Each year I make sure my kids have nice warm winter coats.
I just haven’t quite learned to do the same for myself. I end up wearing zip up sweatshirts or I have 2 jackets that I wear over sweatshirts to make sure I stay warm enough. When it comes to needing a jacket for holiday parties I usually end up just freezing until I get inside because I don’t really have anything nice enough.
Thankfully, I don’t have these excuses anymore. I was asked to participate in a Quality Coat Challenge. I was sent 4 coats from top retailers, in varying price ranges, to evaluate. I’ll admit that I took this challenge very seriously. Oregon has turned the corner signifying that Winter isn’t too far away at all.
I’ve worn all the coats in various types of weather and am now ready to tell you which coat from the four I thought was the bee’s knees. First though, lets do a bit of a count down starting at the fourth place finisher.
Initially, I loved this coat from Nautica which retails for $199. I loved the color of it first and foremost. I just think it looks stylish and will go with anything from jeans to dress slacks.
The hood kept my head super warm and didn’t create a lot of static which can be a deal breaker for wearing a hood in the first place. I think the wool that lines the inside of the hood also help it stayed in place perfectly.
There were just some features of the coat that I didn’t necessarily need or like. For instance there are more pockets than I need. You can see in the picture there are 2 pockets about collar bone level. I’m not sure what you would put in a pocket that close to your face. Also the sleeves are open at the wrists and for a winter type coat I want something that will keep moisture out.
I received the coats near Halloween. It was just the kids and I at home for the candy filled night and the plan was to go to just a few neighborhood homes. It was pretty chilly, but not raining so I thought I would try out the Gap Puffer Jacket, retailing at $98.
I love this jacket.
I think it’s super cute to wear with jeans. It’s an everyday jacket. I do wish it had a hood though so that I could wear it more. Since I live in Oregon it rains several months straight which would mean I would get more use out of.
The other thing is it’s a little short and I find myself constantly pulling it down. It is extremely warm though and does a great job blocking out the wind. I also like that the collar is big so it keeps my neck warm as well, and the sleeves are fitted at the wrist.
Does this coat speak your language?? It speaks mine. This is LL Bean’s Warm and Light Belted Coat and it retails for $179.
I just love the look of it with the belt and the detailed lines on the front give my waist a more hourglass look and even adds a slimming effect.
The hood is removable, and as if that wasn’t all, the faux fur accent on the hood is also removable! The only thing I would change about the hood is to give it a similar wool lining like the Nautica coat in order to keep it in place. The hood is so large that it seems to completely engulf my head.
The sleeves feature a fleece cuff inside. My only concern about that is in the snow I’m sure it would get wet and then take a while to dry which isn’t the most comfortable.
There is also a really neat pocket just inside the zipper at about heart level that is ideal to store your phone or even ipod in.
Probably the only other downside of this coat are the zipper pulls on the pockets. They are very small and I know it would be very hard zip and unzip them with gloved hands.
And now we get to the coat that has ranked #1 in my book.
The Luxe Down Parka from Lands’ End also retails for $179.
This coat has it all, for me at least.
Let’s start from the top. The hood provides really good coverage from the rain. I can remove the faux fur with an easy unzip, and I just snap off the hood altogether if the mood strikes me. What takes this coat up a notch is when I do remove the hood I’m left with a beautiful faux fur collar. The fur isn’t as long as that that you see on the hood and it’s more leopard print in pattern and color.
All of the buttons on the coat are copper in color adding to the elegance of the coat.
It features the interior pocket like the jacket from LL Bean and the same fleece interior cuffs. It provides great warmth and wind protection. The insulation of the coat isn’t too bulky, which considering I’m not a small girl is important for me. I don’t want any added girth around my middle. Which is the reason I love the belted waist, it lets me accentuate my waist.
I can wear this coat to dressy holiday parties and for business meetings. It even will dress up a pair of dark jeans and boots.
If you are in the market for a new Winter jacket I definitely recommend you check out the four above or even other jackets from the same manufacturers.