Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Search for the Perfect Winter Coat (And Pssst! Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale Starts Tomorrow!)

Hi everyone! How are you all, this first fine day of November? Doing well, I hope. In case you didn't already know, tomorrow (November 2nd) is the start of the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale for Women and Children. I'll definitely be scoping out the kids' departments for some cool-weather items (Mini Boden!) for Rowan and Kate, and in spite of the really lovely weather we're experiencing here in San Diego (currently, daytime temps in the mid-70s), I'm on the search for a good everyday jacket/coat. Something I can dress up or throw on over jeans and a tee. You know.

The holy grail of winter outerwear.

It seems to me that this shouldn't be all that hard - finding a coat you can kind of wear with everything. But for some reason, outerwear, almost more than any other type of clothing, seems to be persnickety about what I'm now going to call, opportunity orientation (yes, I did make up that phrase, and no, it has nothing to do with what you're thinking - this is a PG-13-rated blog, thanks very much - our Twitter feeds in the sidebar, notwithstanding). By which I mean the range of opportunities for which any item of clothing may be deemed appropriate.

It's even harder to find the right type of outerwear for someone living in a place like San Diego. Because face it, while we whine with the best of 'em about how cold it gets during the winter (otherwise known as the period between December and February, where temperatures are known to drop into - gasp! - the 40s), we really don't need the type of cold weather outerwear that say, our friends in the Northeast (my sympathies on your recent record-breaking snowstorm & resulting power-outages!) may require. Having spent a few years living in upstate New York, I am acutely aware of the difference. So, that being said, I'm also looking for a winter coat that's warm enough to keep me snug should the weather dip down into the high 30s and 40s, but light enough to just keep the chill off, when we're looking at the mid-60s.

Hey, I have been living here (San Diego) for a few years. It's scary how fast your body acclimates to temperature differences. The low 60s really can be chilly!

So, with that in mind (along with the Double Points I can earn during the first few days of the Half-Yearly Sale, I perused Nordstrom's selection, and here's what caught my eye:

This coat is so lovely - despite the real fur trim - that I keep looking at it. Unfortunately, it's not really what I need (want being something completely different of course) - that kind of pale, winter white is just asking for dirt smudges & staining (I am the mother of two children - one a toddler and one very partial to activities that bring his hands into contact, well...winter-white-coat-staining-things. Should I somehow grow up to become a wealthy Russian aristocrat, this coat (with a faux fur collar, thanks) would totally be a contender. Until that day, I'll keep admiring it from afar.

Early in the pre-fall season, I came across this Burberry coat. I love it. Love, love, love. Unfortunately, I don't have $1000 to spend on a winter jacket (I know, shocking, right?). So, barring that, this Laundry by Shelli Segal Anorak comes pretty close to the Burberry version, except for that faux fur lining - which, happily is detachable (yay, buttons!). And, at under $300, is so much closer to my actual budget. Only concerns? It could be too casual. Also, it could be too big. It looks sort of biggish on this model, who we all know is probably at least 7" taller than me. What do you think? And how much does it matter that it's only available in navy?

Okay, I just think this jacket is adorable. It's sort of quirky with that empire waist and gathered lower panel. The wool blend fabric and lining mean that it's probably the perfect weight for a SoCal winter. It also looks like I could both throw it on over dressier, work-appropriate outfits, or jeans and a tshirt. There is a print, so it's less versatile in that regard, but it's a pretty neutral color, so I'd say it's still pretty wearable with a large range of things in my closet.

The hold-up? The price. Be forewarned, those of you who click on the link to see the product page. Burberry packs a mean punch, when it comes to sticker-shock.

Burberry Brit Double Breasted Coat

Yes, I know, yet another Burberry coat. "Really, Carol, you've got to get a grip," I can imagine you saying. Well, the good news is, this one is on sale. Which means it's still in the range of a higher-priced J. Crew coat. But, again, it hits all my points - will work over dressier work looks (possibly even standing in for a blazer in a pinch), good over jeans and a tshirt, black, so pretty much will play well with everything in my winter wardrobe. It also looks to be a good weight for San Diego winter months, and will hold up well under the stress of small hands, feet, and bodies. So far, it's the one I like the look of best. But even on sale, it's still a little more than I want to spend. 

What about you? Have you found your Perfect Winter Coat yet? What are you considering? Share below!


  1. I love that Shelli Segal coat! I may have to be your coat twin if you don't mind. :)

  2. After spending most of my life in Tennessee and NC, where there temp variations don't dip below freezing so much, I now live in Chicago, where any winter coat better cover your butt. :) I actually tend to go with a variety of coats harvested from my WV grandmother's closet. I've discovered that high quality (dense) velvet it great insulation. Otherwise, leather of some sort seems to do the best job at stopping that wind (maybe not ideal, but true!).

    Overall, I like going with vintage coats best. They seem to be better made, and you can find some great colors and shapes.

  3. I've lived in the southern portion of the states for so long that my idea of a winter coat, and one I need to survive a NY winter in when I go see my fam, are two completely different things. Plus, I've a huge cold weather chicken now!

  4. I live in Toronto, so a proper winter coat is a must. I personally love all Soïa & Kyo costs. Montreal brand, so they're good for winter in cold climates, but I think they have some lighter versions that would work in warmer climates as well. And they're more affordable than Burberry! :) (no, I don't work for them. :))

  5. I love your 4 choices.  I have one white coat and I hardly wear it for the same reason you don't plan to buy white.  I love the last Burberry one.  It looks so nicely fitted!  Good luck on your search!

  6. I am also in pursuit of the perfect coat.  It's an ongoing pursuit for me.  :)  I adore the Burberry plaid coat you selected.  Can't go wrong with Burberry.


  7. Of course I don't mind. =)  "Wonder Twin Powers Activate!"

  8. Oooh, vintage coats! Brilliant. Maybe I need to go trawling through some vintage shops for my perfect coat...

  9. Yep, I know what you mean. Me too. 

  10. Thanks! Maybe I should "try, just try" it out. :)

  11. Isn't it super cute? I wish it wasn't so expensive! Yes, the perfect coat is as elusive as a winning lottery ticket, isn't it? =P

  12. Oh, you know - I do remember seeing some Soïa & Kyo coats on Nordy's website. I'll need to tell Kathryn that they're Canadian (she loves all things Canadian, in case you hadn't noticed). I'll take another look at them. Thanks for the recommendation!

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