The Hunt: Wool Coats

Reiss Leo Fit and Flare Coat

2017 Update: Check out our latest roundup of winter coats that work as hard as you do!

Sure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

I have always done my winter coat shopping in January (if not later) because of all the deals that you can get. Coats in particular are generally classic pieces, and considering the amount of wear you may get from it (wearing it several days a week, for months, for several years — at least) I’ve always seen it as a justifiable “splurge” item. For today’s Hunt, I thought we’d look for wool coats that you could fit a blazer beneath. The trick here is to get something several sizes larger than what you normally get — if you’re a size 4, consider looking at 6s and 8s. Readers, have you bought any great wool coats lately? Do you wear blazers beneath your coats, or do you have another system (e.g., keeping your blazers at the office)?

Women's Regular Pattern Wool Swing Car CoatFirst on deck: this nice charcoal tweed coat from Land’s End. I like the little details (the belt embellishment, the slanted pockets) — and this is a pretty great sale: was $260, now marked to $125 in regular, petite, tall, and plus (you also get free shipping with a $50 purchase). Women’s Regular Pattern Wool Swing Car Coat
Double-cloth metro coat with Thinsulate®Everybody always loves the J.Crew coats with Thinsulate® — and all of the colors are on sale right now. Originally $325, you have the classic colors (red, camel, black) marked to $275, with jade and white marked to $229, and berry — on final sale — marked to $180 (but with code STYLEFIND it comes down to $113). Double-cloth metro coat with Thinsulate®
Leo Fit and Flare CoatA green coat is a bit unusual, but I still think you’d get a lot of wear out of this one. I love the feminine vibe here, and I also like the zipped pockets to the front. It was $555, but is now marked to $277 at Reiss (all sizes still left). Leo Fit and Flare Coat
Fleurette Double Breasted Wool Coat Seriously, if you haven’t been to the Nordstrom sale yet, do check it out — TONS of new items on sale, at pretty steep discounts.  I’ll try to do a round-up today or tomorrow, but for the moment, check out the Fleurette wool coats, many of which are up to 50% off.  Take, for example, this double breasted wool coat — it’s crafted from “sumptuous” Loro Piana wool, and as the 5-star reviewer notes, “this is a beautiful coat that fits and looks great.” It was $795, but is currently $398 (lots of sizes left). Fleurette Double Breasted Wool Coat
CINZIA ROCCA Stand Collar Maxi CoatLord & Taylor is another store with a great sale happening today: take an extra 25% off sitewide with code ONEDAY. That does include their coats — even this Cinzia Rocca maxi coat, which looks gorgeous. As someone who lives in a windy area, a coat with a tall neck is a must. Available in black and brown, this coat was originally $1080 — but then it was marked to $648 — and with the code it comes to (wait for it): $486. Nice. CINZIA ROCCA Stand Collar Maxi Coat
GIAMBATTISTA VALLI Collarless bouclé wool-blend coatThe Outnet seems to be having an unannounced big sale on designer coats, because there are a ton on steep, steep discounts. I like this collarless boucle wool-blend coat from Giambattista Valli, which I think looks great as styled (with a fairly classic outfit) but would also look great with weekend wear like jeans. It was $3,245, but is now marked to $975.12, 70% off. GIAMBATTISTA VALLI Collarless bouclé wool-blend coat

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  1. I’ve been wearing this coat since 2009:

    I love the thick, rather than fuzzy wool, the feminine shape, and the zip off hood. It is really baggy on me but I refuse to replace it (although tempted to buy it in a smaller size, I love it that much).

    I also received the LE Engineer Coat for Christmas. I think it is gorgeous but it is quite different than my DKNY so it is taking time to get used to. Also, what is with the straight hip pockets.

    • Ooh, I have the Engineer coat. I love it but yes, the pockets are strange and a bit awkward.

    • I bought this coat on your recommendation! I love it and I get compliments all the time. It’s not warm enough for everyday use wear I live but it’s great for special occasions (I got it in winter white) and days when I know I won’t be outside much.

      I will add that I got a size 6, which is my usual size, and it’s a bit tight over the bust. I’m well-endowed, though, and I don’t think I’d like it in an 8 because the waist would be too loose.

      • So glad you like it. I recommend this coat all the time. I’ve worn it with layers in Eastern Europe in January and gave been fine. I’ve been wearing it all winter but we’ve been lucky weather wise this year (-3C as the low and no snow).

    • I have two coats I wear in the winter (in Texas) – my lady day for work and my northface fleece for weekends. I feel like I need a coat in between those. What should I be wearing to go out with friends or to a social event when my fleece is too casual, but I don’t really want to wear my knee length dressy work coat? I have my old j crew pea coat from college, but it seems rather outdated at this point.

  2. Calling creative ladies!!

    A friend is turning 30. I’ve gathered a list of “30 things we love about you” from her girlfriends to give to her as part of our gift. But I can’t figure out the presentation (which I’m responsible for). Handwritten on one notecard? Typed in a list? 30 notecards, each with one thing we love? HELP!

    • Equity's Darling :

      I think it would be really nice if it could be framed in some way that she can look at them in the future? Maybe really nice notecards framed over some sort of nice mat? Or in a nice scrapbook so she can flip through it on day she’s feeling down.

      Also, I’m totally stealing this idea for my friends when they start turning 30.

    • PowerPoint?

      • +1. Hilarious especially if they are in any sort of job that requires suffering through Death by Powerpoint.

    • What about getting on etsy and finding one of those custom poster-print designers? I’m imagining they would input the phrases in different fonts, etc. to turn it into something you could then frame. I’ll link to an example in the reply.

      • Something kind of like this (I realize they limit to 18 lines of text but I’m sure you could find someone to tailor it to your needs):×14-subway-art?ref=sr_gallery_13&ga_search_query=custom+printed+poster&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_search_type=all

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Ha! Sorry, I posted and didn’t see yours.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I bet you could get an Etsy typographer to put together something really cool looking and then get it printed/framed/matted. Alternatively, if one of you is good with Photoshop or art, you could probably do it yourself.

    • [insert clever name here] :

      I did this for a friend of mine as a photo-book. I didn’t have pictures of her for every single one of the 30 things, so I did a combination – some were pictures of her illustrating the points, and the others were more artistic pictures representing the thing I loved about her. Turned out beautifully.

      • This is just making me sad that no one will be doing this for me when I turn 30 in 5ish months. I don’t think I have any friends who both A) realize I’m turning 30 and B) are this thoughtful. Some As and some Bs but no crossovers.

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          Don’t feel bad! I thought that too for a moment and then realized that I can be that thoughtful friend that does this for someone else. Pay it forward and you never know when things are gonna come around to your turn.

    • I think something that she would see on a daily basis would be cute. I love the Etsy suggestion above. You could do a larger print and frame it for wall decor, or a smaller (5×7) she could put in a frame on her desk.

      Other ideas:
      -Printed on a mug (if she’s a big coffee/tea person)
      -Make a small scrapbook with the quotes and pictures of her with the various people who submitted them
      -If the things are just a word or two each, maybe writing them in metallic sharpie on some decorative rocks, and placing in a jar? (Not sure about this one… really depends on her style)
      -Same idea as the mug, but decorate a vase with all the quotes (if you have good handwriting, you could do this yourself with a paint pen – otherwise enlist someone with pretty calligraphy). Bonus points if you give it to her filled with flowers.

    • I love this idea! It’s so creative and thoughtful. :-)

    • I knew you guys would come through. Thanks a lot! It is a cool gift (I didn’t get one when I turned 30—maybe I’ll get one for my 40th?) and I think she’ll love it.

      • You’re coordinating the care packages for Seattleite, right?

        Maybe we here on this site can set up one for you, except, on Tumblr and with 40 entries, instead of on a paper-and-binding scrapbook, so all the goodness can come full circle. :-)

    • lawsuited :

      For Christmas I got into stencilling plates, mugs, vases, etc. You could stencil/paint them using glass paint onto a platter for her to display or use? Alternatively, stencil/paint using fabric paint or pens onto a beautiful cushion that she can keep in her bedroom or home office? (I highly recommend the paints, etc. from the Martha Stewart Crafts line.)

  3. Feeling Lost :

    I commented a couple weeks ago about my miscarriage over the holidays and work concerns, and many of you reached out and provided incredibly helpful advice. Now that the miscarriage is (finally) over, I’m just feeling lost. None of my family members who I have told have known what to say or do to help me feel better. Although they mean well, they have tried to make me feel better by essentially ignoring the whole thing (I think they think I don’t want to talk about it, so they chit chat about normal stuff hoping that they can help distract me), so it has been a very lonely experience. DH, although amazingly supportive in general, has reacted very logically and moved on once the miscarriage was confirmed. He is just waiting for me to get over it and does not fully understand why I’m still thinking about it so much. I don’t think I’m dwelling on the mc more than normal (i mean, it just ended on Sunday), but everyone keeps encouraging me to move on and no longer wants to hear about it, and I can’t stop thinking about it. Any suggestions on how to move on or resources for getting through something like this? I almost feel like the only way I will really move on is to get pregnant again, but I really don’t want to set myself up for disappointment if it doesn’t happen soon.

    • This is VERY traumatic thing, so I sugest you consult with a professional therapist b/c having peeople who do NOT know you well often, while well MEANING, are NOT abel to help properly. You do NOT want to get into a FUNK waiting for the right person. I sugest you call your GP, or the local social SERVICE bureau and they can recomend some one COMPETENT.

    • anon in tejas :

      check out altdotlife forums. it’s a message board, and they have a lot of information and women posting about their own experiences with miscarriage, loss and aftermath. if you just want to reach out to someone who likely knows what you’re going through.

    • I’m so sorry. That sounds so incredibly hard. I don’t have any experience or knowledge in this area, but I would guess your OB would have resources for this. It sounds like it might be helpful just to talk to some other women who’ve had the same experience. I’d be surprised if an OB didn’t know of a group like that. I hope you find some comfort soon.

    • I am sorry you are going through this. I don’t think people know exactly how to always help others navigate through their grief, nor do we even know how to navigate through our own. You can’t rush it. Take the time you need. I think it’s ok to honestly answer “no, I’m not fine” when someone inquires. They may not want to hound you about it by asking a million questions, hence the distraction talk, but they are more than willing to give you a shoulder to cry on if that is what you need.

    • springtime :

      I obviously know nothing about MCs, but I think maybe your DH needs to understand that there are huge changes to your body and hormones that happen when you miscarry, which obviously results in different feelings of sadness than your DH would feel.

      Maybe explain the physical affects to him?

    • Anon for this :

      Just wanted to add that your husband, despite his comments, may not be as over it as you think. My husband was the same way — logical and quiet about it all — but it really did a number on him. I didn’t realize how much so until about 6 months later. If your husband is anything like mine, he is trying to be strong for you, not trying to disregard your feelings or giving you the cold shoulder. It wasn’t until we were pregnant again and somewhat further along that he finally admitted just how broken up he was.

      I know it’s not helpful to say, but time really will help. I personally did not love the idea of getting pregnant again very quickly, so I threw myself back into “me.” I worked out, trained for a race, cooked a lot from scratch. And then slowly the clouds parted, I felt physically healed, and we did try again.

    • Diana Barry :

      So sorry you are going through this.

      I second anon at 2:46’s idea to find “you” in all this, and to find the things that you want to do now.

      Also, I liked the message boards at fertilethoughts dot com – there are a TON and they are very supportive.

    • Wannabe Runner :

      I’m sure people just don’t know what to say.

      But it’s totally 100% ok that you’re grieving. This is a major loss and is devastating. It’s ok to grieve for as long as you need. Your husband should understand that. (He may need to be told how he can help.)

    • I’m so sorry. I went through a miscarriage in October and I had a very similar feeling, like everyone else was over it and wanted me to be over it too. Looking back on it, I don’t think that’s actually how people felt — I think they were just at a loss for what to say / what I needed, and were trying to give me space and let me communicate what I needed. I actually really appreciated the Miscarriage/Loss message board on The Bump. That site in general can be really hit-or-miss, with lots of trolls and stupidity, but the Miscarriage/Loss message board is excellent. If you post what you posted here, you will get a lot of support, even if it’s just people saying “I know exactly what you’re going through.” Hang in there.

    • *hugs*

      Don’t rush yourself, grieve as long as you need to.

    • I am so sorry you’re going through this. The loneliness makes an awful experience even worse. I hate to say this, but now that I’m two months removed from my own miscarriage, I’ve realized that I’ve found the greatest comfort from others who have been there, too, and survived. Others mean well, but they don’t necessarily understand the intensity of the grief, nor the length of time it can hang around. A nurse at my OB’s office told me that it is very common to feel waves of grief until the due date passes. So, DO NOT beat yourself up for not “getting over it.” There isn’t a timetable on grief, and what you need from people changes over time.

      You asked about specific resources, and here are a few that helped me:
      – I downloaded an e-book called Surviving Miscarriage: You Are Not Alone, by Stacey McLaughlin. She’s a miscarriage survivor and a psychologist, so I found her perspective on what to expect while grieving to be pretty helpful.
      – I normally avoid the Babycenter boards like the plague, but you might see if anyone has started a miscarriage support board for your due date. I was able to find a May 2013 miscarriage group, and it has been helpful to talk to people who are in roughly the same stage I’m in.

      Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to act a certain way right now. Your emotions are raw and your hormones are all over the place. If you need to be social and get your mind off things for awhile, do it. If being alone is preferable to being around people who aren’t acknowledging your loss the way you need them to, then don’t feel bad about hiding out for awhile. With your DH, be very, very specific about what you need (practical help? a listening ear?).

      While it appears that your husband has moved on and is coping ‘better’ than you, I’d argue that he probably isn’t. It wasn’t until very recently that my husband admitted how angry he felt about the miscarriage and that he still thinks about it often. Do I wish he was more open about his feelings and talked to be about this? Yes, I do. Because I’d like to make him feel better, and I’d like to feel less alone. But I’m trying to respect that just because he doesn’t express his emotions as outwardly as I do, doesn’t mean he doesn’t have feelings about this.

      I totally get the impulse to want to get over it by getting pregnant right away. I wanted to do that, too, but Mother Nature had other plans. (Sigh.) While I think it’s fine to TTC as soon as you get the doctor’s okay, I’d warn you that a quick pregnancy may not completely take the grief away. Unfortunately, time really is the only thing that helps — and it’s the thing you may feel most panicked about giving.

      • Agreed completely with everything Midwest says. I’m so sorry for your loss, and I’m sure people just don’t know what to say. I’ve been there and know how you feel – you’re entitled to as much time as you need to grieve and heal. Going through the original due date was rough, but things do improve with time.

        Also agreed that what helped me more than anything was talking to others who had gone through similar experiences. I never posted, but I read the miscarriage and loss boards on Babycenter and they helped me feel less alone and isolated.

        My husband also acted this way. However, when we finally talked about it, he said that he was afraid to mention anything because it would just remind me of the pain. He hadn’t gotten over as quickly as I thought, he was just trying to be strong for me. Perhaps your husband is doing the same thing.

    • Anon for this :

      I’m very very sorry for your loss. I had a miscarriage last year at 9 weeks. My husband acted the same way as yours – he really had no idea what to say and just didn’t know what to do. He told me honestly that while he felt sad, the whole pregnancy had not seemed fully “real” to him since I didn’t look any different and it was just so early on.

      Interestingly, the people who I tend to confide in the most, one of my best friends and my mom, were not as supportive as I expected them to be. My mom told me that “I needed to get over it” and “stop crying” so that DH would not be freaked out. And my BFF had no clue what to say, except to say that it was very common, which did not help.

      What DID help is identifying 2 other close girlfriends to talk to about this, and I called/emailed with them often. And I had an hour long conversation with a social worker through my hospital, and that was very helpful as well. I also read some of the online forums and while I did not post anything, I found it comforting that so many women have also been through this. I also ended up speaking about it with a coworker, who had also miscarried, and found that to be very comforting. I also cried a lot and found that to be a relief.

      Finally, what ultimately helped was getting pregnant again right away (within 2 months). I know that isn’t the road for everyone, but it helped to put the miscarriage behind me and get excited again about being pregnant. I am due any day now.

      Good luck, dear. Big hugs.

    • Totally agree with what everyone else is saying. Also, keep in mind that guys are not as communicative or in touch with their emotional selves as we are, so while it may seem like he has moved on, he could certainly still be struggling but is covering it up and not outwardly expressing it.

      Although I have not had a miscarriage, I have suffered from serious depression so I can relate to a lot of what you are saying. I think there are two important things to remember: first is that you cannot force yourself to stop dwelling on how you feel or make yourself move on…you kind of just have to ride the wave. I find that the more I force myself to stop being depressed, the worse the situation gets. Secondly, you are not alone, and as many above me have explained, there are lots of useful resources out there.

      Anon (at 2:46pm) had great ideas too about ‘me time’-cooking, exercising, pampering yourself, reading magazines, getting your nails done. Also, if you have friends you are close with and feel comfortable around, reaching out to them can be really (surprisingly) helpful. Just think- if you had a friend who was in your position, you’d most likely want to help her in any way possible. Girlfriends can be surprisingly warm, compassionate, and understanding in these situations. For me, I found them to be immensely more helpful than family, who often do not know what to do (and someones make the situation worse)!

    • WorkingMom :

      I am so sorry for your loss. I’m really late to respond here, so I’m not sure if you’ll even see this. Nonetheless, you deserve time to mourn your loss like any other loss, please don’t feel pressured to “get other it quickly” or “forget about it and move on.” Personally, I believe that the things in our lives that happen to us, we never “get over” they just become a part of you, and you learn to live a new normal with that new part of you.

      I’m sure many have or will suggest talking to someone, either a grief counselor or even online support groups – many women are experiencing a similar heartache to yours and I hope you can find someone to lean on, who can lean on you as well. I’ve also been told that being able to offer support to someone else grieving helps one to discover their “new normal” and learn to live their new normal life with this new piece of yourself.

      You can also do other things, if you have a yard, you could plant a tree that would represent your angel. Then whenever you are feeling sad, you can go sit by the tree and feel close to your angel and have some quite time. Others find peace with memorial jewelry, perhaps a subtle necklace that you could wear to give you strength, etc.

      Again I am very sorry for your loss and hope that you are able to find peace eventually. Big hugs to you!

    • I’m really late here too so don’t know if you’ll see this, but what I found the most helpful was to talk to other women who had had miscarriages about their experience. This was a long time ago – pre-Internet and when miscarriage wasn’t out in the open at all – and it really helped to know that other women had gone through it and had had later successful pregnancies. Getting pregnant again also helped a lot, although it did make it harder for me to feel like the second pregnancy was real for a long time.

    • not sure if you’ll see this but maybe. My good friend found a support group for miscarriage, infant loss to be helpful. this one is just in bakersfield, california, but they may know of similar groups in other locations

      • Follow up: just noticed this one was church based. But my friend wrote this about the group: I’m not all that into the bible study part, but the group of women all telling their stories, the opportunity to tell mine and be heard, and the support of people who had been there was awesome. I hope your friend can find something similar. I think talking really helps wht grieing.

  4. Equity's Darling :

    I love wool coats, and I never seem to have trouble finding them…BUT, what I actually need is a warm winter coat (probably down filled or something equivalently warm) that’s still professional.

    I’ve been looking for quite a while, and essentially waffling over one of the Canada Goose parkas for a few months, and I can’t seem to commit to spending $600+ on a jacket that I don’t totally love, but at the same time, I really don’t like any of the alternatives more than the CG jacket.

    I wish wool coats were sufficient for my region’s winter, because I love love them. I may splurge on the Lady Day in white…though I already have a beautiful winter white wool coat, and I can’t see why I’d need two.

    • Not sure if this will work for you, but I just got this one for Christmas and it’s very warm:

      Regarding the topic, I also have a gorgeous black wool double breasted Kenneth Cole coat. It has an interesting ruffle incorporated into the collar and a black belt.

      • I’d second the LE recommendation. I bought one last year that’s similar to this year’s Modern Down Coat and have gotten tons of compliments on it from my boss and others at work. It’s snuggly and warm, much more so than any wool coat I’ve owned.

        • Equity's Darling :

          Thanks for the tip! I will check out LE, I don’t think they have any stores in my city, so perhaps I’ll order a couple online to try.

          I’m *hoping* for down-filled with a smooth/windproof exterior, I’m not a huge fan of the puffed/bumpy look on myself, and I find that the seams often leak wind unless they jacket is thick enough to have filled seams (at which point, I usually find the jacket too bulky).
          I’ve owned many jackets, and I have a naughty habit of not wearing the warm ones if they’re too bulky, even if it’s freezing out, so I know the jacket needs to be down, yet look relatively slim cut.

          • (former) Clueless Summer :

            I also super recommend the Lands End down coats – I think they are as good as Canada Goose at a fraction of the price. I wore mine when I lived in a colder climate than you are now (think wayyyy up north), and it did me just fine. Right now you can probably find great sales too!

            The J. Crew coats are fine – I have a non-thinsulate one that is probably good to -10 (celsius) but any farther and I wouldn’t wear it. I figure the thinsulate are good for a little colder.

    • Be warned — I don’t know who all these people are who love the J Crew Thinsulate lined coats. I have a thinsulate lined Lady Day coat. It’s beautiful. You can’t beat the style. But it is NOT WARM! The lining is only in the torso and the cloth is really thin so my arms are always so cold when I wear it. I save it for early winter/late spring when the temps are in mid 40s or above. Not sure it would be very useful in Canada.

      • Diana Barry :

        I just got a lady day. I wore it when it was about 30 out. It would go down to 20 with scarf, hat, and gloves, but below that you need down.

      • Equity's Darling :

        Yeah, I kinda figured.

        I just like how the Lady Day looks, and I would get some use out of it. We have quite a variable winter where I am, it ranges from +10C or so on good days to -4o on bad days, and I have jackets for good days…I need a jacket for bad days, so, as I suspected, Lady Day is out, because I don’t need yet another mild winter coat, as I already have 3 that I love.

      • Agreed. The Metro and Lady Day are for 35F + temps. The arms are very thin and do not leave much room for layering underneath.

      • J.Crew Stadium Cloth coats are the way to go, much warmer than the thinsulate-lined doublecloth – I’ve owned two and live in the Midwest.

      • Agree–the way that I got my Lady Day to work in super-cold NY days was to wear a thick cashmere sweater under it…then my arms were warm enough. The Thinsulate does very little, although, of course, they charge a bundle for it.

    • I really like Isis jackets. I have the Snow Queen and a short, lighter down coat in a fun color. The Snow Queen feels more tailored than other down coats I’ve tried on. I also love the look of Patagonia city winter coats, but haven’t bought one.

      • Equity's Darling :

        I’ve been looking at the Patagonia Tres in One or Northwest Parka as alternatives too. Unfortunately, I don’t think they’re as flattering on me, and I have a naughty habit of not wearing jackets that I think are unattractive (even if they’re warm), but to save $200 may be worth it?

        I also really like one from Jack Woflskin, but they don’t ship to Canada, so it would be a huge hassle to get it here, and I don’t feel great about spending a bunch of time/money to import a jacket I haven’t tried on.

        • Every second person wears Jack Wolfskin round here, and I can definitely recommend it. I have a North Face coat myself for deep winter (Jack Wolfskin didn’t do waterproof down in the style I wanted), but my autumn/down to 0C jacket is from them, and I’ve been very satisfied.

    • springtime :

      I have a CG because I get cold all of the time (I am not as far north as you). I was also very lucky and got it 40% off because my cousin works at one of the stores that sells them.

      I love it. It’s so well made, they have pockets and zippers for everything- clearly every detail has been thought out. I think the white ones are gorgeous, but I was worried about it getting dirty (And i intend to keep this jacket forever), so I opted for a darker color.

      I’d say buy one. I know it’s insanely cold where you live. The only negative is that I can’t wear it to bars or parties where I would be leaving it unattended- it’s so expensive, I’m sure someone would steal it.

      • Equity's Darling :

        Which one do you have? I’ve debating between the Kensington and the Trillium.

        This would definitely be a forever type jacket at that price, which is why I’m so determined to get the *perfect* jacket. I think I like the gray the best, and I don’t really foresee leaving Canada anytime soon. I need to encourage a family member to get a job where I could get 40% off one of the CGs….

        • springtime :

          Yah, it was amazing! I think all in I paid around $350.

          I completely forget which one it is- I just checked the label but it doesn’t say. I was debating between those two- and I went with the one the person at the store said is warmer.

          That burberry coat linked below is gorg, but I think you need a hood in Calgary.

          • springtime :

            Sometimes if I wear it and it gets warmer in the daytime, I actually walk around with it unzipped in the middle of January it’s so warm. Buttt that also means it can get hot on public transit if you don’t take it off.

          • Equity's Darling :

            I think the Trillium is warmer, so that’s good to know.

            I don’t really spend much time on transit (5 min at most), and if my jacket was warm enough, I’d aim to walk to work since it only take 5 minutes longer than transit (actually the jacket is partially to encourage myself to walk all year instead of just in the summer).

            Agreed, that burberry coat below is gorgeous, that colour is so amazing. If only it had a sneaky down lining and a hood…

        • I’ve been eyeing the Kensington too. Given the area you live, I think investing in a really warm stylish coat is very worthwhile. I mean, if you’re going to have to wear it every day for months on end, the cost per wear starts to be quite reasonable.

          That said, if you’re not ready to pull the trigger on a CG-priced coat, you may want to check out Soia & Kyo (also a Canadian company). The price point is a bit lower than CG but they are still really well-made, with lots of stylish detailing. I’ve also had luck finding S&K on sale, too.

          • Maybe something like this:

            Or this:

            Or this:

          • I realize I didn’t say, super warm! My S&K wool coat is interlined, and is so warm I don’t even switch to down unless it’s below maybe -10 or -15 C.

          • Equity's Darling :

            You’re right re: cost per wear- I’m sure I’d wear the CG from -5 to -40, which happens for about 6 months a year here, I think I just want to see all my options before spending that much to be certain that the CG is the right coat, because I’m really committing to at least 5 years, if not 10, for spending that much on a jacket.

            Thanks for the tip on S&K! I’ve never heard of them, but I really like the Carmella down coat they have…and the Zafina. I’m not going to lie, I love the Zafina way more, but it’s too short and my behind always freezes. I’m short in the torso though, so maybe the Zafina will be enough? It’s a gorgeous coat. I particularly like how they’ve done the oversized hood.

            They’re actually sold in a few stores relatively close to where I live (which practically never happens), so I’m going to go look this weekend! So excited!

          • Yay – good luck with the shopping! My DH is Canadian, so I know online shopping can be a total PIA with shipping from the states. Since I’ve been living in MN, though, all my best winter gear is Canadian. :)

            I had added some links above but realize they’re still in moderation. The Carmella was one of the ones I linked — I do heart that collar on the Zafina but seriously, when it’s cold enough that I want to wear a down coat, I want my bum covered! (Though I’m long of torso, so hopefully the Zafina will work for you.)

    • Jane Post made a super warm really cute faux fur style coat a while back but I don’t seem them available online except on saks fashion fix in random sizes. But if you’re a size XL, you’re in luck (maybe):
      There’s also a size XS, without flap pockets on the website.

    • lawsuited :

      I just bought this LE coat and LOVE it!

      It’s really long though, so I ordered a petite.

    • lucy stone :

      Lands’ End down coats are the best. I’ve had one for two years and wish I would have bought it sooner.

    • eastbaybanker :

      I love white wool coats but I’m too much of a mess to pull them off!

    • Posting late but passing along an idea which may be of interest – in recent years, I’ve started layering puffy vests under my wool/ cashmere coats and find this is warm enough up to -10 celsius or so.

      I get the vests from Uniqlo who have them in a big enough range of colours that I can get a good match with the coat and I’ve gotten my dress-maker to sew in a couple of buttons and loops, so that I can attach the vest somewhat like a buttoned-in lining, and take off and hang/ check the whole thing as a single coat.

      • This is brilliant! I’ve thought about wearing a fleece jacket, but the sleeves would get too bulky… I never thought about a vest!

  5. phillygirlruns :

    i splurged on this coat earlier this winter, and am very, very glad that i did:

    i’ve only had it for a month or so, but the look, fit, feel and warmth are substantially better than the wool/wool-ish coats i’ve gotten from target and j.crew over the years. i think i mentioned on here once before that it makes me feel like a Real Live Grown-Up, especially when i wear it with my Black Wool Fedora That is Totally My New Thing.

  6. I usually go only up one size to ensure a comfortable fit with blazers/heavy sweaters. I think going up two, at least for me, would just not be flattering.

    I am also a bit tired of the really fitted styles that have been around for the last ten or however many years. Although it’s too classic to be dated, per se, I think I am just growing really bored of that silhouette. Something looser and more drapey just feels more elegant and off-the-moment, if that makes sense. Not to mention much easier for wearing with a blazer! The CZ coat is sort of almost-there but a bit too long and plain for my tastes. But I think the trend is definitely moving in a looser direction. Along the same lines, a toggle coat is one of my favorite coats for this purpose – you get the hood and the great detail from the toggles but it all feel a bit more stylish than your typical “office coat.”

    • Yes, I am also tired of the fitted coat. I bought an Eileen Fisher coat (yeah, me again with the EF) in boucle knit that has a looser silhouette and I love it. It’s between a sweater coat and a heavy coat. It’s perfect for San Francsico, and so far I haven’t needed anything heavier in NY, though I do have a thinsulate lined wool coat now… which is ugly… which I can’t imagine how I’ll stuff into the overhead bin on the plane….

    • Really? I’ve been thinking about this toggle / duffle coat from lands end:
      Basically, because of the hood. I live where it rains a lot and it’s nice to be able to throw up the hood when it’s sprinkling or for a quick walk so I don’t have to do the umbrella thing. What’s holding me back is that it seems “casual” and perhaps unprofessional. Also, maybe, that it reminds me of the coats the ride operators on the Materhorn at disnelyand wear when it is “cold.” Any thoughts on this one?

  7. Maine Associate :

    I have the LE Luxe Wool Swing Car Coat in Blackberry. I love it.

    • Legally Red :

      I just got it in black. Cute and very cozy. :)

    • How is the fit? Do they typically run large like most of LE’s clothing?

      • Legally Red :

        I think I went down one size from what I usually wear in non-LE jackets? (I have an embarrassing number of LE coats, so my perspective might be off.) The shoulders aren’t that huge, but the lower half of the coat is very swingy.

        • I bought a 10 and there is a bit room to spare but I’m abroad and my sizing is a bit in flux. I’m 5’7 and about 163-4 lbs.

  8. I just purchased J.Crew’s Stadium Cloth Cocoon coat. I think Stadium cloth is warmer than their Thinsulate. Also, the coat runs a bit big, so in my normal J.Crew coat size, I can fit a blazer underneath.

    The only problem is that this coat isn’t as long as your pencil skirt might be, but it still looks sharp and will still look nice with a skirt.

  9. PSA. This basic v-neck t-shirt (link to follow ) is on sale at Land’s End. Free Shipping for an order over $50 with code FSAFF PIN-2121. If you need a v-neck shirt, this one is super soft and I have worn it a lot for running errands or hanging around the house. At $9 it is great if you are looking for a basic t-shirt. Only XS, S, and M left. Reviewers say that the top doesn’t fit well if you have thicker arms. (I have stick arms and I love it.)

    • Link to v-neck shirt:

  10. Short sleeve version (for $7):

    • Also in Academia :

      The modal shirts are great! Much more fitted than Lands’ End normally is, but I did not need to size up from my normal LE size, if that makes sense. Just expect a closer fit. The fabric is very smooth and they work well under suits.

      • frugal doc :

        And add even more discounts…

        30% off plus free shipping with this code:pin

        VALUE: pin1313

        Thanks so much for posting about these. I just ordered 10 of them. I hope they fit… but so cheap!

  11. SoCal Gator :

    My DH got me the J Cr*w Metro coat in red for Christmas but luckily it was the wrong size so when I ordered it in the correct size, it was on sale for even less. I love it and live in SoCal where it will never get cold enough for this not to be warm enough.

    I also love the Fleurette brand that Nordstom carries but they run really big and are a bit boxy. The wool is so soft though!

  12. I love the J Crew lady day – it’s heavy enough for DC winters, IMO – and just pulled the trigger on the pink one (for $110, how can I not?). However, be sure to size up at least one (if not two) sizes as the thing is very tiny. I even called customer service to get the measurements, to make sure I wasn’t being hyper sensitive, and the measurements are crazy small compared to the Metro – the other long wool jacket with thinsulate.

  13. I have bought a number of J. Crew lady day coats over the years. I don’t wear them a lot because I live in SoCal. I think they are the right size as I can easily move in them, they don’t feel tight, etc. But the lining always rips, often not long after I acquire them. Am I doing something wrong? Or is it a quality thing? If it’s a quality thing, can anyone recommend a coat with better lining?

    • nonprofit-ette :

      I have the same problem with my Lady Day, and know of other people who have had the same. It’s a shame because the coat itself is so lovely.

  14. I got a great wool (well, mostly wool) Marni coat at a designer resale shop in Southern California. Lest my East Coast pals laugh about Angelenos buying coats purely for fashion reasons, it does get down to the 40s and 50s at night for at least a few months (and can be chilly other times too). The coat gets a lot of wear, and looks really nice after 3+ years. I did whittle down my wardrobe of coats when I moved out here from Boston, but I’m glad I kept a few.

    As for the blazer issue, I just layer and wear a heavy scarf with blazers.

  15. Thanks Kat. i am looking for a coat and january is a good month to find one on sale.

  16. kerrycontrary :

    My wool coat is Anne Klein from Macys. I actually did buy in a size 4, but coats can be a little big on me. I’m tall with a larger bust for my body, but small bone structure.

    • Fed Gov Attorney :

      I was about to post the same – it can be worn into the high-20 degree mark. I absolutely love it, mine is a dusty purple. I bought a size up for a blazer…but keep most of my blazers at the office!

  17. After a LONG search I finally decided on this one from Aritzia:,default,pd.html?dwvar_24390_color=1621#start=1

    I highly recommend!

  18. The Cinzia Rocca coats are GORGEOUS in person. Gorgeous. I bought a bunch of coats from a ladies store that begins with T recently and they were the most hideous coats ever. They were so huge and boxy and looked like they were made of muppet skin.

    The moral of the story is that to look like you are wearing a gorgeous, expensive coat, you probably have to buy a gorgeous, expensive coat.

  19. This winter I bought a Larry Levine coat. I’m originally from a snowy part of the country so I take outerwear seriously. I bought the coat from Macy’s, then saw it on sale at so I bought it there and hung on to the coat from Macy’s to compare. The one from Macy’s was much nicer so I kept it.

  20. I have a camel wool peacoat from JCrew and I love it. Unfortunately holes somehow wore into the pockets (on the inside) but I emailed JCrew and they said if I bring it in, they will fix it for free. FYI tall ladies: the sleeve length is near perfect for my 5’11” height/6″ wingspan. Some also come in tall if you need even more length. The price is pretty fair for a nice pea coat and if you wait around for a sale, you should be able to snag 25-30% off like I did. I purchased mine in the winter, but there was a 25% off outerwear sale online and the sales associate honored it in store.

  21. I think Wool Coats go with everything. They look so classy. I bought a gorgeous coat from Burlington Coat Factory for about $60 less than I had seen it for anywhere else. It was a great deal.

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