Last Updated: August 2021

Can't Stand The Cold? Harper Coats' January Parka Has You Covered

The Bottom Line: The January Parka By Harper Coats

As a kid, I was invincible against the cold. Now, I can’t stand it.

No, I don’t live up north. Yes, I’m a wimp when it comes to anything below 50°. But I’m not ashamed, I’m annoyed.

Partially because people keep trying to tell me that it’s too cold to eat ice cream in January (ice cream is an always treat), but mostly because finding clothes that actually keep me warm — without turning me into the Michelin Man’s shorter-but-hopefully-better-looking cousin — is tough. And the ladies know what I mean here. The vast majority of women’s fashion doesn’t “do both,” and by that I mean look good and be practical.

Which is why, when I heard that Harper Coats had somehow cracked the code with a line of stylish, cold-weather coats and parkas, I was pretty skeptical.

Sure, the brand’s photos look great. And the fact that the coats are machine washable is an undeniably huge win. Female-founded? A promising point. And yeah, the fact that each faux-down-filled piece is completely cruelty-free checks a box I didn’t realize I actually, really needed. But how could Harper Coats possibly live up to the level of its promise? What was the catch? Did all the coats have those fake, tiny, paper-clip-sized pockets or… what?

There was only one way to find out. So, I gave Harper a shot, opting for the brand’s signature, January Parka, and stepped outside into some of the coldest weather we’ve had this season. Here’s my experience and review of Harper Coats.

Pros

  • Warm without being heavy or stuffy; you won’t feel like you have to take it off after wearing it for 10 minutes
  • Extremely comfortable – light and easy to move in; feels like wearing a blanket but better
  • Cruelty free – faux-fur detailing and sustainable, faux-down fill
  • PETA-approved, fully-vegan line
  • Looks great – easy to dress up or down; very versatile
  • Love the oversized hood, keeps you warm and comfortably shielded from the elements without making you look like a bowling pin, it’s also removable
  • Pockets are DEEP, they are LINED, there are MANY, and they zip shut!
  • Hidden, adjustable waist-cinchers
  • Machine washable; no more dry-cleaning fees
  • Durable, weather-resistant fabric, long-lasting, all-day wear
  • Female-founded and considered design – initial styles were refined with regular customer feedback to ensure a product that meets the needs of those who wear it
  • High-quality and affordable – great price when compared to other options in this category of outerwear

Cons

  • Limited color selection if you are looking for a lot of variety (but then again, neutrals tend to go with anything) – honestly, I’m reaching here, this coat is great

The January Parka: Key Features

Harper Coats January Parka – $250

Cruelty-free, sustainable fill

Oversized, removable hood with faux fur trim

Machine-washable, weatherproof shell

Ribbed storm cuffs

Internal waist-cincher

Snapped back flaps

5 (yes!) cotton-lined pockets (2 external waist, 2 external chest, and one internal chest)

Zippers and snap closures

Comes with JANUARY dust bag for off-season storage

About Harper Coats

Female-founded and ethically-designed, Harper Coats are made to fit any lifestyle while withstanding the worst of winter weather. Their coats are durable and machine washable, so you can enjoy your puffer, parka, or bomber worry-free.

Harper Coats are also certified fully vegan, cruelty-free, and sustainably-made, using environmentally-friendly materials to deliver warm, faux-down fills and stylish, faux-fur trims. In partnership with PETA, Harper Coats ensures that the down used in their coats is sustainably made without any animals being hurt in the process. They incorporate real user feedback into their designs, and thoroughly test each product to ensure that each coat satisfies the needs of customers.

Ratings Breakdown

quality

Stylish, adjustable and flattering fit, machine-washable, cruelty-free, weather-resistant, meticulously considered design, intentional and practical details, abundance of pockets

value

Delivers everything you could want in a coat with unbelievable quality and style, competitively-priced, long-term investment, durable, free shipping, discounts available, financing options

customer experience

Quick shipping, dust bag included, 15-day window for exchanges/returns, actively requests product feedback to use in future product development

brand

Truly values customer feedback and collaboration, PETA-certified vegan, sustainable faux-down fill, female-founded brand creating solutions for women’s fashion, appreciates a good pun

perks

Free shipping, dust bag included, durability of product, subscribe to newsletter for regular discounts and engagement opportunities

Women’s Winter Wear: The Cold Truth

When I was a kid, my parents couldn’t keep me off the beach or out of the water — even in Winter. When it snowed, I’d be outside all day and into the evening, building snow forts and snow people well after the sun had set — until my fingers were numb through my gloves, stopping only to snag a mug of hot chocolate with extra marshmallows. (I’m proud to report that my eye for perfect marshmallow-to-cocoa ratios has not changed. When it comes to making hot chocolate, she’s still got it.)

As I got older, whatever warm barrier of nostalgic, childhood fun that had protected me slowly started to fade. Gradually, the cold began to seep in, and, long story short — now I hate it. And that’s mostly because, until recently, I couldn’t find a way to keep warm that wasn’t a hassle to have on throughout the day.

In my experience, shopping for a winter coat goes something like this:

  • Coats are either:
  • Warm, but not cute
  • Warm, but not comfortable
  • Cute, but not warm
  • Or comfortable, but not cute.

 

Using direct customer feedback and a series of ongoing product surveys to design a line of 3 sustainably-made, ethically-sourced, cruelty-free puffer coats, Harper Coats is a newcomer to the world of frost-fighting frocks — and claims to have finally resolved the women’s winter coat conundrum.

The Puffer Gets Personal: The January Parka

Before we jump into the January Parka’s performance, there’s a brief bit of backstory around the puffer coat style that’s probably important for context. Simply put, some people, whether out of necessity or personal preference, absolutely swear by this style. I, historically, have never been that person. Every large, puffy coat I’ve tried has either attempted to snuff me out of existence or swallow me whole.

Designer coat options left me wanting something more, especially when the price tag was so substantial (and many designer, down-filled options are, by nature, not cruelty-free). Most of my experiences involve limited mobility, overheating, and hissing like a deflating balloon as the coat in question decompresses. So, I’d determined that puffer coats were too much puff and not enough coat —at least for my taste. Until I put on the January Parka.I know it might sound cliché to say that this was a perspective shift, but it honestly was. I’d spent so much time avoiding the discomfort I’d associated with this particular style, and here was a coat that was proving me wrong on every point.

Where other coats were too long, this one worked — with enough room around the legs to allow for unrestricted movement (and if I wanted a bit more flare, there’s a snap for that).Where other coats have hoods that are non-functional and too small, the January Parka provides a spacious, lined, filled, and lightly weighted, oversized hood that keeps your face well-sheltered from the wind and rain or snow. If you don’t want or need a hood, there’s a snap for that, too.

The January Parka Keeps Its Promise

While other coats are designed to be heavy and warm, many aren’t designed to actually keep heat in, releasing whatever warmth they generate through the ends of your sleeves, out through unconsidered collar designs, or even through after-thought pockets. Not this Parka.

Harper Coats does design right; from the hidden, ribbed and fitted storm cuffs on the insides of the sleeves, to the dual zipper-and-snap closure that carries up through the adjustable collar, to the deep, lined, zip-and-snap-able side pockets, thoughtfully positioned to provide the perfect hand warmers on extra brisk days (like this one).Simply put, Harper Coats has you covered, literally, and I’m now a proud fan of this puffer-style Parka.

As for the coat itself, the January Parka does it all, and completely delivers on the promise of Harper Coats. I use this coat when I know winter will be at its worst, and every time, I’m comfortable. Thanks to Harper Coats, I don’t have to worry about the cold, and I can enjoy feeling invincible again.

Harper Coats: Final Thoughts

The adjustable design, sustainable and ethical construction, and the dedication to open conversation and constructive dialogue with its customers make Harper Coats a standout brand.

Top-quality vegan and environmentally-friendly materials? Yes. Highly competitive price tag? Please (and thanks). Cruelty-free down? We’re down. When it comes to women’s winter wear, Harper Coats hits all the high notes, and their weather-proof coats are wonderful — inside and out. Simply put, this one is worth it.

Shop Harper Coats Faves

Harper Coats

January Parka in Black

$250$350($100 off)

Harper Coats

Uptown Puffer in Black

$250$300($50 off)

Harper Coats

Uptown Puffer in Ivory

$225$300($75 off)

Harper Coats

Uptown Puffer in Olive

$275$300($25 off)

Harper Coats

Brunch Puffer in Olive

$200$250($50 off)