Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Winter Warmth

Here is my collective winter haul for this year.  Tim Gunn once said in his "Guide to Quality, Taste, and Style" (a must read) - don't buy it unless it will be the best piece you own (I'm paraphrasing, he said it better).  That's how i feel about all of these in different ways.  They are not all fabulous and chic; some are for casual days.  But the tags are all clipped off and I don't know what I would do without any of them.  Starting with the most fabulous...

Burberry Brit Double Breasted Peacoat ($ 895) - this is the second burberry item I've purchased (the other is the obligatory Balmoral trench, below).  I don't do this often.  It takes a pretty special item for me to spend almost a grand on it.  I have returned more burberry coats than I own for not being just right.  But this one is just. right.  It fits WAY better than the Balmoral.  It's a little more forgiving in the arms and chest (I have a very modest sized chest area but still have problems with the tightness of the Balmoral in the same size).  The fabric is from heaven. It's a wool blend with a hint of cashmere and it's super soft and stays structured-looking without giving up comfort.  I love the length, you don't feel like the coat is wearing you.  And the styling is amazing.  Very typical conservative peacoat in the front (I was afraid it looked a little too military on the models but it is fine in person), no ridiculous flashy old fashioned buttons, and the pleating in back makes it so feminine without being too girly.  I'm in love with this.  I also wanted something other than the typical black that wouldn't show dirt too much and navy is so classic.  See I can't stop talking about this one.

Burberry Brit Balmoral Trench ($750):  This is a standby, I've actually had it for a year so it doesn't count as part of the "haul."  I only wear it on super gray rainy or drizzly days because it is just a shell (not very warm on its own) and also because it has to be a pretty crappy day in California to be able to pull off a trench.  Also it's not the most comfortable thing in my closet.  As I mentioned above the shoulders and chest area are really tight (e.g. you can feel the fabric straining a little when you lift your arms up to grab the steering wheel).  It is best worn with your arms strait down at your sides which is not entirely practical.  But it is very sharp looking and protects well against the elements.  I LOVE that it's machine washable, packable, and the perfect trench color. 

Draped Collar Cover Up from White House Black Market ($88) - I was in WHBM for something totally unrelated and the saleswoman put this in my dressing room to try and I haven't really taken it off since.  The picture doesn't really do it justice.  It goes with everything and adds style to whatever else I'm wearing.  And it didn't break the bank like the first couple items.  It's really warm, unlike some other flimsy cardigans I have from some other mid-range, trendy stores who shall remain nameless.  And it resists pilling or looking old even after having worn it for a hundred days in a row (I'm exaggerating a little but I am impressed at how well it holds up).  It's also an amazing length, covers the muffin top zone and hangs low enough in the back.  It's styled well too, the drape collar looks more like a subtle ruffle collar and I love the angle the front hem is cut at. 

Unfortunately this next one is no longer available (maybe on ebay?) but I've also been wearing it a lot lately and there are similar jackets out there.  This is also from WHBM and cost a bit more than the last, $395 I think.  It's their "tiered" leather jacket from last year.  This thing is so cute, the front has tiered panels and the bottom has a little peplum style ruffle that goes all the way around to the back.  Some of the reviews warned me not to try it on if I wasn't prepared to buy it.  They were right.  It's so cute and so comfortable.  I have never owned a leather jacket and don't think i will ever need another.  While this one is playing to the ruffle and peplum trends, it may end up being a classic since the detailing is more feminine than trendy.   

BCBG Zoie Shawl-Collar Cardigan ($228).  Thanks to the beautiful Julia at Gal Meets Glam I got this at a discount.  It's so great with tall boots and skinny jeans.  Gives that casual vibe without being frumpy.  Covers everything you want covered without being baggy.  I will say the wool is a little scratchy (it has yak hair in it too).  But it's not so bad that I'd return it.  Like the WHBM  cover up, it's warmer than most cardigans.  I hope the fabric holds up and doesn't go all shabby on me like wool
 has a habit of doing.  At this price point (and with drycleaning) it should be ok. 

Splendid colorblock sweater ($118).  This is so unflashy. I wouldn't have even looked at it on the rack.  But an associate at Nordstrom brought it into my dressing room and off I went with it.  Very comfy and surprisingly flattering, for how simple it is.  It looks like it would make one look topheavy but for me, that wasn't the case.  Simple high-quality style.  A definite casual friday contender for work. 

Lululemon's Keep it Cozy jacket ($148).  Again, unflashy, but the most comfortable fabric you will ever touch.  Outside and in.  It feels like a velvet marshmallow on the inside and just a marshmallow outside.  And is so warm and super lightweight.  I basically wear this all weekend now that there's a chill in the air.  Even though I'm not working out much these days I live in lululemon gear on the weekends.  It's not work appropriate which makes it hard to justify the cost.  But it is such a cute sporty piece, I like that there is no hood (when does one ever use the hood part of a hoodie?) and SO functional and presentable that I'm not sure how I used to get through weekends without it.  I'm thinking about getting one for my sister for xmas.  I hate lululemon's return policy though, she wouldn't be able to exchange it. 

What didn't make the cut....

Burberry Brit quilted peplum jacket.  Despite the cute silhouette and great color on this, and even the great fit, it just wasn't right.  I felt like a spaceman and it was far too light to add any real warmth.  The style is a little off for me.  A failed ultra modern?  Too...quilted?  I've never been a fan of Burberry's quilted offerings.  I tried to like this, it is really flattering on, but that's not enough when a coat is so expensive.

WHBM tunic ($98).  This looks amazing on the model.  But the fabric is thick-yet-stiff such that it doesn't hang or rouche when one moves around, it just bulges.  It just looks off as a tunic.  It would have been great as a dress and I am still mourning the fact that it isn't a sweater dress (just three more inches!!).  It is true tunic length, it looks appropriate with just leggings only if you're super skinny and under 22 and it looks silly with jeans because it looks like you are trying to put a sweater dress over jeans.  So disappointing.

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