Sunday, October 28, 2012

Help! Winter coat shopping

For the last few winters, I've been on the hunt for a new winter coat. Living in Seattle, it gets pretty wet and cold so I really need a new one to rotate in with my trusty Gap jacket that I've had since 2005. Since I'm super cheap, I cringe at the thought of paying full price for one, but then get sad every year when they're all sold out of my size and desired color by the time they hit the clearance racks.

This year, I'm determined to buy a nice coat. Not one from the clearance racks at Old Navy or Target, but a nice coat from J.Crew or an equally not-in-my-budget store. Since the coats I've been looking at are in the $200-$300 range, I've asked my parents if they will buy me one as a combined birthday and Christmas present this year, and my mom graciously said yes.

Now the question is, what should I pick? I want something that is warm (duh), classic (so I can wear for years and years), and a neutral color (to match most outfits). A hood would be a nice, because I hate wearing hats, but not a necessity.

1. J.Crew Double-Cloth Slim Trench ($350 at J.Crew)
2. Calvin Klein Melton wool coat ($165 at Piperlime)
3. Madewell Fairbanks parka ($268 at Madewell)
4. Tahari belted stand-collar coat ($219 at Macy's)
5. Spiewak McElroy Parka ($229 at Piperlime)
6. DKNY Military double-breasted coat ($239 at Macy's)

I kind of want them all, but since I can only pick one, I just can't make up my mind. Which do you like best? Or do you have any recommendations you'd like to share, as if I need more choices? Thanks! :)

50 comments:

  1. love the navy pea coats! so cute!

    love from San Francisco,Britt+Whit

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  2. Kayla FrecklesinAprilOctober 28, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    IN LOVE with #4. Gorgeous.  #1 and 6 would be in second (and third) place, I think.

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  3. I really like the look of #1 and #4! Or... #6!! They're all nice picks but I always liked the look of a peacoat. :)

    Let us know which one you end up choosing!! 

    xo - Sheila

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  4. i really like the tahari one (#4)! i think it looks classic, but with interesting details!

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  5. Kimmie, I suggest that you first decide if you want to get a parka style (with hood) or slim fitting wool coat (w/o hood). I don't like to combine the two. Wool coat with hood is functional, but I think it kills the look. For Seattle weather, Parkas might be more functional for you. But if you ever decide to get the wool version, I highly recommend #1. I bought it in Camel this season when it was running a fantastic sale - along with a 25% off coupon, I ended up getting it for just under $200. Love the fit. I own 4 Jcrew coats and love them all. You can't go wrong with it. Best of luck on your search!

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  6. I think for cold and rainy, I would go with #3 or #5 if you are looking for pure function with a bit of style.  For a winter coat that looks sleek and very professional, I would go for #1. And definitely see if you can at least hold out for a good coupon! Can't wait to see what you end up with!

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  7. So nice of mom to buy you a winter coat! I think a peacoat/trench is a great classic choice (extrapetite does great reviews on the JCrews) but I also love the hooded parkas for a more casual/weekend look. Too bad you can't buy one of each! I've been slowly acquiring classic coats too. I have a long dark grey wool coat and now have a red short peacoat. I love the sales at Macys and Lord/Taylor. Good luck! Can't wait to see what you buy. Sorry I didn't make the choice easier for you!

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  8. I KNOW! I just can't make up my mind if I want a slim wool coat OR a parka. I like the look of wool coats, but the functionality of parkas... if only I could get both! I did go to try on the J.Crew one at the store the other day, and loved it, so I might just stick with that. I could always find a parka at the end of the season if I still really want one, because the style I like are sold at multiple retailers, whereas the J.Crew one is only sold at J.Crew (duh.) and they do sell out quickly :) Thanks for the advice, Vicky!

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  9. I'm leaning towards #1 because I've tried it on and loved it, but tempted to order #4 online just to try it on. :)

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  10. Haha, such a hard choice! thanks, Sheila :)

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  11. Me too! I just wish I could try it on before buying it (I guess I could always buy and return but so much trouble) because the website only has two images of the jacket, and it's hard to really tell what it looks like when it's not on the model.

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  12. Kimmie, 

    You should look at JcPennys. I got some really nice coats for SUPER cheap!! 

    Check it out! 

    Crystal 


    http://mai-heart.blogspot.com/

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  13. Yeah, I think I'm going to see if I can get the J.Crew one at a good discount, hopefully around Thanksgiving time when they have their sales. :) Thanks, Ana!

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  14. number 6 is my favorite! but 4 and 1 are great too.

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  15. Yes! i've been obsessed with J.Crew coats for the longest time and hopefully I'll be able to buy one, though not at full price (maybe during Thanksgiving sale?) I think I'll probably buy that one first, and then towards the end of the season I can see what Macy's has left :)

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  16. I'll have to check them out next time. Thanks for the head's up! :)

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  17. #6 would have been a no-brainer, but I read a review online that it's a pretty thin coat and not very warm. Plus, I already have a similar black military-style coat from MNG (love it a lot, but its also not very thick) and I'm in need for a warm winter coat. So hard to make a decision! :)

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  18. I like #1 and #6. Even though I own a few (and I love the neck on #4), I find coats with tie belts to become annoying after a while. The tie comes loose, or the knot gets in the way of things. I guess this means I just like my life to be streamlined.  If you are going big time, go for wool since it should hold its shape for years. Have fun shopping!

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  19. #5 looks so comfy! plus it'll be better to layer than with 1,4 and 6 since I feel those are more fitted than 2,3 and 5 are. 

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  20. I really like #2 and #3, but I feel like the fur trim is a little impractical here in rainy Seattle. I learned the hard way last year that faux fur gets really ugly and knotted when rained on too much.

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  21. Oooh, I have SO been there. It took me a very long time to find the perfect one last year- black, hooded, wool, and classic. Here are a few I found for you:
    http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/velvet-heart-double-breasted-boucle-coat/3350512?origin=keywordsearch&contextualcategoryid=60154404&fashionColor=&resultback=3449
    http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/kenneth-cole-reaction-coat-hooded-stand-collar-wool-blend?ID=685197&CategoryID=269#fn=COAT_STYLE%3DHooded%26FABRIC%3DWool%20&%20Wool%20Blend%26sp%3D1%26spc%3D32%26ruleId%3D65%26slotId%3D3
    Good luck! Can't wait to see what you get!

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  22. Number four is my fave but number one is also lovely. :)

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  23. I really like 2-5, very hard to choose! But wouldn't a warm, hooded jacket be a necessity in Seattle? I always wear my parka when we visit my boyfriend's parents there in the winter. If you have that already, I say #4, but if you don't, my vote is for 2, it looks the warmest.

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  24. If you are going for a classic peice, I'd narrow it down to the j crew, the tahari, or the dkny. Ultimately, you just have to decide what will work best for your wardrobe and your peraonality. I finally broke down and shelled out some dough for a nice winter coat last fall, and honestly, I wore it so often that I absolutely think it was worth it. Wearing it again this fall/winter! I chose a camel colored wool coat from Ann Taylor Loft (similar: http://m.nordstrom.com/Product/Details/3422963?origin=keywordsearch). Happy hunting!

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  25.  I hope you let us know which you end up buying !

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  26. ohhh, yeah that's annoying... have you tried the other ones on?

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  27. If you've been eyeing it, then get it! You'll love it, I think! And good plan, purchase one by one.

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  28. Kimmie, have you tried J.Crew coats in person before? I find the sleeves to be too short for my liking... hitting around my wrist bone. They don't look horrible, but I guess I just prefer longer sleeves.

    Of your choices, my vote's for #6. Can't go wrong with a classic cut and color. I also feel like this coat can be easily dressed up or down (it's harder to do so with hooded parkas).

    I'm not sure if this would be an issue, but with two small kids, would it be annoying to have to button your coat and then also belt it? Would they tug and mess with the ends?

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  29. Oh Kimmie, I think it's so cute that you asked your parents for a winter coat! I really like the Madewell parka, but it's not the "classic" look. It's more of a grab-and-go type of coat for the muggy Seattle weather. I think that you can find a parka in your size during the coat sale seasons. I say go with a nice peacoat since they're harder to find in your size when they go on sale, but do keep a close eye out! I say number 1 or 4. I feel that #6, the military buttons can be too masculine depending on the occasion (or maybe that's just me). And #2 doesn't scream "classic" at first glance. If I had to choose one, my top pick would be #1 because I'm not sure how I'd feel about the collar and the buttons on the side pockets on #4. Remember to read the material -- just because it's a brand-name doesn't always mean it's made with the "good stuff." This is a really good investment. I hope you pick the coat of your dreams! Please let us know which one you decide on.

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  30. Since you don't have a lot of wiggle room with your budget, stick to a classic coat that can go from a casual weekend to a dressy occasion. My favorites are 1 and 6 (4 is nice too, but the off-center buttons aren't as classic). Personally, I'd go with the first one. I like that the belt gives it definition in the waist.

    Regarding the parkas: I think these styles are something you can pick up either on Black Friday or after the holidays. They're not as special as a well-made wool coat.

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  31. I KNOW. I don't really like tie-belts because it's just one more thing to have to worry about. I really wanted a J.Crew coat, but I'm not a fan of the color choices they have on the non-tie-belted styles, unless I go for a boring black. :( I think that might be the most versatile though....

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  32. Yeah! it's definitely harder to layer when the coat is fitted, but then again I do like the more streamlined look. Maybe I just need to buy them all. :)

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  33. Hahah I know! I used to have this really cute white jacket with a fur trimmed hood, and I stupidly wore it to a pumpkin farm/haunted maze one year. OMG it was POURING buckets, and I hate hate hate scary mazes, so my friends and I were freaking out and running around in the mud, running through corn stalks and generally getting really dirty. When I got home, I threw my coat in the wash, and was planning to air dry it, but my husband got to the laundry before I did, and he threw it all in the dryer. the fur on the hood totally melted into one giant matted mess. It seriously looked like a drowned rat, it was so gross. Cutting off the trim would not save it, so I had to donate it. Lesson learned: do not tumble dry faux fur trim.

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  34. Thanks, Vivienne! OMG I really like the Macy's Kenneth Cole one. I may have to just purchase it to see how it looks! :)

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  35. True. My current go-to winter coat is a hooded puffer coat, so warm and toasty, but not really "fashionable" :) I really like #4 also!

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  36. I KNOW. I just can't make up my mind on what exactly I want. After thinking it over for a few days, I think what I really need is a nice wool coat, I don't really need a parka because I have a similar jacket already and I think a more slim fitted wool coat would fit my wardrobe better. I really like that Nordstrom coat that you linked, and I hadn't thought of going to check out Loft. Thanks!! :)

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  37. I tried on the J.Crew slim trench that I linked, and I really liked the fit of it. The sleeve length was fine for me, I think. You did bring up a good point about the belt. At first I really hated the thought of having to button AND belt a coat, and not being able to just throw it on and go. Plus the buckle felt kind of flimsy, for being a $350 coat. I would hate for it to break.

    I do like the Lady Day coat better in terms of style, but I just don't like any of the color choices, unless I get a boring black, which at this point, I think I'm gravitating towards.

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  38. So true! I think I'm going to stick with a J.Crew coat, just because they've been on my wish list for so long. Then at the end of the season, I'll see if I can find a parka on clearance, since they're sold practically everywhere. Thanks for the advice, Justine! :)

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  39.  Thanks, Jessica! I could probably find a parka at the end of the season on clearance, but it's so much harder to find a good fitting wool coat, so I'll have to get that one first :)

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  40. 4, or 6. You're so cute. I like how you don't want to buy a coat from the sales racks of Gap but you still picked coats from the sales rack of Macy's. Hahaha. So Asian. Can you go to the store and try them on and take pictures so we can judge which looks better on YOU? :)

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  41.  Perhaps remove the belt from the slim trench for daily wear? I'd hate to see it break too =/

    There's nothing wrong with getting a (boring) black coat! The color will go with everything. Though I do feel ya on wanting one in color because that's what J.Crew's known for.

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  42. The buckle felt like it was made of cheap plastic, and you can't NOT use it because like Jean pointed out in her review post today, you can't really tie the belt. And when the coat is worn sans belt, it just looks like something is missing... or maybe that's just me.

    I think I'm going to just stick with the black Lady Day coat. I hate how all the colors that J.Crew comes out with are all too trendy and bright. Why can't they just stick with more neutral colors? I love the concept of bright colors, but I can't imagine that I'd want to wear a bright yellow coat every single day for multiple winters like I would with a black one. I hope I can snag one during the next sale!

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  43. LOL I didn't say I wanted to buy a full-price coat. I just want a nice one... preferably at a good price, whether it's from J.Crew or Macy's it doesn't matter. I'm too Asian to be able to buy it at full price when I know there will be sales later on. :)

    I did try on the first one, but none of the rest. I've been thinking about the annoying belt though, and may have to decide against it. :(

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  44. I've been searching for a new winter coat too! They are surprisingly hard to shop for! My favorite one is #4. I love the color and I like how the buttons on off center. Can't wait to see what you decide!

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

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  45. i really like the madewell one, but i think the j crew one would be more classic. btw, i have the spiewak one and i got it last year for less than $60 on karmaloop.com, they always gives generous discounts on coats towards end of february or march! =)

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  46. Definitely like number 4 best based on the pictures.

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