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Can You Wear a Parka with a Suit?

A man in black background wearing parka with suit.

Though parkas are built for surviving the harsh climate of Antarctica, these heavy-duty coats have become a staple in people’s winter wardrobes. It’s one thing that helps make commuting around the city tolerable. As the king of parkas, Michael Kors, once said, “the best things a [person] can have in [their] closet are pragmatic but also indulgent.

A fur-trimmed parka is both of these.” The right parka will keep you toasty warm and fashionable whether you’re going to the grocery store or a company board meeting.

Pairing Parkas With Suits

When first putting a professional winter ensemble together, you may not think about wearing a bulky parka with your slimmest, sharpest suit. But trust me: the juxtaposition of the oversized and slim fit is exactly what makes this look fresh. Whichever style you choose, be sure that the coat fits you properly.

If the jacket of your suit hangs below the hem of your parka, either one or both of your garments are the wrong size. If you have concerns regarding the fit of your jacket, I’d suggest shopping for one in-store rather than online.

Trending Colors for Winter Jackets

In terms of color, stick to neutral tones for professional attire. Colors like gray, black, navy, or caramel are great because they can be paired with anything. It will add a level of polish that will complete the look. With the right choice of a winter coat, you can look professional, stylish, and sophisticated while staying toasty warm.

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Best Winter Jackets to Wear with a Suit

Women in a red parka jacket with a fur hood in a snowy Baikal in the hummocks.

Keep in mind that boxy parkas aren’t the only option available. There are so many styles, you’ll surely find the perfect winter jacket. Below are the different variations of parka coats you can choose from:

The Arctic Parka

The arctic parka, also known as the ‘snorkel’ parka, is the warmest style of parka available, and its styles can vary subtly. This coat was designed specifically with warmth in mind. It features a fur hood that only leaves a small opening when zipped up.

Brands Woolrich and Canada Goose have made this design their signature. Arctic parkas are the most popular style for cold weather due to their waterproof nylon-blended fabrics and wool lining or insulating down. Because of these features, you can stay warm in up to -40-degree weather, so it would be wise to take it off when taking public transportation.

M-51 ‘Fishtail’

The original fishtail parka was initially crafted from wind-resistant olive drab-colored cotton or nylon. They feature two large front pockets and a removable wool-pile line (attached beneath) for added warmth. However, many luxury brands have altered the original design, repping different styles in the same or similar tones.

Tailored Parka

Inspired by the M-51, tailored parkas are more minimalistic. The silhouettes are a slim cut and have no extraneous details, and typically come in muted colors, making them very versatile. This style is ideal for everyday use during the winter, especially if it is lined.

Tailored parkas usually come in more luxurious fabrics like cashmere blends or merino wool, making them more elegant than other styles, so they pair well with suits and dresses.

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Top Three Parka Options: 

1. Quarts Co. 

  • The Ines No Fur Jacket: This minimalist women’s jacket is both durable and comfortable. It is also made with sustainable and technical fabrics and superbly adapted to withstand freezing temperatures. It is constructed with innovative horizontal baffle materials with a hidden waist adjustment.

The jacket also has a YKK two-way zipper, with a windproof flap and hidden snaps. It comes with a fixed hood with internal headband adjustment, and storm cuffs insulated for a comfortable and secure fit. What’s the best part of this sleek jacket?

It’s machine washable!

2. Patagonia

  • The Lone Mountain Parka: This warm, versatile, waterproof, and breathable insulated jacket for men will be a wonderful addition to your winter wardrobe. It has an adjustable hood, two-way center-front zipper, adjustable cuffs, two handwarmer pockets as well as one internal pocket.Stunning photo of a woman wearing parka at Patagonia.

3. Vallier 

  • The Outremont Parka: This high-length men’s coat is designed to withstand harsh winter weather with class. It is windproof and water-repellent with 800-fill power goose-down insulation for ultimate weatherproof protection and warmth.

What Makes These Coats So Great?

Fashionable man in parka with camera sitting on the steps.

I love these coat options for professional ensembles for a couple of reasons. One, the features are sophisticated and sleek, so they transition well from casual to professional to a night out on the town. Two, they have longer hems which pair perfectly with a suit.

It is not a good look to have the bottom of your suit jacket hanging out the bottom of your parka. First impressions are everything, so it is crucial to pick a jacket that is classy and comfortable to wear with your suit during the winter.

How to Dress for Interviews on the Coldest Days? 

As I stated earlier, your suit jacket should always fit beneath your winter coat. If you decide to wear a skirt or dress to an interview, make sure that your coat is longer than hip-length. Try to find something at least finger-tip length or longer.

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Your winter coat is important, and so is the clothing you wear underneath it. The general rule is that interview attire should be pretty bland. You want the focus to be on your resume, not on your sense of style.

Be sure to wear cold-weather business attire during the winter. Regardless of how warm your coat is, wearing clothing out of season can be offputting and distracting. Potential employers may focus more on your odd choice of an outfit rather than your qualifications for the position.

For women, dress pants, thick tights, or a full skirt and winter dress shoes like loafers or ankle boots. For men, a solid colored button-up shirt and suit, and a solid or subtle patterned tie, thick dress socks, and dress shoes. When buying winter dress shoes make sure they are waterproof!

They will keep your feet much warmer and will be better for commuting when it is snowing. Be sure to wear thick gloves to prevent icey cold handshakes; scarves are excellent for keeping your interview outfit dry on snowy days. A knit beanie will keep your head dry, but if you’re like me and worry about hat-hair, stick to a fashionable pair of earmuffs.

It is important to have the right in-season wardrobe, especially when it comes to business attire. Having a great parka that can transition from casual to professional will make your life so much easier during the frigid winter months by keeping you both comfortable and fashion-forward.