I’m in the market for a brightly colored coat and I like the shape of the J.Crew Lady Day Coat with the defined waist but no belt or tie. However, when i read the reviews, it sounds like the quality of the coat has taken a nosedive (surprise, surprise). Do you have any recommendations for similar style of coat that will live up to it’s price tag? I’d like to spend $200-$300.
Thanks as always for your help! Anon
I owned one of the Lady Day coats several years ago, and it was wonderful. But with the quality at J.Crew worsening by the season, I have never been able to replace it. I swear, someone could set up a black market selling gently used 2004-2008 J.Crew clothes.
Fitted coats are a great option. They’re figure-flattering, and they’re classic. A color can add some punch to a wardrobe if you’re looking beyond the basic, but a neutral is always nice. Here are a few coats in a fitted shape that are worth a look.
Talbot’s Twill Coat ($299 + 30% Off with Friends30)
Vince Camuto Officer’s Coat ($248, also in black)
Land’s End Wool Walker Coat ($99, also in purple)
Hilfiger Topstitch Coat ($129, in four neutrals)
Via Spiga Stand-Collar Wool Coat ($198, also in cobalt)
Eliza J Stand Collar Coat ($228)
Helene Berman Future College Coat ($298)
I have that Talbots coat and IT IS GORGEOUS. The lilac color is such a beautiful winter pop and it fits perfectly (the first knee-length coat to ever fit my shoulders AND my pear-shaped hips).
Belle (or readers) any tips for evaluating the weight of a coat when shopping online?
I’m not really sure what to look for, but I’d love a coat of this style that can handle at least the 30-40 degree temps of early midwest winters. However, I can’t tell how to judge the warmth.
As a Minnesotan, I go by three things: Thinsulate lining, reviews, and a good order-try on-return policy.
I own an old double cloth J.Crew coat (lined, but not with Thinsulate) and it keeps me warm down to about 10 degrees, depending on the wind.
For under 10 degrees, I typically wear my hooded, below-the-knee, belted puffer. LL Bean, North Face, Lands End all have good puffers and typically list the cold rating based on the fill density. If you’re in MN like me, get a coat rated for at least -25 and join me in being frostbite-free.
At the very least look at the wool content. The gold standard is a wool-cashmere blend, but that’s obviously pricey. Don’t be fooled by a coat that looks super warm but is only 20% wool and the rest polyester or some other synthetic. I look for at least 50%, preferably 100%.
Thank you both! This is helpful–I wondered about how much wool to look for so I will keep an eye out!
@annon, I feel you about the j.crew lady day coats! I still have my ballet slipper pink one from about 2002! It has some makeup stains on the tops of the shoulders from people hugging me but still have not found a replacement!
Loved the Black market comment. Here in Chicago that’s goodwill. I find tons of J Crew there. Scored great black wool ankle pants for $4 last week.
Tip: Don’t discount getting an old jacket relined. I have a great JCrew coat from years ago and the sleeves were pretty terrible after years of wear. I got the sleeves and pockets relined for $30 and now I get to retain a classic style.
Can totally vouch for the Lands End coat-I’ve had 2 coats from Lands End the for 4 years now and they still look new! I live in New England, where winter is the worst and they’ve survived heavy use, being out in wet weather and many commutes and backs of chairs in classrooms!
I second what Lynn said! I had a great Jcrew Lady Day coat from 2007 and I had it relined. What made things even better was that instead of a colored liner, which Jcrew did in portions of their coats during that time, I was able to have it fully lined in a nice black to match the coat. It looks more formal and work appropriate now too!