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1. The Idiot Mittens Special

When you're a guy, you wear your all-time favorite coat right off the bat. It's brightly colored with brightly colored trim PLUS somebody stitched on your favorite anthropomorphic train, racecar, or sponge. This coat's poofy, warm, snowproof, and the handwarmers are tied right on, which is perfect for your fast-paced, object permanence-free lifestyle. The only drawback is that it's not a coat you can go around wearing forever. But when twenty years go by and you're searching through closets for the only pair of gloves you like, you'll miss the one coat that never let your mittens down (more than four inches from the sleeve).

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2. Starter Jacket

Best. Early. Christmas. Present. EVER. Now you're owning fourth grade like you're some kind of held-back older kid, you're proudly describing yourself as your age and a half, and best of all everybody knows you totally like the same NFL team as everyone else in your town. With this expensive, not-that-warm coat, you're saying "Peep the oversized logo zipper, buttface. I'm rockin' a Starter jacket (so please stop calling me 'buttface' I'm not good at social relationships yet and your teasing hurts me)."

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3. "I hate coats"

You don't have any control over your daily schedule, your hormones, or your impending high school struggle towards collegiate struggle. But you know what you do control? Your willingness to suffer through five months of moderate-to-extreme-to-moderate cold temperatures. So nice Burlington Coat Factory purchase, Your Mom. The only winter gear you're wearing this year is a scowl you refuse to explain.

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4. Fleece North Face Thing + Hoodie Underneath

Duuuuuuuuude it's already November! That means you're a month late for finding off-campus housing for next September (I know, that's just how it works). Time to hash out some last-minute options with your current dormmate over local-joint pitas, you know, before you eat again in two hours. Oh but look, it's mad the wrong kind of chill out there. Best throw on your semi-impractical North Face over the zip-up hoodie you wear every day, then pop that hood over your head because your "coat" doesn't cover the ol' Thought Balloon. In fact, by the first week of cold weather you'd best start treating that hoodie/Northie combo as if it's a single unified garment. It's not lazy, it's what Poster Of Bob Marley would do.

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5. Single 'n' Employed Peacoat

Hey, you look like you'd be interested in our happy hour special on pint glasses of High Life. It's the perf brew to enjoy after walking here in the cold from your health insurance-less job, like your five other roommates will as they trickle in throughout the night. Just be sure to keep that coat on while you wait for them. It makes you look mature and a little British navy-ish, but still dynamic and available. Because who knows, there might be a special lady here tonight. It'll be like you're the main character of How I Met Your Mother, your favorite show. And she'll be like another character, one played by an attractive lady from movies, who's wearing a flattering, stylish wool coat that's exactly like your coat which you think is for men but now you're not sure.

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6. Zippered Utilitarian Dadwear

You're going to the hardware store, because there are specific things you need there, to use for tasks at your family's home. Maybe you'll convince your kids to put their Dreamcasts down and come along, maybe you won't. Either way you've got a solid winter coat of no particular brand with three too many zippered compartments. It's why you're ready to succeed at Errand #1 Billion, and feel good about doing it within the budget you worked out with the missus last Saturday afternoon. It doesn't even matter whether the coat's warm enough to completely protect you from the elements, because if necessary your Implacable Dad Resolve can handle the rest of the job.

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7. Gray, with old hat

You have no idea where this coat came from. For all you know it's a metaphor for the way you've become a kind of gentle shade, floating ghost-like through the land of younger people. Anyway it's time to bundle up, because your kids are convinced your grandkids need to go out and use that $1000 (probably) sled they bought them. So grab that hat from a company outing from 30 years ago. Dyson (he's your writer grandson, the one at that Californian college) says this kind of hat's back in style and expensive, which is some predictably foolish young-think.

From there go out on that hill in the neighborhood. What do you see but Taramm (another great name choice by the guy who's throwing it in your daughter) having the time of his life. Kid seems like he's gonna be a linebacker. Well maybe not, maybe he just seems like it because he's got his whole life ahead of him. Either way, winter is his playground, and wow, you hadn't noticed it till now, but he's got the coolest coat EVER.