November 16, 2016

Wool Coats – Searching For The Perfect One

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It’s been a while since I considered wool coats.  I’m typically a puffer kind of girl (because: WARM), and then I drank the leather-jacket koolaid (totally recommend, it’s delicious), and I’ve just been spending so much time sledding/playgrounding/Things Involving Cold, Muddy Areas that a beautiful wool coat wasn’t practical.

In fact, I had given my one beautiful wool coat to my mom after Raines was born.  And she’s been happily wearing it for over eight years.  And before that?  I happily wore it for….wait for it, doing the math…seven years!

Which means that my old wool coat has been going strong for fifteen years.   There aren’t many items that can boast a fifteen year love affair.

But that’s the thing about wool coats:  you simply have them for forever.  Which is partially why, I think, that I hadn’t yet invested in one.  Finding the perfect wool coat is so flipping tricky, and if you mess it up, there’s not a lot of impetus to change. These coats stand the test of time, which is how you find yourself staring in your closet going, ‘well….this old thing….still there.  Yup.  There…it…is.’

So.  Here are my thoughts on finding the perfect wool coat, along with my usual nonsense of trial and error and lessons learned.

The Coat That Isn’t Warm Enough But I Will Try To Justify Anyway

Goodness gracious I wish I had never tried on this totally amazing Theory ‘topper’.  It has no buttons, and is probably more in the sweater/cardigan/blazer category than the wool coat category.  But it’s buttery soft, has amazing drape, and looks So. Fracking. Good. over everything.  If I worked in an office, I’d snap this up and wear it in place of a blazer.  If I lived somewhere less cold, I’d call this one close-enough and wear with allll the jeans.  As it stands, it calls to me on milder days and date nights because it’s just so pretty pretty pretty.

In a feminine-masculine kind of way.

(You should see it with a mini dress.  SWOON.)

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The Coat That Makes Me Crave Color But Hate Zippers

J.Crew kills it with wool coat colors.  After trying on J.Crew’s Stadium Cloth Cocoon Coat, it’s hard to go back to black.  Look at how this color perks up….EVERYTHING, even my Grumpy Raining Face.

But I have two major issues:  First, the coat doesn’t drape nearly as well as the Theory coat – the fabric is stiffer.  Secondly, long zippers on winter coats are problematic.  For example, if your arms are not 6ft long (and trust me, mine are close), then you have to bend down to zip up your coat, and zippers are notoriously bad at bending.  For these pics, I had to have Marisa (my photog) zip up the darn coat.  “Oh yeah!” she says.  “I have a similar one – my husband has to zip up mine up too!”  (Also, I should’ve bought a petite size.)

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The Best Coat I’ve Found Thus Far (Naturally, It’s Black)

Ok, this baby is expensive.  But here’s the thing:  Fleurette’s Wool Stand Collar Coat is butter soft (like no scratchiness on my cheek from the collar), it has a beautiful, classic shape, BUTTONS, and seriously amazing drape.  Also it hits that long-but-not-too-long length that makes it easy to wear with heels or sneakers.

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Outfit Details

The Coats:

Theory Wool and Cashmere Topper in camel

J.Crew Stadium Cloth Cocoon Coat in blue

Fleurette Black Button Coat

sweater: Rag and Bone Cashmere Crewneck Sweater (wearing an xs)

jeans: AG Legging Jeans 10 Year Recreation

boots: Free People Cecile Block Heel Bootie (my favs)

bag: Rebecaa Minkoff Julian Backpack (my fringe one is sold out – this is the closest model)

 

Shop My Favorite Wool Coats

Ok.  So here is my wildly opinionated edit of the best wool coats.  Nordstrom has an INSANE selection, but I tried to narrow it down to coats that really would stand the test of time, coats that we (as adults) can put on ourselves (haha), and coats that we wouldn’t get bored of in fifteen years.  Most of the coats below are available in the classic colors (black, navy, tan), but I tried to also show the unexpected colors available as well. And – happy surprise – many of them are on sale!

 

What’s your favorite wool coat?  And can anyone beat my fifteen year run? 🙂

xo,

S

A huge thank-you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post!  Your coat department is mind-boggling, something this Philly girl seriously appreciates.  As always, all thoughts, opinions, and product choices are my own.  And readers, thank you for your continued support.  It doesn’t go unnoticed and is so very much appreciated!

photo credits:  Redfield Photography (Marisa, thanks for working in the rain!! xoxo)

Next up….a puffer coat round-up?  Yes?

By November 16, 2016 20 No tags Permalink
20 Comments
  • kk
    November 16, 2016

    That has to be the happiest anyone has ever looked at 30th while waiting for a cab. Usually when in that position, I’ve had too much train wine and I’m trying to get it together to get to my hotel, or I’m sad to be leaving philadelphia and not looking forward to the train ride ahead!

    Despite the zipper situation, I think the blue cocoon coat looks gorgeous on you. I’m hesitant to pull the trigger on one for myself, as I dont know how it will look on someone with wider hips.

    • Shana
      November 16, 2016

      DYING. Girl, you are right. This totally cracked me up.

  • Erin Knott
    November 16, 2016

    I JUST got a similar wool coat yesterday! Same situation – my trusty wool pea coat from college *ahem* fifteen-plus years ago *ahem* finally needed to be passed along. I tried on several at Nordstrom, but was kind of “eh” with all of them. Went down to Macy’s to try on a Guess wool coat I had seen online, and found this one on the rack on the way! It’s very similar to the Fleurette one. It is a wool/poly blend, so it’s probably not quite as soft, but it definitely wasn’t itchy. Buttons at the top, collar that can stand up or flip down, and a swingy A-line cut. I ended up buying it in dark heather online, and with sales and discounts, it was only $106 plus free shipping. It could be a great option for someone who loves the look of the Fleurette coat and is willing to try a wool/poly blend.

    http://m.macys.com/shop/product/larry-levine-double-breasted-babydoll-coat?ID=2788765&swatchColor=Grey%20Heather

    • Erin Knott
      November 16, 2016

      It does also run large, by the way. I usually wear a small or medium coat, depending on what I will be wearing the coat over top of and how long the sleeves are. (I’m 5’9″, and sometimes coat sleeves come way short on my very long arms!) The XS fit best, and the sleeves were still long enough. Yesss!

  • Elizabeth Rafter
    November 16, 2016

    Currently obsessing over this coat. And it’s 30% off. I can’t pass it up with that deal, right? We don’t actually need groceries this week anyway!

    https://www.jcrew.com/p/F7946?srcCode=AFFI00001&siteId=QFGLnEolOWg-RJYrGvpSUH%2A1RQGxk%2AxRHQ

  • houseofboys
    November 16, 2016

    I love JCrew coats! I had a double breasted overcoat in that robins egg blue (that coat basically just longer) and just got rid of it last year because I have spilled god knows what all over it and the dry cleaner was at a loss. I now want the cocoon coat in the lighter minty blue color and my husband told me that i can’t throw a blue coat away to get another blue coat :/ Alas, wool coats are the best!

    And I am loving the rapid fire of these posts as they distract me from my, um, disappointment.

  • Belinda
    November 16, 2016

    so Shana did you settle on one of the coats? I vote for the black Theory…just my thought 🙂 you need to tell us which one the test…

  • Maggie
    November 16, 2016

    Bought a new one in the sale this spring to replace the one I bought in 1996… So YES to wool! And yes to Trina Turk for wool soft enough for OMGITSITCHYGETITOFF types. And also yes to Nordstrom Rack for TT under $200. 🙂

  • Kim
    November 17, 2016

    My fav is a wool/poly blend (cuts down on itching) sold through Modcloth. It’s gorgeous and the huge collar is great against Chicago winds. Perfect pokets for phones and has a Harry Potter themed name: http://www.modcloth.com/shop/coats/diagonal-alley-coat-in-black

  • Min
    November 17, 2016

    What do you do about scarves when you wear a coat like the fleurette? Do you just forgo one? I have a blanket scarf that i love to wear, but felt like a funnel neck coat and scarf together would end up feeling too bulky? help!

  • Jem
    November 17, 2016

    I love that Theory coat you are wearing. It looks swingy and bit A-line, almost like a dress but also a coat. Really very stylish.

  • Janda
    November 17, 2016

    Nordstrom Rack has some Fleurette coats at deep discount. Fleurette fabric is soft.

  • Alicia
    November 17, 2016

    That red, Kate Spade a-line number? SWOON. Trying to justify adding it to my wardrobe….I mean, for $250 it’s sort of a no-brainer, right?

  • Krista E.
    November 17, 2016

    I love the J Crew Lady Day Coat with Thinsulate. I live in Michigan right in Lake effect snow territory so I need my coats to be WARM. I see so many beautiful wool coats that I have to pass up because they’re too thin for our freezing temps and I know I’ll rarely wear them Jan – March. The lady day coat is perfect because it comes in a million colors and you can dress it up or down. Love JCrew!

  • grantjack
    November 17, 2016

    I have the blue JCrew cocoon coat and I love it! It can be casual or a bit dressy and it weirdly kind of goes with anything, despite the color. I’ve had it for 5 years and it has softened, but I liked the structure to start.

  • Megan B
    November 17, 2016

    I have a (rather subtle) plaid wool coat that I bought at Gap before I had kids, so…..2005 maybe? I love it! It definitely isn’t one that I pull out on an absolutely freezing day, but I still wear it a ton and it’s in great shape. My husband has me beat–he still wears the Gap wool coat I bought him in 2002. I’m so sick of his coat though–any recs for guys?

  • Leslie
    November 20, 2016

    I have been wearing my kelly green J Crew Lady Day Coat, made of what was then called “ITALIAN WOOL DOUBLE CLOTH,” since December 2005 and I still haven’t found one I like better. This model had a bathrobe-style belt and the most perfect shoulders. The hot pink lining is shredded and it’s really a size too small now, but until I find a suitable replacement, I’m keeping it.

  • Karen Williamson
    December 6, 2016

    OK. But is it warm????? I also favor puffers for the same reason.

  • Veronica
    January 23, 2017

    I’ve finally decided to get the Julian Backpack! Thanks Shana! I searched everywhere for the black and silver zipper model – zappos has it and rebeccaminkoff.com has it (although the leather looks more textured). If you get a chance, update your link so I can purchase it through your site (and give you due credit 😉 Thank you again!

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