This past weekend, a friend and I took on the craziness that is Ross Park Mall during the holidays in search of the perfect winter coats.
My much-loved pea coat has become torn in a few places over the years and I was searching for a replacement. I'm pretty picky and I had a lot of expectations for the coat I hoped to find: a zipper instead of buttons, mid-thigh length, gray or black, and a hood.
My friend was on the hunt for a practical coat that would both keep her warm and in sight of oncoming cars when she walks home from work at night. Her coat requirements: not black (too dark to be seen at night) or white (gets dirty too easily), water repellent, and warm.
We started our search at Macy's. It had a pretty large variety, but if you're on a budget, steer clear. Nearly every coat we looked at was in the $275 - $500 range which was more than either of us were hoping to spend. We tried L.L. Bean next, and my friend found a jacket she really liked except it was $200 and only came in black or white. We searched on at J.C. Penney, and noticed that nearly all the coats were on sale which is surprising for this early in the season! I didn't see too much in the way of pea coats, but my friend found the perfect jacket almost right away. The blue "puffer" jacket from St. John's Bay was originally $220, but was on sale for $109. She loved the removable hood, the deep pockets, and the fact that it was a little long for extra warmth.
After a coffee break, we ventured outside the mall to a nearby plaza with a Target, Kohl's, and Burlington Coat Factory. Nothing caught my eye at Target or Kohl's, so we headed to Burlington as a last resort. Right away a found exactly what I was looking for - a longer, dark gray pea coat by Guess with a zipper. It didn't have a hood, but I was willing to sacrifice when I saw the price tag - only $80! Similar style coats that I looked at in Macy's were nearing the $400 range.
If you need to buy a coat for yourself or someone else this season, I would definitely recommend J.C. Penney and Burlington Coat Factory as first the places to go.
(photo via http://www.jcpenney.com/)