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  1. #1
    Forum Member nsh's Avatar
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    One Coat to Rule Them All?

    I am in the midst of tidying up/summer clean out and I have found that none of my coats/outwear bring me much joy. I live in New England and have a different coat or jacket for every weather related event. I purchased most of my items second hand (about 30$ a piece) and though they are functional, I would love to have just one coat to rule them all.

    My dream single coat: works for all 4 seasons (real snow and cold temps to fall and late spring and summer rain); transition from a professional environment (I work at a university) to causal settings (playgrounds/sledding); is not black- I actually enjoy color like red/wine or even a different neutral like grey; will last for at least 5 -10 years so not a trendy silhouette that will look weird in a year; and not more than $300.

    Any suggestions? I would really appreciate your ideas.

    PS- I am a woman so that might influence your suggestions.

  2. #2
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    In NYC a good wool coat really pulls triple duty for the three cooler seasons, though by the time winter thaws and spring rolls around I usually feel ready to wear something more... Spring-y.

    For women, the JCrew Stadium Cloth Cocoon coat seems to be an evergreen staple year after year. My SO wears it almost nonstop all through fall and winter. A good sweater will take it through the coldest days and wool has just enough weather resistance that, paired with an umbrella, can handle big downpours.

  3. #3
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    I don't think there is a one coat to rule them all, but I live in Florida, so your mileage will vary.

    For winter, when I have to travel and be in snow, I LOVE an authentic loden coat. Nothing blows through loden cloth, and the fabric is extremely hard wearing and warm. I've had one for 40 years, and they never go out of style, because they still look the same as when they were first designed. And they never pill or show wear. There are several brands. Some styles have an extra wool lining, which might help with wearing it in different seasons. I love a long coat that covers everything I'm wearing.

    For spring summer, I need a long raincoat, with attached hood, that breathes, because it's 100F here and humid. LLBean's H2Off raincoat comes in a mesh lined version for hot weather, and a Primaloft version, for winter. It also comes in long, medium and jacket lengths, so you can choose your length and color.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsh View Post
    I am in the midst of tidying up/summer clean out and I have found that none of my coats/outwear bring me much joy. I live in New England and have a different coat or jacket for every weather related event. I purchased most of my items second hand (about 30$ a piece) and though they are functional, I would love to have just one coat to rule them all.

    My dream single coat: works for all 4 seasons (real snow and cold temps to fall and late spring and summer rain); transition from a professional environment (I work at a university) to causal settings (playgrounds/sledding); is not black- I actually enjoy color like red/wine or even a different neutral like grey; will last for at least 5 -10 years so not a trendy silhouette that will look weird in a year; and not more than $300.

    Any suggestions? I would really appreciate your ideas.

    PS- I am a woman so that might influence your suggestions.
    You're probably after a 3 in 1 coat (insulated inner coat, waterproof outer coat, wear them separately or zip them together). North Face and Patagonia both make city-friendly coats that look nice and are fairly simple in style. I have the North Face Suzanne in Navy. It has so many zippered pockets! I love it, no complaints. The length is good too, it is thigh-length.

  5. #5
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    I LOVE coats. My husband complains that I have too many jackets and coats! Big Grin With that said, the closest thing I have to a one-coat-to-rule-them-all is my Patagonia Fiona down parka. It is warm in the winter (I live in the mid-Atlantic though, so it may need an extra layer underneath for New England temps), light enough as a top layer in spring/fall, water-repellent (I often use it as my raincoat in cold weather), and extremely packable, so it's easy to stuff it in my bag if I go indoors and start overheating (or to stash in my carry-on if traveling). I haven't tested it lately but I want to say it fits in a size 2 Tom Bihn stuff sack, or even a size 1 if you really scrunch it up.

    Mine has a hood but other models are hoodless. I also like that the hand pockets have zippers, in case I need to put my house key in a secure place, if I'm just running out for a minute. And the thigh-length cut is versatile, it goes with dresses and heels just as well as with jeans and boots.

    The Fiona has been offered over multiple seasons so they often have colors like wine, silver, or blue-purple on sale after the season ends. Not sure if it's been discontinued or if they are just out of most sizes. (I think I've had my parka for at least 7 years if not longer.) In any case, Patagonia will no doubt have an equivalent women's parka (a quick search shows me the "Silent Down" or the "Tres Down 3-in-1"). The key for me is high fill power down (700-800) so that it compresses well but still keeps you warm. Bonus points for ethical Patagonia down. Of course, Patagonia can be spendy but I have found that it definitely holds up - I have mutiple Pata items in my wardrobe that are at least twenty years old and still used regularly. (I've started handing a few down to my daughter!). You could keep an eye on Sierra, BackCountry, Moosejaw, Campmor and other outlet gear sites. I get most of my outerwear that way.

  6. #6
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    I want that elusive coat too! Wink The closest I've come to owning one coat is owning three. A 3-in-1 coat, a thick parka for when temps drop below zero, and a windbreaker/rain jacket for summer rain and xc skiing.

  7. #7
    Forum Member ClicketySnap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    I don't think there is a one coat to rule them all, but I live in Florida, so your mileage will vary.
    I can agree with mileage varying! I live in Alberta, Canada, and generally laugh when anyone South mentions winter. That having been said, I am an abnormally warm person (especially for being female... most girls I know are bundled up year-round), and find that a quality raincoat will do me just fine all year. I'll wear it over my shirt Spring-Fall, and as the temperature drops and the snow increases I might start layering some long-sleeved shirts or start with a thermal layer. I do have a vintage long wool dress coat if I feel like being fancy (or when it drops below -30C and I admit that it is cold outside).

  8. #8
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    I would echo the North Face or Patagonia suggestions and also mention checking Columbia's offerings. Those companies likely make something in kind of a matte microfiber exterior, which looks a little more professional for academic settings.

  9. #9
    Forum Member awurrlu's Avatar
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    Hello fellow New Englander! I'm in southern New England, so my needs might be different than yours, but I've basically combined the LL Bean Primaloft Packaway Coat with their Trail Model Rain Coat. It's two items that can layer or be worn separately, and they're immensely packable.

    My commute involves a 3 mile walk in all weather, and I do wear merino layers underneath as needed, because the coat isn't industrial strength, and my office has unpredictable temperatures.

    If you're in NH/ME/VT, this might not be enough for you, though.

  10. #10
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    I have tried to find a trench coat, with removable lining, below the knee length and plus size.

    So far, no luck.

  11. #11
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by backpack View Post
    I have tried to find a trench coat, with removable lining, below the knee length and plus size.

    So far, no luck.
    I used to have a trench coat with removable lining that was at the low end of plus size. I found it at Macy's. I think it may have been knee-length or slightly above, though. (I ended up taking out the lining and just wearing it without, because the lining didn't have any stretch and it was a non-slippery material that would catch on my clothing; those two factors together made the lining tear.)

    Good luck in your quest!
    I have a bunch of great bags. Favorite color combos include Aubergine/Island, Navy/Solar, Forest/UV, Original Halcyon/Wasabi, Cloud/Viridian... and now also Seapine/UV!

    I've fulfilled my dream of palindromic-colored nested bags! Navy/Ultraviolet Pilot with Aubergine/Island Side Effect inside: blue purple purple blue. Forest/UV A45 with Aubergine/Wasabi Co-Pilot inside: green purple purple green.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by awurrlu View Post
    the LL Bean Primaloft Packaway Coat
    That's my core coat too! It's a great jacket and I know three other people who wear it. You're right that in northern NE it isn't always enough. I switch to LL Bean's ultrawarm down jacket when it gets cold enough.

  13. #13
    Forum Member nsh's Avatar
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    I decided to follow a frugal “don’t let perfect be the enemy of good” and stick with a moderate choice for my coat situation. I tried on some Eddie Bauer (Girl on the Go Insulated Trench) and Patagonia jackets as well as other options at REI and my local outdoor store. I even went to fancy places in the mall and tried on their wool trench coats and a variety of jackets. I never found anything “perfect” and decided to stick with what I got. Mind you, some of the jackets I own are pricey labels but my local thrift shop is near a very very wealthy community and it is common to find great items at a reasonable price ($10/coat). If you live in the burbs of Boston please visit Savers (Framingham and Marlboro locations) or Sister Thrift (Framingham one) So pictured is what I have kept:
    Going clockwise: A Boden grey wool coat with silk lining for most winter days ($9) paired with a cap, inherited Pendleton wool scarf, and a totes umbrella in my PU and I am all set most days. It falls to top of my thigh and looks good with jeans and most dresses or skirts. Alternatively, in the early fall or late spring I wear my khaki REI brand field jacket with lovely pockets ($35..whoa). On snow days, shoveling snow, or just causal in town I wear my navy Uniqlo puffer coat that was found in a used bin for just $9; my consignment find Patagonia vest for $12 (big spender!!) is an extra layer to wear under any of the above coats on those super cold days. Finally, I have a picture of an inherited hand stitched piece (using traditional embroidery called Tatreez among Palestinians. It is personally meaningful and I often wear it on big occasions like professional talks). I wear it with a turtleneck and jeans or over a simple dress when I want to make a plain outfit feel special. So, not one coat to rule them all...but good enough and all for about $80. Thank you for all your tips and suggestions. I will keep on the lookout and if I ever find a dream coat then I will let you know!


    One Coat to Rule Them All?-d15f08a9-eb4e-4951-8b1b-a93930f97d02-jpeg
    One Coat to Rule Them All?-ebb0251d-5635-43d6-a2d5-b9677cd33e30-jpg
    One Coat to Rule Them All?-03fdf3ff-0aa8-49cb-af53-75797da72103-jpg
    Last edited by nsh; 07-11-2019 at 10:45 AM.

  14. #14
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    I have the hooded coat version of your Patagonia vest and it has become my one coat. I overheat easily and even living in NW Washington state, it's perfect for me 3 seasons of the year - I just change what I put on underneath. :-)
    A30 - Original Halcyon/UV MB - Aubergine/NWS LCB - Original Halcyon/Wasabi! MCB - Steel dyneema/Wasabi! STT - Wasabi! SE - NORDIC/Solar TT - Sitka

    TB Newbie Rainbow First factory visit - 9/21/2018

    Heartís desire: a S19 or S25 in original NORDIC.

  15. #15
    Forum Member DWSeattle's Avatar
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    Thou shalt layer! One monolithic coat will be like a broken clock: only right twice in 24 hours Smilie

    A well coordinated layering system will allow you to adapt as the conditions change. I use a fleece or sweater, a windproof jacket and a raincoat. If traveling in colder weather, then a puffy vest or jacket can be added, as well as gloves and a beanie cap and a buff.

    I vary my base layer according to the expected weather and the occasion. Usually I wear wicking polyester tee shirts or a polo for a little more dress up and a button down shirt once in a while. the rest of the layers can be worn all together or in many combinations.


    Favorites?

    Base layer tees: Patagonia Capilene in black. Any brand that has Polygiene odor control is good. Many like Merino wool, but I don't.

    Fleece: Patagonia R1 full zip jacket, Eddie Bauer Cloud Layer Pro

    Wind shell: Patagonia Houdini, Cotopaxi Paray, or one of the light stretchy soft shell jackets like the Outdoor Research Ferrosi or Eddie Bauer Scirroco. The latter has become my everyday favorite.

    Rain shell: Montbell Thunder Pass. Whatever you choose, it must have ventilation features like pit zips.


    I've been experimenting with an Eddie Bauer travel blazer, which is really just a soft shell in a blazer cut. It will layer well with a Merino wool long sleeve polo or a black tee for a dresser look but still high performance and wrinkle resistant.

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