Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Polar Vortex

My OOTD. But really... 

I wish I could say that the best money I've ever spent on a material object was something super fun and luxurious... but seriously, the best money I ever spent was on something that makes me look like a fluffy marshmallow. But I'm OK with that, because there is a polar vortex and I'm warm. 

So... the only photos I have of myself in this marshmallow of a parka are Instagram selfies and one from a Steeler game in 2012... but you get it. It's fluffy and warm and sometimes, you can't tell if I'm actually a girl because I am so covered up...hence, me not wanting to be photographed in said coat... but like I said, it's darn warm. 

When I graduated from JMU in 2012, I forgot what frigid cold felt like; that was, until I experienced a full Pittsburgh winter (post-grad) and decided I had to bite the bullet and get one of those obnoxious parkas. I've never looked back. I think I spent all of $55 on this coat which was on sale from Lands End. It is such high quality for the price paid; I wear it day in and day out throughout the nasty Pittsburgh winter and it holds up perfectly. 

Right now, Lands End has a few on sale right now so it is definitely worth checking out.  Nordstrom also has a bunch of options at every price point. 

What you should look for in a parka:
  • Water repellent
  • Two-way zipper
  • Removable hood (bonus points if the faux fur is removable, too)
  • Down or synthetic fill (check out the Land's End post to see which is right for you) 
  • I also love that the cuffs of my coat, the lining around the neck and the lining of the pockets are a warm, cozy fleece. It makes all the difference. This coat from Bloomingdale's even has thumb holes. 
  • Look for a coat with figure flattering stitching. My parka has diamond stitching which supposedly has a slimming effect. This splurge of a coat has great, slimming stitching. Mine also has a belt (like this one) so I can cinch my waist giving me some resemblance to a human rather than a marshmallow blob. 
  • Opt for a dark, neutral color. This will show dirt/wear less and will also be more slimming. Darker colors, ideally black, can also look a tad dressier if you will be wearing this over your work outfits.
  • Pay attention to length. I have a short length from Lands End that I wore in Virginia for college (an entirely warmer climate) and the mid-length. I actually opted not to get a super long ankle length because I felt like I would be too restricted with my movement; but I think if you live in an area such as Chicago, the ankle length might make a lot of sense.
  • Hint: if you are getting a short down coat, check out the boy's options (like this and this). L or XL usually fit perfectly (I'm a women 2/4).  
Hopefully everyone is staying warm and toasty inside and those who are out braving the cold, I hope you've got your parka on. Have a fabulous day! 



Courtney said...

Love that coat, I've been wanting one similar, but i can't justify buying one since I would never get any wear out of it here in Louisiana! (I'm seriously pretty excited when I get to pull out my heavy peacoat)


Portuguese Prepster said...

Great tips! Last year when I started visiting A in NYC so much, I invested in a long and fluffy North Face.It's puffy but still fitted so I don't feel too marshmallow like!

eHa said...

I love the fur trim on your hood! I have a winter white full length down coat, with detachable fur trim on the hood, and I wear it every day the high is below 30 or so (December through April here in Maine). It washes wonderfully but it does get pretty dirty looking by the end of the winter. My matching mittens look really bad though. When I need a new coat, I probably won't go with white since I almost got hit by a car walking to the grocery store in a blizzard because I blended in with the snow. So that's another reason not to buy a white coat. Though it looks stunning.

I don't think I had a full length coat while growing up in Chicago but my dad has a snow suit for taking my sister to see the Bears and doing heavy snow shoveling. I would not recommend one for anyone between the ages of 12 and 50.

My Life as A Plate said...

Ughh I feel your pain, these Pittsburgh temps are miserable. I, like you put on my puffiest warmest coat today, including the hood just so I could walk into work without freezing. BRR.. I am ready for spring and it is only January.

Hannah Herron said...

I still have yet to find a parka I'm happy with, maybe I'm just too picky! These tips are something I will keep in mind when I go out to look again. Your jacket is awesome (and your hair is too)!
An East Coast Classc

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Allie said...

I have a coat super similar to that one if not the same one from Land's End! I absolutely love it. Yes, sometimes I look like a burnt marshmallow, but I really don't care as long as I'm warm when it's below zero!

Chelsea Oliver said...

Great coat! Perfect for horrible Pittsburgh winters!


McKenzie Wild said...

This is great. SO necessary for cold weather!


Elle said...

I'll be moving to DC this spring and I'll be traveling a lot for my job, so I need to find a nice parka. Thanks for the Lands End suggestion! I've been using my Hunter boots with fleece liners when it gets cold. What do you wear?


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