Once I found out that I was going to have to move several states away to go to school, I slowly started the sorting process of all the things I had accumulated over the past 7 years of living in Madison. I knew that I would only be taking my car, and shipping a few things, so everything that wasn't being used or hadn't been worn/touched/looked at in years had to go. Among other things, I had accumulated quite the collection of winter coats that I didn't even really like that much. I decided to sell or donate all of them except my large North Face and thicker coat I bought in Germany. Now that winter time has officially started (it's currently snowing outside...booooo), it was time that I found a coat for school.
I wanted a coat that wasn't a peacoat, wasn't black, and preferably something that tied at the waist. I really wanted something like this coat (but much more in my price range) mostly because I fell in love with Olivia Pope's version on Scandal. Seeing that I don't have that amount of money laying around, I started looking for similar versions at a lower price. I ordered this coat from Zara, but the shawl portion was so overwhelming that I didn't even bother taking pictures. Next, a few people had mentioned this coat from Target, so during a recent sale on it, I ordered it in two sizes to try out. The coat I'm wearing here is in size large in taupe:
Things I really:
- The price! For $50, I felt this was a pretty solid coat. Granted, my winter experience this year will be getting into my car that is parked in the garage, driving two minutes to school, and then walking the 50 feet into the building. I don't need a super heavy duty coat, so this fully-lined wool coat would do the trick.
- The shawl neck line. It's just enough to be different, but not overwhelming . You can also button it to be a bit lower, or move it up around your neck if you are cold.
- The belt is attached on either side, and doesn't go all the way around. This lets you cinch it in at the waist, but also allows you to leave it open, or tie in the back.
- The color. It's very neutral, but I felt it would look great on a large range of skin tones.
- The sleeves are long enough. I tend to have problems with sleeve length, and tend to order most things in "talls" if possible, but these were a good length on me.
- It closes easily with snaps instead of a zipper or buttons.
Things I didn't like:
- One of the biggest things is the pockets. They are far too far forward, and I feel lopsided. My hands were constantly touching because they are so close together in there.
- Too much fabric on the sides. I felt it fans out a bit too much because everything is bunched together.
In a recent post talking about coats (again!), Caitlin mentioned that J.Crew Factory was currently having a sale on coats, so I finally ordered this coat that I had been eyeing up. I wasn't so sure how I would feel about it as I was afraid it might be too straight on me, but with a factory store somewhat close to me, I figured I might as well try it out.
Things I liked:
- The color. I've always had black or grey coats, so something in a pretty camel is new and fun. I like that it's different enough (for me) without being unprofessional or something I can't wear with a bunch of different things.
- The wool/nylon/cashmere of the outside is so soft - two of my guy classmates reached out to touch it because it looked so soft.
- The high funnel neckline means it can be worn without a scarf and still be warm, or with a scarf for extra warmth. Getting to wear scarves is one of my favorite parts of winter dressing (actually, it's probably the only good thing about winter) so I wanted something I could easily wear scarves with.
- The pockets are more on the side than in the front.
- I feel the shape and length is more flattering than the Target coat.
Things I didn't like:
- The belt is not attached to the coat. The only way it stays in place is through two little strings on the side. I'm considering sewing the belt on so that it doesn't just limply hang on the side when I'm putting it on, or if I don't have enough time to tie it correctly.
- It has buttons instead of snaps or a zipper, which means it takes more time and effort (and finger flexibility!) to close.
In the end, I've decided to keep the J.Crew Factory coat. I think it looks better on, and the strange pockets on the Target coat really turned me off, as much as I liked everything else about it. I'm even a little bit excited for it to be really winter so I can wear it more often.