When Should You Actually Buy Your Winter Coat?

You might still be looking for a bikini for your end-of-summer getaway, but according to industry experts, you should already be thinking about your winter coat. Yes, that's right, August is the best time to buy a coat. Fashion editors swear by buying their coats as soon as the new season drops, but this is no longer just an insider shopping move.

"Many of our customers start buying their winter coats as early as August, as they're inspired by the catwalks and want to buy products as soon as they're available, putting them ahead of the season's trends," says Natalie Kingman, buying director at MatchesFashion.com. "Winter coats from key brands sell quickly, so I always buy mine early to avoid disappointment."

Net-a-Porter sees its biggest spike in coat sales in September, so it makes sense to start thinking about this big investment the month prior. "I do the same as our customers and purchase my winter coat in early September, which is when we typically see a spike in sales for our coats category," says Lisa Aiken, retail fashion director at Net-a-Porter. "I’m a 'buy now wear now' shopper, but I also want to make sure I purchase my coat early enough in the season before it sells out. As the fashion cycle is changing and designers are producing more 'see now buy now' collections, we’re starting to see more coats launching from August, so it’s a great time to start looking. My advice is to find the style you love, add it to your wish list and then purchase it in the first week of September," she says.

Alex Stedman of The Frugality agrees that this is the way to avoid disappointment, adding, "I always look for a coat in August, otherwise, you miss the best ones and the first drop. Also, most people generally buy theirs later (and you can be the smug one with the sold-out version)."

However, Roberta Benteler believes you should simply buy the things you love when you see them, saying, "Usually, I buy any piece whether a coat or a gown unrelated to an occasion for wearing it. When I see something I love, I go for it—this has proven a better strategy for me. Waiting to buy that long dress until two days before an event or that coat when it's already freezing outside is like going to the supermarket hungry—you often end up making a hasty decision and end up with something you don't need or want. August is the time when the new season drops, so I do often buy winter clothes around this time of the year." 

Ready to start your coat hunt now? Scroll below to shop three of the key coat trends for 2018.

Shop Key Coats

Next up, see our guide to the key trends for autumn/winter 2018.