The Real Difference Between A $50 And $500 Coat

Why are coats so expensive?
Well, for one, even the most basic coats need to perform. They need to keep you dry, or warm, or both. That requires a layering of different textiles, plus zippers, pockets, collars, and trim. They are as complicated in construction as your nicest cocktail dress. But more useful!
Still, you can find a range of prices for coats, starting in the thirties and going up to the thousands. But your coat of choice is more than just vanity — when you’re hunched over in the icy winter wind, you’ll either regret or be thankful for the purchase you made. So how do you know what you're getting for your money? To find out, we tapped the expertise of Jeff Johnson, creative Director and co-founder of The Arrivals, a contemporary brand focused on creating luxury outerwear at an accessible price. Johnson was remarkably game to dig through all the different decisions a brand makes when building a winter jacket or coat, from linings to the trimmings, to even how big the company is.
As always with this series, this is not a prescriptive, but loose guideline — you can mix and match choices to come to different price points. And, direct-to-consumer brands such as The Arrivals will naturally cost less than similar brands you find in department stores.