Sep 25 2007

Searching for a new (or used) coat


I might be in the market for a winter coat. This will be our first winter in Pittsburgh, and I need to do some research to find out what that means weather-wise. This will also be the first winter where I don’t foresee needing to trudge more than a quarter-mile in cold or snow (from my car to a door, likely).

The old:

In the last, oh, 17 winters of my life, I was a student. And in the last four winters, I was a college student at a large university. That meant I often walked more than a mile in blustery weather, or stood for who knows how long waiting for a bus to come along.

My body temperature is generally on the cooler side, and I don’t do well in very cold weather.

I have three coats right now: A light jacket suitable for temperatures of, say 50-65 degrees comfortably. But, I could pair that with my superwarm vest and probably wear it on a 40-degree day if I wanted.

My second coat is several years old and well-worn. It’s wool and has a hood. Good for temperatures in the 30s-40s. Because it doesn’t look so great anymore, this would be the coat I’d replace for another nice wool coat.

Big Blue. That’s what I call coat No. 3. It’s a huge, puffy, bright-blue eyesore, but wow, is it warm! It’s lined in a thick fleece and stuffed with lots of keep-you-toasty things. I wear it when it gets bitter cold. I remember walking around on a 5-degree day, and feeling OK.

The new:

The best time to buy a coat is at the end of the season, naturally. I would have done that last year, but my budget was too tight for that. So now, I’m starting my quest for a new wool coat.

Said coat must:

  • Fit well and look nice on me
  • Have pockets
  • Cover my rear end (Keeps you much warmer that way!)
  • Keep me warm in 25 degree weather
  • NOT be dry-clean only. I want a fabric that can get wet, so if I get rained or snowed on, my coat won’t be ruined
  • Cost less than $40

Now. About that last item. I realize $40 is a lot. If I have to buy it this season, before it gets really cold, then I think that’s a reasonable price. If I can make it until early spring without it, then I’m going to look for something much cheaper.

The stores:

So far, I’ve visited several stores in the area to try things on and get a sense for what’s out there. I went to: Stein Mart, Value City, Marshall’s, Kohl’s, and Burlington Coat Factory.

-Stein Mart had a tiny, expensive selection right now.

-Value City was decent. I found a $40 coat similar to what I’m looking for, but it didn’t fit quite right. It was the first time I was in that store, and I think I’ll visit again to find deals on things.

-Marshall’s was a new store for me, too. They had a decent selection of wool coats, but they were a bit pricier (around $70+).

-Kohl’s. I hadn’t visited the Pittsburgh Kohl’s yet, and wanted to check it out. Way too expensive, but worth a shot for mark-downs if I can’t find anything now.

-Burlington Coat Factory was yet another store I hadn’t yet visited (are you seeing a trend? Actually, where I’m from, the shopping was pretty bad). B.C.F. is massive, and it took me a long walk to get to their coats. As you might expect from their name, they have a huge selection. I tried on one I liked, and it fit well, but it was $60. So, I’ll keep them in mind for when they have sales.

Luckily for me, it’s still very warm out. And, like I mentioned before, I might not buy a coat for awhile anyway.

Next up in my search: Thrift stores!

The picture is of the style I’m looking for. It’s from Burlington Coat Factory. Made by Anne Klein, $89.99. And, dry-clean only, boo. But, you get the idea.


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One Response to “Searching for a new (or used) coat”

  1. I have a very similar coat to the one pictured; I ordered it online (we were stationed in Japan) from Old Navy, and it cost me about $30.

    As far as things that say dry-clean only, unless it’s something that is obviously extremely delicate, I cold wash in a mesh/lingerie bag on a delicate/handwash cycle. Then, I airdry (flat, or on a drying rack, or on a hanger over a door, etc). I haven’t had anything shrink or get damaged so far, and I’ve been doing it for years. :)

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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