Are the stylish jackets worth the price tag?

Canada goose jacket Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock

Kimberly Palmer and her husband were watching Madam Secretary one night when he pointed out that the lead character and her husband were wearing matching Canada Goose coats.

“And we were like, ‘how do they afford that? She’s a government employee,’” recalls Palmer, a personal finance expert at NerdWallet. “But they looked very warm.”

Palmer’s husband wants one of the coveted coats, but she thinks the price tag of more than $1,000 for many Canada Goose styles is too much.

“They’re very expensive compared to other winter coats,” Palmer says. “So to me and probably to a lot of families on a budget, it’s just too much money to spend on a coat.” Here are 9 tips to stay warm and stylish this winter.

So why are Canada Goose jackets so expensive?

Part of the appeal is that the goose-down-filled jackets are very high quality and keep people warm. “But the bigger part is the brand and cachet that they’ve built up around this idea of the Canada Goose jacket,” Palmer says. “They’re featured in luxury settings, settings that we aspire to. I think I saw one on the cover of Sports Illustrated.” (Indeed, Kate Upton wore a fur-trimmed Canada Goose jacket on the cover of the magazine’s 2013 Swimsuit Edition).

For others, though, the parkas are well worth the cost. Personal finance blogger Kerry K. Taylor of Squawkfox interviewed people wearing Canada Goose jackets at a blustery bus stop in Toronto. Here were the most common reasons they liked the coats, according to the blog:

  1. “Warmth without bulk: The ‘light-as-air’ coat is filled with warm down.
  2. High-quality materials: The parkas are made with goose down sourced from Canadian Hutterite farmers and come with a removable coyote fur-lined hood.
  3. Durable: Transit travelers loved the stitching, fabric, and perceived the coat to be highly durable. ‘An investment that will last for years,’ many said.
  4. Made in Canada: “Not a cheap coat made in China.”
  5. Lifetime Guarantee: From the brand: “Warranted to the original owner against defects in material and workmanship for the lifetime of the product.”
  6. Fashionable: ‘The puffy coat looks so stylish that even celebrities and athletes boast the brand.’”

That said, if you’re looking for a stylish down winter coat but don’t want to spend nearly $1,000, Palmer recommends you check out the brands Arc’teryx (which is also made in Canada) and North Face. She also loves winter coats by Uniqlo, L.L. Bean, Eddie Bauer, and Old Navy.

A final pro tip? Wait until spring. That’s when retailers try to clear their shelves and winter coats go on sale. “If you have that flexibility, you’ll see up to 50 percent or sometimes even more off,” Palmer says. Next, find out the 9 weird ways to trick your body into feeling warmer when it’s frigid out.