Kids' Coats Buying Guide

Children wearing winter coats on a sled iStockphoto

With winter right around the corner, it's time for parents to start thinking about coats for the kids.

But while you're thinking warm, your kids are thinking "cool."

So, how do you find a coat that will make you both happy?

On The Saturday Early Show, SavvyMommy.com's Victoria Pericon shared all you need to know to find the perfect coats for them.

She told of all the latest trends in winter coats, and had tips on how to get the best fit and longest wear, as she answered the most common coat-buying questions.

She featured some of the hottest-selling styles that kids will love -- at the most affordable prices.

Should parents buy their child's winter coat a size bigger so they can save money and not have to buy another winter coat next year?

No. While you think it may save you money, it could actually cost you. Children tend to grow at an amazing rate when you least expect it. Just because your child was a size 10 last year doesn't necessarily mean he or she will be the next size up this year. If you spend a little extra money thinking the coat will last a second year, you may find yourself back at the store the following year shopping for a new one. It's also good to remember that coats that aren't the correct size can be uncomfortable (sleeves that are too long, etc.), which may result in the kids taking them off, even in cold weather.

MODELS: Ava Natalie wearing fuschia / Maximilian wearing navy (4 year-olds)

Jacadi
Duffle Coat: $198

Available: www.jacadiusa.com

If parents have more than one child to shop for, can they save money and give their younger children their older siblings' coats?

Before you make that decision, you should check to see whether the coat for either child has sleeves that are too short or whether the coat doesn't cover her stomach when she raises her arms. The buttons and zippers for the coat should also still be in perfect condition. If everything checks out, then you definitely have a green light to use the coat again this year.

MODELS/BROTHER & SISTER: Mary (12 year-old) wearing Light Sea Grass Green, John (10-year-old) wearing Admiral's Blue

Lands' End
Weatherly Jacket: $60
Angel Down Parka: $90

Available: www.landsend.com

What's the appropriate length for a child's winter coat?

Boys usually do not wear coats longer than waist length, while girls more frequently wear longer coats. Determining how active your child is will also guide you to the length of coat that's appropriate for him or her. If you have a toddler, a long coat style for every day use work; it could cause a trip and fall.

MODELS: Sarah (7 year-old) wearing purple & Lex (9 year-old) wearing orange/gray

Crazy 8
Detachable Hood Puffer Jacket: $45
Coco Coat $50
Available: www.crazy8.com

How can parents compromise with their kids and purchase a coat they will like and wear?

Take her to the store with you, have her wear a sweater representative of her winter clothing, and guide her to the section of coats that fits into your budget. Let him choose his favorite coat from the selection, then let him go wild choosing the accessories for the coats. When children are allowed to let their personality shine via their hats, gloves and scarves, it's more likely they'lll keep their winter gear on them, even when you aren't around.

MODELS: Noa (8 year-old) and Ethan (4 year-old) BROTHER & SISTER

Janie & Jack
Wool Melton Peacoat: $78
Plaid Coat: $98

Available: www.janieandjack.com

Will one coat be enough for the entire school year?

No. Children should ideally have two coats. One for fall, which can be worn again in spring, and one for the bitter cold weather of winter. If they only have a winter coat, it will end up bundled in their backpack or on the playground floor once the weather starts to be less chilly. There are some winter coats out there that act as a two-in-one, and even a three-in-one, in which layers can be taken out or added as the weather changes. Those are also a great option for parents looking for winter coats this year.

MODELS: Sierra (9 year-old), Mikayla (6 year-old) and Nygel (10 year-old)

Gymboree
Corduroy Jacket: $52
3-in-1 Coat: $48
Wool Coat: $70

Available: www.gymboree.com
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