Why Have a Coat Closet if You’re Not Going to Fill It?!?

Welcome back for style confession #2!

I love the change of seasons. Fall just happens to be my favorite! When you live in Western New York, it's necessary to own a selection of vests, coats, jackets, parkas...enough to fill a coat closet (Style confession #2: my coat closet is full!) Each one perfect for matching adorable outfits! Outerwear is after all, like frosting on a cake, or a cherry on a sundae; it’s the finishing touch to any outfit!

I created this list of must have outerwear for any matchiN'ista! When my husband tells me that I don't need another coat, I tell him 'the list' says otherwise! ;-)

1. trench coat in khaki and black
2. trench coat in khaki  and black with a hood
3. trench coat in a fun color, just because
4. lightweight rain coat (in a variety of colors, of course!)
5. fun, patterned, lightweight vest
6. sporty vest for running errands and you just need to throw something on
7. dressy, professional coat in black
8. dressy, professional coat in another color because one in black isn't enough
9. casual, warm parka that hits at the hip or mid thigh
10. casual, warm parka that's long because when
11. ski jacket or sporty parka because hey, you never know when you might decide to hit the slopes or the ice rink!

Did I miss any? Please let me know if I did because I can always make room in my coat closet!
The temps keep dropping in Western New York, so I'm going to highlight the outerwear I've been wearing this fall and what I'm going to wear when the snow flies. When we come out of hibernation, I'll share more pics of my spring/summer outerwear collection.

First up, vests! I love vests because they are perfect to layer under without creating marshmallow arms (you know, when the material is so puffy that you can't bend your arms and your shoulders look as big as Arnold Schwarzenegger's). Don’t forget that under every vest is a perfectly matched outfit that peeks out. Vests are versatile, too! Some are lightweight, providing just a little touch of warmth, while others are goose-down and extra EXTRA warm. If you’re still not convinced vests are wonderful, try one for yourself! I know you won't be disappointed! :=)

Somewhat of a trend this Fall (at least I didn't notice it until now): camouflage. I've seen distressed camouflage pants, camouflage flats, camouflage everything! So, I decided to try it out for myself.
J. Crew Factory had this camouflage vest that served as my matchiN'spiration piece!
Here's how I wore it.

See? You get an extra layer of warmth without marshmallow arms!

I checked the J. Crew Factory website today and they no longer have this vest available. Bummer! It's no longer available at the regular J. Crew store, either. I searched and searched and searched for other camouflage vests, but I found this adorable jacket from Nordstrom, instead!

 Not into the camo look? This same style jacket comes in green and is just as cute!
 Another one of my favorites this Fall is this navy (buffalo plaid) plaid one from J. Crew Factory.

This vest goes with so many outfits! Here's a glimpse of how I wore it.  
  If you don't care for patterns, this vest is still worth a look because it comes in solid colors, too! They have red, navy, black, and bisque (almond/cream color) online.
I also love my North Face Aconcagua vests, especially when the temps drop below 40. I have one in a green/brown color and a black one. Both are super warm! 
 I couldn't find the exact color I'm wearing, but Zappos offers this same vest in others colors.
Athleta also has super cute vests that have more of sportier look. I love this one.
  It comes in other colors, too, but the red (it's actually called fire red) is so pretty! It's called the Downalicious Deluxe Vest.
Athleta stole my heart last year with this jacket! It's the perfect combination of comfort and warmth, without the bulky look (aka: marshmallow arms).

Words cannot describe how much I love and adore this jacket. I wish I owned it in more colors. Unfortunately, it's no longer available in this exact style, but they have the Downalicious Deluxe Jacket which is similar. They also have the Uptown Down Jacket (I like the foxtail taupe color) which is on my wishlist!

 For a dressier look, I like to wear my ruffle collar coat from J. Crew Factory. When I purchased this coat I was in need of a classic, black dress coat. I'm glad I added this to my closet because it's a great go-to piece. The next coat I'm adding is this same one in bohemian red! 
 I tried on this coat from Ann Taylor recently, and it was the perfect fit and felt so warm. What kept me from purchasing it was the price tag. It would be worth it if I wore a dress coat everyday, but I don't, so I couldn't justify the expense. If it goes on sale, or they offer a coupon it will find it's way in my closet! Speaking of discounts.. if you don't already subscribe to Ann Taylor, sign-up on their website for a 25% off coupon!
Want a closer look at this Ombre Plaid Coat? Click here.
I mentioned marshmallow arms earlier in this post, but I thought I should bring it up again in case you missed it. Marshmallow arms happen when the material of a coat/jacket/parka is so puffy that you can't bend your arms and your shoulders look as big as Arnold Schwarzenegger's!
See?!? Now you know what I'm talking about!
As much as I TRY to avoid parkas that make me look like I have marshmallow arms, it's not always possible. So, I need to be clear: when the temps are in the 20's and the wind chill makes it feel below zero, I could care less about having marshmallow arms! I just want to be WARM!
So, here are a few parkas (FYI: when I use the word, 'parka' I'm referring to jackets that are for the dead of winter = when it's freezing cold and snowing outside.) I wear when it gets bitter cold outside. Yes, they create marshmallow arms, but they keep me nice and cozy!
I'm wearing the North Face Transit parka in black. This parka is fabulous! It has a removable hood, it's warm, and I like that it hits below the tush. North Face has done a great job at reducing the bulkiness of their jackets. Especially with the Transit parka.
The North Face Metropolis parka is pretty bulky, but it's so warm that I don't really care!
Bloomingdales has a great selection of both parkas. Click here for the Metropolis parka and here for the Transit parka. It's their friends and family event so they are offering 20% off your entire purchase! You can also find both parkas on the North Face website (free shipping). Zappos (free shipping and they have a flexible return policy) carries North Face, too. They usually carry styles from previous seasons.
What's in your coat closet?!?
Have a fabulous day, everyone! Check back later this week for my third style confession!
Happy matching!

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