First up, coats and jackets. I was actively in the market for:
- a great pea coat or military coat and/or trench (not black),
- a coat to wear with midis in winter, and
- a utility-type casual rain resistant coat to replace my beloved J. Crew utility coat.
I might be able to eke another year or two out of that coat if I get it cleaned and then re-wax it. I'm just not sure, because the canvas is starting to wear. It has been a total workhorse for me.
I was actively not looking for leather jackets or puffers.
As for jackets, I was hoping for a fun plaid, not Black Watch (since I have one), and I'm always on the lookout for ways to add red.
ETA to add fit notes for those curious.
I really wanted to try the VB Harriet red plaid -- but it is completely gone. For comparison I tried on several sizes of another of her jackets. It wasn't exactly the same cutaway style (the Harriet looks a bit shorter) so it's difficult to say for sure, but anyway, right now in VB, I seemed to be between sizes -- the smaller size felt a bit snug and the larger size looked better but something felt a bit off with the proportions. Probably the stance was too low in that size.
I will still stalk Harriet to see if I can try it on, and would consider it. It is pricey for me even on sale, but this is the kind of thing I'd wear into the ground if the fit was good, so it's still worth considering if I get a chance.
The red double breasted coat is beautiful quality for the price and "my" true red. I tried Angie's on -- it was a size too small. Alas! There are none to be had anywhere now in any size. So I will stalk it. Christina asked about fit -- I would say it is fairly straight through the hip but not ridiculously so.
I took home the water resistant moto detail coat. It's a really good casual item. I loved the hardware on it, and it has a nice cozy faux fur lined hood that is removable. I'm not 100% sure I will keep it, though. I need to try it out with some outfits and consider the wear level of the J. Crew. Might make sense to wait another year. On the other hand, the price is right, and as Angie pointed out, the slippery fabric would repel cat hair. :). I got the S in this coat. With added weight, these days I'm sometimes XS and sometimes S and this time I needed the S.
Although I wasn't in the market for puffers, I tried on a few by Bernardo. I tell you, that Rachylou knows her business. Bernardo makes great puffies for a moderately cold or damp/chilly climate. They are not really up to the rigours of Quebec winters, but they are super for more moderate climates or for people who are mainly wearing them in and out of their car. I liked the fit of both the long and short and both colours were sophisticated and flattering. They seem TTS to me.
Surprisingly, the dark red or mulberry or whatever you call that colour looked good on Angie as well as on me. As did the green. Good hardware and waist fit on those coats. The only complaint I had was that the zippers were not two-way. That is pretty much a deal-breaker for me when it comes to puffer coats. But if it is not an issue for you, and you need a puffer, give these a chance.
For fun, I also tried on some lightweight coats and long line jackets. The zebra coat was super fun -- almost a "swacket" -- a lightweight item with some stretch, not a true lined coat but something to wear as an indoor topper or on days with a slight fall nip to the air. It looked terrific with my silver hair and I quite liked it. But I didn't think I'd wear it much, plus, as Janet pointed out, the fabric seemed likely to catch and with a cat in the household...
The Summit version was also fun -- not quite as flattering to me as the VC, I think, partly because of the collarless style and partly because the white is "brightening" for my complexion.
The double face wool Black Watch pattern coat was gone or it would have tempted me. I did try the star pattern coat and it felt like a lot of coat to me -- a bit overwhelming, but the 80s vibe was fun. It's very lightweight -- more for fall than winter (even in my current climate) and not lined. It lacked side entry pockets. For some that might be a bonus but my hands always look for those pockets. Note that many of this year's coats lack side pockets, including the red midi coat I'm stalking.
The shawl collar blazer is gorgeous for the price and really fun looking, but not my colours with the gold hardware and yellow. It will be stunning on Angie.
The Topshop red and white check was adorable on, and fun, but I wasn't completely at home in it, though the fit was very nice. I had to size up 2 to 3 sizes larger than my typical box store size and larger even than my designer size.
The Madewell oversized denim jacket was really cool, but I didn't feel ready to make the styling commitment. Angie thought it looked good with what I was wearing, but it felt proportionately "off" to me and I figured I would need more time to consider the look.
The 1 State Windowpane ruched sleeve blazer felt like a winner the second I put it on. There's a bit of stretch to the fabric and for me it seemed like a really easy item to wear. Considering the VB wasn't even available, this seemed to fit the same yen without breaking the bank, and the fit might actually be better for me.
The wrinkle? I had promised to avoid black items. And this is called "deepest black." Ha! Well, I could be in denial but I swear the black looks more like deep ink! Laid next to black jeans it looked downright blue! Anyway, I took it home. (Shhhhh). ;)
I also tried on and really liked the long line jacket (same company). I needed a larger size in this to accommodate my hips, and while I really liked it, it wasn't quite up to the standard of the jacket on me. So I passed. I might reconsider, though.
I also really liked but ultimately passed on the little Chanel style bouclé jacket. It looked really good, but I didn't feel I needed it.
Angie's aviator jacket was so much fun and a great red for me. But it felt a bit too long and narrow through the hip and there was no two-way zip. Plus, I didn't want pleather or leather, so that was out.
I also tried on a few pleather jackets for fun -- they came in nice cool blush tones and pale blues. But again, I wasn't in the market so they stayed behind.
To summarize (at last, you're thinking!) I'd say this is a really good sale for mid-range and inexpensive coats and jackets. The higher range stuff was mixed, and some of the best sold out immediately, so I couldn't examine it. The overwhelming themes were plaid, double breasted, colour, animal print, texture. The mood is fun, playful, statement-making.
Given the sell-out rate of some of these items, I actually wonder if the whole marketing plan for the sale differs from previous years -- there is so much *less* online than I seem to recall and stock in the flagship store at least seemed to sell out very quickly. But they do re-stock and some items will come back in, so it's worth continuing to look if you are curious.
Finally -- my non NAS related disappointment -- Angie kindly brought her Hobbs trench for me to try on for size. We determined that I needed a size up from her and I went back to order it immediately. But (sob!) -- no more Saskias in navy with white stitching. And none in my size on the UK site period. I will have to wait for another year. Sigh...