After recently putting two old coats into my consignment/donation pile, I noticed that the majority of the outerwear in my closet fit into a more formal, “dressier” work category– refined wool trenches and a lot of black and dark navy. I have a black hooded puffer coat that I love, but have been hoping to fill a void of fun, casual winter outerwear in a lighter yet versatile color. I came across the petite chateau parka from J. Crew recently and was immediately drawn to the more relaxed, straight A-line cut, faux-fur trimmed hood, and warm stadium-cloth wool. I resisted my usual attraction to black and navy this time around and placed an order for heather acorn, a rich brown color.
Here are a few photos straight out of the box. The photos don’t capture how rich the color is; it actually looks darker in person compared to the photos. The best approximation of the color is in the first photo. In my opinion, the color of heather acorn in the stock photo above is accurate.
I found the quality of the coat to be quite nice, just like my other J. Crew coats. I like the leather detailing at the zipper pockets. There are snap pockets at the hip, and an inner pocket on the left hand side. The coat has a zipper and snap button closure. All zippers were easy to pull (I hate when those get stuck). Note that while the faux fur collar can be removed, the hood itself is not removable.
I have other J. Crew coats in P00 and the chateau parka fits true to size. As described on the website, the fit is classic and “not too loose and not too tight.” The bottom of the coat hits me at about midthigh. Note that in the photos, I’m wearing a thick sweatshirt underneath the coat (this is how I expect to wear the coat during the winter), so I could test out how much room I have in the sleeves. Even with the sweatshirt on, I am still able to move about comfortably. Cool.
The fur collar is big (bigger and fluffier than I anticipated), but cozy. At first glance, I kind of felt like a Game of Thrones character with this huge fluffy collar around my neck (you know nothing, Jon Snow!!!!!). This isn’t a dealbreaker for me, but it could be for others. Here’s what the hood looks like over my head with the fur trim…
Admittedly, the fur collar does give the coat a chic look. I do like that there is an option to remove it, though, for days when I just want to go out with a simple scarf. Also, you could probably wear the collar on its own or with another coat, fastened at the neck with a sparkly brooch. Just a thought.
The Upshot: Personally, I love the coat. It’s the casual type of outerwear piece I’ve been looking for and it doesn’t compromise warmth for style. I like the heather acorn color; I feel that I could go trudging through the snow with a cup of coffee in hand and not worry about getting the coat visibly dirty. If you’re finicky about having furry things around your neck, this might not be the coat for you, in which case I would point you in the direction of the wool melton duffle coat, which is basically the same style of coat without the removable fur collar and possibly a different wool composition.
I’m interested to hear others’ thoughts about this coat as well as other casual+warm options (particularly options that fit smaller body shapes). Thanks!
P.S. Still trying to figure out what costume you’ll wear for Halloween? Check out some of my ideas using a classic striped shirt here.