iStyle: Discover your inner explorer with a parka

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A woollen coat may look smart, but when winter arrives a parka will be  essential kit for the daily commute, says Lee Holmes

Winter is coming. There’s no escaping it. Which means you’ll need to start thinking about wearing a coat. Usually, you can take or leave most style advice, but it pays to listen when spending hard-earned cash on outerwear. Cashmere may look like a million dollars but it won’t keep you dry when the damp weather sets in.

Winter is coming. There’s no escaping it. Which means you’ll need to start thinking about wearing a coat. Usually, you can take or leave most style advice, but it pays to listen when spending hard-earned cash on outerwear. Cashmere may look like a million dollars but it won’t keep you dry when the damp weather sets in.

Instead, it’s the humble parka, with its polar explorer associations, that’s proving to be the coat of the season. Traditional brands such as Canada Goose or Woolrich cost a pretty penny, so focus your attention on the high street, where packs of parkas are jostling for your attention. Ideally it needs to work in an urban environment while not forgetting its outdoor origins.

So, whereas a snug fit is essential, the rugged details shouldn’t be entirely ignored. Trips to the Antarctic may not be on your agenda, but a fur-trimmed hood (faux, naturally) will come in handy during snowball fights. Colour-wise, decorous neutrals are ever popular but pops of colour can be a jolly thing, too.

It also gives you the opportunity to turn accepted dress codes on their heads by sporting it over a suit, injecting life into your five-day-a-week work wardrobe. The golden rule here, though, is to ensure your parka is longer than your suit jacket.

If you need convincing further, then remember that even the lightest dusting of snow can bring our transport systems to a halt. Your only other viable means of getting into work could be on a dog sleigh. If you’re wearing a parka, at least you’ll be warm.

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