Hello from all the snow! Yes, we made national news and our governor declared a state of emergency last week here in Oregon. We do not know what to do with this much snow! In North Portland, we got 15″! It’s been nuts to say the least. And gorgeous. And so nuts. And lots of family time. 8 snow days since right before Christmas. Plus the Christmas/New Years holidays. Plus, MLK Jr. holiday. All the snow and all the family time. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. PLEASE let’s talk fashion instead. Mmmkay??
Most Popular Posts in "Winter Coats"
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- Styling the Bump: Third Trimester Tips (And Loads of Style Inspiration!)
- Athleisure & Work Wear Selfies from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
- Wool Coats – Searching For The Perfect One
- The Most Versatile Jacket Yet: Packable Down
Even the sale section is included in J.Crew’s 40% off Black Friday sale! (Sale section discount is 50% on some pieces). Yes, they’ve got the elevated basics (that I love to stock up on) covered but this year there are so. many. bold. surprises. I’m in love with their luxe bright wool coats, amazing shoes & statement jewelry.
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.
Hey ladies – I made a naptime escape for my local Nordstrom today to try on some athleisure picks and workwear options from the sale! What did I find? Lots of killer comfy leggings, cool jackets (including this amazing Zella moto puffer!), cashmere sweaters and leather jackets to swap out for blazers this fall.
The Pacific Northwest is arguably the most beautiful part of the country…if you like evergreens and rain and mountains and I DO. We are definitely deficient in Vitamin D, but beyond that we aim for healthy lifestyles and friendly vibes out here. It’s all about getting into the outdoors and exploring and ignoring the rain. Oh, and coffee, of course. If you and/or the people on your list are into the Northwest vibe…
I could have listed a million things, but these are some of my favorites right now.
I really wish I could get my husband to wear that vest. So. Good.
Ok, so I may have gone a bit overboard on the plaid here, but pretty much kids in plaid is one of my favorite things. And that denim vest. UGH! I want one so badly for myself.
Gonna try to convince Pinky that that tree mural is a good stocking stuffer.
Happy Cozy Holidays! And don’t worry fellow Upper Left Coasters, a raincoat roundup is on the to-do list!
P.S. Don’t forget to check out all of our Gift Guides. If you’ve waited ’til the last minute (speaking to myself) we’ve got you covered!
Living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (the UP), I know down jackets. You cannot live in a climate like ours and NOT own one. However, the down jackets I know tend to be shapeless masses of feathers and puff designed to do one thing: keep you warm. Fortunately for us Yoopers (and anyone else that needs a seriously warm jacket in the winter), down jackets have come a loooong way. They now are actually flattering (whaaa?) and come with seriously cool (and functional!) details that make them much more stylish than the down
comforter jackets of yesterday. My favorite new twist on down is the packable down jacket. These jackets are lightweight yet warm . . . they feel like a cardigan but keep you warm like a down jacket. They’re highly compressible and thin enough to layer under another jacket (Shana wears hers under her ski jacket) or tie around your waist. I can vouch for how packable they are . . . I packed mine in my suitcase and it barely took up any room once I squeezed the air out of it.
Speaking of suitcases, I just got back from visiting Shana in Philly! (SUPER crazy fun)! Although the first few days were warm (high 70’s . . . yessssss) it did get cold enough for us to try out our down coats outside. Since they’re performance coats (and maybe because I’m
insanely a little bit competitive), I suggested we have a work out competition to test them out . . . and to be completely thorough for our research, we also went to get brunch and Bloody Marys afterwards to make sure that they held up . . . through any possible scenario. Like sitting outside drinking. I mean, it’s all in the name of research, right??
French Connection, one of my very favorite brands (due to their slightly edgy and almost subversive take on trends…coupled with european tailoring) sent me this gorgeous wool coat. I received it in September when we were still rocking 70+ temps, and stuck it in the back of my closet.
Happy, HAPPY rediscovery. Even better? It’s still in stock, but now on crazy sale – 50% off, then another 50% off with the code 50SALE.
I’m also wearing my favorite sweater, my favorite jeans, my favorite boots, my favorite hat and drinking a warm coffee on a beautifully cold and snowy day with one of my favorite guys. I mean seriously. How lucky can a girl get?
Sunday, while at High On Market Street, I noticed Betty lounging against the counter, waiting for her food. I loved how she dressed up a basic parka-and-leggings with a cool patterned scarf and unexpected wine-colored booties.
Betty's coat is from SheInside (and is now on sale for $45 – seriously), her leggings are Yummy Tummy, and her red booties are by Sketchers. She couldn't remember where her scarf was from…but if you are dying for both the scarf and easy tote (and I am)…may I suggest a visit to Idiopix on Etsy for the tote? The selection is totally overwhelming (and all totes are $15). I have my eye on this Alice In Wonderland tote…or maybe this french chocolate label…or ooooooo…this jellyfish one. Stunning!
For the scarf, I'd try this wool-and-cashmere blend, now 50% off at Nordstrom.
Love this twist on an easy, everyday look. Betty, thanks for being such a good sport.
We had the most amazing Saturday. It was our long-anticipated day date (aka my Christmas and Valentine's Day present). And while I had visions of waltzing around the city in something wildly glamorous…Saturday was a mushpot of snow, sleet, and freezing rain. So instead, I wore this:
We started at the Art Museum, where we – get this – wandered leisurely. I read some of plaques hanging on the wall. I KNOW!!
And afterwards, we strolled around downtown. Held hands. Got coffee at our fav, La Colombe.
(I'm all about the cuffs these days.)
Of course, I posed a little. Wearing two jackets like all the other fashion bloggers.
But aren't these sexy jeans? Even with the combat-ish boots. (Grace, you asked about these boots and so I hopped right to it you #shoppingenabler More later.)
I swapped the combat boots out for heels before our dinner reservations at Vetri. In hindsight, that was a mistake. Mike had booked us a six course dinner at 6PM, with tickets to see Ballet X at 8PM. By 7:45, we were only on course four. By 7:56PM, Mike signed the check, and by 7:59PM we were running – no, SPRINTING – like the crazy people we are. (Thankfully I can still run in heels.) And at 8:00PM sharp? We were busting through the doors of the Wilma Theater.
It was a tough call (stay/go?) but wow. We made the right decision. Ballet X was mindblowing. It was exciting and funny and sexy – Mike didn't even fall asleep!! (The man always falls asleep at ballets.) We'll be going again….with, I think, the boys. The Wilma theater is such an intimate setting that you can hear the sound of their shoes squeaking on the stage, hear the dancers breathing, and see the subtle expressions on their faces. And I love how it was such a departure from traditional ballet, but with all of the rigor. It was like Balanchine-meets-hiphop-meets-threestooges. (OK, maybe not exactly that last part. But close.) And tix were only $35.
After, we went back to Vetri (sheepishly) to collect our entrees and dessert.
Philly, thanks for a beautiful day and an amazing night. You are one seriously cool city. I can't wait (hint, hint Mike) to do this again.
blouse: Emerson Fry jet print (old) – similar at LOFT
sweater: Ann Taylor cropped sweater (old) – this back-zip sweatshirt at Madewell has a similar cropped fit (and is otherwise fabulous)
denim jacket: Joe's Jeans (vintage - ha! that just means I bought it in 2003 or something) – but Modcloth has a really cute one with stretch.
wool jacket: Iro (old) – or try layering a cool trench over a denim jacket
combat boots: Steve Madden Bickett Boot (at local DSW for $35!!) – similar
heels: Nine West (old) – similar
scarf: Banana Republic (old) – similar
Whoa. The number of layers I'm wearing is ridiculous. But the thought of putting on my puffer coat – yet again – is starting to affect my mental stability. I had to get creative. In the name of health, you guys. HEALTH.
So I've been feeling pretty good these days. There's a spring in my step, and my heart feels…light. It's like I'm emerging from a cocoon. Butterfly! I am the butterfly! #stopit
And I'm dressing differently, too. Not a huge shift, but I have this new found sense of…fearlessness when picking out my clothes. Or maybe carelessness is the better word. I find myself throwing something on because it's fun. Like I'm honoring the fact that somewhere…there's a party. (Even if it's just the Pigeon and his hot-dog parties.) Or I'm reaching for my favorite things, uh, period. Like, wearing the same thing three days in a row because it makes me feel good. High heels on a Saturday morning just because, or pretty underwear on a random Wednesday (insert 'hump day' joke).
Know what's happening here? I may be bald-ish, I've got some serious scars, but I'm craving – a little – glamour.
I mean…let's not get too excited. I'm a mom of two young boys – there are limits to this glam. (Glimits?) And someone who talks about glamour while wearing a puffer jacket and fuzzy mittens really shouldn't be trusted.
But I felt like the January issue of Vogue was speaking directly to me: "Here's to the year of you. Fashion 2014 is about the charisma of the individual, the charm of the rare and unique…." and even Ms Wintour, in her letter from the editor, talked about a "sense of promise" that was evident in all of the 2014 collections. Vogue heralded a "return to maximum embellishment" and dubbed 2014 the year of dressing dangerously.
"There was a strong current of let's-play-dress-up – even whimsy – on the spring runways, and this openhearted spirit only adds to the pleasures of the new season. Trends may come and trends may go, but fun, we hope, will never go out of style."
Sing it, Vogue.
So. Here are a few easy-peasy ways to add a small sartorial punch to your everyday, a little dose of pedestrian glamour that even this sleep-deprived mama can do on a daily basis. As Vogue says (and really, one should always do what Vogue says)….let's play.