winter walk in cityContributed by Info Guru Lindsay Shugerman

Ah, winter. You either love it, anxiously awaiting that first frosty day, those first snowflakes. Or you hate it, dreading the icy roads and having to put your shorts and tank tops into hibernation. But love it or hate it, if you live or visit anywhere within winter’s chilly range, you’re going to need a coat.

Guys have it easy when it comes to coats. Most of them just grab whatever’s warm and handy and toss it on. Done. But it’s different when it comes to women’s winter coats. We have different needs, different styles. And thanks to the fashion industry, lots and lots of choices. So to make it easier, here are ten kinds of women’s coats (and maybe, reasons why you need ALL ten!)

10. The parka

red parka

Yes, I know it’s nothing to look at. And it makes most of us look like that cartoon guy on the tire commercials. But let’s face it, ladies. Parkas are warm! And when it’s hoovering around zero, warm is what you need. These are the best choice for winter walks, outdoor events, winter sports and all around staying toasty.

You can reduce the marshmallow effect without sacrificing warmth by looking for coats with high-tech filling instead of goose down.

9. The dress coat

ORVIS womens coat

Whether it’s for work, a job interview or just those days when you need to look more professional, a dress coat is a must for most women. Look for classic lines and quality materials because this is a coat you’ll want to keep from year to year.

Before you buy, check to make sure the arms are long enough (they should hit just above mid-hand when your arms are at your side), any waist detail (front or back) doesn’t ride too high, and that their is room to wear it comfortably with a blazer, suit jacket or dressy sweater underneath.

8. The leather jacket

Marc New York Leather Jacket  w Top Zip Pockets

It doesn’t matter if you ride a motorcycle or not, a leather jacket is a great addition to your outerwear collection. Not only are they super cozy, they look amazing with a pair of jeans and black boots. And just as amazing with a skirt or dress, too!

7. The fall (or spring) coat

purple spring coat

People who live in the tropics or the desert southwest just don’t get the concept of a spring coat or fall coat. But if you’ve spent more than a few years in a four season climate, it makes perfect sense. You need a coat (or two) that’s warmer than a sweater, but not as heavy as a regular coat. If you opt for two (one for spring and one for autumn), you can even coordinate the colors of the coats to the season!

6. The rain coat

yellow rain coat

Unless you live in the desert, a raincoat is a another must-have for your coat collection. If your style is dressier, you’ll probably be happier with a longer, trench coat style. More casual ladies can choose a brightly colored rain jacket instead — it’s a perfect look with jeans or shorts.

5. The evening coat

evening coat

If you love heading out for a night on the town, you don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort when the snowflakes start to fall. Look for a long, warm winter coat that looks great with dresses and other evening wear. Pair it with elegant gloves and a gorgeous silk scarf or shawl for a complete “ready to shine” look.

4. The multi-layer coat

North Face womens Jacket

If storage (or budget) is an issue, you will love the three way coats. They go by a lot of different names, like the Tri-Climate from The North Face. But all of them consist of a cozy jacket plus a shell, so you can wear just the jacket, just the shell or the two zipped together for wind and water resistant warmth. So much winter coat in one!

3. The faux fur coat

FABULOUS FURS mock mink coat

Isn’t it great that you can enjoy the luxurious style of yesteryear’s furs, without harming any animals? Today’s faux furs have come a long way since the fake-looking attempts of decades past — they’re softer, prettier, oh and warmer too. Select a cute jacket or head out in elegance in a full length faux fur masterpiece.

2. The pea coat

pea coat

One of the most enduring coat styles is the pea coat. This hip-length coat looks great with everything from jeans to dresses, and fits in just as well at work as on the weekend. And the shorter length makes it comfortable for time in the car or on the commuter train.

1. The “so-this-year” coat

colorful coat

It might not be practical. And it might only be in style for one season. But when you spot that cutting-edge design, the fashionista in you just screams “I have to have it!” And why not? You deserve a fashion treat now and then. And a beautiful coat might be just the thing to keep winter blues at bay.

Whether you’re shopping for one coat or all ten, a warmer, more comfortable (and more stylish) winter is just the right coat or two away.