Well, I DO wear my peacoat and duffle on occasion since I love them--for a maximum of about 5-8 days out of the year! My Canada Goose parka now lives in Calgary on the back of my grateful niece who needed a commuting jacket to wear during those sub-zero windy conditions.

If your current jacket can get you through another Kingston winter, and your plans for moving to Victoria are firming up, you might want to hold off purchasing new winter wear. The winter temperatures rarely dip below 0 Celsius here, and, since I walk a great deal, I generally find my thick wool coats too warm these days. So much depends on personal body temps and preferences because I see everything from girls wrapped in scarves and wearing puffers to guys in shirt sleeves walking around together on the same day.

My own winter coat preferences are a lined raincoat and lined anorak-style jacket--both with a water-resistant finish. I usually wear a tissue-weight T-neck topped with a light cashmere sweater under both items. Very rarely, I'll add a pair of light gloves or a hat if the wind is from the north and my hands are out in the open carrying an umbrella. A lightweight, wool/cashmere scarf is also nice since I can adjust it as I warm up. I rarely use my rain boots--too hard to walk in comfortably. My waterproofed, leather-lined boots with a pair of light-weight wool socks work just fine. Victoria gets much less rain than Seattle or Vancouver--it's more of a Mediterranean climate than typical Pacific Northwest one.

A "cold" winter day in Victoria is around 5-6 Celsius, so, if you think about what you'd wear in Kingston on those days, you'd be on the right track.

Angie, yup...it is in the works!! I hinted to you that I had some happy news about potential visits and meet ups! And it is true. But won't be happening until this spring at earliest and probably a bit later. So I do have one more winter here at least.

I don't run cold but I don't run hot, either. I am pretty sure I wouldn't wear that fun plaid jacket indoors...but nor would I be warm enough in it outdoors in a Seattle winter.

Hmmm. Thinking back to Vancouver, my most worn winter coat was a London Fog two-in-one type coat with a short quilted jacket that could be worn on its own or as a liner, covered by a fun red rain resistant shell. I wore this with gloves, boots, hat, scarf, etc. and layers underneath (sweaters).

A pea coat would have served a similar purpose in non-rainy weather, but I didn't have one then.

Last winter I was in Victoria for several days in late January. I don't know if the temps were average or above, but I was comfortable in layers -- I wore a cami, blouse, blazer, scarf, trench, gloves. Some days I also had a sweater on.

Style Fan, you are so right -- some of this just comes down to personal temperature. I am rarely the first to complain about drafts (that honour goes to Mr. Suz) but at the same time I like to be really cozy in winter.

Victoria!!! That's exciting.

FWIW, I used to live in Portland OR and wore my wool duffle coat regularly (say, once or twice a week) Dec-Feb, but not much outside of those months. Rain shell and lightweight wool hoodies definitely saw more (and year round) use.

I think what you need is a lightweight, non-insulated coat that you can use in a larger range of temperatures. Maybe a Pendleton? Angie posted a gorgeous one this morning. Oy, clearly I want a new green coat this year!

I'm a little envious that you're moving to Victoria! I have fantasized a bit about moving out to the PNW since my trip this summer. Stepson and his new bride are planning to move to Boston in a few years and it has my husband thinking we should follow them, but the climate out in the PNW is more to my liking.

Gaylene, thank you -- that is so helpful. It sounds like I might need/ feel comfortable in something a tiny bit warmer than you but in the same range. I did need to wear gloves, for example, when I was there and outdoors for any length of time. I have Reynaud's, though, so that affects things. I also found a cashmere scarf to be helpful.

Well, you've pretty much convinced me that if I am going to buy a wool coat it should be a lighter but shorter one, and that last year's purchase of snow boots was a bit of a mistake!! We hardly had snow last year at all, and I won't need them very soon. Oh well....

I'm pinching myself, Janet!! Of course, it may fall through in the end -- but that's the current plan. We'll start temporarily (renting out house) and see how it goes.

LP, you definitely need a new green coat!!! That one is really great. And i think you're exactly right -- I need a wool coat without thinsulate lining.

Gaylene, I've been to Kingston a few times. It’s cute and quaint. It’s damper in Seattle for sure, and windier here too. We dip below freezing during the night but seldom during the day. I think 0 to 2 degrees Celsius IS AWFULLY COLD, and I am wrapped up in thermals already. I have spent weeks in an East Coast Winter, up to -12 degrees Celsius, and literally cannot handle it. I’d much rather be in 35 degrees Celsius.

SUZ, SOOO EXCITED!!! You’ll have a LOT of fun dressing in our neck of the woods. And since we have warmer Summers now too - thanks to global warning - you’ll feel right at home without the humidity. I have wool coats in lots of weights, and they all get used. I am already wearing knitwear, boots and leather jackets. 16 to 18 degrees during the day (8 to 10 at night).

Janet, COME JOIN US. Seattle is closer to TX.

I think a lighter wool coat or jacket might be a better option. A heavier, insulated coat can work if the wind is from the north, but, honestly, for those few days, so can a bit more layering. My duffle and peacoat spend a LOT of time in their storage bag.

One difference I did notice is upon moving here is my change in attitude towards camisoles. I never wore them in the prairie winters, but do so all the time in Victoria. Same goes for a comfy, sweatery thing to cuddle in when I'm at home. I bought the Bobeau fleecy sweater for exactly that purpose. I think it has to do with the tendency to not overheat houses on the coast as was all too common on the prairies. Wooly slippers and socks have also become important, as have a cuppa and a slice of cake in the afternoon. None of this ever made sense to a coffee-swilling prairie girl who wore winter boots, toques, and down jackets to shovel snow and scraped off ice from windshields before driving on square tires over rutted streets. In Victoria, people plant pansies as WINTER flowers, cut their lawns in January--and look startled when they see a skiff of frost on the lawn.

ETA: Angie, I think I foresee the beginnings of a trans-border meetup with a Victoria and Vancouver contingent headed down to Seattle for some serious styling...

You could always check out Winners again.

I picked up a black Calvin Klein part cashmere pea coat last year. Wore it for my trip to Seattle late November and then all year afterwards. Never wore my heavy grey wool coat (from Timmins) at all.

This year I've snagged a long, but lightweight olive duster from Top Shop that I think will work better for my train commute and underground tunnel walk in Toronto. Don't know when I'll wear it though. Tomorrow is the first day of Fall and forecast is for 32deg C with the humidex!

I love the JCrew stadium cloth Cocoon coat I purchased last year. Mint green. Lovely fabric. Warm. Looks great!


"One difference I did notice is upon moving here is my change in attitude towards camisoles. I never wore them in the prairie winters, but do so all the time in Victoria. Same goes for a comfy, sweatery thing to cuddle in when I'm at home. I bought the Bobeau fleecy sweater for exactly that purpose. I think it has to do with the tendency to not overheat houses on the coast as was all too common on the prairies. Wooly slippers and socks have also become important, as have a cuppa and a slice of cake in the afternoon".

Welcome to me world. (There are few things as satisfying and calming as a cuppa with a slice of cake in the afternoon). I bet you don't miss shoveling snow.

And the trans-border meet sounds DIVINE. I'm here.

Suz I tried the lavender coat earlier today and it's quite lovely. Rich shade, not dusty, and flecked with tiny bits of pretty colors. TTS; a 2 fit over the denim jacket I was wearing snug but not tight. That's the size I would opt for. Considering it now too, though the neck might be a little high for me (I don't like stuff rubbing my neck/chin) and didn't seem to want to be worn folded down at all. It's a coat I would wear on a typical milder winter day here but I don't need Maximum Insulation. Worth a try for you!

Gaylene, I totally hear you on the camisoles! I'm already a convert, actually, but it's because there's a bit of damp in the air here as well. (My friend from Calgary was visiting me over the weekend and she kept remarking on the wonderful humidity here! It's not the same on the coast -- there, you do not get the sticky humidity we get here in abundance, as Angie rightly remarks -- but compared to the Prairies Victoria is a bit damp, just as Kingston is damp. In that way winter will be similar to what I know here -- just a whole lot warmer.)

And I'm already your sister in cozy Bobeau comfort in winter. (Mr. Suz was just joking with me this morning about that cardi. As Carla said, it's really hot here in the afternoons still -- but mornings have a chill and I've been reaching for the warm fuzzy.)

And I am SO into the cross-border trip!! Can't wait.

So. I think I am set here. I might continue to look into the J. Crew lilac stadium coat (if I can see in person, that will help). But I'm not going to get myself tied up in a knot about it, because I might prefer to spend that money on a fantastic lined trench next year while I debate the type of woollen coat that will work for me best in the new climate. I still do have my lovely red alpaca/ wool Hilary Radley coat, as well as my Danier coat (wool). Plus the puffer, which I won't bother upgrading except possibly with a really light one like the North Face one that Angie got during NAS. But no need to upgrade it this year.

Thank you, Aida -- that's super helpful!! For my neck it probably won't be a problem. Only issue is whether the colour would wash me out. It will be one or the other -- supremely flattering or horribly flat.

Angie's wool coat capsule makes me not feel bad about wanting more.

Suz......It you are thinking about lighter wool coats the J Crew Regent Topcoat is lovely. I just ordered one yesterday to try.....love % off and free shipping days! Various colours come and go and I saw a pic of one in plaid that looked fun.


I would LOVE to move to the west coast. So jealous!!

OMG. I have ALWAYS wanted to live in Victoria or Seattle. Cozy slippers, a cuppa and rain on the windows speak to my soul

I just ordered the cocoon coat in the Lavender (you convinced me :)) so I'll post it on a few days so you can see the colour...

(After the 8th straight month of that drizzly weather, you guys, you'll be ready for a change )

Aida, that is why you will come visit me in Victoria where it is not as wet and drizzly, I promise!!

But let us not get too carried away; it has not happened yet.

A move that sounds wonderful! I would love to get back to the west coast! Maybe when I retire, Mr. Staysfit and I have a good gig at the moment.

Suz, you are NOT allowed to move to Victoria before we actually meet! We've come so close... fingers crossed for April in Ottawa!

Your move sounds wonderful. I love the West Coast, even though I live inland.

Humidity really does affect how cold it feels. Here, with no humidity to speak of, we can get away with less coat than humid places. When we visited our son in Istanbul in the winter last year, I thought I was going to die I was so cold. Wearing a camisole did help, but so did wearing about four more layers!

If there is a meetup in April in Ottowa, I may have to join in if they will let me over the border!

I was skimming along until I got to the news you might be moving. Then I lost it! Can't wait to learn more! Anyway, I am very in favor of a classic navy peacoat for you. Moving! I want to know more! (But I can wait )

What Shevia said! After I read about your possible move, I was so excited I forgot to think about coats. Your decision to not spend on a heavy coat right now seems wise.

Yes, Aida, you NEED to come to Victoria! It's actually quite dry here because we get only 28 inches of precipitation a year as compared to Vancouver's 59 inches and Seattle's 38 inches. Our average winter temperature hovers around 7-10 C (45-50 F). November, December, and January are the rainy months, but we get lots of sunshine the rest of the year. Summer and Fall are actually our brown months. Humidity is also much less than Suz's Southern Ontario.

Very mild! I don't think there's a single month of the year where rain is off the table around the Seattle area, especially in the particular area I live in Perhaps we need to plan a Victoria meetup for February!

February it is! Cherry blossom month!

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OMG! Closer to MEEEE!

I came back to read more about coats and ended up hearing about Victoria! Gaylene, the climate sounds beautiful - indeed, possibly perfect. (I love Seattle, and I actually enjoy rain, but I worry about so much of it. Plus, traffic.)

Suz,this is exciting! I really really hope it all works out for you. (So ironic too, because just yesterday my daughter in Portland, OR, who is constantly haranguing us to move out her way, asked me: Have you ever been to Vancouver? Have you ever thought of moving to Canada? I think you'd love it!) Not that we could afford Vancouver ....

Good luck solving the coat question in the meantime. A beautiful coat (like the perfect navy peacoat) can so hard to resist, even if there is a rational plan to wait. (I know this because I am likely to consign the purple JCrew coat I bought so impulsively and now rarely wear.)

Victoria! I grew up in Victoria and my family is still there, enjoying the water, mountains, flower baskets, and low-key-albeit-often-confused drivers.

I really like the lilac parka with the zipper. It is the shape.

I also really like the Peacoat and think you could get some fabulous buttons for it.

I think once you actually live in victoria, you'll find the winters terribly cold and damp. You will find yourself shivering more than You did in the east because of the dampness. So that's why I think a thick coat is fine.