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).
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 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.
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.