I usually pick out at least one J. Crew coat to try on every year. This year I was immediately drawn to the Chateau Wool Parka. Its something different. Its not constrictive and figure hugging, but its still elegant in a more casual way… especially in this lighter “dusty ginger” color!
Sizing/ Fit: Nearly all of the reviews say to size down in this one, and I think I agree. My typically J. Crew shirt size is a 0, so I grabbed this coat in a 00 (regular, not petite). The coat fits exactly as I had hoped. Its not tight in any area, including the arms, so I have plenty of room for layering underneath. I prefer the regular version over the petite one. The regular gives me a bit more length in the body, which I appreciate. And the arms actually aren’t too long. But I typically prefer regular size shirts and blazers over the petite versions (I have broader shoulders and longer arms). If you typically wear petite sizes in those other styles, it may be worth giving the petite version a go.
Warmth: J. Crew calls this fabric “stadium-cloth wool.” Its their warmest wool type. This coat would be more than sufficient for most climates. I can wear it comfortably down to the 20’s, which is about my limit for any wool coat. The hood is nice and big and fits perfectly over any hat for a little extra coziness. And the front pockets are great for when you forget gloves.
Style/ Function: If you are going to buy this coat, make sure you realize that its A-line, as it says in the description. Its not going to flatter the figure in a curvy sort of way! If that doesn’t bother you, then I can only say good things about the rest of the details of this coat. It has an inner double zipper and outer snaps, making sure no cold air gets in. It has four nice and big front pockets either for storage or hand warmth! And it has one smaller hidden interior pocket 🙂 The fur hood, like I said before, is nice and large. If fur isn’t your thing, don’t worry, its removable!
Quality: J. Crew quality is so hit or miss now-a-days. Thankfully, this coat is a hit. The fabric is great. It most closely resembles by Burberry Brit wool coat in weight and texture. The hardware is very sturdy, especially the large zipper. There aren’t any hanging threads or stitches coming out. Nothing to complain about, really.
Overall: I was surprised to love this coat as much as I do. When I wear it I feel wintery elegant… and warm! Its just plain expensive at $365. I got it on sale for about $270, which is still expensive, but at least that’s kind of reasonable. Of course, I’ll keep my eyes out for a better sale, but I doubt it’ll happen with this one.