Double breasted and cutaway

Sorry to be a forum hog today. 

While I was impulse shopping for silver boots,  I decided to go whole hog and try on some coats while I was at it. As I mentioned in the blog yesterday, I adore and have always adored double breasted coats and jackets and military styling in general. 

I have also been searching for "my" long (midi length) coat for ages. It's been a lot more difficult to find than I expected. 

Somehow, without fully intending to, today I found myself trying on the pricey-for-me Mackage Elodie. 


No, Fab Friends, I did not purchase it. It's very maxi length on me and doesn't look at all the way it does in the stock photos.

I don't know if it overwhelms me in scale. It was hard for me to judge because I was so in love with it. ;)

Quality, and fit (apart from length) surprisingly great, and I don't even mind the length, TBH. It's very tailored, nipped at the waist, and cutaway with a back vent, so when you sit, it's not all uncomfortable, unlike many long coats. It is navy, by the way, not black. 

I am wearing it here over jeans, the forum fave sweater (BR ribbed merino) and a not-too-thick blazer. 

I couldn't get perfect photos and I didn't try it with the doubled over collar (as pictured in the stock photo) but did try the collar in a Revere style and also pushed up at the neck (a common thing I do). 

I don't know if this coat will go on sale at all. Hard to say. Temperature wise, it wouldn't really work in Montreal -- too open in the front. But for Vancouver/ Victoria/ Seattle and even Toronto/ New York -- it's good with the right outfit. 


I can probably justify it financially if I take on another contract. AND if it is the kind of thing I'll keep in the closet for years. 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • rachylou replied 10 months ago

    From where I sit it’s fantastic :)

  • karen13 replied 10 months ago

    It is a lovely piece and you look amazing in it. It just comes down to happy it makes you and whether it is worth it to you.

  • slim cat replied 10 months ago

    It clearly made you happy and it looks great on you. I can see more of your fab haircut - love! 

  • Gigi replied 10 months ago

    It's a beautiful piece, and I don't think the price is too outlandish for something well made that will serve you well for years.

    However, I do feel that it is a little overwhelming on you, because of the combination of the double breasted style (which I often find widening) and the length. I think that if this were single breasted, or if it were shorter and the buttons were placed up a bit higher, it would be amazing. I feel like this looks like it was made for a taller person. (But bear in mind that this is something I am extremely sensitive to when assessing clothing, since I normally swim in things made for average-height people.)

  • Suz replied 10 months ago

    Gigi, that's the kind of observation I'm glad to hear. Very important. 

    I wondered the same. 

    I might go back and try it with a heeled bootie and with doubled over collar (which will neaten the appearance). Just to see. No need to purchase yet. If there is any chance of a post-holiday sale, I can certainly wait for that! 

    And it may be that it is just not "the one." 

  • Jenni NZ replied 10 months ago

    And do you really keep these things “for years”? I can see from your smile that you love it- but how many other coats do you have/need?

  • notsaf replied 10 months ago

    I agree with Gigi that it's worth another look, especially with all the closures secured. Personally, I find the popped collar *way* too overwhelming on you: takes it from preppy to witchy. That would be a deal breaker for me, since I cannot *not* pop a collar, esp on a winter coat! Haha. I had the same problem with a similar Burberry coat that I did have for years, but decided to replace. Just something to think about! Mackage make *great* coats.

  • Sisi replied 10 months ago

    Well, Suz, for what it's worth, I find it fabulous on you and I do not think it overwhelmes you. But if you are not convinced 100% you are wise to wait for a while before taking a decision. 

  • suntiger replied 10 months ago

    I almost love it on you, but think I'd like the one notsaf put more. I'm with Gigi re: the scale, but I think it's a matter of the distance between buttons and the dark color. The popped collar also seems a lot.
    When I did my own coat hunt, I tried the MK coat in both the olive and the black. It's a big long coat, with a big furry hood, but the olive seemed less overwhelming.

  • The Cat replied 10 months ago

    Gorgeous coat--and a bit overwhelming on you. To my eye, it would look better if it was shortened a couple of inches.

  • torontogirl replied 10 months ago

    Suz, it looks gorgeous on you because can anything not look gorgeous on you? I think I might have a similar concern about the collar being a bit overwhelming ... Only because I recently bought something with a bigger collar that I thought I could make work, but a big collar is very bossy! So I might be a little cautious of that.

    That said, it's a great coat!

  • Cardiff girl replied 10 months ago

    You look fab in it but you wear things well.I have found that I just don’t wear my long coats anymore as I travel mainly by car and find long coats irritating and bulky in the car.When l am outside walking I tend to need much more technical gear rather than a smart overcoat so I would say it very much depends on your lifestyle,would you have the opportunities to wear such a coat on a regular basis or not.

  • nemosmom replied 10 months ago

    It is a gorgeous coat and the cut looks great on you - no wonder you were drawn to it!!

    My only hesitation would be the length.  It looks nearly ankle length on you, and although I know you are shopping for a long coat, I wonder if this is TOO long. It feels like 4" shorter would put right it in the sweet spot.

    Can I just say how impressed I am that you were able to walk away from such a fab piece? When I get heart eyes for something that I am unsure about, it often follows me home and then lingers in my closet... *sigh* You are an inspiration!

  • Laura replied 10 months ago

    Honestly, I like the length and find it elegant, even though I know that it probably is meant to be shorter. I swear, with midi dresses, I appreciate a longer coat these days.

    Knowing how thin the BR forum favorite sweater is, I wonder, can you easily wear a thicker sweater underneath it? 

  • Janet replied 10 months ago

    I think it's a gorgeous coat and quite dramatic on you. From what I can see, the fit looks nice across your back. But I agree with notsaf that the popped collar is a bit too extra on you, and the overall length seems a bit too long and overwhelming. I imagine it could be altered but that would be an additional expense. 

    My two cents? Unless you've already been looking and come up empty-handed, I think there may be another similar coat out there that is a little less overwhelming on you -- double-breasted is big right now. I don't think the price is unreasonable for such a classic, well-made coat, but it's a significant investment. I suspect that you are like me in that you keep coats a LONG time -- I keep classic wool coats at least a decade, and this one is quite timeless. I'd keep this one in mind as your benchmark and see what else turns up, while checking back to see if it goes on sale! I know that navy is not as easily found as black. 

  • Inge replied 10 months ago

    What a stunning coat, Suz! I also like the length (most of us are not used to seeing ourselves in maxi lengths like this, but to my eye it works). One thing to ask yourself is: would you always want to wear it with a heel, and if so, would that limit the versatility of the coat.

    When the collar is up, I think I'd like to see it a tiny but "lower" but it's not a dealbreaker per se. It's hard to see in the photos, but I'm wondering a bit about the fit in the top half of the back and arms. Is it bunching up a little bit in those areas or is that just the photos?

  • lynn replied 10 months ago

    I think it’s fabulous on you!  You could hem it or not-whatever suits you better in terms of function.  It looks great!

  • Roxanna replied 10 months ago

    TBH, I find the long length, dark color and wide collar overwhelming on you. It ‘swallows you up’ with a strict classic integrity, so when you see ‘Suz’ elements like yellow high tops, they look incongruous and out of place. I think a MIDI coat would be more balanced - on your frame, and also allow you to balance the strict classic ness of this piece with the more playful elements of your style.

    Sorry to be a nay sayers and feel free to disregard if you love it (god knows I’ve done that plenty of times before!)

  • Style Fan replied 10 months ago

    It is a gorgeous coat, Suz.  Are you looking for a long coat?  I would look around some more to see what is available.  It does seem a bit overwhelming to my eye.  
    I am wearing my long coat a lot.  I don't find it difficult to walk in at all and I see lots of women in Montreal wearing long coats.  But you know.  Montreal.  Brrrrrrr.

  • Greyscale replied 10 months ago

    I love it (I love dramatic clothing). I wouldn’t have called it overwhelming but I do see what others are commenting on. And though I think it’s great on you, I have no idea if it fills enough of a niche to be worth the cost to you.

  • Suz replied 10 months ago

    Thank you all for your opinions -- super helpful! Answers to a few questions and/or clarifications: 

    1. Yes, I am looking for a long coat -- midi or maxi. Have been looking for 3 years. Almost bought the red coat in Finds from NAS but it was not available in my size during the sale so I missed out. I've looked at/ tried on quite a few options but have not found what I want. 

    2. Long coats are not practical if you drive. But they are useful if you walk, as I do. However, some long coats don't even work if you are walking because there is not enough freedom of movement. The cutaway style of this particular coat obviates that problem. Smart design. :) 

    3. I do keep coats for years. I have coats in my closet that are a decade old and I'm still wearing them.  And in my climate, I need a lot of coats. This is Canada, people! Yes, I now live on the wet coast, but still, I can't go out for seven or eight months a year without outerwear. :) 

    That said, for this kind of money I might be better off investing in a very high quality midi trench coat that would potentially be more cross-seasonal for me. I might be able to find a cheaper wool coat to fill this purpose. I can certainly head out to my consignment shops again to see what's around. (I've been looking, as I said, for several years...)

    4. Style: While I am open to a variety of styles and colours, the smartest (as in more durable) purchase for me would be something like this with classic military styling and in navy. This is a look and colour I simply could not tire of. I do not want a knee length coat. I have several of those in different styles/ cuts. I need a coat for midis. 

    5. Fit -- I'd need to try on again to feel completely confident. I was wearing a blazer and sweater, not just a sweater. If there is bunching, I think it is because of that "holding the phone" pose that moves things around/ makes them stick  -- but at that price I would want to be 200% sure. This is a "small" which equates to a UK 8 in this coat (they say) -- my usual size. I could not go down a size -- it would not fit in the shoulder. I could not go up a size -- it would be too big. 

    I'm not wearing heels in the photo -- just my Cons which are flatforms. I don't think I'd feel an absolute need to wear a heel. Anyway, my typical heel is 2 inches -- all my Blondos have a 2 inch block heel which is super walkable for me. 

    On the collar, I have to admit I have a sugar eye for a very dramatic collar and have in the past purchased coats with dramatic collars that several forum members felt overwhelmed me. :) In fact, almost all my winter coats have a dramatic to very dramatic collar, now that I think of it!! Partly it's's cold here and I have short hair, people! I

  • Suz replied 10 months ago

    Below, my winter coats. 

    The red is a just-above the knee dressy coat. You may not be able to tell from the photo but that collar is dramatic -- it folds over and also pops up... (This coat is a decade old.) 

    The "snow queen" coat has a very high and beaded collar!!  (This coat is a consignment find -- age indeterminate). 

    The lavender coat has a very high funnel collar. (It's on its fifth year I think...)

    The grey mixed media Danier coat has a super dramatic collar that I typically wear turned up. (When I showed it, the forum was split between those who adored it on me and those who felt it overwhelmed me. I absolutely love it.)  (This coat is on its 6th season). 

    The other coats are more traditional in style -- I always pop the collar of the short pea coat to make it more dramatic. The parkas are, well, parkas. They have hoods. :) 

    (Pea coat consignment find, grey parka a decade of my first YLF parka on year 3.) 

  • Jonesy replied 10 months ago

    I love it! I too have a sugar eye for a dramatic collar, and it suits you and your haircut perfectly. It looks somewhat classic yet beyond run of the mill, which seems like an asset for an investment piece like this.

    In general, I find the terms "overwhelming," "drowning," "swallowed by," etc. odd with respect to garments :). So much comes down to taste, which is subjective.

    Just my two cents!

  • Suz replied 10 months ago

    Jonesy!! Thank you! SO great to see you here. Do you know, I still think back to your amazing style! Wish we could see some more of it again. Your opinion is worth a ton to me -- I remember you tutoring me so kindly in my first days of the forum. :) 

  • nemosmom replied 10 months ago

    Oh wow, seeing your current coat collection, I can clearly see how a long coat like the Mackage would fill a hole!

  • Christina F. replied 10 months ago

    I don’t think it overwhelms you but apparently that is very subjective. I think you will know if you want it if you start daydreaming about it. I know you would have over the Blondos if you hadn’t gotten them.

  • JAileen replied 10 months ago

    Hmmm.  It would be pricey for me, too.  For a stretch like that (for me), it would have to be perfect.  And perfect for me excludes polyester.  YMMV, of course. As for overwhelming, etc., I couldn’t say.  I agree that that is a subjective term.  

  • Sal replied 10 months ago

    I think it is stunning on you. My only question is the length - I think I would prefer it a bit shorter - midi rather than maxi.

    I think in your heart you will know in a week or two - and it may go on sale...

  • Gaylene replied 10 months ago

    It’s a lovely piece and I’d be seriously considering it as well if it was me in that mirror. 

    Two questions I’d be asking myself: 
    (1) It’s definitely a statement piece so is my heart telling  me that the image I see in the mirror is exactly how I want to look going forward into 2020 and beyond? Or, in other words, is my heart singing and my face smiling as I strut around posing?

     (2) Will this be the coat I’ll reach for when I’m walking out the door on a regular basis?  Because a $$$ coat can be a bargain if it’s the right one for you.

    Right now I’m looking at my Austrian trench coat which cost me over a thousand dollars in 1995. Fortunately Mr. G didn’t let me walk away because that trench has been the backbone of my outerwear for a quarter of a century and is still garnering compliments as it keeps chugging along in a myriad of situations and climates. I figure the CPW must be less than nickel by now.  Not every coat needs to work that long and hard, but, for most of us, a $$$ coat does need to be a coat that is regularly worn. 

  • Janet replied 10 months ago

    Hijack -- JONESY! Hi hi hi! Nice to see you post! Hope you are well. I've missed your posts and amazing style. 

  • lyn67 replied 10 months ago

    Thus I find it just a little too long for flats. quality cut fit and style all beautifull on you, Suz, I would keep it especially if  didn't find one in 3 yrs. Can it be shortened a few inches? I too love a dramatic collar, so that part is really the best to my eyes. And, not to speak about the color. Navy is hard to get and is your best color! It may worth the money!:-)

  • DonnaF replied 10 months ago

    Gorgeous coat, and I know the Forum can be enabling. IMHO, the coat is not a *10* on you which you can ascertain by the comments. I would say it is an 8 or 9. To my eye, the back belt is way too low -- but of course YOU wouldn't generally see it. The buttons also sit a bit low, so the general impression augmented by the statement collar and the length is that it is a little overwhelming. A little, not a lot. Sit with it; think about it. After all, you would be the one wearing and paying for it.

    Do you ever have to descend steep stairs? My longer hems remind me of the meaning of *sweeping* skirts. Ugh!

  • Gaylene replied 10 months ago

    OK, now that I’ve read your clarifications and responses, I’ll channel my inner Mr. G and just give you a thumbs up as I walk by. 

    While it’s not a coat some would consider for themselves, that really isn’t the point. If it’s a Suz coat (and you can afford it without resorting to a food bank) then go for it. And, like Angie, if something is right for me, I don’t wait for possible sales; if you will only consider it once the price drops, I’d be more likely to think it’s maybe not the coat you really want.

    I’m all for dramatic coats which make heads turn and put a strut in my walk—and this is that kind of coat. Jonesy is dead right, as usual, that this kind of look is subjective—and I’m for smoking, not safe, these days. 

  • Suz replied 10 months ago

    Donna, you have an excellent eye. I will definitely try on again and see if you're right about button placement/ back detail. It was a bit hard for me to tell that myself because of the angles and also trying to take photos. We might get truer impressions if I had someone else take the shots. 

    I often have to compromise a bit on that -- it's because I'm on the border of petite. I guess I could look for a petite coat -- but chances are it wouldn't fit right either. 

    Gaylene, thanks for the thumbs up. I've found it for cheaper on the Mackage site -- still pricey but more affordable. So I will continue to think on it. :) 

  • JAileen replied 10 months ago

    Have you seen this dark blue coat?  It’s a lot more, but 100 percent wool.  It is knee length on the model, but she’s probably six feet tall.  Its color is midnight.  It is four inches shorter than the Mackage.  This collar looks pretty dramatic to me.

    ETA: the red Avec Les Filles red coat is available in XS and S, and it’s on sale.

  • Suz replied 10 months ago

    JAileen-- that Fleurette looks beautiful -- more classic but it might work. I am hesitant because I can't try it on in person. Vancouver store doesn't have Fleurette coats on the floor. If it is as wide at the bottom as it looks in the photo I'm not sure I'd like it as well. But I know they are super high quality coats. 

    The Avec les Filles is a lovely coat and I'm still tempted by it. It wouldn't get as much wear in my closet as the blue, I don't think. But I know I'd enjoy it. Last I looked it wasn't there in xs (size I need) but you're right -- it is available now. Although it's on sale the price in Canada is a lot more than that due to duty and taxes. It would end up being around $500 for me. The Mackage is $850 here.

    The Mackage fabric is gorgeous. Don't be fooled by that fraction of polyester -- it's there to prevent the cashmere from wearing too fast. This is the composition: Shell (Woven): 70% Wool , 20% Polyamide , 10% Cashmere

    I don't have a problem with a really high quality blend. This one has softness and strength as well as wool's breathability/ durability. 

  • JAileen replied 10 months ago

    I looked on Mackage website and the blend is described as including polyamide, not polyester as Nordstrom’s website says. Angie thinks I’m unfairly prejudiced against polyester.  My experience is that polyester isn’t quality.  Maybe it’s better now, though.  Polyamide is nylon, I think.  I’m okay with nylon.  It is strong!

  • Inge replied 10 months ago

    ETA: I want to state this on the record: I am a huge fan of statement collars in general, and always absolutely love them on you, Suz. They were made for you and your gorgeous short 'do. So if this one makes you happy (I'm feeling happy just looking at all your other coats with their stunning collars - *waving at my lilac coat twin* ;-), then I say go for it!!

  • Marilyn replied 10 months ago

    Gorgeous coat, Suz!  And, you obviously love it.  The only thing that gives me pause is the length.....I find it a bit overwhelming.  But, looking at the stock photo, it has a very long vent at the back and I'm fairly certain it could be shortened a bit while still maintaining a maxi length for you.

    I'm certain when Angie gets back she'll get you sorted with her thoughts.

  • Gretchen replied 10 months ago

    I will not buy another coat
    I do not need another coat
    I can appreciate this coat on others

    But it’s blue! And wool! And long! And... and...

    Just added to my santa list for post Christmas sales.

    Pssst Suz, buy the coat! YLF!

  • Jenn replied 10 months ago

    I want to add another voice that doesn't think it's "too much."  I love the dramatic collar and also think it looks great with the big scarf wrapped around. It is pricey, though, so it has to be perfect. Do you think it's perfect?

  • BrieN replied 10 months ago

    Your post put me right back in the Mackage showroom that I visited last winter. Gosh they make gorgeous outerwear. I tried on so many of their styles hoping one would work for me.

    The coat is so stylish. And I love you in a broad collar like that (why don't more coats come with that kind of collar by the way?) and Navy! 

    But I agree with DonnaF about the torso length. The belt looks low (see photo 9) and the buttons too. That said I'm on the petite side of things so I get it, but for me, at that price point, the coat would have to be perfect, or in such a way that the tailor could make it perfect. 

  • Bijou replied 10 months ago

    I love it on you. Classic, dramatic, tailored and interesting in the most perfect colour.

    I once had a long red double breasted wool coat that was a perfect fit, I wore it so much that eventually it got shabby and worn out after many years of wear. I have not found anything close to as good as that coat - I now have a number of woollen 3/4 coats in my wardrobe, but nothing compares to "Big Red". Yes, I even had a pet name for my coat. If this is "The One" you will know it and given where you live, it will be a great purchase.

    For an item such as this cost should not come into it too much because it really is a $ per wear issue. If you are happy to have one gorgeous coat rather than 3 less beautiful coats that would provide more variety - then I say go for one expensive coat. When I had Big Red in my wardrobe, I never looked to buy other coats because nothing compared.

  • kellygirl replied 10 months ago

    Yes, I love it. I think it looks fab on you and am wondering why this length looks good on you but oddly long on me. Any who, if you love it and will wear it, I'd get it. 
    And Jones--helloooooo! SO great to see you here. I've missed you!!!

  • Suz replied 10 months ago

    See, Kelly -- I actually LOVED that coat on you!! 

    But it may have felt off because it was plaid so a lot of pattern? 

  • kellygirl replied 10 months ago

    Exactly, Suz. I think it just had a lot going on! I really love the plaid with that fun color though. Too bad. Alas, kind of glad I don't live in a climate where I need a long coat like that. I hardly walk anywhere where I live...seems like too much fabric for car commuter like me.

  • Tina replied 10 months ago

    I absolutely love it on you! Your beautiful face and hair are suited to this kind of drama, IMO. It looks to me like the back belt just conforms to your body shape.
    We live in a very expensive economy, you have to judge if the expense is worth it. There is much to be appreciated in a well constructed, quality fabric garment.
    You will easily get 10 years of wear out of it. I have a much cheaper long black coat that I’ve had for that long. I keep it for ‘Sunday’ wear so it’s not an every day coat. I still love it and think it is beautiful! I do find it a bit heavy on my body though. How does this one feel on you?

  • Suz replied 10 months ago

    Tina, that's an excellent question. I once had an all wool maxi coat (with lining) and when I eventually let it go there were 3 reasons: 

    1. It was super heavy. 
    2. It constantly got filthy from cars splashing slush all over it or from subway steps (the hems). 
    3. It had a tied waist, which drove me nuts in a wool coat where the tie wouldn't stay done up. (The style was a trench, but a classic one with the belt.) 

    I would need to re-evaluate this one on that basis. It's heavy, for sure, but felt a lot lighter than my old coat because it doesn't have a thinsulate lining (just a regular lining). That of course would mean it is less warm, but I don't need a super warm coat in my current climate. 

  • Tina replied 10 months ago

    And you have time! The sales people for these types of garments must understand the need for their customers to carefully consider their purchase. You have done so incredibly well with building your wardrobe (I remember when you joined:-)), you will know what to do if you give yourself time.

  • notsaf replied 10 months ago

    Suz, the more we discuss this, the more I think you must go back and try it on! If you're excited about the collar (which I get: short hair!) and ok with the length, it's lovely on you. 

    There have been a lot of mentions of "perfect" above, but I for one don't believe in perfect, when it comes to garments or anything else!

  • Suz replied 10 months ago

    ETA: It would also be possible to get it shortened, of course. That would add to the price, as well, and could be risky. So there is that. 

    I'm in no rush to decide. As I mentioned, it's a lot cheaper in Canada from Mackage and other places. I can get it with free delivery here and free returns if I want. So. Much to ponder over the holiday. 

  • torontogirl replied 10 months ago

    Suz, I think you are wise - if it's still calling to you over the holidays, that's a good sign that this coat is for you! Even though shortening could be a risk, having it as an option also mitigates the risk of you finding the coat too big ... which is a major plus.

  • shevia replied 10 months ago

    Jonesy ?!? Come back!
    Sorry :) , I do like it on you, and do think it is a bit too long possibly. But you are wearing it with flats and you often wear a mid-heel boot. Anyway, feels kind of after the fact at this point. 

  • Angie replied 10 months ago


  • Suz replied 10 months ago

    Angie, you are hilarious. :) 

    Wasn't it great that Jonesy piped up? 

    All right, Boss. Off to consult my bankbook. 

  • Christina F. replied 10 months ago

    Haha, that answer from Angie was what I expected.

  • Angie replied 10 months ago

    Suz, make sure you like the coat UNBUTTONED too. 

  • Suz replied 10 months ago

    THANK YOU for weighing in, Angie, especially at this time -- so kind of you -- and YES. It needs at least one more try-on and consideration. 

  • Angie replied 10 months ago

    Now I want the coat too :(

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