Tuesday, January 26, 2010

So Much for My Cunning Plan

Well, crap.

As I mentioned a while ago, I'm looking for a good new jacket -- something to keep me nice & toasty when the temperatures drop, but that looks good enough to wear out for dinner, and is hip-length or shorter. I had originally felt that I didn't want any sort of a puffer jacket, I really wanted a cloth coat, but then I saw this great feature from Bill Cunningham at the New York Times and I got to thinking that maybe it wasn't such a bad idea. I have noticed that filled jackets (both poly- and down-) have gotten a lot sleeker and chic-er over the last few years. And after all, if one of the things I like least about cold weather is having to be weighed down by a big, heavy coat, then a nice light puffer might be just the ticket.

So I opened up my brain again and went looking for a filled jacket I'd like. I hit the jackpot on YOOX.COM.



Sharp. Fitted, sleek, interesting. It looked like something I could wear with jeans but also with a nicer outfit if I wanted. It was in the sale section, so it was a really good deal. I love the way it nips in at the waist and I really dig the big collar. Black wasn't my first choice, of course, but it is often the most practical. Oh, I really like this jacket. It's by a label called ILARY, which I believe is Italian. I don't know it, but I'm willing to give it a try.

Unfortunately, while I was on YOOX.COM looking at filled jackets I also stumbled across a wool one that I had somehow missed during my previous search:



Oh, boy. How cute is that? This is C'N'C COSTUME NATIONAL. I worry, of course, about that cream color, but hey -- that's what Scotchgard is for, right? It's a classic shape without being boring and it's sharp as hell. Oh, I really like this jacket, too.

(And, not for nothin', there were several others that I also really liked. Those were the two I narrowed it down to after a lot of dithering.)

I cannot decide between these two jackets, I just cannot. So that's when I came up with my cunning plan: I'll order both of them and return the one that doesn't work. One of them is bound not to fit -- I'm ordering online and it's always too much to hope that everything in a multiple-item order from an e-tailer is going to fit -- that never happens. It's also rare that something is as good in real life as it looks on the screen.

Well, so much for my cunning plan. I am hoist, as they say, on my own petard.

Here's the black jacket:


I love this. I love the shape of it. It fits perfectly -- Here I'm wearing a blouse and a cashmere sweater underneath it, and I could definitely get another layer or a heavier sweater on under it and it still look neat and sleek. This is a poly-filled jacket, not down, but it feels like it would be plenty warm for Austin, and best of all -- it weighs nothing. My unlined denim jacket weighs more than this -- I love how easy it is to move in.


The collar cinches up, although I'd probably still need a scarf to keep my neck warm. My neck is my cold place -- if my neck is cold, I cannot get the rest of me warm. I think everyone has a cold place, it varies from person to person. Of course, I nearly always do wear a scarf, for that reason, so it's not going to be an inconvenience.



Another bonus is that the snap closures are neat enough that when the jacket is open it doesn't look sloppy or wrong. The jacket will probably spend more of its life hanging open than completely done up (I think we all do this), and I don't like when the undone fastenings of a jacket or coat are sloppy or ugly or distracting. I wish more designers would take that into account.



And I really love the shape of this -- that waist is fab. The hardware is good & heavy, the pockets are in the right place, and there are some other great small details, like the horizontal padding on the sleeves is only on the top of the sleeves, so that there isn't extra bulk between the arm & my body. All in all, this is a great jacket, and if I had bumped into this bad boy on one of my many fruitless & frustrating jacket-hunting shopping trips, I would have snapped it up and called myself both lucky and thrilled.

Here's where the cunning plan fell apart:



Look. More fabulousness. Omigoodness, this jacket is great. The wool feels soft enough that I'd think there was some cashmere in it (the label just says 100% virgin wool, although the description on the website did say there was cashmere) and, as you can see, the color is actually not cream -- it's more like a milky latte color, in between camel & cream, which is even better. (YOOX.COM photos are SO inaccurate for color -- I love this site because they have great prices on interesting goods and their CS is great, but unless it's black, order with the knowledge that the color of the garment may bear only a passing resemblance to what you saw on your computer screen.)



That great collar does up all the way and then rolls down neatly, making a nice toasty neck funnel. The sleeves are a bit too long, I have them cuffed and I don't think it looks all that bad because of the way they are seamed. And speaking of the seaming -- it's just gorgeous. This is a beautifully-constructed coat -- the lining is really nice and the stitching is neat and smooth and the seams are double-stitched.


This coat also fits really well and still has room for another layer or two underneath. It is of course heavier than the filled jacket, but the armholes are well-cut and don't restrict, and the coat itself is nice & short, so I can scoot in & out of my car without struggling with it. (The other important thing about a short coat is that I have to deal with it when I arrive where I'm going. Here in Austin, we don't usually have coat checks at restaurants and bars, so unless you want to leave it on the whole time, you have to drape it over the back of your chair or fold it up & sit on top of it on your barstool. As anyone who knows how I feel about my clothes can probably imagine, I do not exactly love seeing my coat dragging across a dirty floor or getting stepped on by the busboy as he drops off the bread basket.)



This coat is a wee bit dressier than the black one, of course. Not too dressy, it's still okay for jeans, but might work better with a nice skirt or day dress than would the filled jacket. If I had bumped into this bad boy on one of my many fruitless & frustrating jacket-hunting shopping trips, I would have snapped it up and called myself both lucky and thrilled.

So. Now you see my dilemma. Which of these jackets am I keeping? They were both great prices, but I really only need one jacket. So help a redhead out, wouldja? Vote in the poll in the upper right corner of the blog and tell me which jacket you like. And why, in the comments, if you're so inclined. State your case. Provide me with some clarity. Because it's supposed to get cold again later in the week and I'm going to need a jacket. HELP!!!


Photos: Yoox.com, Style Spy

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26 comments:

Mindy said...

I don't think I could send back either of them. If I really had to choose, I send back the first one. The second one seems more classic and versatile.

The Haute-Shopper said...

Damn, are you sure you can't keep both? They don't exactly cancel each other out, because they each have their own unique look. I'd probably be more inclined to send back the black one, just because I prefer fabric coats as well (even if they're heavier). The tailoring on the first one is flattering though, but I just prefer the feel of wool or cashmere.

P.S. Yoox CAN get the color 'black' wrong too by the way. I onced ordered a scarf that was supposed to be b&w, but it turned out to be navy & white. I didn't mind too much, because the color was so dark, the price ridiculously low and it was from one of my favorite designers, but I"m sure others might have had issues with it.

Jennifer said...

Keep the cream one, the cream one, the cream one! Oh lord, it's gorgeous.

The black coat is interesting and looks good, but at the end of the day it's a nicely fitted jacket with a wide collar. I feel you could find that in any number of fabrics with a little looking.

The cream one makes me jealous and isn't that what it's partly all about?

Karen Minturn Brown said...

Both. They are different enough to have two different functions.

Deja Pseu said...

Both are great styles, but I have to say I think the black one just edges the cream by a nose.

Anonymous said...

Convince your mother that she also needs a winter jacket, she buys one, and then you can swap.

Anonymous said...

I like the last anonymous comment best (share with your mother - always worked for me!) but I'd lean toward the cream if I had to pick one. I like it better with your coloring...

TS said...

I vote cream because when it is cold I find the color black so depressing and such a sink of thoughtlessness when getting dressed (black black black black black) that I've decided in future to avoid it as my top layer at all costs. (Too late for me now, I got a black down puffy coat down to the knees on Overstock. Will get red next year, I have sworn.) And the jacket you've chosen is really lovely and versatile and looks harmonious with your coloring.

Anonymous said...

I, fellow redhead, vote for the cream. It just seems more classic, more sleek, and it just seems more "coat", if that makes sense.

However, I detest black on me, so I am biased.

So, I'd keep both if you can.

I'm wishy washy.

Christine

marjorie said...

black is definitely more practical, but the cream is exquisite. i agree with everyone who says it's more flattering with your coloring, and damn, it is a ravishing thing of ravishingness.

Toby Wollin said...

Yes, I know the cream colored wool one looks exquisite, but I'm going to vote for the black. In any cold wind (and Austin does get them, I know), the black one will be more impervious to the wind and will keep you warmer - I always got for a big collar. It is also my experience that any coat in the white/cream/light grey range has an invisible stain and dirt magnet attached. As wonderful as it is, it will end up looking grubby before winter is over. Go with the black.

Thumbelina Fashionista said...

I'm having a hard time choosing, but ultimately the black is most versatile, but if I could, I'd pick both.

All Women Stalker said...

I wouldn't send any of them back. They're too pretty. But if you have to, keep the black one.

Madame Suggia said...

Must you return one of them? Really? Well, if you really really really have to, I'd say the cream one goes back. But only just, and only because you'll probably end up having the sleeves shortened (yeah, you will, otherwise they'll start to irritate you) and that will cost a little-fine- but what if they f**k it up?. Not so fine. Hmmm, you look great in both, but I do think you'll get more wear out of the black one.

Steph said...

I love the shape of the cream jacket far more than the black. It's more versatile as far as casual/dressy, and the collar looks amazing open and done up. Adorable. And a lined wool jacket will be plenty warm, even in cool weather. (I've been out in a wool-cashmere blazer and a scarf all week at around -5 Celsius--it's fine.)

Anonymous said...

I have to say cream, because even if both are very nice, the cream one is the one I'd give an admiring glance if it walked past in the street.

northmoon said...

I love the black jacket. The style, the length, all of it. If I hadn't bought a longer 'puffy' coat this year, I'd order this one for me.

aaonce said...

The creme one. Style wise, it is classic but the collar has a wee bit o' drama. Yes, it is dressier-but you could still dress it down easily with jeans. I think the creme one will give you more options than the black (and I lurve me some black). I am not a fan of what the puffer coat (even though it is sleek) does to your arms. I also think the creme one is consistant with your style. Don't know if you are inclined to keep things for years and years, but I think that the creme one won't date itself any time soon.

Sara Darling said...

One more vote for the cream one. The black puffer one looks fantastic on you, but it is veering strongly towards the casual. While the black is more practical long term, my understanding is the Austin doesn't get that cold for that long?

The cream coat is beautifully cut, stands out more while still being neutral, will look lovely with more formal outfits (too casual outerwear over dressier clothing is a personal bugaboo), and probably won't be worn for six months straight so you don't have to worry about it getting dirty too quickly.

dissed said...

The second one. Yep.

Anonymous said...

Keep the black one! Definitely.

Karen G.

Anonymous said...

I'd keep the black one for the length. I'm long waisted, so tend to not feel right when shirts or sweaters look layered with the coat.
Kristin :)

Duchesse said...

Well I'm too late but you are wearing the mess out of both of these, so chic!

Plumcake said...

I like the cream because it reminds me so much of that fantastic Amelia Earhart collection JPG did for Herm├Ęs FW2009.

I like the puffer too, which surprises me, but I am concerned that one affectionate cuddle from the Immaculate Purrfection and a claw would cause unending heartache.

Anonymous said...

Issue that might break the deal on cream coat. Collar done up gives you a wicked rubbed raw chin. Learned from experience, ouch.

WendyB said...

I LOVE the black. That gets my vote.