Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Out In the Cold

Style Spy needs a coat. Actually, it might be more accurate to say that I need a jacket, a heavy jacket, not a coat. Something that will keep me warm when it gets into the 40s and 30s, but is not too long -- most of my being outside in cold weather involves going to and from my car. I don't want something that's so long I have to wrestle with the bottom of it when I get in and out of the car. I have a great big, wonderful old vintage black leather bomber jacket with a pile collar that I bought years ago at a flea market when I lived in New York, but it's a bit of a production -- it's bulky, and the leather is rather stiff. It's a great coat for walking around in New York, but less than ideal for running to the grocery store or meeting a friend for a quick, casual drink.

But it's not easy finding a good coat around here. Given that we don't have that much cold weather, the coat selection is pretty limited and found mostly in large department stores. And what there is, is booooooring. A thousand iterations of the peacoat in some form of another, or the "ladylike" little car coat, often cutesied up with ruffles or a flouncy skirt or some such. Comme ça:


Juicy Couture - Coat w/ Tab Detail (Angel) - Apparel



I wound up, in a fit of desperation, ordering something very like the second one above last weekend, but I already know I'm going to send it back. First of all, it's not what I want. Second of all, I ordered it online because the Nordstrom website told me they didn't have any at the store here in Austin, but when I went down there later that weekend there was an entire rack of the things sitting there. (Which is going to be a bone I pick at Customer Service when I return it, believe you me -- that's 8 bucks of postage I'm out for no reason.) And once I saw the things close-up I realized: cheap.

And this is the final piece of the problem puzzle for me. Nothing looks as cheap, to my eye, as a cheap coat. So, while a heavy coat is something I don't actually wear very often, I don't want a throwaway garment. Sadly, the current budget doesn't really have room for an investment piece.

I hit the interwebs looking for a little inspiration. (Click on photos or hypertext for links.)

This is gorgeous.


Alas, it is on sale for $3K+. Um, nope.

I could almost be talked into something like this:

Diane von Furstenberg Short Didi Plaid Jacket

but I want a full sleeve and I'm presently ticked off at DVF for making her clothes so dingdong small.

Maybe something faux-furry and fun?


Eh. I'm not really a faux-furry sorta gal. I looked at a couple like this at some of my favorite vintage places and they just don't speak to me, cute as they can be on other women.

I said I didn't want something very long (I'm wanting to stay hip-length or above), but I could certainly be talked into this:


Jil Sander, from a collection that made my eyes roll up into my head, I loved it so much. And it is on sale. For $1900. ::sigh::

This is a possibility

Women's apparel: DKNY Jeans Plaid Jacket - raven combo

although I'd really prefer something that's not black or gray. The thing is -- I really HATE the cold weather. I hate being cold and I hate having to bundle up, so when I do have to pull a heavy jacket out of the closet, I want to really like it and enjoy wearing it.

This would be PERFECT.


That is sooooooo cool. Neat as a pin and yet super-stylish. I really, really love that. Alas, I always really, really love the expensive stuff.

I have a feeling I'm probably headed for something along these lines:


Which is fine, I guess. I just don't find it terribly exciting. I might hit an army/navy store and see if I can't come up with an actual navy peacoat. At least it'd be warm & sturdy -- those things are indestructible.

Leather is nice & warm, and I do love the oversized mouton collar and cuffs here


but I think the Perfecto jacket idea is out. The problem with the flight jacket I already have is that it's black leather and frankly not right with a lot of things. This type of jacket is certainly a classic in its own way, but there are times when I want something with less... attitude.

Almost non-existent attitude:

Barbour Women Utility Polarquilt Jacket l1801

There's something about the neatness and clean lines of this that I find appealing, and it's from Barbour, so I know it's good quality. However, it has an inescapably mumsy, Talbots-esque air about it. I'd bore myself to death wearing this.

In my perfect dream world, Rick Owens designs coats for me.


Only he learns to work in color. But oh, this is a gorgeous thing.

I am totally not down with the puffer coat. Except.

This is adorable. This is a puffer I could live with. What fun. I would love to have this in my wardrobe, but probably it's too... too to be the mainstay of the cold-weather gear.

I don't want a long coat, but I could make an exception for this. Gucci. Lordy, that is sharp.

Once again, I heart Phillip Lim:

This is fun, a great color, and the shape would work with most of the wardrobe. Thing is, the color might be too much fun. Probably not neutral enough. Also, I really don't want anything long enough to be sat upon when I slide into the car. I get so tired of the ensuing tugging & twisting to free up my arms enough so that I can steer.

Argh. I'm such a Goldilocks. The search continues...

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Claudia said...

GOOD GOOGLY-MOOGLY, that Jil Sander!

Oooh. Shivers just thinking about it.

Denise said...

I've missed you, Style Spy! As for a coat, you are in a tricky situation living in Texas. I know what you mean: you need something warm enough, but not too warm. And not too long. I'm surprised you don't think fur is your bag. From your photos, I think you'd be fabulous in it. And I do think you're right on target to go for color. Winter can be dreary (especially long about March for us Minnesotans) and nothing cheers me up more than bright, happy color in my winter coats. Good luck in finding something you love that doesn't cost a couple grand :-)

Fritinancy said...

Have you ruled out vintage? There are some gorgeous Lilli Ann coats out there--fabulous San Francisco label; not too heavy or mumsy. Comme ça: For the price, you could afford to get it shortened.

P.S. Welcome back and happy new year!

P.P.S. I completely grok your coat issues. I grew up in L.A., where there were two kinds of coat: car coat (the only kind of coat I owned until I was in my 20s) and mink coat (for Beverly Hills ladies who were too rich to shvitz in the perpetual heat).

Duchesse said...

Style Spy, that Phillip Lim coat is a knockout! As are others but not in TX- and some are only jackets, not very warm and you don't have much natural padding. Avoid white unless your family owns a cleaner's- and even then stains will never come out of white. Why not buy a passe partout pea AND the Phillip Lim.

J Crew have some gorgeous colours in reasonably priced pea coats.

kelly said...

I'm seriously considering not eating for the next month to have that Jill Sander coat. Love.

Anonymous said...

I love that chloe jacket/cape. Why does it have to be so darn expensive?

I love Rick Owens but you're right he needs to have some colour in his clothing. Surely he could do a deep green or something not too radical?

It's like dressing for summer home in Canada; we don't really need a lot of summer clothing, or open toed shoes or sandals, so it's tough to justify spending the money.


All Women Stalker said...

The padded jacket is the most gorgeous one! You really went all out with finding choices. Teehee.

Rachel Jud said...

Do you ever go to Houston? Loehmann's has some really great, high-quality stuff for a fraction!

The Haute-Shopper said...

Ahh, a shame you don't like black leather, although Rick Owens did release a ton of lighter colored pieces, but I don't think any of them were shearling. If you could stretch your budget I would recommend Balenciaga leather jackets (they had them in cream and brown this season), as they're really warm.

The Jil Sander is stunning and I really like the Philip Lim. I think diffusion lines of designers can be a great place to start if you want the quality but not the hefty price tag. I have a great wool jacket by McQ (in light gray) and APC does some interesting asymmetric outerwear, as does Vanessa Bruno. Hope you find what you're looking for!

CompassRose said...

Have you seen the ones from Soia and Kyo?
Some interesting lines - some colour - easier on the wallet than Jil Sander (although the clothes from that collection ARE amazing).

Anonymous said...

i must be really boring because i liked the first one best of this selection.

Maravonda said...

I've missed you, too! I wear vintage coats almost exclusively, usually 3/4 length...this winter I have been stuck with driving my husband's pick-up truck (egads) and I climb my very short self up into the cab, trying to pull the coats out from under, and invariably I hear the tiniest "rrrippp" of the fragile linings. Sigh. I can't wait for spring....

isarcat said...

Well, first congrats on the fur. Animal issues aside, fur coats make everyone look like fur sausages.. And I live in Canada, so I have to think WARM. Still hate fur with a passion. I don't care how avant garde the design is, to me it says granny or fading 40s film star. Anyhoos, I love love love the gucci, like the Barbour and orange/blue puffer coat, would have fun with the Sander and honestly wouldn't pay money for any of the other ones..except for the P. Lim, what a gorgeous colour!! Regretfully the style would overwhelm my petite frame. Shame. Oh, also, I missed you. And loved the column on perfumes. I must be the last person in Canada who's not politically correct on perfumes.

polka dot said...

It's funny you said that about 'something to wear when you get out of the car' - and you mentioned 'the car' a few times - because what I was thinking you're looking for is what my mom used to call a 'car coat'. Is that a real expression, or just something she coined?

I have one of her 'car coats' - I love it to bits. It's ripped to shreds - buttery suede tan hip length, very 60s, but being suede, it's just been ripping on the shoulders.. I must get it mended somehow. It's not something I can hand stitch.

Of your choices, I like the one you like the least the best: the Diesel faux fur! But that's because I am such a faux fur gal. 2nd choice, probably Phillip Lim as I love him & that coulour would be great on you.

Forgot why I came here! To say thank you ; )


jools said...

what about the gorgeous winter jackets at Lilith in NYC large collar , bubble bottom and full enough to fit a bulky sweater underneath

reasonable too - just under 1k