You can surely find a fine field parka at an upscale chain like Madewell, North Face or Patagonia, an outdoorsy chain such as Eddie Bauer, or even a bargain at Burlington Coat Factory if you don’t mind rifling through hundreds of fair to middling pieces of outerwear. Chicago does, however, offer a handful of independent stores that stock distinctive and just plain smart winter coats for a Midwestern hell otherwise known as winter.
(Photo Credit:

(Photo Credit:

1913 W. Division St.
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 395-2351

Whether you’re in need of a men’s North Pole down jacket or a Kasson Mountain Parka in the oh-so-trendy color Lichen for women, Penelope’s has you covered. The Wicker Park boutique offers a nicely curated selection of sturdy and comfortable yet stylish outerwear for men, women and kids from the U.S. and Europe. Shop at the brick and mortar store or order online and have it shipped to you.

Uncle Dan’s
3551 N Southport Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 348-5800

The nano puff jacket is everywhere and you’ll find a huge selection of the smart outerwear item at Uncle Dan’s, The Great Outdoor Store. This super light coat blocks Chicago winds and makes a perfect layer during the next Polar Vortex. It is so compressible that you can easily smash it into your tote or backpack when you get back indoors to prevent the inside winter sweat that’s so unbecoming. This city staple that’s been around for decades also stocks parkas, sweater jackets, fleeces, down coats and everything else for guys and gals to beat back winter. In addition to Wrigleyville, there are locations in Highland Park and Evanston.

15 E Huron St
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 587-1000

If money isn’t an issue, do browse Ikram for high-end designer coats from around the globe. The store is gorgeous, the cafe is comfortable offering fresh juices, salads, sandwiches and kale chips and the stock is definitely what you’d see in Vogue ads. There is a sizable sale section if you want to snag something at the end of the this season on sale for next winter.

Related: Best Consignment Stores In Chicago

Zadig et Voltaire
114 E Oak St.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 643-1240

French women eat croissants, foie gras and pastries and drink plenty of wine but don’t gain an ounce. They (and their paramours) would also shop at Zadig et Voltaire when in Chicago and look chic while staying toasty in an absurdly cold place like Chicago. Zadig et Voltaire stocks clothing and accessories for both sexes and the outerwear is just as cool as everything else in the shop. Choose a faux fur coat, a long parka with a sizable hood or a wool duffel coat with military lining – all guaranteed to look great while battling the elements.

She One
3544 N. Southport Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 549-9698

When the wind stops whipping your eyes shut, you probably won’t see yourself coming and going in the same coat as so many others when you shop this sweet small boutique. She One is on the more affordable side of the street among the shops on Southport, stocking some familiar brands but offering personal customer service that will also make you feel warmer.

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Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at