Tame Wild Card

I have been looking for a longer pea coat for 3 years ...ever since my trusty VC mixed media military jacket started showing severe wear on the cuffs and hem. By the time I finally retired it last winter, it was worn bald in places. I wore that coat so much!!! And wow, did I miss it last winter. Thanks to YLF, I hardly lack for outerwear and I'm never going to go cold. Yet without a piece like this in my wardrobe I feel bereft! There is something about this quasi-military style that makes my heart soar. Anyway, I tried on lots of alternatives, and considered buying many, including J. Crew's pea coats and several at the NAS-- but there was always something off or extra or missing in every version I put on. 

At the consignment store about a month ago I found this Judith and Charles boiled wool navy blue coat. It can be worn Revere-style or buttoned all the way up. I immediately tried it on and liked it, but I left it in the store that day because it was still quite pricey for a consignment piece and I was in a bit of a rush and didn't want to make a rash decision. Lucky me. In the interim, they put it in the window and no one bothered to try it on. So today when I arrived at the store it was on its final markdown and more than reasonably priced for a 100% wool garment. 

Judith and Charles is a nice quality Canadian line. This piece is beautifully made, barely worn, and will be a great layering coat for Vancouver winters over a blazer or sweater. As wild card purchases go, it's pretty tame. But it's completely me. 

Here I am at the store trying it on in various ways. 

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.


  • Alicewonderland replied 1 year ago

    Beautiful! Definitely a purchase you will never regret.

  • Sal replied 1 year ago

    Looks fab, know this will be a winner on you!  So great when things line up like that.

  • lisa p replied 1 year ago

    This consignment store of yours is killing me!  This is a fantastic coat, and I agree with J&C quality.  Good score!  And I love your hair lately....

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    Lisa, you'll have to come visit! It's actually a CHAIN of consignment stores, plus a bunch of independents. I'm surrounded. I live in a neighbourhood where people seem to retire their clothes early. 

    To be fair, the pickings are not uniformly spectacular -- I wouldn't say the curation is perfect in these places and there is much that I'd consider too worn or dated. But if you have time to sift and consider, the designer racks are pretty good. 

  • Joy replied 1 year ago

    I love that coat and that you are giving this beautiful coat a new life. I
    My VC navy pea coat is a quality piece but quite short. You are wise to look for a longer coat. The one I have does not even cover most of my tops.

  • Jessikams replied 1 year ago

    Nice! How surprising that nobody else snapped it up. You got lucky.

  • Brooklyn replied 1 year ago

    Looks great! I am after a coat like this myself. In teal. I need to visit your consignment store pronto.

  • Sisi replied 1 year ago

    Beautiful. Classy and evergreen. Very "Suz". I envy your shameless luck at consignment stores! :)

  • Janet replied 1 year ago

    What a great classic, and an excellent fit on you. You can’t go wrong with a coat like that!

  • kkards replied 1 year ago

    wow....its like it was waiting for you to come back! FAB....love

  • lyn67 replied 1 year ago

    Coat is fab and fits great! Isee you have luck and fun with consignment stores lately, so go on!:-)

  • RobinF replied 1 year ago

    Beautiful coat, I love boiled wool. It looks like it fits perfectly too. I want to shop at your consignment store!

  • Thistle replied 1 year ago

    So gorgeous!  And what a fab find!

  • Bijou replied 1 year ago

    So glad that the coat was waiting for you to come back for it. What a great find and I can see this peacoat being a workhorse like the one it replaced - I love the classic styling of this coat.

  • Elizabeth P replied 1 year ago

    What an awesome coat.
    Curious why you are calling it a wildcard (albeit a tame one).  Surely a coat like this is more of an essential?

  • torontogirl replied 1 year ago


  • citygirldc replied 1 year ago

    Looks great and I wish we had better consignment shops around.  

  • Aquamarine replied 1 year ago

    It’s perfect for you. Nice score...enjoy!

  • Christina F. replied 1 year ago

    That coat was made for you! Wow!

  • JAileen replied 1 year ago

    It’s perfect!

    I bought a Calvin Klein navy peacoat last year on clearance and love it. I feel very smart in it, compared to wearing a Patagonia jacket, for example. They both have their place, of course.

    I’ve been watching Shetland on Netflix, and the main detective wears a peacoat. His looks like a real US Navy peacoat. In one episode he threw it over a small fire to extinguish it. I wonder what happened to the lining? Did he have it dry cleaned? These are things I wonder about.

  • texstyle replied 1 year ago

    Fantastic coat on  you - Yay! HEWI found :-)

  • Angie replied 1 year ago

    I REMEMBER that peacoat that you wore into the ground, Suz. I LOVED it, and that quasi military vibe is your jam.  

    From what I can see, this replacement has great potential. How lucky!  It might be the photos, but the fit on that shoulder line isn't smooth. A touch too much fabric at the crown of the sleeves - and a little wide. Do you see what I'm saying? Let me know what you think. Ask Mr. Suz too. 

    That said, coats must layer over items properly, and you'll need the extra room if you layer over blazers. Not a train smash :)

  • Chris987 replied 1 year ago

    Wow, that thrift store has been a gold mine for you! A friend once told me a story about regularly shopping at a specific thrift store, where the SA got to know my friend and always let her know when a donor in her size had dropped of a bunch of stuff....maybe you have stumbled into some wonderful thing like that! 

  • FashIntern replied 1 year ago

    Omg, that is perfect for you. My only caution is to please consider your other recent thrifted coat, the questionable Max & Mara, before you default to this one. But I’m sure this will serve you well!

  • nemosmom replied 1 year ago

    Consignment treasures are great and you've scored some great pieces! Beautiful coat!

  • Lynn replied 1 year ago

    What a great score Suz. It looks terrific on you.

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    Angie, you are so right! I was wondering if anyone would pick up on it! The shoulder fit is a little off. But -- oddly -- only in the front. Not at all in the back. Mr. Suz is a stickler for the back shoulder fit and he said it looks perfect there. The coat also fits perfectly elsewhere (including sleeve length) so I suspect that a size down (assuming it had been available, which of course it wasn't!) wouldn't have fit.

    Because boiled wool is a bit stretchy, I actually think the previous owner stretched it out a bit with her body shape. And she may have passed it on as too small for her. I have a feeling that this is something I might be able to remedy with careful cleaning and blocking. In any case, the slight extra fabric on the shoulder is substantially filled in with a jacket underneath. (I am wearing a soft sweater in these photos, but I did try it with a blazer in the store). And with my sharp shouldered navy jacket in particular it will be filled out. The effect is also exaggerated a bit in the pictures due to the angle of my arms holding the camera. But you trained me well -- it was the first thing I noticed and one reason I put it back on the rack the first time. I just couldn't stop thinking about it in the interim, so went back....

    Elizabeth, it's a wild card for me only because I found it on consignment. I don't normally shop that way but have been having a bit of fun with it in Vancouver where the pickings are so much richer. Really, though, it is an essential and a HEWI. 

    Fashintern -- Good point! I will definitely wear both coats, but this one will get a lot more wear. The other one is dressy and festive and fun. This one is practical and classic. I can use a lot of coats in my climate. 

    JAileen, you made me laugh. What indeed happened to that lining?! Those coats were supposedly indestructible but I wouldn't have gone that far...especially since the lining was likely polyester and a fire hazard in its own right...

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    Oh -- also -- I haven't stopped the hunt. I see this as a bit of an interim pea coat until I can find the perfect one. When I do, I'll be willing to spend on it. But for now, the price was right on this one and it gives me the practical coat I needed. 

  • Cardiff girl replied 1 year ago

    Looks good from where I am and the style is fab on you.How lucky is that to find it in a consignment store!It was obviously meant to be.

  • shiny replied 1 year ago


    I recently found a navy peacoat like this at LOFT, and it came home with me. I haven't worn a peacoat in years but I liked this one a lot! Though it's inexpensive it hangs nicely like a cashmere coat might. I got the petite and I'm 5' but on me it is same length as yours. Looser in the body, kind of swing-ish, good for apple shapes. 

    Here's the link -- comes in camel too for those of you who don't look like death in camel.... highly recommend!


  • Dana replied 1 year ago

    Fab score! It looks great! That looks like an amazing consignment store! 

  • Angie replied 1 year ago

    HIGH FIVE, Suz. I'm glad you see what I see. Although I want the shoulders to fit like the Find below - perhaps you should get this one, and see if you can block it like you suggested. Or use it for layering so that the off-shoulder fit is less pronounced. 

  • Gail replied 1 year ago

    Fabulous find  and I love those booties!

  • Canada replied 1 year ago

    Looks perfect! You have a good eye in consignment stores. I remember my navy pea coat from circa 1966. I loved it. It was the IT thing. Never mind that the winters in Connecticut demanded a longer winter coat; I froze but I was stylish!

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    Angie, that one is gorgeous. But pricey! Still, worth it for one that fits perfectly. 

  • rachylou replied 1 year ago

    This is a good interim coat in my mind. I prefer it with collar down, it’s sharp that way... which is why I think throw it over if you find one that looks as sharp with collar popped up. Ya ya. Rachylou mincing no words today...

  • shiny replied 1 year ago

    Those Fleurette coats are so gorgeous. I always stalk them every season but they always sell out in my size even when discounted. One of these days the stars will align. 

    I mean... if my weight was stable like Suz's I'd totally bite at that sales price. My weight is not stable so I'm in the cheap coat range for now. Heh. But Suz? Suz! This is IT and you will wear it for ages until the CPW is nothing. 

  • La Pedestrienne replied 1 year ago

    I am such a sucker for a navy pea coat! Gorgeous. I get the shoulder fit issue, and can see what you and Angie are seeing. I bet you're right that the last owner filled it out a bit more and it stretched with wear. But if it allows you to layer more underneath, it's not such a bad thing.

  • replied 1 year ago

    It’s fabulous .hurray for pea coats. You seem very comfortable in it. A true style staple for you.

  • shevia replied 1 year ago

    What's not to love about this story? :) Great coat, looks like it was made for you, and I love your hair too!

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    Well, now that Angie has showed me the Fleurette, of course I want to order it, never mind that it is about 4 times the cost of this one, right? I am sure my consignment store would take it back on reconsignment (laughing all the way to the bank, no doubt...) 

    Having said that, I wore it today in the POURING rain and it shed water like, well, like a SHEEP. And I didn't worry for one second about spoiling it. And nobody said to me, "Lady, your coat is too big in the shoulders!!" So, there is that. 

  • JAileen replied 1 year ago

    Suz, I have a Fleurette coat. It is so luxurious and makes me feel pampered. I’ve had mine for years and it’s no longer in my color scheme. However, I still love it. Mine is a long polo coat in camel hair.

  • Katerina replied 1 year ago

    What a FAB find, Suz! I love it. I actually would not notice any issue with the fit on the shoulders if Angie and you wouldn´t have mentioned it. I am still not seeing any... It will be great for layering, anyway! Enjoy, and when you feel like ordering the Fleurette, why not having two classic pieces? They are not identical and they never go out of fashion.  

  • FashIntern replied 1 year ago

    „So there is that“. Hahahaha. Glad to hear you’re enjoying the new to you coat!

  • rachylou replied 1 year ago

    Oh. Never mind. Anything that can be worn in rain - That’s a keeper forever.

  • Angie replied 1 year ago

    I’m glad you’re keeping the coat! You need lots of this type of topper in our climate so order the Fleurette too.

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