I've been to our local gear store (the place where I got my current parka 5 years ago) and have a progress report.
First, be proud of me, friends. I tried on a LOT of parkas!
Here are a few of the things I learned.
Canada Goose isn't really cut to fit me. I tried a few styles. Their XS felt too small in most parkas but the S was too large. The best one was the Kensington, but even it felt on the loose side up top. Meanwhile, the hood in both sizes was super tight (not long enough in the neck). Plus, the coats felt quite heavy to me. I think I can cross C. Goose off my list. (Sorry, no photo).
North Face: the coats I tried were also a poor fit. Granted, this store did not have many suitable styles available. But all those I tried felt too large in the top/ back/ armhole area and just generally bulky on me. I didn't get pictures. Not worth it.
(Having said that...in the past, I have tried raincoats from them that fit quite well, so it may be I just didn't get the right parkas to try. The store had a number of short jackets in this line but not very many coat options.)
Arc-teryx. Super expensive but looks like value for money if in the budget. The coats are unbelievably lightweight and warm. (850 down and very high quality.) The problem is, the company only makes a few styles each year, and my local store doesn't even carry them all. I tried the Patera parka. (1-3) It is waterproof and windproof as well as down lined. (I'm sorry but I couldn't find a site that would allow me to include Finds.) An amazing coat in its way...but while the fit was considerably better than most I tried, it felt a bit large up top in the armhole/ back area, although that doesn't show in the photos, and the hood is Just. Plain. WEIRD. (As in, I felt like an alien.) The "ash" or white colour looked like death on me. The dark purplish colour was a lot better. But, you know...dark. And somehow this felt like a "commuter" coat to me. I guess it is the smooth Goretex shell.
Sorry for the photo quality; the lights in the store were hideous!!
I also tried a similar Patagonia coat, recommended to me in my last thread. Apologies to those who adore it, but in comparison to the Arc'teryx, it was downright laughable. Nowhere NEAR the quality, and also it weighed a lot more. Worse, it fit me poorly, with bizarre pockets on the hips that stuck out in an unflattering way (and I'm not very "hippy"). And the colour is not as good (for me) in real life as that stock photo might lead one to believe.
I didn't bother with pictures of the Patagonia.
Onwards! A new discovery was "Quartz Nature." (4) These are in competition with Canada Goose. In comparison to the Arc'tyrx they felt very heavy, and once again I had hood fitting issues, but overall the fit on this red one was better than most of the other coats I tried. It's not my ideal red (a bit too bright and "true" for me; cranberry would be better...) but it's not a definite no. Unlike C. Goose, these coats are actually waterproof, and important factor in an El Nino year in my city where freezing rain will be frequent if the forecasters are to be believed.
Finally I tried on a Lole Faith jacket. (5-6) This is made by the company that made my first parka. Their fit model is much closer to my body type, evidently. The coats fit me really well. But I'm not crazy about the sportiness of this style and it is not as warm a coat as I am looking for. Plus, this red was too "faded" IRL and not all that flattering I thought.