I thought I’d do a quick review of a couple of winter outerwear pieces. I need outerwear petite sizes probably 95% of the time to get the right proportions, so that means ordering online. I’m having a naturalista day WRT hair and makeup.

Michael Kors Overcoat.
I’ve been looking been looking for a classic wool winter-weight overcoat in camel or light brown for a few years.

Angie grabbed finds for the other colors, so I’m showing them too. It also comes in regular and plus sizes.. I'm wearing a PL.

The Pros: It fits well, is a style I love, and I love the dark camel color. It was on sale for $180 from a list price of $400. The length is just right for 5’1” me, and the sleeves are a tiny bit long which is what I prefer in winter coats.

The maybes: I've had coats before with this sized collar and am one the fence about whether the collar is way too big to be flattering on someone as short and short waisted as I am. I generally prefer a smaller collar but I still try ones like this.

The Cons: it’s too lightweight to work for my New England winters. I don’t expect wool coats to be as warm as puffers, but this coat would only work for me for the 8-12 weeks of transition seasons. I can’t justify adding other coat of this weight, especially not this year. It’s also got some minor quality issues. The fabric is wool/polyester/rayon/nylon/acrylic, and is a bit prone to wrinkles, although a good steaming might fix it. The belt has no interfacing (stiffener) and in my experience that can lead to permanent wrinkling. The buttons are that brilliant gold the MK brand is fond of, and feel very cheap, but would be very easy to replace. The collar looks like it can be buttoned up high, but it does not lie right when I do that, it’s a scrunchy mess. Back it goes, but it might work for someone else with milder winters.

This experience reminds me of why I don’t often shop for “wool” coats. It’s almost impossible to tell how thick the fabric is when looking online.

(LLBean is the only vendor I know of who sells petite wool coats and give temp ratings for them.). The selection in stores of petite sized overcoats is almost non-existent in my area so I can’t expect to find ones to try on in person. Also, I think a camel wool overcoat may have “expired” as an HEWI for me, in line with this posting by Angie from 2017: https://youlookfab.com/2017/09.....of-a-hewi/. Wool coats are not usually warm enough for the middle of my winters (unless they are very pricey), and are mostly a bit dressy for my casual lifestyle. For the upcoming Covid winter I probably won’t wear any of the ones I have, not even once. I have a few, they are classic styles and dark colors, and I don’t need to add one. Maybe someday.

Eddie Bauer Puffer Jacket

EB is one of the outdoor gear companies that carries petite sizes. I’m wearing PL. I wanted a lightweight puffer that would work on it’s own or as a layer under something else and this is perfect! It’s not marketed as “packable” but it certainly could be if you provided your own small pouch. The fabrication is called cirruslite down and it comes in other colors (including a plaid), a hooded version, and some other styles. It weighs almost nothing, is water repellant, and rated at -10F (light activity)/-23F (moderate activity). I got the color “copper”, which works with literally every other fall and winter coat I own. It's selling at $49 which is half the original price. I have scarves and hats that work well with it, and it adds another piece to my growing warm brown/earth tones collection. The find collector is not working so here is a link to the EB site:
http://www.eddiebauer.com/p/20612407/women's-cirruslite-down-jacket?sp=1&color=Copper ( this URL is not formatting properly when displayed, if you are interested in this jacket go to eddiebauer.com and search for "cirruslite down jacket". )

1 - MK Coat
2 - MK coat with top button closed
3+4 - EB puffer (this is close to the real color)
5+6 …same (color looks too dark due to lighting) worn under my nutmeg coat that I have not worn at all this year. The colors work and this could extend the wearing season quite a bit for the nutmeg coat, as long as I didn’t mind my arms looking a little like the Staypuft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters. (I love to use that reference because the guy who designed the character/costume and played him in the original movie is a high school friend of mine. )

Comments, suggestions, advice welcome as always!

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