The week before last I stopped by Loehmann's, a discount department store, after visiting my Mom for lunch. I was there for a while, seeming to have fun and success trying on coats, jackets wraps and sweaters. The timing must have been right, or that store just generally has good selection. I came home with the top two coats (the red and white) pictured above. The bottom two (blue and green) were just for fun, just jackets, which I couldn't justify buying. I had to admit it hasn't been very long since my last jacket purchase.
Both of the coats are by Esprit, made from 58% recycled wool. They were very discounted and I pretty impulsively decided to buy both. I liked the length of the white coat but the red coat had just the kind of collar I wanted. It also has neat pockets on the chest for hand warming.
It wasn't an easy decision for me to buy what was probably the most wool material I've purchased for 5 or more years. I called my mother for her input on fiber and wikipedia access. Wikipedia says "recycled wool is made by cutting or tearing apart existing wool fabric and respinning the resulting fibers." I decided I felt alright about the material, knowing I didn't want to end up with a poofy poly-filled coat from the north face like last year.
Now I did try to do an alchemy request on Etsy recently for a handmade coat, but ultimately I decided I would probably need to spend more money on that than I can right now to get it right. A good number of responses came back, and several from very cute shops, but none of the responses were very clear about what material they would be using. That for me was the biggest concern. I started the price at $200, expecting to get some higher numbers than that, and I did get a very high bid, but also a handful right around the price I set. I imagine to do a handmade coat that would be heavy enough and still have some style it would probably be nearly twice as much, so I respectfully turned down the bids.
I am still unsure how well these store bought coats will end up working out. They are probably a bit lighter than what you would get from a traditional wool coat. But layering is also an option (one I'm used to in the PNW where you seem to need to be prepared for all temperatures.) So I still have the idea of putting in another alchemy request in a higher price range in the future, when I am more prepared and able to spend the money on it.
(Oops! It took me a while to get this post up, I had to set up my cell phone with my computer to download the pics! Technology...it's fun. Actually, now Chuck wants me to get one of those google phones that came out today...but I'm thinking not anytime soon! I'm happy with my current phone.)