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materialism post

Help me get through the day. Talk to me about coats.

In winter, I used to wear an army surplus parka like this one. My dad bought it for me when I went to college in Blacksburg, and many many winters it served me well. There are really only two problems with it: 1) It's not all that terrifically waterproof. It keeps the water off me more or less, but it still gets wet and gross. 2) It looks AWFUL. At this point it's so beat up you'd think it had been run over by an errant humvee. Technically I suppose that there is a third problem and that is that it's super warm or nothing. If the temperature changes at all, there's no lining to take out, you're just stuck lugging around 10 pounds of COAT.

Last year, my parents bought Jack a Force Nine coat from Duluth Trading. Fortunately for me, Jack is emotionally attached to his old leather jacket, so last year I switched to this. It has many, many benefits: somewhat waterproof (not so in heavy rain), lots of pockets, fuzzy fleece lining, long enough to keep my ass covered and not allow breezes in the waist area. It is somewhat lacking in two areas: 1) not totally warm in really really cold weather and 2) no hood. Also, it isn't so attractive. If it were fitted for a girl, it might be better, but it's not. Why do I care how attractive I am in a snowstorm? Uhm... I just do.

So now I've been eyeing the LL Bean Rugged Ridge Parka with interest as it seems to: cover the ass, have a hood, have lots of pockets, be waterproof, come in pretty colors, and fit a girl shape. The only thing that could be better is if it had a faux fur thingy on the hood. This makes me look at the Baxter State Parka but the solid color makes me think it's too much like my old military parka. And you can't take it apart in different layers! Which would also be optimal. This does, but it doesn't have a hood.

So yeah, I've been thinking about the new coat thing for a few years now, but haven't found a good solution. I can't really afford to get one right now anyways, and lately Jack has been inundated with "these are the really expensive things I want for Christmas" messages. But I like to talk about shopping even if I can't buy stuff. So... what am I missing? Recommend coats to me! Is there some brand that's not LL Bean I should be looking at? Some quality in a coat I should be thinking about?



( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 1st, 2006 03:53 pm (UTC)
How about going to REI and getting a Ski Coat? They are waterproof and very wearm. Most of them have a removeable liner so you can even wear it as a rain parka on those warm days.
Dec. 1st, 2006 04:17 pm (UTC)
I was going to suggest REI too -- they have a big store in Twinbrook & you could try stuff on. Very good quality.
Dec. 1st, 2006 04:43 pm (UTC)
REI appears to have many, many, many appealing prospects.
Dec. 1st, 2006 06:07 pm (UTC)
I adore all my REI items
Also, you can order from their online store & pick things up at the store near you (if one is near you, I mean) and then there's no shipping charge.
Dec. 1st, 2006 04:15 pm (UTC)
All those coats scream pretty and nonfunctional to me. But maybe I am too cynical. wool is right out - wet wool smells gross.
Dec. 1st, 2006 04:17 pm (UTC)
nonfunctional because they're... down? WHY DON'T YOU WANT TO BE A PRETTY PRETTY PRINCESS?
Dec. 1st, 2006 04:28 pm (UTC)
I want to be a pretty pretty princess whose coat looks like it would survive a backpacking trip!
Dec. 1st, 2006 04:30 pm (UTC)
Are you actually GOING on a backpacking trip?
Dec. 1st, 2006 04:35 pm (UTC)
no... but i could at any moment. you never know.
Dec. 1st, 2006 06:08 pm (UTC)
hee! That is my attitude as well.
Dec. 1st, 2006 04:55 pm (UTC)
Here's what I'd pick if I wanted to be a pretty pretty princess.

Dec. 1st, 2006 05:52 pm (UTC)
Hmm, I like your taste. I should email you or call you
Dec. 1st, 2006 07:18 pm (UTC)
You could always have TWO coats, you know. One to be a pretty pretty princess in and one to slog through the ick in. Sure, you'd have to go home before you set off on your backpacking trip, but it'd work... :)
Dec. 1st, 2006 04:06 pm (UTC)
I aske for this for Christmas. Sadly, Lands End is short on the faux fur lined hoods this year. I must be smoking crak beause I swear I saw a two toned parka with a fur lined hood in the LLBean catalog yesterday. It must have been the Baxter State Parka.
Dec. 1st, 2006 04:32 pm (UTC)
Ooh... I do like this one of theirs. They got me with the "flattering diamond quilting".
Dec. 1st, 2006 04:30 pm (UTC)
A fine choice. :) That actually looks alot like the Duluth one I wear. Of course, for a totally different purpose.
Dec. 1st, 2006 04:34 pm (UTC)
But the Gore-Tex lining should be as waterproof as you need, and the thinsulate will keep you warm. And should you ever happen to take a 40mph spill on the cold, wet asphalt (for whatever reason), you'll keep all your skin. You can even remove the shoulder, elbow, and rib pads if you find them unflattering...
Dec. 1st, 2006 04:21 pm (UTC)
Lands End has a crazy amount of parkas/winterwear coats, but I don't know about a fur hood. I'm a peacoat fan myself, so I can't help too much!
Dec. 1st, 2006 04:29 pm (UTC)
Ack! What do you do when it rains? I like the look of peacoats but the wool makes me itch and smells bad when wet!
Dec. 1st, 2006 04:30 pm (UTC)
My parents got me a London Fog coat from Costco that I love. It has two separate layers - the outer layer is a waterproof/windproof parka with a hood, the inner layer is a polar fleece pea coat, very stylish, and so it is versatile and very warm.

London Fog is the bomb.
Dec. 1st, 2006 06:53 pm (UTC)
Since I'm on such a Bean's kick lately, this one has a stow-away hood. I know it's not as cool as fake-fur-lined, but... I'm a hat person anyway. =)

The Bean store at Columbia Mall should have a lot of these in to try on if you wanted.

There's also a lot to be said, in this area where it doesn't often get to 40 below, for layering; i.e. a slightly lighter parka with a nice fleece jacket underneath or something.
Dec. 3rd, 2006 03:06 pm (UTC)
I am very very happy with my Columbia parka. It's a few years old, but the one I have is most similar to this one. The zip-out liner system means I can wear it from 65 and windy (just the shell) down to, yes, -40F (I had a two sweaters and a hat underneath, but I was warm). Plus, after wearing guys' coats from ages 14-28, I kind of like the fact it has a little bit of a waist. It has many useful pockets, a zipper that opens from both ends (indispensable when driving, I find, to make it less bunchy), and the sleeves and shoulders are cut to allow a full range of motion (so I can backpack and bicycle and all those things you might conceivably need to do). I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Columbia jacket and plan to remain loyal to this brand when I get a new one next fall (since mine's too big now, whee).

I will grudgingly admit I've heard lots of good things about Lands End jackets from my mom, too. And... couldn't you make a detachable fake fur collar? I know you sew, and you probably have leftover fur from your bear costume, and that would mean your coat would still be washable. :)
Dec. 3rd, 2006 03:10 pm (UTC)
Okay, that link won't work. Just go to the Columbia website and do a search on Women's Jackets. I have something like the Bliss Ridge parka. I'd recommend any of the interchangeable jackets.
Dec. 3rd, 2006 03:21 pm (UTC)
Re: sigh
Nice! One question: does it reach down far enough that when you raise your arms up you dont' get a blast of wind up your middle?

Let's see if this link works...

Dec. 3rd, 2006 04:07 pm (UTC)
Re: sigh
Yeah, it's plenty long enough even on me, and I'm a number of inches taller than you. Mine also has a drawstring-type thing at the waist (inside) that allows you to cinch it in for more draft-dodging. :D

Anyway, you might as well try one on. I got mine on sale at Burlington Coat Factory. According to the website, they also sell them at REI, Dick's, and the terrifying Bass Pro Shop.
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )


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