One especially brutal week in a Chicago winter some years ago colored my conception of Midwestern winters. On a rational level, I know that average temperatures in Chicago are not meaningfully lower than those in New England, but that knowledge does not mitigate my fear.

When I got news in November that I’d have to spend close to a month in Chicago this winter, I immediately went shopping. I bought the Mackage Jada Maxi Length Down Coat, which you can work up a sweat wearing (provided you are walking briskly) in 30-degree weather.

Fortunately, I was able to produce a workaround that will allow me to work remotely, so I don’t have to confront my visceral fear of Chicago winters, but I still decided to keep the Mackage Jada, even though it’s overkill for my area (and cold tolerance).

For anyone in the market for a maxi-length down coat, read on for the full review:

Quay Australia My Girl 50mm Cat Eye Sunglasses || Free People The Silk Bow Barrette (past season; you can still find one on eBay) || Mackage Jada Maxi Length Down Coat (size XXS) || CherryKoko Lace Top (past season) || J.Crew Popcorn Cable-Knit Sweater in Natural (size XXS; now on sale!) || H&M Faux Leather Pants (past season) || Sorel Joan of Arctic™ Boots in Nori

FIT Sizes run XXS to XL. If you are curvy, order a size up as the cut is (somewhat) straight and slim. I took my normal size, which has room for two medium-weight layers, but not a super bulky sweater. The coat in XXS measures 45.5″ from shoulder to hem, with 25.5″ sleeves and a 15.5″ waist (measurements taken flat). On 5’2 me, the coat falls mere inches above the ankle, and the sleeves are much too long when you account for the storm cuffs, but those can be tucked in easily. Because of the fitted silhouette, the maxi length is surprisingly not overwhelming, even on 5’2 me.

MATERIAL The lining and shell (treated for water repellence and wind resistance) are polyester; the fill (800+) is a mix of duck down (90%) and feathers (10%); the cozy hood lining is sheepskin; the storm cuff is a wool(45%)/acrylic(45%)/spandex(10%) blend; and the fur hood trim is raccoon. Like all puffers, it’s dry clean only.

PRICE The current price is $950.00, and it’s increased about $50 every year or so since its introduction. While the Jada is an evergreen style and doesn’t get heavily discounted in-season, Mackage does participate in most store-wide promotions, so a 15-25% discount is likely.

SEASONALITY Best for the coldest of winter days: it’s rated for temperatures as low as -30°C/-22°F. If you can’t see your breath when you exhale, it’s probably too warm for this coat, though you can comfortably wear the coat open on cold, but non-windy, days.

FEATURES The Jada has a lot of gorgeous details: while it doesn’t have a tie belt, the back belt detail with leather trim adds visual interest and defines the waist. The hood, which frames one’s face nicely and doesn’t obstruct line of sight, is detachable; and the fur trim further detaches from the hood. The front zipper, with a sturdy snap placket, stops above the knee to allow for sudden movements. And I love that the roomy side pockets have a zip closure and leather trim.

If you live in an area with very cold winters and low-to-mid precipitation levels, this coat is for you! It’s a pricey item, but with a moderate discount, the price is justifiable, especially if your current warmest coat isn’t sufficient.

Buy the Mackage Jada Maxi Length Down Coat at Mackage, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Shopbop, Amazon, Altitude-Sports, Neiman Marcus, and Backcountry.


Another full-length down coat that I would recommend is the Canada Goose Mystique Fur-Hood Parka (reviewed here).


Lastly, a sale alert: sale styles are currently an extra 50% off at J. Crew with code BIGGERSALE. New styles have just been added, including the Popcorn Cable-Knit Sweater (runs small) pictured above.

Some sale picks: Crewneck Sweater with Jeweled Buttons, Easy Pant in Lace (see on me here), Lady Jacket in Metallic Tweed, Résumé Dress, Oversized Patchwork Cable-Knit Tunic Sweater, Daphne Topcoat in Italian Tweed (reviewed here), Oversized Cashmere Wrap, and Jewel-Embellished Fair Isle Crewneck Sweater Dress.

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