A few years ago, I ditched my puffer coat for a more aesthetically pleasing (but equally warm) down parka and haven't looked back. With more and more designers from Rag & Bone to Prabal Gurung introducing parkas into their fall and winter collections, I think it's safe to say that they're the chicest option right now when it comes to actually staying warm. Fancy capes, wrap coats and other trend-driven styles may be elegant and cozy, but they're generally too thin and leave too much exposed to actually work in sub-freezing temperatures.
Of course, with all their insulating powers and fur trims, good parkas can be on the expensive side — but if you stick with one of the 10 standbys we've suggested, we think you'll be spending your money well. They're functional, warm, high-quality and get produced and picked up by top retailers season after season in classic-but-cool silhouettes that won't go out of style. Like a little black dress and a timeless handbag, you need at least one in your wardrobe.
Click through for our picks in a variety of prices, from brands both fashion-y and outdoorsy.