Review: J. Crew Nordic Parka

Touted as J. Crew’s “warmest coat ever,” the Nordic Parka (available in two colors—olive and navy) quickly made my to-try list. After close to two decades of northeast living, I should be an expert winter survivalist but I am still on the prowl for the next outerwear unicorn, i.e., a coat that is exceptionally warm, fairly priced, and reasonably stylish.

I ended up keeping the Nordic Parka even though I find it lacking in some respects. I think I would be more satisfied with the purchase if I had bought this coat on a better sale; the coat is overvalued at retail.

J. Crew Nordic Parka | Zara Oversize Sweater | Tory Burch Daria Top-Handle Satchel Bag | Gap Legging Jeans | Converse Chuck Taylor® ‘Shoreline’ Sneaker (also here)

I’ll start with the good:

QUALITY The overall construction of the coat is satisfactory and in line with what you would expect from J. Crew. I also like the fleeced lined pockets, detachable faux-fur hood, and the thumbholes in the rib knit storm cuffs; these small (but practical) details make it easier to justify paying a premium for the design.

SIZING The coat runs bigger than more tailored options at J. Crew. I am wearing size XXXSP in this post, a size that leaves room for two to three thick layers. This is a full size down from what I normally wear in J. Crew outerwear.

I am 5’2 with arms that are proportional to my height, and I found the sleeves in petite to be an inch shorter than ideal. It did not become apparent, until I removed all the tags, just how uncomfortably short the sleeves were when I put my thumbs through the knit cuffs,

The thinsulate lining is neon orange in “Olive,” of which I am not the biggest fan. The lining in “navy” is less bright, in case you can’t decided between the two colors offered.

The coat is cut straight and the fit is bulky, because of the amount of insulation built in; moving around while wearing it occasionally made me feel like the Michelin Man.

WARMTH The coat, while warm, is not much warmer than most puffers or lined parkas. If warmness is the only factor that you care about, there are much better options than the Nordic Parka out there (better in price and in warmth).

You can comfortably wear this coat at 15°F (or about -9.4°C) with one or two warm layers. You will, however, want a different solution for environments colder than this.

J. Crew is a reliable purveyor of outerwear: the quality is rarely questionable; most designs are timeless; the details are generally useful; and there is decent after-sales service.

Though, for $450 you can easily find coats of comparable (if not better) value. I think a more reasonable price point is $200-$250. The best discount I’ve seen so far, however, is the storewide 30% off promotion.

When the price falls to a more reasonable (to me) level, I will share that information in a post.

The Nordic Parka is available for women, men, girls, or boys.

A few other parka-with-fur options at different price points:

Other J. Crew Outerwear Picks

Double-cloth Lady Day Coat with Thinsulate® // Chateau Parka in Stadium-Cloth // Wintress Belted Puffer Coat

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