Everyone’s going nuts for autumn, but it’s the kind of autumn that only exists on Instagram – the leaf kicking, the conkers, the hot chocolate etc. (This post contains some affiliated links.)
*Looks out of window at endless grey driving rain*
Chunky jumpers and bright scarves are all very well, but what we actually need is a technical fabric that will withstand horizontal precipitation. And what our tween boys need is something practical but also something they actually want to wear.
Does such a winter coat exist though? We asked one of our red-and-black-striped guinea pigs, 11-year-old Arthur, for his take on the winter coat. First, we pretended that we were going to buy him the sort of thing he wore when he was, oooh, five or six. A padded jacket in a bright colour, with stars all over it, perhaps. Or an all-in-one hooded babygrow (ha ha ha) with a character design.
He wasn’t happy. ‘All I know is I would not be happy with that. I would ask you to send it right back because I don’t like that kind of thing at all. There’s no way in the world you could make me wear something like that!’
What about a duffle coat, Arthur? ‘What, the Paddington one? NO!’
Good news, Arthur, we’re not serious. But please tell us what winter coat would you wear then? ‘My favourite is a puffa coat because they’re comfy and warm, they keep the rain off and they don’t make you look like a mummy’s boy. I might wear a parka – I like the fluffy inside, it looks warm. I don’t like them when they have buttons instead of zips though. Padded outdoor jackets are okay, and I like bodywarmers. Might give a ski jacket a go, too.’
What about brands? ‘I like The North Face, Nike and Adidas. But we’re not allowed branded stuff at school so my puffa coat is from Uniqlo.’
Which feels like a good place to start. Arthur’s right – Uniqlo makes quilted coats for boys and girls in loads of colours, plus they’re not priced higher than the coat you’re wearing this year (for the seventh year running). These bad boys run from age 3 to 13 and come in just under £30. Or for £10 less, you can get a sleeveless gilet version or for £10 more, a furry hooded Parka version.
Bonus mention goes to the Uniqlo pocketable parka (£19.90) – essentially a pac-a-mac update, but properly water-repellent. Perfect for the bottom of their school bags.
Next up, the Marks and Spencer’s parka. This one comes in grown up grey marl for the more self-conscious tween. Plus, it has a zip not buttons (are you listening, Arthur?) and plenty of secret pockets for hiding sweet wrappers. Depending on what size you order, this cosy but cool parka costs £34-38, and we’re pretty sure that the quality will be high. We love a British high street staple so don’t let us down M&S!
Looking for something a bit less practical, a bit more astronomical? No, not in price – H&M’s bomber jacket is £24.99. We meant the Nasa badge, obvs. It’s padded, has a quilted lining AND a detachable hood. And it’s what the astronauts wear so who cares if it doesn’t withstand a rainstorm? We don’t need rain where we’re going!
If it’s really fancy and top quality you’re after, then the Mini Rodini parka is just what you need. Here comes the science bit. Concentrate! This Pico jacket has Bionic Finish Eco® impregnation to ensure that it is waterproof. It is also breathable 3,000 g/m2/24h and windproof. No, us neither.
And finally, from the sublime to the realistic, it’s Asda’s 14 quid reversible khaki/camo packable padded jacket. This one is functional, affordable and, frankly, if we can bung it in the trolley with the rest of the shopping then that’s one less thing to worry about, isn’t it?
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