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.
The Look J. Crew Chateau Parka in Italian Stadium Cloth Wool $365
- 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.
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.
The Look for Less J. Crew Factory Vail Parka $198 currently 40% off
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.
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.
The Look for Even Less Target $64.99
It seems this look has finally developed enough popularity that it is now in a similar look at Target.
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.
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.