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Find the Perfect Parka for Wide Hips: Winter Parkas Designed to Fit Pear Shaped Women

I had such a struggle finding winter parkas designed to fit pear shaped women – stylish parkas for wide hips are difficult to find!  And I needed one – immediately.  Moving back to Lake Superior sees us contemplating a long “to-do” list.  Among the many unchecked items is getting prepared (again) for harsh winters.

Begrudgingly, we recently schlepped from store to store and each bought a seriously toasty winter coat and a pair of winter boots.  Hubby had it much easier: walk into store, try on three coats and pick one.  Done.  Walk into another store, try on two pairs of boots and pick one.  And he looks as handsome as ever in his new gear.  I, on the other hand, had a ridiculous time finding a winter coat that would actually zip over my wide hips and not be uncomfortably over-sized on the top.  Desperately I Googled “warm winter coats for big hips and smaller chests” with no luck.  Instead, I tried on what feels like a hundred different coats until my hair became pure static.  Honestly, it made me feel like crap about my body.  When I finally found a good short list of coats that fit trimly through the torso with a little wiggle room in the hips, I decided I’d post my shortlist list of parkas that fit wider hips for anyone who might be having the same struggle.

UPDATE: this post was originally written in 2013 but I have updated it for 2021.  Some of these coats are no longer sold, and I’ve since added a new one for 2021, but perhaps the same brands might have other coats you’d like so at least it’s a start…  

One caveat: none of these are cheap coats, but I needed to find a seriously warm coat.  We have winter weather as cold −36 °C, with a wind speed of 54 km/h for a wind chill temperature that dipped to −58 °C.  Unfortunately, Szuka has her own, naturally toasty fur coat and loves the snow – she will not accept a cold, blizzardy day Robert Munsch would write about as reason enough not to go for a walk.

Stylish Parkas for Wider Hips

Columbia Madraune (Seems Out of Stock, But Maybe Poshmark, eBay, Amazon…?)

The first contender was the Columbia Madraune, a 80% duck down/20% feather parka.  It has Columbia’s “omni-heat” reflective lining that reflects body heat back toward the wearer.  I have had boots with their omni-heat and it does work – you can stay toasty with less bulk.  It’s a soft and warm coat, but nipped in at the waist so it doesn’t feel bulky.  I found it was cut generously through the hips.  I liked it (it was also the cheapest: just over $200 in-store), but was told by the store staff that while it is certainly a good parka for chilly winters, it won’t do for epic cold.

North Face Metropolis (Still Available 2021)

My favorite was this teal North Face Metropolis parka and I think you know why!!  I tried this on a million times and each time I lovingly admired the colour.  It was cut boxier than the Columbia parka, but still wasn’t too bulky on top and it zipped easily over my derriere.  It was also a lighter weight coat, but I read some reviews on Amazon and gals in the UK have gone gaga for it – so I think it can handle pretty chilly weather.  The only drawback was that not all of it was lined, and Hubby convinced me the wind would whip off the lake and tear right through the seams of unlined quilted areas.  I think he’s right, but the colour!!  There were actually a few styles of North Face parkas that fit me comfortably, and dozens more online that looked like they would also fit wider hips.  They have a lot of stylish and colourful options and I think it’s worth taking a look if you have wider hips and struggle to find a winter coat.

I actually found quite a few listings on Amazon for this coat, if you can’t find it locally.  This seller has a bunch of sizes and colors.


Find the Perfect Parka for Wide Hips: Winter Parkas Designed to Fit Pear Shaped Women

Lole Andorra (Seems to be Out of Stock)

I actually bought and returned this Lole Andorra jacket.  Again, the salespeople just shook their heads when I told them where I was moving and asked whether this would be warm enough.  I found one review online that indicated that while the body was warm, the sleeves of the coat weren’t insulated enough for extremely cold temperatures.  It felt super cozy to me and the green was really pretty (it comes in grey too).  I especially loved the clean lines of this coat.  The problem I had with it was that it was a smidge snug on the hips.  With pants it was fine, but I wanted the option to sneak some snowpants underneath for longer walks and general country-bumpkining.  For a town coat, though, this would have worked perfectly.

The Parker Fit for Wider Hips That I Chose

Acr/Teryx Patera (Still Available 2021 – Slightly Altered, also Avail on Amazon)

The Patera Parka by Arc’Teryx is the coat I decided on because salespeople (and online reviews) were unanimous that this coat is WARM.  It has European goose down, so it’s cozy, but also has a durable Goretex exterior that can stand up to wear and wind.  It’s simple enough that I can pair it with snow pants and frolic, but also wear it with regular clothes for my day-to-day comings and goings.  I almost fainted when I saw the price, but I’ve pledged to wear this, and only this, for many, many winters to come.  I already went for a long walk in it and I did stay really toasty, but the best part is this coat isn’t bulky or cumbersome.

Winter Parkas Designed to Fit Pear Shaped Women

UPDATE 2017: After years of wearing my parka, I lost 50 pounds and needed a new winter coat.  I bought the exact same coat!  I lost weight, but my body type stayed the same so I went with the coat that fits my hips.  I bought a size M and then gained a tiny bit of weight back so it’s a bit snug in the photo below, but I wanted to share because  I think buying the coat twice is a good testament to its comfort and warmth!  (Literally the only reason I have a photo of myself is because I wanted to share my $20 bubble lamp find on Instagram, lol.)

Find the Perfect Parka for Wide Hip

I found it incredibly frustrating to try on coat after coat obviously not designed for my body type, and if there’s anyone else with a pear shape I hope this short list of parkas for wider hips helps a little.  At least know I’m frustrated along with you – but there are a few good options out there, I promise!  I’m happy now:

Winter Parkas Designed to Fit Pear Shaped Women

UPDATE 2021: Hey, guess who gained the weight back? And then some.

Columbia Si Insulated Parka (Avail 2021)

Neither parka fits me right now so I went in search of a cheaper parka to fit wider hips, to wear until I can lose weight again.  I found another Columbia parka I like, so I bought it to wear for now.  It’s nowhere near as nice as my main winter parka, but it is a parka roomy enough for my wide bum.  So since I have found two Columbia parkas that fit, I’d suggest trying them because other styles could also work.

Affordable Winter Coat for Wider Hips



  1. Janelle @ Two Cups Of Happy
    November 25, 2013 / 1:40 pm

    Finding a warm coat can definitely be a challenge. I've heard really good things about that brand as well. Hope it works out well for you!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      November 25, 2013 / 3:23 pm

      I'm hopeful I found a gem. We'll see once it gets really cold :)Things are so much more fun to shop for when I don't need them and can just leisurely browse – it's this questing that can be so aggravating.

    • Cate Ryan
      October 30, 2021 / 12:18 pm

      Thank you!!! I was so tired on trying on puffers that wouldn’t go around my hips. I’m 5’9″, 144 lbs and a pear shape and finding things that fit is always a struggle. With your information I was able to track down a Northface Thermoball Eco Parka that fits and is flattering! The color selection is dismal but I am so happy to find a lightweight puffer that fits that black is just fine.

  2. Ashley
    November 25, 2013 / 3:23 pm

    I'm in need of a winter coat and boots, too. It's definitely not as cold down here by Georgian Bay as it is up where you are, but since I'm from Vancouver Island where there's maybe a couple days of snow a year, I AM COLD ALL THE TIME AS SOON AS I STEP OUTSIDE!I haven't even tried searching for anything yet, because it's pretty much guaranteed to be an exercise in futility. I'm plus sized petite, which seems like an oxymoron, I know. Sigh. I appreciated this post, though. Somethings you just can't cheap out on!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      November 25, 2013 / 5:37 pm

      I can totally imagine plus-sized petite is tricky!! I tried going up a size to fit my hips in some styles but then the sleeves were ridiculously long. I'm 5"8 so some wacky designers out there think someone with hips is also super tall. I hope you're able to find something that fits perfectly!! Good luck 🙂

  3. Dora
    November 25, 2013 / 4:21 pm

    I have the exact same issue with trying on coats. Some seem to be made just for one body type. I really love the last one. It's simple and cute enough to wear with anything.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      November 25, 2013 / 5:38 pm

      Salespeople mentioned a lot of women struggling to find coats that fit this year, for various reasons, so hopefully companies catch on and make options for more body types.

  4. hannah
    November 25, 2013 / 4:56 pm

    Thanks for writing this!! Like everyone else in Chicago (not as cold as where you are, but the wind can be surprisingly vicious) I have the North Face Arctic parka, and it's a bit of a struggle to zip it over my hips. I feel your pain!! Looks like you ended up with a winner though.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      November 25, 2013 / 5:39 pm

      It's always nice to know other people have the same fitment issues – I just wish companies would catch on!! It seems that clothes with generous cuts often end up on the pricey side and I wish it weren't that way.

  5. Katchups
    November 25, 2013 / 4:59 pm

    Wowza, that Arcteryx coat is spendy, but I bet it will be worth every penny in those frigid temperatures. Now you just have to post some pics of the puppy playing in the snow with you modelling your winter fashions. 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      November 25, 2013 / 5:40 pm

      It is a ridiculous price and I know I'm paying a gender tax here because Hubby's coat is made in Canada (Quartz brand), great quality and still cheaper whereas mine, although it is warm and cute, is made in China and lots more. Sigh. I'm just thankful I found a coat and it will definitely be worth it when it comes to cost per wear. I promise photos!!

  6. Dana@Mid2Mod
    November 25, 2013 / 5:03 pm

    Having always lived in the southern U.S., I can't even imagine temperatures like that. It makes me cold just thinking about it. I can easily see that the one item in your wardrobe that you couldn't skimp on would be a good winter coat. That one looks like it will be worth every penny.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      November 25, 2013 / 5:42 pm

      What's funny is I previously have skimped. I'd spend money on scarves but not a good coat! Now I am learning my lesson to put money where it matters. I just hope this coat lives up to my expectations, quality-wise.P.S. I am so jealous that this kind of cold is unknown to you!! Come visit 😀

  7. midcentuymadam
    November 25, 2013 / 5:26 pm

    I feel your pain! My husband can walk into a department store and immediately find what he's looking for and it fits him perfectly and looks fantastic. I, on the other hand, walk into the dressing room with a basket full of items and walk out with nothing. I really dislike shopping for anything anymore. I do love the coat you picked out. Good for you, you did your research and found the perfect coat. It's very stylish too.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      November 25, 2013 / 5:43 pm

      I had to laugh because men's pants have become skinnier so Hubby has had to try on a few jeans before finding the right fit and it makes him SO frustrated. But then he found a kind he likes at Costco and life was easy again. Grrr.

  8. Lil
    November 25, 2013 / 6:00 pm

    I'll have to check that out. I always have problems with the butt versus top issue. This said, when it comes to winter coats that work in really cold weather you definitely get what you pay for.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      November 25, 2013 / 8:55 pm

      That is what I'm thinking: the price will pay off when I don't freeze like a Popsicle. I'm hoping it lasts a long time too. I hear Canada Goose is good quality and some folks return to a shop every ten years for a replacement. Hopefully my parka has the same quality – I'll be sure to report back to anyone curious about that!

  9. Oona
    November 26, 2013 / 2:47 pm

    Your post takes me back to the days in NW Minnesota when I was very green and had a plain wool coat that had worked just fine in all the other places I had lived. It was a revelation to learn that cold could actually be painful. I now have a jacket that I bought in 1997 – a basic classic style – that has traveled literally all over the world with me. It has a zip-out lining and a hood, and enough pockets to hold what I need. You will not regret spending on the coat that fits you. I'll bet you will wear it almost as long as I have worn mine!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      November 26, 2013 / 5:10 pm

      Yep – Minnesota weather is very much like ours. Thunder Bay is a 40 min drive to the MN border. I hope mine lasts as long as yours!! I'm tired of things wearing out so quickly and I'm know it's by design that some stuff is manufactured so cheaply (even when the price doesn't reflect that).

  10. Marcie
    November 26, 2013 / 5:45 pm

    Thanks for your post. I live in Wisconsin so know about cold and am a pear shape. I went through this whole drama last year looking for a warm coat. I finally ended up getting a long down parka from Lands' End. It's somewhat fitted but roomy enough for a sweater underneath. I actually enjoy going out in the cold now! I don't feel skinny in it but when the temps or wind chills are below zero I've discovered I don't care! I laughed about the static hair and electrified hands. So true.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      November 27, 2013 / 4:18 pm

      I've heard good things about Lands' Ends parkas but didn't find any retailers in my city. Happy to hear you've found a good coat!! It must be awesome if you love the cold now 🙂

  11. cred
    November 27, 2013 / 9:08 pm

    Great post! Much appreciate when someone shares difficult information to find. With a dizzying array of information available online, I find it frustrating when I can't find the info I need, especially when researching an investment purchase. I can relate to buying quality- especially for something seasonable and functional. It can be hard on the budget but it's the better choice in the long run. I'm in the market for a winter coat for similar reasons, except I need ample room in the bust as well as the hips. I've got a curvy figure but if a bulky item, like a winter coat, isn't tailored for a womanly shape then I feel huge in a big boxy coat. It's a trick finding a flattering coat to accommodate a big bust, too. Arrrgh, the perils of winter wear for women!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      November 27, 2013 / 11:33 pm

      I can imagine that finding a coat to fit hips AND bust can be tricky!! The North Face one (or another from that brand) might work because it had room up top for me (but wasn't bulky, so it passed my test). I hope you're able to find something cozy with a perfect fit. With moving and everything going on, I can imagine this is only adding to your to-do list. If only we could arrange stores by body type instead of brand or theme. I'd love to go to a store called "PEAR" where I can find pants, blouses, dresses, coats all for my shape. Sigh . . .

  12. Gillian
    November 28, 2013 / 7:35 pm

    Excellent choice! Even though I live in Toronto where our winters are SO much milder than Ottawa (and not even close to TBay's level of cold), I have been an Arc'teryx devotee for years. Their stuff is simply the best (and they are a Canadian company!), I think the Goretex is really key. If you haven't already bought snowpants – I highly recommend their snowpants too. I wore them on a ski trip to Alberta, it was freezing and all I wore under was thin leggings and I was so toasty warm.

  13. Kristi
    October 16, 2018 / 12:47 pm

    Finding a winter coat is about as depressing as searching for jeans (when you have a really high waist and big hips), or a bathing suit (one size up top and another down below).

    I’m a pear shape but some medication induced hormone shifts have turned me into a larger pear-glass. Still larger at the hips than up top. Narrow shoulders. But now I’m busty. I wear an H cup. But a 34 band (because my torso is still narrow for my overall size).

    So because I’ve grown big boobs in my 40s (be careful what you wish for when you are young. It might catch up to you), I’m a cross between an hourglass and a pear. But still with the narrower shoulders and torso.

    Things that fit my rear, look huge and dumpy up top. If it fits my bust, you can be assured it will be bunched and weird under the arms (because I size up for my bust but that’s too big for my shoulders and torso).

    I tried on a coat in the store and it went like this: xl fit my hips. L fit my bust. M fit my shoulders and torso.

    I’ve been “just getting by” with too small coats for a couple years now but it’s getting ridiculous. I need a couple coats but no one size fits all of me. And did I mention that I don’t/can’t spend 300 on a coat? Sigh….

  14. Kelly Freer
    November 22, 2018 / 7:29 pm

    So frustrating just started shopping for a coat as we are moving back to Edmonton from Vancouver. Needless to say every time I put on a medium its like wearing a tight down mini skirt in the bottom, and when I put the large on i’m swimming in the bust shoulder area. I’m going to have to try Arcteryx but also headed to MEC to see what they have.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      November 23, 2018 / 1:46 am

      I totally feel your frustration!! Good luck with the search. I have been very happy with my Arcteryx and my Mom has bought the same one (different color) because I raved about mine so much. Lole was also a good fit for us gals with hips. Just know that you are not alone!! I have gotten so many emails about this post and there are a lot of us who struggle with this.

  15. Gillian
    December 4, 2020 / 11:22 pm

    I literally stumbled on your post when I searched ‘best winter coat for pear shape’! I have struggled with this for years and have yet to find one! I’m in Toronto, and my second baby just turned 1. I’m still wearing either the maternity coat (without the maternity panel) which is roomy but SO thin, or a packable down jacket I got at Costco this fall, which for sure will not be warm enough once the temps really dip. Last year I searched everywhere for a warm and stylish winter coat, but at 1 month postpartum I was out of luck – I chalked it up to the baby weight. But here we are a year later and still the same problem, but now the extra difficulty is I can’t try anything on because shops are closed because of Covid! I will definitely check out the coat you suggested – I am so hoping it will work for me! At this point I don’t care what it costs, I just want a warm coat that fits. You should do another post about snowpants for wide hips/small waist, also seems a bit of a unicorn to find!

    • December 5, 2020 / 1:19 pm

      I’m really hoping my favorite winter coat will be a good fit for you! I have been really happy with it. So fingers crossed 🙂 I have two, one from before and one after I lost weight and, here I am, back in my older, larger coat.
      I’m glad I kept it. This has just been such a rough year.

      For snow pants, I got lucky and found a pair at Winner’s that STRETCH. They’re almost like a thick scuba fabric. They’re made by Helly Hensen and they weren’t cheap either, even at Winner’s. I looked at them just now but can’t find a style or name. And they’re so old (seven years) that maybe they don’t even make them anymore. They look kind of like these, which say they have a 4-way stretch fabric, so they might be similar? I looked at the fabric content and mine have a face that is 86% polyamide and 14% lycra. The linings are polyester, polyamide, and PU. So the lycra is really key, but also they aren’t that shiny, stiff polyester that cuts into you when you move. These are soft and pliable. They’re generously cut and roomy through the bum region, but the stretch lyrca content and polyamide is what makes them comfy so hopefully knowing that fabric content can help with online shopping. Good luck!!

  16. Andra
    October 18, 2022 / 7:44 pm

    Thank you so much for this. I just moved to a place with snowy winters and every coat I try on is tight around the hips and enormously balloony around the shoulders. And unfortunately tailors are not keen to alter this type of garment.

  17. Jen
    December 10, 2022 / 9:46 am

    Thank you so much for this post. Just updated my winter coat (I’ve been wearing an enormous shapeless LLBean snow parka at least a size too big for me since 1996!) and sadly the beautiful Eddie Bauer I picked out was voluminous in the bust and straining to zip across my hips. At five feet tall, I also require a petite, which makes finding the right fit even more challenging. This was just the article I needed to point me in the right direction, thank you!

    • December 11, 2022 / 12:58 pm

      I’m so happy this was helpful! I understand the struggle so well. I hope you find the perfect one!

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