Parkas are designed to keep the wearer warm in chilly weather, which is why they’re perfect for winter. The Inuit people have used parka-style jackets for centuries, but they can also fit seamlessly into a modern wardrobe. Parkas are long, insulated jackets that include a hood with real or faux fur.
Is a Parka Warm Enough for Winter?
Not only are parkas warm enough for winter, but they’re actually one of the best winter coats on the market. Parkas were specifically designed to retain body heat while blocking out the cold. You’ll find that most parkas are well-insulated and that the extra length of the coat keeps more of your body warm.
Virtually all parkas are designed for harsh winter weather. In fact, it can be difficult to wear a parka when it’s too warm out. If you live in an area with long, brutal winters, or if you spend a lot of time outside, a good parka could be an excellent investment.
What’s the Difference Between a Parka and a Winter Jacket?
A parka is a type of jacket, but it has details that help it to stand out from other types of coats. Parkas are usually slightly longer than your typical winter coat. This extra length is designed to provide the entire body with protection from the cold.
Another notable detail about parks are the hoods. While all parkas have fur-lined foods, there are many parkas that use faux fur rather than the real thing. The fur on the hood helps to prevent heat transfer and protects against frostbite.
Parkas also have some sort of insulation that gives them a puffy appearance. Most jackets contain down or synthetic feathers, but you can also find parks with a wool lining. A parka can keep you very warm, which is why it’s best not to wear these coats during warmer weather.
Can You Wear a Parka In the Rain?
Most parkas are made from some kind of waterproof material so that they can keep the wearer dry during the show. Because of this, you can wear most parkas in the rain as well. With that said, you’ll want to take some precautions to keep the fur on the hood from getting overly wet.
Some parkas have removable hoods. If this is the case for your parka, you can simply remove your hood and use a hat or an umbrella to keep your head dry. Another option is to use a waterproofing spray on your hood that will help it to repel rain.
A spray won’t make your parka’s fur hood completely waterproof, but it will help you to avoid water damage on rainy days.
What Should You Wear With a Parka?
On an ordinary winter day, you can simply wear your parka over your normal clothing. If you’re wearing a blazer or sports coat under your parka, make sure that your parka is longer than your jacket. When you’re spending long stretches of time outdoors, you’ll want to take extra precautions to ensure that you stay warm and dry.
Robin Barnes and Amy Gan of the PSIA Alpha team recommend wearing three layers of clothing. “There are three layers that are important to wear,” says Robin. “The first is a base layer or next-to-skin piece that will help wick moisture away.
The second layers are going to be insulation layers over top.” Even in very cold weather, you’ll be able to stay warm if you choose a parka as your third layer of clothing. For maximum warmth, look for a down parka that will keep you insulated against cold temperatures.
Even though parkas have hoods, you may want to wear a hat or earmuffs under your hood for extra warmth.
Are Parka Jackets Fashionable?
“The parka is a great solution when it gets cold,” says Jim Moore of GQ. “There’s no reason why it can’t be practical and stylish at the same time. Jim recommends looking for a parka in a neutral color, like navy, dark brown, or black.
He suggests investing in a well-fitting parka with a clean design. As long as the parka is the appropriate length and has the right fit, it can be paired with all kinds of outfits. A parka can easily be worn over a suit and also works well with more casual clothing.
To add some visual interest to a neutral parka, choose a scarf in a bold color or pattern.
How Can You Wear a Parka In the Spring?
If you’d like to keep wearing your parka in even temperatures-wise, there are a few steps you can take that will keep you from becoming overheated. Instead of zipping or snapping your parka shut, you should leave it open so that more body heat is able to escape. Underneath your parka, you should wear light layers made from breathable fabrics, like cotton or linen.
Make sure you keep the hood of the jacket down. If you start to feel too hot as the day goes on, it’s best to take your parka off and swap it out for a lighter jacket.
How to Choose the Right Parka
A high-quality parka is something that you can wear for many years, especially if you live in an area with long, cold winters. While you can find parkas at many different price points, it’s worthwhile to invest in a high-quality coat that will hold up well as time goes on.
Focus on Fit
You’ll look more stylish and feel more comfortable in a parka that fits you properly. When you’re looking at the fit of a parka, you should remember that you’ll often be wearing bulky layers beneath your coat. You may want to try on a parka while wearing heavy clothes so that you can get a better picture of what the fit will actually be like.
Pay Attention to the Fill
The type of insulation a parka uses will have a major impact on the amount of warmth it provides. While a parka with a synthetic fill is likely to be cheaper, it packs down as time goes on, which means the coat won’t keep you as warm. A parka with real down or wool fill is your best option.
Check the Zipper Quality
If there are issues with the zipper on your parka, it may be hard for you to zip or unzip your coat. The surface of the teeth of a zipper should be fairly soft so that the slider can move up and down without any issues. In addition, the zipper should have a sturdy reinforcement tab.
Don’t Overlook the Details
Small details can have a major impact on the experience you have with a parka. Try to find a coat with cuffs that cinch so that you can keep heat from escaping at your wrists. Pay close attention to the size of the pockets and make sure they’re large enough to fit your phone, keys, and other essentials.
It’s also a good idea to look at the coat’s wash instructions. While most parkas can go in the washing machine, there are some coats that need to be washed by hand. Make sure that cleaning your parka won’t be a hassle!