Winter Coat Dilemma

1 Oct

by Maura

Winter coat shopping isn’t quite as trauma-inducing as bra or bathing suit shopping, but it still strikes fear into my heart. Shopping for a winter coat is so hard for me because they are so! expensive! Also, I’m always cold, so it needs to be stylish AND warm. I have a navy trench coat in wool with Thinsulate lining from J. Crew (2010), but I don’t feel like it wore very well. Yes, it’s two years old, but the pockets tore easily and the coat itself is looking a little threadbare. Additionally, the price of J. Crew coats has seemed to go up $100 since the last time I bought one. Boo. This J. Crew Lady Day Coat is the closest I can find to the one I have.


{Image Credit: J. Crew}

If I had my druthers, I would buy this coat from LL Bean and be done with it. Hood, warm, cute color: check, check, check. Unfortunately, I need something that I can wear out to dinner and not look like a tourist Eskimo.

I could go to Macy’s and peruse their huge coat collection, but all the choices and humanity people overwhelm me. I prefer to order online. I like this coat from Banana Republic, but I am opposed to both the Camel color and the price ($325).


{Image credit: Banana Republic}

This coat by Sabine is really cute, but I’m not sure how warm and flattering it will be. I like a belt or some other defining detail at the waist so I don’t look like  a big blob. You can see, I have a lot of requirements! On the other hand, it is only $129, so it won’t break the bank.

{Image credit:}

Where else should I try for winter coats? How often do you buy new ones? Do I have unrealistic expectations about how long my coat should last (+3 years!).


5 Responses to “Winter Coat Dilemma”

  1. RA October 1, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    I know this sounds crazy, but I have had good luck with 2 coats from Old Navy. I know! I KNOW. But since I sort of cycle through 3 coats in the winter, having 2 cheapo ones (my third is an LL Bean Eskimo number) has been fine for me, and I have had each of them for 2+ years with no big letdowns. I have this one shorter, wool coat that’s a deep purple, and every time I wear it, someone compliments me. And I am like, boggled by that because, um, Old Navy? So weird. Right now, their selection is slim, but keep an eye out, especially over Black Friday.

  2. Melissa October 1, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    I have to recommend Eddie Bauer. Yes, normally really expensive, out of proportion to quality expensive..but.. BUT. Go to the sales. Do it. I happened into a store sort of near the end of winter last year, it was in no way the end of winter, and they were having their end of winter sale. I scored an amazing darker/olive green coat, with a furry hood, sort of eskimo-ish, but slimmer. I got it for 60% off, which made it a steal. I love it so much I’m actually looking forward to wearing it again this winter. I can’t find anything close on the site to link to..sorry.

  3. snoozical October 1, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    Seconding both suggestions. I have two fun/stylish winter coats I got for cheap: a purple Old Navy pea coat, and a houndstooth swing coat from Eddie Bauer. I wear those when I am more focused on fashion than warmth, though they keep me from freezing to death as well. When I need to be warm though? Hooded down jacket, all the way.

  4. Jennie October 1, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    I buy most of my winter coats from Old Navy when they have their spectacular outerwear sales. I have four now, and they all do the trick pretty well. (This pink one is from ON, for example:

    I realllllly like the Sabine coat from Piperlime, though!

  5. Sarah Lena (@SarahLena) October 3, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    Also a vote for Old Navy. They usually have one REALLY good sale every fall for winter coats, and I stock up on the whole family then. My only caution is that their sizing is wildly unpredictable, so buying online is not recommended.

    I’ve been coveting the new Lands End wool jackets, but the reviews are just not so good.

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