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 .
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
Tuesday, January 26, 2010