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?