Friday, 20 April 2012

Spring Coats and Jackets

Cool Choices
April weather, rain and sunshine both together.
- English "country" saying
Closet Content Analysis:
Transition Weather Jackets

NICE                   NO THANKS         NOTE-WORTHY            NEED          NEW 

Spring is such a short season for outerwear. For the most part, we just seem to jump from winter heavy to summer bare. This year has had a longer cool and rainy spring season and so I am inspired to write about outerwear on this rainy 20th of April.

NICE 1: One of the best NICE spring jackets/coats I own is a vintage Burberry three-quarter length "carcoat". It's meant for a man because the buttons are on the opposite side but it is the best spring coat that I have ever owned. I purchased it in the summer of 2010 in a consignment shop in Bergerac, France. The shop owner thought it was from the sixties; however, if someone out there has seen this Burberry carcoat in the past and could give me more specific information, I would be most appreciative.

NICE 2: This leather swing jacket has seen both cool spring days and cool summer nights. I purchased it in Florence, Italy. The brown piping is ever so slight and gives me permission to wear brown accessories and boots with this black leather jacket.

NOTE-WORTHY: The same black swing jacket is my NOTE-WORTHY choice because it is the second I bought in exactly this same style. The first one was removed from a waiting room that I left it in. It never did come back to me. I had purchased that first one in Florence as well. I bought the second one from the same shop. The only thing I remember about the shop was the name, Anna. 

NO THANKS: Anoraks have never been my favourite. I find them bulky and short of a rainy spring day or being on a boat in the summer I haven't ever really needed one. I do have a short North Face waterproof jacket that I sometimes wear a fleece under if I need the warmth at the seaside but the anorak has not been part of my clothing-style.

NEED: I probably do need an anorak or some other such jacket for more casual rainy sorts of days. The zip on my North Face jacket separates occasionally but for as much as I wear it, I don't mind. Besides, I just stay in and read if it's raining.

Jacket Buying Tips: When you're buying, think about the following . . .

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Beware of leather jackets in European and Asian market places. Some of the really inexpensive leather has not been properly "cured or treated". A "market" story from Florence affirms this. After being caught in the rain, a young man told me that his Florence leather "market" jacket felt like cardboard and looked awful. When he bought it, he said it looked and felt fine. It didn't look any different than the leather jackets in the shops so he decided to buy one since it was a fraction of the cost. My Florence leather jacket has also been caught in the rain; however, it is as soft and supple as it always was. I bought it in a shop and paid four times what he did.

Do not buy a coat or jacket that is too small. I've written this before. Make sure you can layer with a sweater underneath.

When in doubt, don't. Those with long arms, don't settle for a sleeve length you are not absolutely satisfied with.

Cheap coats mean cheap zippers. But expensive jackets and coats can also have cheap zippers. Zip up and down several times and "listen" for any potential problems.

Suede jackets are difficult to care for.

If you want a functional jacket, make sure you buy one that falls below the butt.


  1. As a woman, I would never wear men's clothing. It's just not right.....

    1. When I tried the coat on and it fit, I never considered it a man's coat and the woman in the shop never said anything. It wasn't until later that I realized the buttons were on the other side. Shrug - when I wear it, I never give it any mind to being either right or wrong.

    2. Relaxing in Kelowna26 April 2012 at 00:07

      Historically men have worn loin cloths, togas, tunics, tights, gathered waistcoats, frilly shirts, ascots, ties, suits, and so on. In World War Two women started to wear men's clothes; namely overalls, to aid in the war effort. Since that time women have worn male apparel often and well. So remember, every time you put on a pair of slacks you are wearing men's clothing. Nothing wrong with that....

      Just saying....

    3. If the objective of this blog is to promote what is fashionable, in my opinion you missed the mark on the "Nice" comment re:the Men's Burberry raincoat for a woman. I think that it is shapeless and unattractive and I would consider it a "No Thanks" item. But, it is not in my wardrobe...

    4. As stated in the intro, "Together we'll discover what women are wearing around the world, whether it's fashionable or not." - so the word fashionable is certainly used in this blog but not necessarily in front of the NICE (especially as you noted when it comes to an individual wardrobe), and it's probably more of a NOTE-WORTHY for me now if I look at it again.

  2. I'm not sure how I missed this post but better late than never. Great jackets and advice about buying them. I think that's great that you decided and felt comfortable enough to buy yourself a "men's" jacket.

    Because I live in Canada I'm faced with very cold temperatures and I know your "NO THANKS" is an anorak or a parka but I do own one. It's very bulky but very warm and not real stylish. I can deal with the bulkiness when it's very cold out. Recently with the advice of a helpful sales girl I decided to treat myself to a more stylish, less bulky Anorak jacket. One of the things that makes it more stylish is it's more feminine looking. The reason it's more feminine looking is because it's a women's jacket.

    Again, better late than never but I'm glad to hear we both found jackets that work for us from the other gender.

    1. I'll be needing a new winter jacket this year and it will be interesting to see if I succumb and buy a parka. I'm leaning toward a shearling, but that's another post.

  3. THanks for sharing... Nice Jackests.........


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