We hate to break it to you, but winter is on its way and fast. Before you know it, your daily walks and trips to the store will have to include a few extra layers, and those winter jackets and coats will make their way out of the closet and into your daily rotation.
However, if we’re being honest, we know how easy it is for an outerwear lineup to get out of hand. We love it all — puffers, denim, leather, faux fur — but which option are essentials and what's just excess?
To help declutter your wardrobe and make your search for this year's picks a bit easier, we've rounded up the only eight jacket and coat styles you'll need for this season and beyond. Whether it's 75 and sunny, or 25 and brutal, make your life a little easier by learning exactly what to wear and when.
The Perfect Trench
You can’t go wrong with a simple trench coat in your collection — they’re a staple for a reason. Neutral options tend to pair well with almost any outfit, from dresses to jeans, and are also perfect for rainy days, When shopping, consider everything from the specific shade to the inner lining to truly make this simple piece your own.
Shop Similar: Everlane The Modern Trench Coat ($146; everlane.com)
A Leather Jacket
A quality-made piece will last you a lifetime, so it’s definitely worth it to treat yourself to a true leather jacket (or vegan option) with a slightly higher price tag. A moto style with an oversized fit will add an effortless and laid-back vibe to any outfit, while leather blazers are celeb-approved and '90s-inspired.
Shop Similar: AllSaints Dalby Leather Biker Jacket ($450; nordstrom.com)
A Worn-In Denim Jacket
No wardrobe is complete without a well-worn denim jacket, but while you can’t go wrong with a faded blue shade for both fall and spring, options run the gamut if you prefer a cool color. There aren't many rules to wearing this baby, either: sling it over your shoulders if you're wearing a fancy dress, or pair it with jeans to nail the denim-on-denim trend.
Shop Similar: Good American New Slim Denim Jacket ($185; nordstrom.com)
A Warm Puffer Coat
There’s no time like the present to stock up on the basics, and by basics, we mean the puffer you'll inevitably throw on over everything from now until March. Outerwear is the perfect place to experiment with colors and prints — you only wear these items for a short time outdoors, so why not have fun with it? Whether you opt for neon, metallic, or classic black, make sure that you really, really love this coat. Especially if you think you'll be wearing it every day without fail.
Shop Similar: Daily Paper Mauve Pink Epuff Cropped Jacket ($242; dailypaperclothing.com)
A Casual Varsity Jacket
A bomber or letterman jacket is sure to bring back high school memories (or at least remind you of your favorite rom-com), and it's very possible you can find one at an actual vintage shop. Details such as faded leather or lettering make this layer an unexpected staple in your jacket rotation. Wear a graphic band tee underneath and wide-leg jeans for even more retro vibes.
Shop Similar: Vintage Varsity Jackets (various prices; etsy.com)
A Go-To Blazer
A blazer made from a heavier fabric such as wool is perfect for layering in the fall and winter. Choosing one with a slightly larger fit makes it possible to wear your favorite knitwear underneath, and it's a smart choice for 60-degree days.
Shop Similar: & Other Stories ($179; stories.com)
A Faux Shearling Coat
Add some flair to your jacket collection with a coat made from a shaggier fabric. Choose a longline style with all-over faux fur for optimal coziness, or pick up one made from leather or suede with furry detailing if you’re not ready to go all out. Sticking to neutral tones like oatmeal or black will make this playful shape a little more wearable.
Shop Similar: ASOS Design Shearling Parka with Borg Detail in Black ($119; asos.com)
If you're looking for something warm yet elevated, reach for an overcoat. This is your solution for days when you'd like to wear your puffer, but the rest of your look is on the fancy side, including details such as sequins, tulle, or structured items like suits. However, there's nothing stopping you from shrugging it on over sweats, too. Try a coat with a plaid print, which will no doubt be eye-catching in a sea of grey and black.
Shop Similar: Avec Les Filles Plaid Oversize Double Face Coat ($299; nordstrom.com)