I thought I would kick off this series with a look at the vests, jackets, and coats in my closet. I have to confess, I am a coat addict. Some girls love shoes, others love bags, and I love coats. Right now I have an outer layer for every single conceivable temperature and then some. Even my unobservant guy friends have commented on how frequently I change up my outerwear.
Here's the lineup:
(clockwise from far left)
J.Crew Stadium-Cloth Cocoon Coat (old, this year's version)
J.Crew Stadium-Cloth Captain Coat (old, similar)
J.Crew Double-Cloth Metro Coat (old)
H&M Mustard Duffle Coat (old, similar in camel)
American Eagle Denim Jacket (very old, similar)
Andrew Marc New York Leather Jacket (very old, similar)
Madewell Outbound Jacket (new-ish)
(not pictured) Calvin Klein three-quarter length down puffer coat (very old, similar)
- I have spent a grand total of $1572.72 on this collection of outerwear over the years. Yowza!
- My most expensive piece is the J.Crew stadium-cloth cocoon coat, which I purchased last year for $248.70. My least expensive piece is a denim jacket that I found on the ground in college (but I washed it first).
- I have owned my denim and leather jackets since before 2012. In 2012 I purchased 2 coats. In 2013 I purchased 3 coats and 1 jacket. So far in 2014 I have purchased 2 jackets and 2 vests. Some of these purchases were replacements or upgrades.
- My most worn coat is the double-cloth metro coat. The deep violet color is absolutely stunning, and it's a good weight for my neck of the woods. My second most worn layer was a black Gap Outlet puffer vest, which is being replaced by the Patagonia vest.
- My favorite coat is the cocoon coat. It's the warmest layer I own that still looks cute. My actual warmest coat is a bulky Calvin Klein puffer that I reserve for visiting family in the Midwest during the winter. The least warm are the downtown field jacket and my leather jacket, both of which are more aesthetic than functional.
My least worn items are my denim and leather jackets. Since the denim jacket was free, I'll give it a pass. I don't wear it very often, because I wear jeans almost every day, and I want to avoid a possible denim jumpsuit look. Also, the version I own is quite stiff. To achieve a similar look, I tend to reach for my soft chambray shirts instead. As for my black leather jacket, I feel that the material is a little too delicate, and the fit is a tiny bit off. Furthermore I frequently wear my favorite black vintage Coach bag, and they look too matchy-matchy together.
I also somewhat regret buying the lady day coat. It should theoretically serve as an intermediate layer in a bright color. However, I already have two other coats that fill similar roles. When I want to wear something fun, I reach for the metro coat. When I want to wear something warm, I reach for the navy pea coat. And so the red one goes unloved.
Essential Outerwear Recommendations
If I had to rebuild my outerwear collection from scratch, I would buy the following (in descending order of warmth):
1. Long warm down puffer coat, preferably from a sportswear brand (North Face, Columbia, Patagonia, etc.)
2. Heavy wool coat in a classic color (navy, grey, or black)
3. Light wool coat in a color that makes you smile
4. Trench coat in a shade of beige
5. Black puffer vest
6. Military jacket in a shade of olive
I don't need any more coats or jackets, because I already own too many. I am hereby banned from buying any more this year. Caveat: if I am completely in love with the style and the price is low enough, then I might make an exception on a case-by-case basis, pending approval from Engineer W who promised to be strict. ;)
What's on your essential outerwear list? And how many coats do you think is too many?