While the fashion world is gearing up for spring and talking about the hot new trends in the season that isn’t even here yet…most of the USA is in a deep freeze. As I look out my own window this morning, it’s all white everything – the sidewalks are covered in snow and the sky is a whiter shade of pale. So over it. But still, I’m not ready to entertain fantasies of Spring and resort wear. We’ve got like two more months of these temperatures ahead of us. So I figure I might as well look cute despite the weather!

Here’s the thing – Chicago DOES NOT PLAY when it comes to winter. Here people are well aware that cute and cool are all well and good, but when it comes down to it you probably will be sacrificing all that is cute and cool, and stay huddled up in a puffy sleeping bag of a coat all winter long. The North Face might as well sponsor this season, everyone you see on the street is wearing North Face something. And unfortunately North Face doesn’t yet make plus size outerwear. So I went on a bit of a mission, seeking the cutest, coolest, WARMEST plus size winter coats this season. And here are the stores where you should start looking!

One Stop Plus.

Maybe you’re like me and you prefer to try and touch an item before you buy it. Maybe you’ve been holding out and hoping to find the perfect plus size coat in person. But here’s the thing – When it comes to variety of cut, color, and brand, you really can’t do better than looking at OneStopPlus.com first. They are the ultimate online mall for sizes 12 to 44 – it doesn’t matter what number of “x” you need, they’ve probably got something for you – whereas in stores, you’re lucky to find a 3 or 4 X if that’s what you need. And they’ve got it on sale, too! Right now coats are up to 60% off, which is awesome. This season I was finally able to get THE leather jacket of my dreams – OneStopPlus for sure has the biggest range of leather and suede plus size outerwear I’ve seen anywhere, and the coats by Roaman’s are especially good quality, if leather is what you’re looking for! If you’re looking for something more funky and fun, this Newport News faux leopard swing coat could be just the topper you’re looking for. It’s funky, fun, and super fluffy. LOVE it for festive occasions!

Marshalls or TJ Maxx.

There’s a reason TJ Maxx’s slogan is “you should go” – you can’t shop online and you have no idea of what you’ll find till you get there. Does that mean that you won’t find THE perfect plus size coat at Marshalls or TJ Maxx? Well, it really depends on what your local store is like. I’ve learned that plus size departments can vary wildly from store to store. For example, the TJ Maxx on State Street in the heart of Chicago’s downtown loop usually has at least four racks of plus size clothes. The Marshalls just off of Roosevelt started out with a decent plus section and apparently has decided to whittle it down to just one lonely rack of picked-through clothes, which is just sad. Every time I go there, plus size shoppers are just circling the rack with despair in their eyes. However! I was able to find THE coolest coat there! It’s by “>, a vegan fashion brand. I can’t find a link to my exact coat online, but it’s kind of like the one you see pictured above, except raspberry with a belt and silver accents. I love it! It makes me feel super jaunty and bright against this winter landscape. AND I paid like $50 for it! If you’re seeking a very specific coat, you’d be smartest to start your shopping online. But please know there probably is something cute just waiting for you at Marshalls or TJ Maxx, if you’re willing to search for it.

Burlington Coat Factory.

As the name would indicate, Burlington is a GREAT place to begin coat shopping. But again – it really depends on where you live. When I lived in Miami, my nearest Burlington was in a pretty decent mall. Selections may have been a tad picked through, but I could generally find what I was looking for – the heavy faux fur lined Jones New York coat that I turn to on the coldest winter days, was purchased at the Burlington in Miami. My visits to Burlington Coat Factory stores in the downtown Chicago area have left much to be desired in terms of the quality of selection, the range of sizes, and the location of stores (which can be a tad on the divey side). The last time I went, the plus size selection was weak. But in a city near you, it could be much better so I still won’t discount Burlington as an option just yet. But there really could and should be a Burlington in the downtown loop, they’d clean UP!

Those have been my discoveries in the quest for the perfect winter coat. And I’m going to start featuring my fave picks from ShopStyle, which gathers all the stores you LOVE and posts them in one place. Click to check out my military-influenced outerwear picks below!

Where did YOU find your cool winter coat?

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