How Long Should A Parka Coat Be? [And How It Should Fit]

A parka coat is a wardrobe staple in the cold winter months. If you are planning to wear a parka coat or are considering buying one, you might be wondering how long it should be and how it should fit. We have the answers for you.

The bottom of your parka coat should land at the middle of your thigh. This type of coat is meant to fit loosely. You do not want your parka coat to fit too tightly because you will not be able to wear as many layers underneath on frigid days.

There is more to learn about parka coats. Keep reading to learn about whether parka coats are meant to fit big or fit tightly, whether or not you should zip up a parka, and more helpful information.

A young african american woman wearing winter parka coat, How Long Should A Parka Coat Be? [And How It Should Fit]

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The Length and Fit of a Parka Coat

Parkas are a good choice for cold weather. They have a lot of pockets which is another advantage to choosing the parka over other winter jackets. Look on the label or product description to find out whether or not your park is waterproof and windproof.

Luxurious fashionable parka with fur

A parka coat is meant to rest mid-thigh, which differs from most other coats that land at your hips. People like the look of a parka coat because it is longer than a typical coat, making it more versatile. You can wear a parka coat casually or to work, wherever you choose.

If you are taller than the average person, a parka coat will likely fit you well. As for those with a shorter stature, you may want to try one on and see how you feel about it before making a final decision. Some people wear parkas that are just past their hip-line, while others wear them down to their knees. Knee-high boots go great with parka coats, regardless.

Are parka coats meant to fit big?

Yes, parka coats are meant to fit big. They are not intended to be tight-fitting coats. While you want your parka coat to fit a little big, you do not want it to be too long.

The bottom of your parka should stop at the middle of your thighs. This is one way to tell if the parka coat you are trying on fits correctly.

Should you size up in a parka?

It is not a bad idea to buy a parka coat one size bigger than your typical size. This will ensure that it fits over whatever clothes you wear under it. Buying one size bigger than your usual size will also make it so you are sure you can close and zip the front if you choose to.

Click here to see this parka on Amazon.

Should a parka be tight or loose?

Freezing girl wrapped up in blue parka coat with face hidden under furry hood

Parka coats are meant to fit a little bit loose. They were initially created with the intention of a military style, so they are not supposed to fit tightly. If parka coats were too tight, you would not necessarily be able to wear layers underneath it comfortably, so they should fit slightly loosely.

If you would like to know about how other types of coats should fit, check out our post: "Should a Coat Be Fitted or Loose?"

How do you know if a parka is too small?

One way to tell if your parka is too small is if the bottom of it is closer to your hips than the middle of your thigh. Another indicator that your parka coat is too small is if it fits too tightly. For instance, if your parka is too tight on your shoulders which causes you not to be able to zip it or move around easily, then your parka is most likely too small.

When your coat rides up, causing you to keep having to pull it down, that is a sign that your parka is too small. The sleeves not going down to your wrists is another way to tell your coat is too small.

Should you zip up a parka?

Woman in parka coat walks outdoor

Wearing a coat with a zipper is always nice because you can unzip it if you get hot or zip it if you are cold. When you see models in parka coats, they are almost always zipped up, which indicates that is the style it should be worn if you are aiming to be fashionable.

The answer to whether or not you should zip up your parka depends on the weather because you are more likely to wear it zipped up when it is cold outside.

An important time to zip your parka is before washing it. The zipper or material it is made of might get damaged if you do not zip your parka coat before washing it. It is a good idea to be in the habit of zipping up jackets or coats before washing or drying them.

Click here to see this parka coat on Amazon.

How long does a parka last?

Typically a parka coat will last between three to five years. This amount of time depends on how well you take care of your coat in addition to how often you wear it. The more you wear any coat, the faster it will appear worn.

How To Make Your Parka Last Longer

There are a few things you can do to prolong your parka. Like most other clothes, if you take care of them properly and take a few precautions, you can usually extend their longevity.

You can make your parka last longer by keeping it hung up in an area designated for coats. Utilize a sturdy hanger to evenly distribute the weight of the parka as well. Do not wash your parka more often than necessary.

Even though you should only wash your coat every couple of months, you might end up with small stains from food or something like that. You can spot clean with a warm soapy washcloth when needed. Dry your parka on a low heat setting to make it last longer too.

Which is Better for Winter: Jacket or Parka?

Photographer hiker in nature

Overall a parka is warmer than a regular winter jacket. It depends on where you live, whether you need a thick or heavy parka or if a winter jacket is suitable for you. If you need something on the warmer end of the spectrum, definitely go with the parka.

Whether you choose a winter jacket or parka is up to you. Parkas are usually made of sheepskin or wool and tend to be warmer than other winter jackets. Down parkas are nice but should have a fill power rating of six hundred or higher to truly keep you warm.

The warmest material for coats, including parkas, is 100% wool. Even if it is not quite 100% wool, it is still the warmest option. Parkas fair well in snowy weather and are a surefire way to keep warm on even the coldest days.

Since most winter jackets are hip-length rather than thigh-length, they leave your legs exposed. Parkas are better for winter than a typical jacket because they cover up more of your body, which keeps you warmer.

It is more likely that you will see people wearing parkas walking down the street or traveling to work rather than skiing or hiking during the winter. A parka is intended more for regular day-to-day use. They are too heavy for activities such as skiing and hiking, though.


Parka coats are made to be mid-thigh and sometimes knee-high in length. They fit loosely so that you can wear layers underneath and because they were initially created for military personnel. You can zip yours up if you wish, and hopefully, it will last for at least three years, maybe even longer if you take preventive measures.

Before you go, check out the following links related to coats and jackets:

What Color Coat Goes With Everything? [5 Great Options With Photos]

31 Types of Coats And Jackets You Should Know

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