J. Crew Chateau Parka Review and the Look for Less

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This is my favorite coat in the whole wide world. The first time I saw it two years ago it was love at first sight. I instantly had fantasies of myself walking down the aisle in the blush pink version of the coat, reinacting J. Lo music videos circa Jenny from the Block era and just all around feeling myself in this coat.

So what could I do but buy this coat in multiple colors? The Chateau parka in Italian Stadium coat is absolutely worth the investment. Unless of course you live anywhere between Florida and North Carolina where the temperatures don’t drop terribly low, in which case I can only shrug and offer you fabulous alternatives which I am happy to do today.

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The Look J. Crew Chateau Parka in Italian Stadium Cloth Wool $365

Pros

  • Colors Comes in 7 stunning colors ranging from basic black and gray, to a fantastic heathered lavender, to a classic but not basic red.  I can not stress enough how stunning the colors are.
  • Wide range of sizes Comes in size 00 to 24 and petite and tall which is a blessing if you are looking for a great coat in extended sizes. Note: The extended sizes don’t come in petite and tall.
  • Fit This coat fits like a dream while still allowing sweaters underneath. It’s ultra tailored at the top while being swingy at the bottom. Several reviews on the site say to size down. However, I think if you enjoy layering, you may enjoy a little more to allow for that. The extra room doesn’t take away from shape with this one.
  • Removable faux fur The hood come with removable fur on the hood although why anyone would remove the fur is beyond me  I have a personal preference for fur that is faux but that is just coming from the tree hugger in me. So if you prefer real fur, the hood may not be for you. But for the most part the fur wears well and doesn’t shed or feel odd.

Cons

Price That price tag though. $365 for a coat that is pretty distinct in color and may not be an everyday wearer is quite pricey for a lot of people and that’s totally reasonable. Hence this list in the first place. However if you are looking to buy it sometime soon, it’s a great gift for the holiday to yourself or others because J. Crew has been doing a lot of promos like the 50% off everything Black Friday promo.

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The Look for Less J. Crew Factory Vail Parka $198 currently 40% off

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Pros

Colors Still comes in great colors. Each year, this coat comes in 4 colors; usually it’s three basics and one “wow color”. This year’s wow color is green, which in person is down right, stinking lovely. It’s the perfect pop of color in a fall and winter wardrobe and would look killer going to Christmas dinner with an all black number under it. I know that’s specific but if I can imagine the scenarios I would wear it. I’m sure you can too.

Size The extended sizes for the Factory Vail parka goes up to size 20, which is still better than the usual size 12

Satin lined hood The ultimate pro is the satin lined hood instead of the stadium cloth. For a black girl with a head of natural hair, this is a God send. He specifically requested for this to be satin lined because then I don’t get the frizz or the ends stuck in the weaving and can avoid the static of the stadium cloth. Super win.

Price Obviously this is a great deal especially if you are buying it as a gift. You are definitely getting what you paid for and more especially while they are doing the killer Black Friday 50% off at J.Crew Factory.

Photographs lovely This isn’t just useful if you’re a blogger. During the time of year where you are photographed with family often, I have to say this little gem photographs well! The photos of me in this coat were actually taken many moons ago in our backyard with an iPhone and it still shows up great.

Cons

Quality It’s excellent quality. Promise! But the quality is not as good as the retail one, which feels a bit like a duh. However, whenever people say that, they don’t say exactly what about the quality is not as good. The factory version is a softer fabric so not exactly the sturdy stadium wool of the J. Crew Retail coat. For me this is a plus because the neck line on the retail coat stands a little high for me to have such a short neck. It also doesn’t have the same details, less visual stitch works and the diagonal breast pocket doesn’t exists on the Factory version.

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The Look for Even Less Target $64.99

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It seems this look has finally developed enough popularity that it is now in a similar look at Target.

Pros

Price The obvious initial benefit is the price. Even with sales on the J. Crew coats, the price is better on this little guy from target’s new day line.

Location Target is far more accessible for many than a J. Crew location or a J. Crew Factory. There is also the chance to get other things at Target like snacks. But let’s face it the ability to go in and try on is a driving factor for lots of folks.

Colors The colors are as nice and as rich as the J. Crew version with enough options to satisfy but not thrill.

Size Like the Factory version of the jacket, this one goes up to XXL which is equivalent to about a size 18-20.

Cons

Density Not nearly as heavy as J. Crew lightweight and not nearly as good at keeping that chill out from what I can infer. When you put both versions of the J. Crew coat on, both Factory and Retail, you can tell that the weight will keep you pretty warm.

Quality I feel like this goes without saying as well but the quality is not nearly as good as either J. Crew coat but for the price, its still quite lovely especially if you snag it on a deal like today.

Winning Coat: For me, the Vail Parka is the best buy for your dollar. You get most of the benefits of the J. Crew Retail version (unless of course you need the extended sizes) while losing none of the pertinent details. Plus you get that darn satin hood which is worth its weight in gold for me. Definitely the Vail Parka.

Small Black Women Owned Preppy Businesses

I had little to no intention to post Black Friday deals since a lot of the list I’ve seen contain overlap. However, one thing that none of these list seem to include are types of businesses that I make every effort to frequent when I get the opportunity; small businesses owned by black women who just so happen to be preppy. Because they are few and far between, I would love to introduce you to some of my favorites that  I would actually be shopping with, whether or not they were have a deal. I also included a few folks who may not check all of the boxes but do beautiful work.

Small Black Women Owned Preppy Businesses

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Culture Fit Clothing Active Wear for the Culturally Conscious Woman 30% off site wide with code BFCM18

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The Tiny Tassel 30% off with Code “Thankfulfortassels” I’m obviously bias to Tiny Tassel because I consider its lovely owner, Mimi, a friend after all this time but I love what she does and the quality of her pieces are next to none and home made.

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Effies Paper Company 25% off site wide no promo needed

Small Women Owned Preppy Businesses

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Janet Hill Studios 20% off prints with code “BLACKFRIDAY” at checkout If you follow my instastories then you have seen me obsess over this lady’s work recently. Her swoon-worthy preppy scapes give me heart palpitations. I purchased four prints for myself today during her sale including the one above.

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Society Social Up to $750 off best selling styles. No Promo necessary.

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Katie Kime 30% off site wide with code MERRY30 – This wallpaper is stellar and looks exactly like the style that we went for our own bedroom.

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Caitlin Wilson Design save 15% with code BF15 site wide

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Elizabeth Wilson Designs 20% off with Code FRIYAY. Get the cape coat. Just look at how cute it is

Small Preppy Businesses

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Arnold Steiner offering 15% off your first order on the site- Arnold is hands down one of our favorite shops and people. The pieces are quality and the owner, gentlemanly. You will have zero regrets buying from him.

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Kiel James Patrick 25% off site wide with code COZYCABIN

Preppy Businesses

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J. Crew 50% off everything with code “Everything”

J. Crew Factory 40-50% off sitewide

Artfully Walls 30% off everything BLACKFRIDAY2018

L.L. Bean 20% off Clothing and Outwear  with code THANKS20 and 25% off bean boots with code BOOT25

Landsend 50% off full price styles and men’s and women’s flannels for $20

I pray this list was useful to you guys and that you have a fun and safe time shopping today, be it at home or in store.  Just be mindful that today is one of the worse days of the year in retail for retail workers. They are doing long hours with often terrible operating technology which goes down from time to time all while battling people’s bad attitudes. So please be kind while you’re out and about. Happy hunting,

XO Prepford Wife

On Wednesdays, We Wear Pink

CA3C41FC-1155-45C4-890B-EBEEB496C776J. Crew Tie Neck Dress in 365 Crepe // J. Crew Stella Bow Heels in Wild Fuschia

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“On October 3rd, he asked me what day it was”

Pink has turned into one of my favorite colors. It’s so versatile and can be easily carried from season to season by just altering texture and fabric. I love that pink can be paired with so many other color and carried off with a myriad of skin tones. It doesn’t hurt that a quote from the best movie of all time includes the color pink (Mean Girls is a classic. Tell ya mom to fight me on it). So in honor of Mean Girls day, I give you, a round up of my favorite pink things on the internet currently.

Elizabeth Wilson Dress

Elizabeth Wilson’s Judy Lanien Dress in Stripe

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Customizable Lisi Lerch Sparkle Bag- Pink & Gold

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J. Crew Parke Blazer in Velvet- Petitie Sizes and extra 40% off right now

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Gal Meets Glam Chloe Dress

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Michael Kors Fara Feather Loafers in Oyster

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Nahmu Blossom Earrings

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Asos Wide Leg Pants- Only $16Asos Wide Leg Pants- Only $16

 

Happy October 3rd, yall!

Favorite Rain Coats

With the impending doom that is Hurricane Florence and having to inventory all my worldy goods, I realized exactly how prepared I am in the raincoat department. I love of a good raincoat. As far as clothing goes, I am a firm believer in the quote about there being no such thing as bad weather, just a lack of preparation. So I have been preparing with a vengeance with some of my favorite rain jackets.

L.L. Bean Signature Fisherman Cove Coat

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Coat (c/o L.L. Bean) // Tote (c/o L.L. Bean) // Jeans//  Boots

It was love at first sight for my husband who first spotted the Fisherman Cove Coat on L.L. Bean’s stories sometime last year. Fast forward to a year later when this little guy is shipped to me courtesy of L.L. Bean. It’s everything Marcus hoped it would be and more than I every could have expected. It’s such an incredible classic coat. It goes with every single thing in my closet and paired with high rain boats, my entire body stays dry.

J.Crew x Penfield Gibson Jacket

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Jacket // Skirt // Shoes

Easily one of my favorite rain jackets. In a bright still sophisticated yellow, this rain jacket is perfect for its light weight and water proof seal. Full disclosure, this is a men’s jacket which would explain the really good yellow.

Stutterheim x Madewell Raincoat

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Stutterheim Jacket // Umbrella// Hunter Boots

I’ve blog about this jacket before. I am in love with everything about it from how much it covers my body down to how pink it is. I can not say enough good things about this brand.

Here are some others that I am this about pulling the trigger on while I’m stuck in the house.

J. Crew Perfect Jacket (comes in 5 colors and petites)  // Hunter Perforated A-Line Jacket (HAS SCALLOPS!) // Joules Right as Rain Print Packable Printed Poncho (only $39.95) // Joules Right as Rain Packable Jacket

Sail to Sable Dress

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Dress // Thrifted head scarf // older purse (similar)// J. Crew factory denim jacket

 

Sail to Sable makes an out of this world shift dress. I wore this navy and white sun blocked shift dress around town yesterday and loved it. Though it’s shorter and tighter than I would ordinary choose, I’m a sucker for a sharp and flattering neckline and a classic color palette so this will definitely live on in my closet for a years to come. I paired it with some of my favorite J. Crew pieces, a denim jacket and a basket clutch and some nude Talbots sandals for a comfortable, no muss preppy look. Perfect for the island.

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National Stripes Day

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Kate Spade Dress (old | similar|similar)  | Kate Spade Purse (old) | Bracelet| Sunnies | Watch Band

I hear it’s national stripes day. My favorite of all the made up holidays, naturally. We went to Charleston earlier this month and imagine my glee when I went outside and saw this striped set up. Watch me camouflage.

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I’m such a fan of mixing old with new, resale with just freshly bought and this outfit allowed me to do the best version of that. The dress is a little Kate Spade number that Marcus snapped up for me as a “heard you were having a sucky” week present. The little whale was a find from Plato’s closet, of all places that I heavily weighed not getting. For some odd reason, I thought maybe I had too many critter clothing items and purses. Like that could ever happen.

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One of my favorite parts of this outfit is the little bracelet. It’s from a local shop owner in Charleston called The Tiny Tassel run by shop owner, Mimi who I’ve talked about before on the blog. Marcus and I went to hang out with her and a bunch of other ladies that weekend and I could not resist purchasing a few goodies while I was in the shop. You should check out her spring line; it’s the most adorable one yet. (Was not paid to say that. In fact I paid for the bracelet. It allows me to stay refreshingly honest and object lol).

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A6D44E75-28FD-4DDF-B7D9-881009FAF5ABI think I may have talked about these shoes on the blog before but I almost always get questions about them. They’re a J. Crew hack from some years ago where I swapped out whatever tie they came with for a louder, more exuberant ribbon that I picked up for $2 at a craft store. #makeitwork

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And last but not least my trusty, sometimes dusty, Ray Ban clubmasters. Marcus bought these as a gift for me the summer when we first started dating and he said “these are classics and you’lll wear them for years to come”. A decade later and they are still going strong.

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Are you celebrating national stripes day?

XO PrepFord Wife

Denim Rose Shirt Dress

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Dress| Pom Pom LoafersRattan Clutch | Sunnies |Watch Band

It’s been some time since I’ve really bought a piece that I love and this Kate Spade Denim Rose Shirt Dress is definitely a love piece. The denim is really sturdy and heavy and no picture I’ve seen does it enough justice. It’s absolutely high quality. The only thing is the rose is darn near a decal so it feels like the adult version of a screen printed tee. So far so good on durability since it hasn’t cracked yet.

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I wore it for a trip to Charleston recently and it was a total win. I blend right in with the magnolias. #camoflauge Because of the thick material, it makes a good transition piece since I don’t technically have to wear a sweater.  I’ve been pairing it with my oldie but goody J. Crew shiny oxfords and a pair of festive printed leggings (usually polka dot). A note about the shoes, I wear those oxfords at least once a week and they are one of the most comfortable shoes I own. While they are no longer available at J.Crew, they are all over the resell sites like poshmark (possibly because people didn’t quite know what to do with them?)

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As we get closer to summer, I’m shucking the tights and pairing with these fun little pom pom loafers. I’m sharing this outfit and the dress particularly today because it’s included in this month’s Kate Spade Surprise Sale which means it on super duper sale. At $129, it’s a pretty good price for what you’re getting. What I love about Kate Spade Surprise Sales is that if you have the patient and the shopping deities are on your side, you can snag little gems like this for 90% off sometimes. I love this dress and almost wish I waited but if I’m honest, I’ve gotten so many wears out of it since I first purchased it, I have zero regrets. I think it’ll be a classic piece for me that makes it through several seasons so I am excited to see it for such a good deal. 5FE2C6A3-43FE-4172-88DA-A3EBF4A1A635

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XO PrepfordWife

Grail items

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I’ve been doing less shopping than I use to. Some because I’m running out of closet room and some because I seem to hate everything. Instead, I’ve been tracking down grail items -the ones that got away- and little unique pieces that would fit right at home in my closet from resell sites like Poshmark and eBay.

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My husband has been in love with this dress from the very second they released it in. But I’m morally opposed to spending that much money on a possible one time wear and I passed on it until it popped up on eBay in my size. When he loves something, I at least try to track it down.

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4F702E91-7038-4B81-A9AA-6347FAA92403This purse and coat were no brainers for me. The purse was a grail item because isn’t it just deliciously on brand for me? It’s just a little bit of fun add to this outfit. The coat which is going to be the perfect addition to my wardrobe into spring was actually a $5 local thrift shop. It’s the perfect transitional piece as we get just a touch of spring weather and I love it paired with other green prints.

XO PrepfordWife

Another Day, Another Rain Boot

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Jacket | Shirt | Skirt | Boots

For Christmas I only requested rain gear for days such as today. I will happily pair my rain gear even with work clothes. Such is the fate of this happy little pair of purple rain boots.

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I think there is a way to be dressed professionally even when wearing rubber wellies. I start with a professional and darn near stern base. Queue layered tweed. Tweed skirt, tweed jacket and a dark blouse with a high and conservative neck like this black jewel studded collared shirt from vintage J. Crew. Make sure to wear leggings to leave very little skin exposed and to avoid a chill.

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I caution against this outfit if your workplace is formal or if you meet with different external conservative parties but otherwise, go for it. It’s perfect for a casual, and yet rainy, Friday. I use to wear these boots all the time when I worked in sales. My customers would get a kick out of a full suit, a striped tshirt, and a pair of Hunter boots. While it was stylish and cute, it was also just practical since I would be hoping in and out of the car all day in pouring rain. As with the red pair of boots from my last post, these boots have a wider calf. They’re the purple adjustable back boots to allow me more space to wear pants if I want to.

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So what about you? Are you into work clothes meets casual?

A Hint of Pink, I Think.

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“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” – Alfred Wainwright

I’ve lived my life by this quote for so long. Bad weather is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate personal style. With the creation of colorful wellies. There is never a time where I dress for rain or snow where I don’t get the best compliments. Because even in this weather my own style is apparent.

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Today it rained and I could. not. wait. to leave the house because finally, finally I could use this umbrella I got for Christmas (thank you sister in law who listens when I speak), these rain boots (thank you husband who also listens) and this Stutterheim x Madewell jacket that I scored for the low, low price of $20 at a J. Crew warehouse sale.

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I love this jacket because while I have a full dress under it, I didn’t have to. I will probably just pair it with boots for rainy days where I want to go to the grocery store dressed like a hermit. Honestly that’s why I own a lot of the long coats I own, even though we live in North Carolina where the weather is mostly temperate. It even has a deep hood to fit my bun, a crucial measure for what jacket makes the cut. I love it even more since its pink which has been my favorite color to wear for some time now. It just adds to my “girlish charm” even though I’m a grown woman now.

 

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Even though I have several pairs of Hunter boots at this point. I always come back to the red ones. These are the Huntress model which has a wider calf diameter which I need if I’m going to wear them with pants. It’s also slightly short which works out nicely since I am a munchkin. I usually pair these the same way with black and white for a pop of color or with all monochrome of a color like here. The Hunter boots are totally worth the cost. I have yet to have any sort of damage to mine *knock on wood*. As long as you get the buffer spray to maintain the shiny gloss, you should be good to go. I would caution you though, these are definitely rain boots and not all weather boots. I don’t care what other blogger say, adding those boots socks does not a winter boot make. Still, totally my favorite weather shoe.

 

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Do you have Hunter boots? If so, what color did you snag? *Asking for a friend who is me*

XO PrepFord Wife