Style + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle: Lady Day Coat Copies

Hi Belle,

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)


Eloquii Plus-size Tie Neck Coat ($199)



  1. Nora says:

    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).

    November 5, 2015/Reply
  2. Michaela says:

    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.

    November 5, 2015/Reply
    • B says:

      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.

      November 5, 2015/Reply
    • AG says:

      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%.

      November 6, 2015/Reply
      • Michaela says:

        Thank you both! This is helpful–I wondered about how much wool to look for so I will keep an eye out!

        November 6, 2015/Reply
  3. Kat says:

    @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!

    November 5, 2015/Reply
  4. Brandi says:

    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.

    November 5, 2015/Reply
  5. Lynn says:

    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.

    November 6, 2015/Reply
  6. espie says:

    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!

    November 6, 2015/Reply
  7. Leigh says:

    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!

    November 6, 2015/Reply