So yesterday on a balmy, unseasonably warm November morning, I finally, finally did my coat closet edit. Actually it was more of a review since I didn’t get rid of anything. In between checking the news hourly for election updates, I counted my coats. And mused about them, and chatted about my coat wardrobe. Which ones I love, which ones I don’t wear enough, which ones have a tale connected to them. And I tried to decide whether or not I need a new coat. Okay, maybe NEED is not the right word. Whether or not I want a new coat.

Two down coats from my current coat wardrobe.
My two down coats.

The concept of a “coat wardrobe” is a new one for me. I grew up with the idea that we needed one winter coat. Two at the most. Back when I was in grade school we always had two, one for good, and one for play. Even into my early forties, I always had only one good winter coat. Besides my ski jacket that is. I felt downright splurge-y when I deigned to buy a second one, if my current winter coat was still “serviceable”, as my mum used to say.

But I’ve moved away from that. I now have more than one good winter coat. How many? Well, if you want to know that, you’ll just have to watch my video.

Apparently Harper’s Bazaar thinks we need an “arsenal” of coats. Interesting word, arsenal. I’m not sure what’s in my closet can be called an arsenal of coats. Although I will concede that a good, warm, well-made, winter coat. One that I love, and love to wear, does arm me against the elements. And make me feel polished and pulled together.

And I have been thinking that I’d like to have a new coat. A tailored coat that falls below the knee and is a bit oversized without being voluminous. One that is roomy enough to wear my big sweaters under. And which will update my current coat wardrobe.

I’ve been looking on-line and here are the ones I’m considering. Except for that tweed one. I just included that one because it’s beautiful; I don’t need another Max Mara tweed coat. Ha.

So that’s it for me today, my friends. I know that some of you are having a very, very good weekend. Some of you are back in lock-down. Just know that the rest of us, well, we’re with you in spirit. Whether it’s high spirits or not.

P.S. The clothing links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking my link, I will make a commission.

Linking up with Catherine’s #IWillWearWhatILike.


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From the archives


On Uniforms and the Evolution of Personal Style

I’ve been thinking lately of the idea of style uniforms, and how our adult style, our personal style, if you will, evolves. Of course this is because my uniform for the past week has been leggings or pyjama bottoms, and a loose, soft tee. So no style, and no brassiere. Because of a painful shingles rash, I haven’t even been able to consider wearing a bra. And this reminded me of the early-seventies, when barely a year after I needed to wear a bra, I stopped wearing one. The irony is that I’d been so delighted when I actually needed ...

Cleaning My Closet, and Clearing My Head

In these stressful days, a little closet cleaning helps me to get a grip on things. And makes me feel that order can prevail. If only in my spring closet.

A Hair Story

It seems everyone has a hair story. That somehow our hair is a metaphor for who we are and the battles we have fought.

46 thoughts on “Coat Tales: Reviewing My Coat Wardrobe”

  1. I have just found your Blog….so nice to find a Canadian! I have many coats because I find that the weather dictates the coat that I pull out of my closet as much as the “event” (even if the event is just grocery shopping). Just like in your video we can have that warm day in November and I need a jacket because the wind makes it too cool to go without one… but a Summer jacket that is a light colour looks out of place so I have the same weight jacket in a dark colour. I buy very classic styles that are well made so my coats can go for years before they look out of style or wear out. This also allows me to “collect” coats over years. And, I look after all of the clothes that I buy including coats so the amortized cost for buying quality works.

  2. I have many jackets. Didn’t realise until recently but I truly don’t need any more. And now I have snaffled a very oversized coat from Mr Green, I am set. Coats were always my bugbear because as someone who is short and who used to have a very large frontage, it was impossible to get one to fit me. The dreaded search for a proper winter coat still haunts me, trudging up and down Oxford and Regent Streets in a futile effort to force myself into something that might do up but not trip me up. Hence the jackets. In my view, having plenty is a good move. I am set for all seasons. Good to be prepared.

    1. I don’t have a large “frontage” but I do have broad shoulders and long arms so I hear you about getting a coat to fit properly. Especially anything that is reasonably priced.

  3. I’m Rosie and I have too many coats! 😂 …
    Loved your video and it’s encouraging me to reflect on letting go of a few… reflecting’s a start, … yes ? 🤣
    I’m also guilty of owning two of the black “puffa” style coats … one has a gorgeous collar similar to your burgundy one … the other I bought as the first ones a little snug, at the moment, but I’m determined it’ll fit fine before too long! I agree with you about the “sea of black” but I do add colour to mine, with hats, scarves and gloves and it works well with my “Swiss wardrobe” 😊
    I used to wear my trench coats a lot but find myself choosing a coat, styled more like your two “spring coats” I like the casual feel and look. Works much better with my life at the moment, I guess.
    Another great post Sue … you continue to inspire me! Please continue with the videos.

    1. Ha. I knew you’d be a coat addict, my friend. I actually don’t mind a good quality black puffa coat with a lovely scarf or hat. In fact now that my whole colouring has changed, I may look for a slim, long black puffa coat. One that’s not too puffa.

  4. I do enjoy your videos, like a chat about clothes and other goings on for some girl time. You have a fabulous collection of beautiful coats. The pink and burgundy look perfect with your new hair look, and of course the others are classics for dressing up.You prompted me to count the many coats and jackets I have accumulated over the years as well, and the winter coats alone came to 7. There are also about the same number of fall and spring selections, I never pretended to be a minimalist. Your recounting of the coats from years past reminded me of a teenage rebellion that ended up with me with a short (chubby style) orange faux fur jacket that I ‘had’ to have. I never complained about the fact it was not practical for standing waiting for the bus or anything else for that matter. I froze with that jacket on but as you said, kept my mouth shut. One other coat incident in my mid twenties was a full length royal blue wool coat that I loved. However the getting into the car and so on was a nightmare with all the slush and even snowdrifts were swept up in the hemline. Coats can tell plenty of stories of our lives and it is fun to reminisce. I tend to keep ones that fit and will put some in the off rotation closet for a time and then they feel new when I start to wear them again. This year I think I will make sure to wear the pink puffer and periwinkle faux sheerling and burgundy wool one just to keep the spirits lifted. Thanks for another wonderful visit. I smile each time there is a new post in the inbox.

    1. I’m thinking of ways I can dress down my old grey Max Mara coat. Maybe with the new chunky winter boots I bought. I laughed at your chubby coat story. I too remember waiting at the end of our very long farm driveway for the school bus, freezing my butt off, and smiling through my gritted teeth. 🙂

  5. I think your collection is very modest especially considering how long Canadian winters can be . I love all of them but then I’ve always had a thing about coats . They are the ‘face’ we present most to the world . I can’t reveal how many I have , too embarrassing but my favourite ones are a roomy grey tweed MaxMara , a black & white Margaret Howell mannish coat , a navy Isabel Marant & a brown herringbone double breasted 1970s coat I bought second hand in Scotland a few years ago – wonderful fabric , fits like a glove & it cost all of £35 ! Dressy coats seem to have given way to parkas & puffas here in the UK so I have my share of those too . I was a one winter coat girl too so perhaps I’m compensating now ?

  6. Oh I do love coats ! Doing a little mental add-up I definitely have ten, probably more.
    The problem is storage, I wish I had a roomy hall cupboard to store the ones I’m currently wearing instead of squashing them in with my other clothes.
    The only one I really need to replace is a down coat the same colour as your Zara one , but much longer, almost ankle-length. I have worn that coat the most of any other, and it also keeps the rain out and dries really fast. I’m afraid I’ll never find anything as good.
    The coats I love best on you are the long double-breasted one and the teddy coat. You look fabulous in charcoal grey with your colouring !

  7. What a wonderful collection of coats. With the kinds of winter weather you get, it makes sense to have a variety of them. Living in the mid-Atlantic region of the US, the winters have a history of being extreme–in either direction–single digit (5F) or sometimes over 70(F) in February. But on average, nothing like Canadian winters. My coat situation this year is complicated since I’ve lost 45 pounds (and still plan on losing another 10) since I last needed to wear a coat. Not complaining, but now none of my former outerwear fits–at all. I did purchased an ultralight puffa jacket on sale in late summer. Unfortunately, even it is now a bit too large, but doable. It’s a dilemma for a winter where it is unlikely I’ll be straying anywhere. To buy or not to buy?

  8. Loved you coat video! I need to go through my coats and get rid of some. I counted them and I have 15 – too many!

    I have one coat memory to share. My daughter was going into high school and needed a new coat. We were going through hard financial times, but I had hidden away some money “just in case”. She found a basic trench coat that she loved, but knew we couldn’t afford. I was so pleased to able to buy it for her with my “just in case” money. She looked great in that coat for many many years!

    I am in very high spirits this weekend, as many are here in the U.S.. 💙💙

  9. Thanks for the video! I have one coat that is rarely ever worn as I usually just need a sweater. San Antonio, Texas, is definitely a warm weather climate. Your coats are lovely

  10. I’m happy to be counted among the many coat enthusiasts here on your blog. I have coats put away in three closets (along with clothes) . One for every 10 degrees of temperature differences, as I tell my husband. Yes, I love a coat more than any other piece of clothing, except shoes. Not sure why, as like many of you, I grew up with one or two generic coats. I have to restrain myself when I encounter a beautiful coat, at a good price. But the joy of putting on a coat and feeling perfectly attired isn’t matched by any other outfit. So let’s embrace our group and banish guilt over having more than 10 coats each.
    Thanks Sue, this was a great post – like all your others

  11. So, you’re going for a walk now. What coat are you going to wear? With your turtleneck and 16 degrees temp., you could probably get away with your Montclere. If it’s colder, I guess you’d wear the longer down coat. Why do I ask? I ask because I’m thinking your retired (and covid) lifestyle ( and mine) means lots of outdoor walks in the woods. Those beautiful wool coats are so nice but where do you wear then? I think next year, when our lives are more back to normal and we dress up and go “out” more, the wool coats will be back but for now, that down coat is going to be your best friend.

    1. I know. We’ll be walking more than anything else for the foreseeable future, until we start skiing. And neither of those activities require a nice wool coat. 🙂

    1. My brother lives in Calgary. I’ve heard that the weather out there is beastly at the moment. But than again, you could get summer temps any day. Just kidding… wrap up warm in one of those coats.

  12. Hi Sue, I guess I am in them minority here but I do prefer the written word to video. Mostly I just love reading, always have and also it is so time consuming. So I know it is your blog and you must do what you want but I hope you don’t only do videos in the future. Maybe you could summarise briefly in the blog what is in the video – I know, double work so not really a good idea! I did see another blogger doing something along those lines. Rgds, Lise

    1. Another reader here who tends to skip videos in general. Drives me a bit bonkers to see how many online news outlets are favoring video rather than text. Partly it’s a time thing: I can read text very fast and move on before any video of the same news story is even halfway over. Disclaimer: I don’t mean you, Sue. Your videos are delightful and offer readers another window into your world. But I do agree with Lise that I hope the majority of your content will remain written.

  13. Like you, Sue, I grew up with the “one coat”, or “one for good, one for casual” approach. But I really need a whole coat wardrobe. I had one long “dress” coat (and as I’m 5’2″, it’s a challenge), which I wore a suit blazer to the store to buy, so it would go over the danged things. I didn’t want to wear a long coat ALL the time, but I started adding all these long cardigans to my wardrobe, and they looked silly hanging out of my shorter jackets. So now I have more “car coat” lengths too. One thing I noticed in Downtown Abbey is that the women seemed to have as many coats as they did dresses, and it added a whole ‘nother element to whip into the whole outfit effect, especially since it’s cold 9 months of the year…. I also like wearing a bright pin or even a silk flower blossom on wool coats, as well as colorful scarves. I think you Canadians get a pass to have as many coats as y’all want!

  14. I daren’t count how many coats I have – far, far too many. Part of the problem is that I am looking for multi-taskers. I just bought a coat from Lands End (I actually have quite a few of theirs now!) which is a lightweight undercoat that then goes under a raincoat – works brilliantly and will sort me for some time. I wear the undercoat for walking the dogs, if it’s not raining, and the outer if it’s raining. The length is slightly above the knee, so well away from my wellies! I do have one smart winter coat, which I’ve had for about 13 years and which I bought for commuting to London in… still immaculate and I will never get rid. Windsmoor has always been a class make, I’d liken it to Jaeger… well, back in the day. I have no idea whether they’re even still in existence, but was an expensive purchase for me – probably one of my biggest spends on clothing, ever.

    I agree about the clothing memories. My Mum & Dad had a ladies fashion shop, so my early years (from about 5)were influenced by fashion. I blame them for the fact that I have far too many clothes! So, appreciated the story about the coat from New York. 😉

  15. Well, how many coats I have depends on how I count them. It’s my “creative accounting “ thing 🙂 I consider my lightweight puffers and coats that are wool but unlined to be in a late fall category. In my true winter capsule, there are 2 wool coats plus one short and one knee length puffers. On “to buy” list there are two items: a wool dressy coat in black or camel and a black short hooded puffer. Not too much for long winters in Toronto.I don’t know where would I wear a dressy coat this season but I want it nevertheless 🙂

    1. Your “to buy” list must be similar to mine. I’m looking for a mid-calf wool coat, but also a long puffa. Making that video has taught me that my old Zara coat is getting a bit snug.

  16. Chris in Kentucky

    Sue, I encourage you to find a fresh vibrant color to pop against your new hair this year. Why wait! I’d like to see you find a French blue or raspberry in a medium weight down. You’ve been very conservative in buying new pieces to complement your new look. As we’re all so restricted this season, I think a new striking mid length coat would send you out for your daily walks with a festive smile. I’m going to try to kick up my fun factor as I select new items. I enjoy your blog and love the new videos. Thanks for all the effort you devote to your blog.

  17. Geez, I only have one jacket and one coat I wear regularly !

    Usually it only gets cold enough in the day here in winter to wear a knit sweater over a T-shirt or a turtleneck 🙂

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