A parka is a useful wardrobe addition

A parka is a useful wardrobe addition

The parka is a useful wardrobe addition

I have just returned from the South of France, where the weather was warm and mostly sunny, to a cold autumnal London. At this time of year, you need a nice cosy everyday utilitarian coat. The trusty parka fits this bill perfectly. It is a useful wardrobe addition. I have owned a JCrew one for a couple of years now and felt that it needed replacing.

Autumn has definitely arrived

Just before I left for France I bought this padded collared layered Parka from Cos. I decided this time to buy a longer version of the parka so that it covered my knees and kept my legs warm. This has proved to be a good decision as the temperatures are pretty low in London at the moment and this coat is keeping me warm and cosy.

I have teamed it with my red merino wool polo neck from Uniqlo. These sweaters are a staple of my winter wardrobe. I buy a new one every year and have quite a collection including black, grey and bottle green. They can be worn on their own or layered under dresses and V neck sweaters in the depth of winter.


The parka has a ribbed collar which can be worn up or down. It is made of cotton poplin with subtle padding at the body and hood for added warmth. The hem dips at the back which gives it a lovely swing effect.

You can just see my new jeans peeking out at the bottom of the coat. They are by Levis from John Lewis & partners. It has taken me ages to find a new pair of jeans that fit well and are comfortable. I will be telling you more about them in a later post.

The only thing that I would say about the parka is that is is quite voluminous and you probably need to be tallish to carry it off. I have done some research and have selected a few other styles that I feel might work if you are petite.

Other parka options

John Lewis has a good selection of parkas at various lengths.  An excellent one by Great Plains. They also have a good one in navy by Joules. Also a reasonably priced on by Kin. Plus a rainproof version by Seasalt. Lands’End also has some excellent parkas and some are reduced in the sale.

Photographs were taken by Hammersmith Bridge, south-west London by Laura Hines. Follow her on Instagram.


  1. 5th November 2018 / 15:46

    I like the look of a longer parker. It doesn’t look that sport stadium ish. I looks more like a style. That said I see the volume. Not sure if I’d be overwhelmed. I do try to wear long tops. They do look better on me. I must admit here in Southern California we don’t have too many really cold weather. So these tops are mainly for travel.

    • 5th November 2018 / 17:05

      The parka is quite voluminous as most of the Cos styles normally are; but not that warm as it is cotton. In really cold weather you would need layers underneath.

      • 5th November 2018 / 17:09

        Last year I went to Washington DC. It was so cold I had to wear one of those puffer coats and layers underneath that. We’re talking cold!!! But in LA? Not so much.

  2. Anonymous
    5th November 2018 / 16:12

    Down parkas are absolutely essential where I live. Fortunately, we have great selection in hem lengths, colour and fit. If you want a defined waistline, it’s out there. Hoods attach by elastic loop and button or zipper. Real fur trim, faux fur or no trim? No problem. Details like hidden snow cuffs, wind flaps to cover zippers, and toggle tighteners on the inner waistband keep the wind out. Winter is long, so I have a few for various ranges of cold. I can’t imagine winter without them. Well, I can, which is why I’ll never be without a parka again.

  3. Sharon
    5th November 2018 / 21:41

    Love your parka, Josephine! You can’t beat Lands’ End for outerwear – they have a wonderful selection of parkas and coats and different styles and lengths – and best of all in Petite! Their Stadium coat is a favourite – waterproof and warm without being bulky for everyday wear.

    • 6th November 2018 / 10:06

      Hi Sharon
      You are correct Lands’End have some excellent parkas. I have added them to my list and some are already reduced in their sale.

  4. Lizzie
    9th November 2018 / 12:07

    Spurred on by you have just bought a parka too! Mine came from Seasalt. Warm and quite on trend. Long too.

    Just one question, where did you buy your earrings. Am about to order the Uniglo jumper in red and really like your red earrings.

    Also, thanks to you, love the stretch ankle grazer trousers from M&S you mentioned a while ago.

  5. 9th November 2018 / 12:31

    Hi Lizzie

    Glad you like the M&S trousers. I find mine very useful.

    The earrings were originally from Jaeger a few years ago. They don’t seem to do anything similar any more. The nearest I could find is Hobbs

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