Black Parka

These snow globe photos were taken just a few weeks ago. While the landscape has thawed considerably since then, last week’s spring-like weather proved ephemeral. As we enter another week of widespread winter storm warnings, I wanted to share (again) my cold-weather essentials:

Warm base layers
Sheepskin gloves
Earmuffs or a good beanie
(Smart)wool socks
Waterproof boots (the Hunter ones seen in this post can be worn year-round in all kinds of wet conditions)

Stay warm, everyone!

Review: Canada Goose Victoria Down Parka

Just in time for the 24S site-wide sale, here’s a quick review of the Canada Goose Victoria Down Parka with Genuine Coyote Fur Trim. For a limited time, use code DOUBLE12 to take 12% off orders over $200, DOUBLE14 for 14% off orders over $400, or DOUBLE18 for 18% off orders over $600. There are some brand exclusions (like Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Gucci), but Canada Goose is not among them.

FIT The Victoria Parka is among the slimmest fitting Canada Goose parkas (especially compared to styles with a traditional fit, like the Trillium Parka) so I would recommend sizing up if you normally wear bulkier layers. Sizes run XXS to XL.

If you are around my size: I took a standard size XS in this style (which I regret… I should’ve sized up even more), which is a tight fit over chunky knits. The coat in size XS measures 31″ in length (which hits mid-thigh on 5’2 me), 17″ from underarm to underarm, and 24.5″ in sleeve length.

Size XS measures 31″ in length, 17″ from underarm to underarm, and 24.5″ in sleeve length

MATERIAL The coat is filled with 625 fill power duck down (pretty good, but not exceptional) and is rated (by Canada Goose) for temperatures that range from -4°F (-20°C) to 14°F (-10°C). The hood is trimmed with coyote fur and can be removed (the hood itself further detaches from the coat). And the outershell is a polyester-cotton mix that is mostly water repelling with some wind-resistant properties.

The coat is dry-clean only, and I would be wary of doing even that as the shell is coated to be water-repellent and wind-resistant. Ask your dry-cleaner if they have worked on CG coats before with success. You should understand that Canada Goose’s “Lifetime Protection” does not cover dry-cleaning mishaps: it’s one of those policies that are favorable in theory, but probably not actually usable.

DETAILS Here are some functional features that I enjoy: rib-knit cuffs, drawstrings at waist, the two-way front zip, fleece-lined exterior pockets, interior media pocket, and interior backpack straps.

PRICE At $950, the Canada Goose Victoria Parka is a luxury good. You are paying as much for performance and workmanship as you are for the Canada Goose name. As such, Canada Goose rarely discounts, and also opts out of most storewide promotions. With some exceptions, of course, like the 24S storewide sale that I mentioned earlier.

Buy the Canada Goose Victoria Parka at 24S, Backcountry, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Shopbop, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Amazon (more colorways here).


More Canada Goose outerwear reviews:

Sale Alert: Mackage Jada Fur Trim Longline Parka

Updated 05/13/2020; Originally Published 03/13/2020

I’ve really enjoyed the unseasonably warm winter this year (despite its implications). If I had one complaint, it would be that I didn’t get to wear the Mackage Jada Fur Trim Longline Parka (reviewed here; see on me here) or any of my down coats much. Perhaps as the result of a milder winter and early spring-like weather, Saks Fifth Avenue has heavily discounted a dozen Mackage styles, including the Jada (now 60% off!); most sizes (XXS-XL) are still available online.

Buy the Mackage Jada Maxi Length Down Coat With Removable Natural Fur Trim at Saks Fifth Avenue, SSENSE (also here), Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, Shopbop, Amazon, and Backcountry.

Sale Alert: Burberry Reversible Tote, Arc’teryx Patera Parka & Stuart Weitzman Boots

The Burberry Reversible Checker Tote that I wrote a lukewarm review about back in 2017 is now 50% off at Saks Off Fifth in three colorways (the “camel” pictured, black, and red). It was overpriced at the original list price of $995, but its current price point is very reasonable for an entry level designer bag.


The Arc’teryx Patera Parka that I reviewed earlier this year is now 20-28% off on Amazon (minor price differences between sizes) or 25% off at Backcountry (the entire Arc’teryx collection is currently 25%-30% off) in a number of colorways. If you are in the market for a winter jacket without (any) bells and whistles, this is a solid option (assuming the zipper issues I noted in my review have been fixed).


In other sale news, select styles are an extra 50% off at Saks Off Fifth with code HOORAY, including a few dozen Stuart Weitzman styles (sizes are limited). Shipping is free on orders over $99 with code SHIP99.

Some sale picks:


Happy shopping!

Review: Arc’teryx Patera Insulated Parka

For anyone who’s reading the news and wondering: What does one wear in a state of deep freeze? Ski-wear (+ all the Heattech) or maybe a spacesuit, that’s what. Though, when the low is minus 50, why risk frostbites when there’s shelter?

But for those, like me, who are battling merely average winter temperatures in a humid continental climate, here’s an outerwear review for you:

FYI, I got my mom the Arc’teryx Patera Insulated Parka pictured here as a gift last fall and borrowed it for a weekend recently to take some photos for this review. I probably wouldn’t buy this for myself as I prefer coats with more bells and whistles.

FIT Sizes run XS to XL; consult the Arc’teryx sizing & fit guide if you are new to the brand. The Patera fits somewhat boxy (though slim compared to caterpillar coats) and straight, so I would recommend ordering a size up to allow for layers. The coat in XS measures 36″ in length (center back) and 18.5″ at the chest, with 25.5″-long sleeves.

MATERIAL/CONSTRUCTION The outer shell is a matte, lightly-textured GORE-TEX fabric (which has not been finished with an anti-static coating so will attract lint) with taped seams that is wind-resistant and waterproof. The fill is a blend of 750 fill power goose down and Coreloft™ synthetic insulation. The only glaring issue I found is the plastic-y full front two-way zippers, which are stubborn and extremely sticky to zip up. (I admit my feelings are strong because my mom texts me frequently to complain about the issue, but many reviews mention the problem so it’s not an isolated incident.)

PRICE The $649 price tag is reasonable compared to its competitors in the 1k range, so if you are looking for a warm, “everyday” coat with a clean design, this might be a better choice for you than a $240 synthetic puffer that leaks after a few wears or a $950 down coat with design details that don’t matter to you. And while Arc’teryx doesn’t discount perennial styles like the Patera in-season, I’ve seen Backcountry run special promotions during the holidays, so a 15%-25% discount is possible if you are willing to wait for a sale.

SEASONALITY Warm enough for an average winter day, but will require strategic layers and other warming elements in -10°F conditions. It is the second warmest coat in the Arc’teryx “urban” lineup (after the Centrale).

FEATURES If you are into sleek, utilitarian designs, this is the coat for you. The details are all functional: draft collar with chin guard (which is too tall and consequently awkward for those with short necks), knit cuffs, pockets (3), and an insulated hood with drawcords. But while there are no extraneous details that might date the style after a few seasons, it is so plain that, if you have other options and are someone who is modish, you might struggle to get excited enough to wear it.

Buy the Arc’teryx Patera Parka at Arc’teryx, REI, Amazon, Backcountry, eBay, Moosejaw, and Zappos.


My outerwear picks for extremely cold but (mostly) dry conditions:


Lastly, I wish those of you in the throes of the arctic blast many cozy blankets and all the hot chocolate.


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