Coat Vs. Jacket: Is There a Difference

If your family is from a climate where temperatures predictably drop below 20 degrees, you're no stranger to outerwear. Your children probably have mittens, beanies, and heat-reflective undergarments, among other cold-weather clothing items. As a native to the cold, you're more than likely familiar with different types of jackets and coats as well. If you're from a climate near the equator, the different outerwear variations may be puzzling to you. 

Perhaps you're moving to a place where your kids will need protection from the cold each day on their way to school. If you're unfamiliar with coats and jackets, you may not know where to begin looking for your warm outer layer. 

Should you get them a coat or a jacket? Is there a difference between the two? We're here to help you outline the similarities and differences so you can pick the perfect outerwear for your family. 

What Are the Similarities and Differences?

Jackets and coats do have different features, but they're similar in several ways. Both articles work as your outer layer and first defense against the elements. They often share details like external pockets to keep your little one’s hands warm and internal lining to provide another layer of integrity for their structure. What about the differences, though? Here are three ways that coats and jackets are unique:


The primary differentiating factor between these two articles of clothing is their length. Traditionally, jackets fall at the waist or hip. The shorter length is ideal for being able to move around a bit more while you keep warm. Coats are typically longer (around thigh-length or knee-length) and serve as a heavy-duty option for staying shielded from the cold.


Jackets usually provide more of a snug fit. This close-fit can be functional for kids who like to move around quite a bit. Others may enjoy the snug appearance as a stylistic choice. The shape makes for a wide range of fashionable options while still offering warmth to the wearer. 

Though equally stylish, coats tend to have more length and structure in their silhouettes. This structure can also be thicker and give more insulation to its wearer than a jacket could. So when the kids are heading out to play in the snow, you definitely want them in a longer coat. 


Another way that a coat and jacket may differ is in the way you'd fasten them. Though not a hard-and-fast rule, jackets typically feature a zipper fasten, while coats often have buttons, belts, and hook-and-loop fasteners. 

Jackets sometimes have zip-removable hoods and pockets, while coats are usually one solid garment. When deciding between the two outer-layer articles, keep in mind that fastening is a matter of your stylistic preference (or whichever one your child finds easiest to do themselves).

Different Styles of Coats 

Are you interested in longer, more durable outerwear? There are a few staple variations for you to consider when it comes to coats. If you're interested in a regal or professional silhouette, you'd want to consider an A-line or stadium coat. 

Should you be more interested in a looser, feminine shape, a wrap coat or waterfall coat may be the best fit for you. And of course, if you're looking for extra protection from the rain, a durable raincoat is your best friend. 

Different Styles of Jackets 

If you're keen on shorter styles of outerwear, jackets are the right option for you. Perhaps your little rockstar is interested in a jacket that's both functional and fashionable. If so, denim, varsity, or motorcycle jackets are right on the money. Are you looking for a more practical, insulated jacket to throw on when temperatures drop significantly? Insulated down jackets, ski jackets, or peacoats are great choices. 

Where to Find a Quality Jacket 

By now, you're somewhat familiar with the ways jackets and coats differ from one another. You may have decided a jacket is what's more practical for your child to wear outdoors. Before buying, consider a few primary details that could add quality to your outerwear:

  1. Buy your child’s jacket from a brand that uses sustainable processes and materials. It's a brilliant way to shop responsibly.
  2. Consider one that is water-resistant for additional durability against the elements. You wouldn't want a fun snow day to be interrupted by damp clothes.
  3. To maximize your kid’s outerwear, choose a jacket with adjustable hoods and internal pockets. They're practical details that can make a big difference, even if your little one doesn’t really notice. 

Features of the Mallary by Matthew LEGO Jacket 

You want your child to have a durable jacket when they're outside playing with their neighborhood friends on chilly days. Our Mallary by Matthew LEGO jacket combines cute with quality. 

It features insulation in the jacket with a microfleece lining for warmth. A bionic-finish ECO water-resistant treatment on the jacket's exterior adds another excellent shield to rain and snow. Both aspects make for dependable outerwear for your little one. 

Other Essential Cold-Weather Accessories 

After you've picked out a coat or jacket for your child, you'll want additional protective accessories to keep them warm all over. Don't know where to start? Depending on your climate, they may only need gloves and a beanie. If you're living somewhere more frigid, you may want to add a neck warmer or balaclava to warm the little one up as well. We offer quality cold-weather accessories for your children to bundle up outdoors.

Gloves and Mittens 

What's a snowball fight without the right gear? Our LEGO wear gloves for kids are the perfect addition to keep your child's hands from the cold any snow day. A breathable Fan-Tex membrane inside the gloves makes them water-resistant. They're also anti-slip and secure with a velcro strap at the wrists.


Did you know that keeping extremities like hands and head warm can increase the whole body's warmth? Wearing a hat when it's cold out isn't just a stylistic choice. A beanie to cover your child's ears and head will help them to stay temperature-regulated throughout their body. Our LEGO polyester microfleece beanie can help your kiddo bundle up quicker. 

Neckwarmers and Balaclavas

For extreme conditions, consider giving your child's neck special attention. A microfleece neckwarmer can fit under their jacket to ensure a full shield between their skin and the elements. There's no extra bulk; you can attach it with velcro for easy on-and-off. Ours also features a reflector badge so your child can be visible to you even as it gets dark.

A balaclava is another accessory available to you for those days that need extra durability. If you're in extreme weather, you want the most defense and comfort available to your child. Luckily, our balaclava is made of a comfy wool microfleece and features a wind-stopper membrane over the ears. Like our neck warmer, it displays a reflector badge on the forehead for safety and visibility. It's a go-to item for keeping the cold away from their ears. 

In Conclusion 

Ultimately, your decision between a coat and a jacket depends on your needs and your preferences. If you need to be insulated and protected from a snowy climate, a heavy-duty coat might be the pick for you. If your child needs an extra layer of warmth and a shield from the elements while they play, a softshell jacket is the perfect solution. Both are terrific options to keep your family bundled up and safe when there's a chill in the air.