The weather is on the turn and it’s time to get cosy. Come rain, sleet, snow or chilly winds, the winter parka is the most practical and the most stylish sartorial solution. Commonly seen in chic neutrals such as khaki green, grey, black, tan and white, the parka can take you from day to night and from casual to smart in the blink of a costume-changing eye; all you need is the know-how.
So, in the spirit of sharing the know-how, we’ve put together a simple guide on what to wear with a parka this season.
What to Wear with a Parka … For the Weekend
Parkas are traditionally a casual outerwear style, so deciding what to wear with a parka for everyday looks is the easy part. Ladies, your best move is to pair up your parka with a pair of skinny or straight leg jeans – any colour will work with a neutral green, grey, black or fawn parka – and a pair of chunky boots. Both flat and heeled styles work perfectly, especially with chic details like a fluffy trim to match your fluffy trim parka hood. A pair of aviator sunglasses adds an extra fashion forward look, and a slouchy bag keeps the whole thing feeling very down to earth. See the styles being pulled off with perfection by Sienna Miller and Kate Hudson below.
Guys, your casual parka style can follow more or less the same footprint. A pair of simple straight leg or skinny jeans provides the perfect casual base, while a plain, fine knit sweater or simple crew neck t-shirt beneath your unzipped parka adds the final easygoing flourish. Don’t be afraid to mix up colours either; neutrals like khaki green, cream and black all work in harmony. Finish the look off with a pair of leather chelsea boots like Daniel of Magic Fox below.
Images: Getty / Instagram-Magic Fox / Getty
What to Wear with a Parka … For the Office
Who says you can’t smarten up a parka for the work commute? There is no longer any need to compromise on warmth over the winter months just to get the sleek aesthetic of ‘the work coat’; the parka can carry of the look just as well with the right clothing matches.
Ladies, take a leaf out of Olivia Palermo’s book and pair up your parka with smart work shapes and sleek accessories. A pair of crisply ironed work trousers and a smart-cut top in a soft, complementing colour shade will work perfectly with the cut of your parka. Team it up with a leather work bag and a colourful scarf to create the ultimate workwear aesthetic.
Images: Getty / He Spoke Style – Rob Mciver Photo
And, guys, if the above image doesn’t show you just how well a parka can work with your office wear then we don’t know what will. This Woolrich men’s parka, as modelled by Brian Sacawa of He Spoke Style, looks like it means business when layered over sharp suit trousers, jacket, shirt and tie. Stick to darker coloured parkas like navy, deep forest green or black to keep the look extra smart.
What to Wear with a Parka … For the Evening
If you thought a parka wouldn’t be posh enough for an evening out, think again. The fur trim and flattering fit actually makes this timeless jacket the perfect cosy cover-up for arriving and leaving your evening events in style. A parka works perfectly over the top of short and midi-length dresses, especially when paired up with classy court shoes or black leather boots. For an extra sleek look, opt for a black parka with light fur trim, as this helps keep everything looking smart and glamorous. But that’s not to say that the classic khaki green parka can’t also be styled with a late night look, as Kate Moss so expertly demonstrates with her little black dress and green parka combo below.
Guys, you know the drill. Simply adapt your office look from earlier by ditching the tie and donning one of your smart casual shirts. This, paired with your suit trousers or a pair of smart chinos will work perfectly under your parka coat, especially if you swap the office shoes for a pair of leather chukka boots.
We hope this guide has made it clear that deciding what to wear with a parka needn’t be a restrictive exercise. Both men’s parkas and women’s parkas can be effortlessly adapted for practically any occasion, location and time of day, meaning you get all the benefits of a winter coat as well as the appearance of a high fashion style.