Two quick notes about the blog for regular readers.

First up, by request, all links on here will now open in a new window. I didn’t know it was such a nuisance before and would’ve done it sooner if I knew. So, my apologies. Next, over the next two weeks I’ll be posting a few “year-end roundup” type of posts. In the midst of year-end cleaning, last-minute gift shopping and packing for a trip, I sort of enjoyed taking a break and going through old outfit posts (at the risk of sounding like a narcissist).

Happy holidays, everyone!

Forever 21 top, Burberry trench (buy here and here), J. Crew scarf (pricey alternative here), Prada bag, Ann Taylor pants (similar), and Zara shoes

I went to the mall today and showed some restraint and came home with a coat from Express (that I had tweeted about, I took everyone’s advice and got the camel color) and a few items from A&F.

I first saw this coat on Hanna’s blog and fell in love instantly. I initially wanted to get it in navy as it looked nothing short of gorgeous on the model but I have a Marc by Marc Jacobs coat in a similar color so I started having second thoughts. I had also wanted to order online but read in one of the reviews that the camel was more “white” than camel so I hesitated. When I went to the mall and saw it in real life I couldn’t take my hands off it. It’s so flattering and I had to have it, even though it was more expensive than it had been online.

Pretty, right? The XS fits perfectly and has enough room for heavy layers though the material probably isn’t thick enough for New England winters.

 I think it’ll get a lot of wear this fall. I’d love to get some ideas for what would look good with it.

I’ll do a post about my A&F purchase later today or tomorrow…now I get to catch up on blog posts. I saw on Twitter that Elle’s Blog Sale has started.

I live in a part of the world where four months of harsh winter is the norm and for that I give myself a free pass on gratuitous coat purchases. For the brave, winter mornings are a time to show their mettle but for me, the first step–getting dressed–is the most difficult. Little things like pretty coats make a marked difference for me on especially trying days.

My first stop this fall was J. Crew, known for their extended sizes, fresh colors, and classic lines. Prices have gone up again this winter but are still affordable relative to coats of comparable quality.

As the owner of four Lady Day Coats (reviewed here), all of which continue to look new despite repeated wears, I deliberately  stayed away from the style in search of (a little) variety.

At bat is the Wool-Cashmere Icon Trench, as timeless a design as coats come. This is a style that J. Crew has offered three or four winters now so I was slightly disappointed to learn that only three basic colors–navy, camel, and wine–were offered this year. I can see it being stunning in emerald green or dark khaki.

What I like about this coat is that there are no extraneous details; it doesn’t aspire to be more than just a “classic wear-with-all piece” and I appreciate its simplicity. The design is probably a little too monotonous for those with more adventurous styles but I am a fan.

J. Crew Wool-Cashmere Icon Trench in Navy | Size Petite 00

I am indifferent to felt, which is utilitarian (though slightly at odds with dressier coat designs like this) but can attract lint. The buttons are plastic and done in tortoiseshell finish.

The fit is true to J. Crew size but the style is more tailored than other styles reviewed in this post; the “right” size would probably not be suitable for below-freezing temperature and sizing up to allow layering probably defeats the purpose of a tailored coat.

This coat is probably best for mild winter days.

Warmth Factor: 6 out of 10. Bulky sweaters, lined gloves, heavy socks, insulated bottoms, and gloves/earmuffs/scarves are necessary to fully winterize this coat.

00P measurements: shoulder: 13.25″; sleeves: 23″; waist: 16″; underarm to underarm: 16.5″; total length: 38.5″

The Wool Melton Duffle Coat is a slightly unorthodox duffle coat; it lacks the signature toggle fasteners and fun lining and is missing the neck strap. In their place are extra pockets and gold hardware.

J. Crew Wool Melton Duffle Coat in Warm Camel | Size Petite 00

The coat is designed with a looser fit in mind but is perhaps not well suited for those who don’t have a straight shape. I am a little bottom heavy and this resulted in unsightly bunching in the back (see back view below).

The coat is fairly warm but I would still only give it 6.5 out of 10 in warmth factor. With the hood you can probably skip the scarf, earmuffs, and the hat.

00P measurements: shoulder: 15″; sleeves: 22.25″; waist: 18″; underarm to underarm: 17.5″; total length: 35″

Puffers are necessary for some city-dwellers who usually travel by foot and public transportation; I drive to work on most mornings so do not hoard them as I do frock coats. I was, however, tasked to find a puffer for my mom this winter so will probably review a few this winter.

My initial thought about the Long Belted Puffer was that it failed to excite and I am normally willing to compromise on aesthetics for functionality. Steeper discounts will probably make this style more appealing to me.

Warmth Factor: probably 7.5 out of 10.

J. Crew Long Belted Puffer in Black | Petite XXS

The product description claims that the “waist-nipping belt” makes the coat flattering but for me, who doesn’t really have a defined waist, this was an unfulfillable promise. I don’t blame J. Crew, but claims like these are YMMV.

Your normal J. Crew size will work for this style (with plenty  of room to layer). The size chart can be found here.

XXSP measurements: shoulder: 14.25″; sleeves: 23.5″; waist: 19″; underarm to underarm: 17″; total length: 34.5″

The Wool Melton Toggle Coat in Heather Grass is my favorite coat from the order; this style in dark olive is already sold out online but I suspect it will be restocked. The Convertible Toggle Coat, also from J. Crew, was my favorite coat purchase last fall and aside from having removable hoods, is very similar to the Wool Melton Toggle Coat. For those who missed that boat last year, it’s time to order!

J. Crew also appears to be trying something new with inventory management so there’s a chance that those late Spring discounts are a thing of the past.

J. Crew Wool Melton Toggle Coat in Heather Grass | Size Petite 00

Like the Wool Melton Duffle Coat, this is a looser-fitting style and also feels true to size to me. Some people may find the side pockets a bit of an eyesore but for pocket aficionados like me, this is a bonus.

00P measurements: shoulder: 14″; sleeves: 22.5″; underarm to underarm: 16.5″; total length: 34.5″

Happy shopping!

Other J. Crew Outerwear Picks

Double-cloth Lady Day Coat with Thinsulate® // Nordic Parka // Wintress Belted Puffer Coat

I want to first apologize for my overconfidence, because the posting schedule did not normalize as I promised, and will probably remain in a chaotic state as I struggle to overcome whatever affliction befalls someone after a big project wraps. I just can’t find the motivation to do anything other than running outside (that 70-degree day last week wrecked my productivity) and watching endless hours of Twitch streams. (I know, my life is pretty amazing right now; Feeling as carefree as can be.)

I do have this outfit from a little while ago to share. The cozy Topshop sweater dress pictured here is now 40% off in two colors (the “oatmeal” seen here and a charcoal gray), and is a very reasonable option if you are in want of a turtleneck sweater dress. The style is cut loosely, so size down if you have a smaller frame.

And two sale alerts:

New sale styles have been added to the Shopbop sale section, including the Salvatore Ferragamo Miss Vara Cross Body Bag (a smaller version of the “Ginny” crossbody that I wear often). Some sale styles of interest: MICHAEL Michael Kors Mercer Medium Accordion Messenger Bag (more colorways here), Madewell The Zip-Top Transport Carryall, MANU Atelier Mini Pristine Box Bag, alice + olivia Judy Short Sleeve Ruched Dress, Furla Metropolis Small Shoulder Bag, MICHAEL Michael Kors Charlton Loafers (in gold here), alice + olivia Meredith Tie Neck Button Down, Salvatore Ferragamo Vara Wallet on a Chain, MICHAEL Michael Kors Griffin Strappy Booties, MICHAEL Michael Kors Flex Heel Pumps, Salvatore Ferragamo Amy Small Tote, alice + olivia Della Maxi Dress with Waist Tie, and MCM Spektrum Stud Visetos Camera Bag.

♥ Take 30% off full-price styles at J.Crew with code NEWNEW. My picks: Button-Front Trench Dress in Stretch White Denim, Point Sur Flutter-Sleeve Midi Dress in Ratti® Print Cotton Voile, Strapless Bow-Front Silk Maxi Dress in Polka-Dot Print, Belted Sheath Dress in Textured Tweed, Drapey Tie-Neck Top in Polka Dot, High-Neck Jumpsuit in Liberty® Josephine Floral, and High-Neck Jumpsuit in Gingham Cotton Poplin.

Have a great week, everyone!

Ever the optimist, I, after seeing a mid-March forecast that looks much milder than what I anticipated, have decided to forgo black tights for the remainder of the season, and have also (prematurely?) retrieved my many print skirts from storage. Time will tell how big of a mistake this is.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

For anyone interested, the Theory Oaklane Silk Trench (more spring trench options here) pictured here went on sale and sold out several months ago on most platforms, but can still be found in many sizes and colors at Amazon.

The posting schedule should normalize (three to four posts a week) by the end of this week, as I am about to wrap up some work projects that have kept me occupied. There are a few recent purchases that I can’t wait to share with you all.

For those in my area, enjoy the beautiful spring-like weather!


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