette Wool Coat from Nordstrom: This coat has such a timeless silhouette. I have actually owned this coat for close to 10 years and it still looks brand new. It is easy to add layers and due to the cut of the coat does not add bulk. It is an investment, but truly worth it in my opinion.
  • Fluerette Reed Wool Coat from Nordstrom: If you are looking for a coat that is a little longer then this is a great investment. Such a timeless silhouette that can be dressed up or down.
  • Sezane Johnson Coat: A perfect length even for a petite. The collar and lapels are not too big so they won’t overwhelm. Comes in beautiful colors that are all timeless classics.

Silhouette and Shape are Everything in a Coat

Look for slenderizing lines in a coat. Yes, sometimes we all need that down 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. Here are a few that would work.

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 sass. You just have to make sure that they are not too long or too full. Here are a few that I really like.

  • Giulia Wool Cape by Marta Scarampi: Here designs are eco friendly and hand made in Italy. Impeccable tailoring for a petite frame.
  • Sophia Faux Fur Cape by Marta Scarampi: If you want a cape for evening or just to dress up a pair of jeans for a night out, this is a fantastic option. A piece that you will have for many years to come.
  • Gorski Belted Cape: The belting on this cape definitely give you shape and will keep you warm. Such a timeless classic.

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. Here are a few coats that do a great job of that.


Most people tend to buy neutral colors when it comes to outerwear. 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 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.

If petite sizes are not offered in a coat that you really like 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. Here’s a round up of coats that would look great on petite frames.

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 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.


As always, thanks so much for taking time to stop by and read this post. The fact that you made it all of the way down here makes me smile. I really appreciate your support and being here on this journey of mine.


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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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