From puff to posh: Peacoats replace down coats this season
I am a lifelong Upstate New Yorker.
The title itself provokes mixed feelings of pride and boredom, but I mostly associate my geographical setting with memories of freezing during the cold winter months. And despite my snow-infused upbringing, I’ve never latched onto winter fashion styles too much.
Part of that is probably because I loathe the winter months – just never caught on to them. I’ve never been skiing, never been snowboarding, and have only been sledding a handful of times, which usually ended in bruises and stitches. I am no outdoor girl when the outdoors involve trekking through mountains of white powder – power to the people who thrive in such environments.
When it comes to bundling up for heading outside in the wintertime, I’ve never been a fan of the puffy snow-bunny jacket style. By default, my best friend from November to March is the long wool peacoat.
I mean no demeaning words against those who stay bundled throughout the winter months in plush down coats provided by The North Face or Columbia – surely they stay warm. But the bulkiness of a coat like that can be avoided with a classic peacoat that offers plenty of warmth from the neck down.
My favorite thing about the peacoat is that it’s unbelievably durable without sacrificing style. Heavy-lined wool coats won’t lose their shape if they’re hung after every use, and they dry off from rain and wind relatively quickly, especially if you use those fancy protective sprays and gels.
Another benefit: the peacoat is a versatile fall/winter style. You can break it out as soon as you start shivering without feeling too warm or too bulky.
Peacoats come in a variety of lengths. One that hits at the hips can be adorable when paired with a skirt and long scarf. But the advantage to a mid-thigh, knee-length or longer coat is, of course, the added warmth and resistance against winter wind.
One of the trends I’ve noticed on the shopping racks this season is asymmetrical buttons and zippers. Cutting diagonally across the front of the coat, or vertically down one side, a look like this is a twist on an old classic.
Often with peacoats, outfitters offer a bold palette of colors and style options. Feeling bold? Bright blue, yellow or fuchsia double-breasted peacoats fall under the umbrella of ‘professional attire’ without sacrificing personal style.
If you’re looking for an uber-feminine style, a coat that’s belted can accentuate a small waist line. A pleated skirt or drop waist coat adds a flirty touch to a traditionally stern-looking design.
If you’re looking for a trim, tailored piece, Victoria’s Secret’s catalogue and Web site have plenty of beautiful winter coats that are high-quality, chic and relatively affordable. Coats are advertised as $109 and up on their Web site – not a bad price tag for something you’ll use every day for a few months straight. You’ll see plenty of variations on the peacoat theme – in length, color and added details like belts or buttons.
Another great supplier of coats is Overstock.com. This site has been a favorite of mine for clothes shopping on the Internet, if only because of their incredibly personalized search systems. You can narrow down your options through price, style and brand, and still usually have a good amount of choices to look through. Since it’s warehouse-style pricing, you’ll often get discounts, too.
Department stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom are often great places to look for the perfect stylish winter coat. Carrying many name brands in different price ranges and styles, it’s not too hard to find something that fits just right. But, as is the downfall with Victoria’s Secret, you run the risk of getting the same piece as someone else (or someone who is 65 years old).
So, next time you’re shivering across campus wishing for there were something over your jeans to keep your legs warm, put the long wool coat on the shopping list. You won’t be preparing to hit the ski slopes, but come January, you’ll be fending off the snow flurries in style.
Melissa Daniels is a junior newspaper journalism major. Her great escape from Upstate New York will be arriving in January 2009, hopefully before there’s three feet of slush on the roads.
Man of faith: Thomas Wolfe uses role as dean of Hendricks, student affairs to connect with SU students, faculty, staff
Thomas Wolfe has many talents. He can ride a unicycle, craft a perfect tuna noodle casserole and bring a community together in the face of… Read more »
UPDATED: May 22, 2013 at 3:05 p.m. Once again, Syracuse men’s head basketball coach Jim Boeheim made the most of any Syracuse University employee in… Read more »
IRS form shows SU's legal fees almost doubled from 2010-11; increase coincides with year of Bernie Fine allegations
UPDATED: May 22, 2013 at 3:07 p.m. The year sexual abuse allegations against Bernie Fine publicly broke, Syracuse University’s legal fees increased by about 92 percent. The… Read more »