Going For The Gold

Eileen Fisher puffer coat, Aquatalia boots

Can you tell how much I love this coat? It was one of the dozen or so I tried while searching for a lightweight cold-weather travel coat. While it’s not quite warm enough for December in Paris, (I selected this packable parka for that trip) it’s a perfect winter coat for milder climates. Like coastal California…


earrings | scarf (similar) | coat | top | pantsboots

I haven’t yet decided whether I’m going to keep it, but I’m leaning toward yes. My camel coat search has fizzled out again (a lot of close-but-no-cigar options…too heavy, too voluminous, too structured, blah color) and it occurred to me that this piece might better fill that same role. Camel is classic, yes, but maybe it’s like the “crisp white shirt,” something that’s just not right for me.

Eileen Fisher coat, Bindya scarf

I love this “Arnica” color, which is distinctive but coordinates well with others in my wardrobe. There’s no hood to fuss with, and it has both snap and zip closures. It’s sleek and not too puffy. I’m wearing Petite Small, and it’s also offered in Plus sizes. If you prefer this color in a smaller dose, there’s also a vest version.

The scarf is from last year, by Bindya. This print’s no longer available, but there are lots of gorgeous choices here. The boots are weatherproof and both comfortable and stylish; this is one of the pairs that will be going to Paris with me next month.

Lipstick is Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural N47.

Housekeeping note: I’m trying an experiment with photo sizing to improve image quality in the blog posts. If you subscribe by email and some images do not display, my apologies. I’m trying to find a happy medium.

Do you sometimes find unexpected solutions to wardrobe gaps?

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Puffer Fishing…

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  1. Hi Susan
    I personally wouldn’t wear this type of puffer coat but on you, you look incredibly slim. The colours suit you esp. with the blue eyeglass frames and the scarf.
    I bought myself a black down puffer vest last year and find it more than suitable for cold Aus winters.

  2. Well, I will be honest – I do not like the coat. That color is really limiting. You would do better with a nice navy one or black or gray.

  3. The coat looks too big on you, in particular, the sleeves are overwhelming you. I’m sure you can do a better fit. Your fit is always spot on so this seems like a misstep.

    Also, I don’t always receive email notification that you have a new post. Are the notifications designed for me to receive an email for each new post or only once a week? For instance, I did receive one this morning but hadn’t received anything for the 11/4 post. The pictures came through fine for me.

    Yours is the only blog I continue to follow. I enjoy the mix of clothes, travel, and new to me product posts. Thank you!

  4. I love the coat on you! The color is unexpected and fun, and as for the ‘perfect’ camel coat- always fun to continue the search.

  5. YES that is great! I think this color palette on you actually makes your skin look so fresh! Sometimes too much black hollows our natural coloring out, IMO. Just sayin….

  6. Hi,

    I would wear this coat to Paris with a cashmere sweater in December, and think it warm enough. I also bought this coat, and I am loving it too.
    Keep it!

  7. You look great in this coat! I live in Southern California, too. Somehow I never think about buying coats as I find no need with our pleasant weather. What am I missing?!?!

  8. I like coats that aren’t dark colored. If you’re out on the street you stand a better chance of being seen in the dark!

  9. Really like this coat . Puffa coats are so light & easy to wear – no wonder they’ve become a new classic . The vertical lines seem to make it more slimming & it’s great that new , different colours are appearing . I would buy this , but not at the price they are charging in the UK .

  10. I love that color on you. You look radiant! I do like the new lightweight puffer jackets. Maybe, your new lifestyle doesn’t include a structured wool camel coat. I was looking for a light pink one but they all seem boxy. I know it’s this year’s fashion but I like a more fitted style. A simpler coat with a hood is actually more in keeping with my lifestyle and the wet weather of the Pacific Northwest winters.
    Keep the coat! Lol

  11. I’m noticing you wear several different pairs of glasses, and they all flatter you so! I hate wearing glasses but can’t tolerate contacts any more. Do you have any suggestions, go-to brands, etc. for us poor myopic souls?
    I love the coat and scarf on you, by the way:)

  12. Wow, Susan! The coat looks great on you, despite what some others have said, but what makes me think you should keep it is the look on your face. You look so happy, a look sometimes missing in some of your posts.

    I think you should keep it and take it to Paris. Paris in the winter is just not that cold. Return the other coat. Whenever I’ve bought something because it meets a specific need and not because I love it, it’s never made me happy.

    But first make sure the coat really fits. How does it look zipped? Can you roll the sleeves? Make sure the rest of your wardrobe goes with it, etc.

    It’s amazing how big an effect a bright coat can have. The other day I played bridge with a woman who was wearing a bright lavender coat, and I can’t stop thinking about it.

    Let us know what you decide.

  13. The coat is fabulous. I agree with those that say take it to Paris. A cashmere jumper and thermals will keep you warm. I am currently in the UK and really find that layers a are the way to go plus gloves and warm socks.

  14. That coat fits you perfectly and it’s very stylish. Having said that, a color like this is timeless and brings a dose of vibrancy to your look. I LOVE it.

  15. I agree with Jean on the fit of the coat. The sleeves are much too big in width and length. I do like the color on you however.

  16. I like the coat, both the colour and the fit. Particularly the colour; it suits you. It looks warm and cosy and it is getting cold in Paris, so that coat will be ideal.
    Uniqlo has some lovely puffer coats, very warm and lightweight; they have branches in Paris.

  17. Love the Coat Love the Colour Having been in Paris in December and coming from a warm climate That coat pardon the pun Would not cut the mustard Sorry had to say it 😉 You will need a really weatherproof Wind cutting Insulated Outerlayer I have tried the looking cute and Fasionable and had to wear nearly everything I brought to keep warm Keep It for SoCal but look for something else to take that has Driteck down or primaloft Not worth ruining a visit to Paris because you are Cold but Fashionable lol

  18. Well, I seem to have a different opinion to most. I don’t like anything about the coat, it seems to be a real departure from your usual,style. The colour is warm and does not suit your colouring and the oversized shape seems to swallow you up. I agree the sleeve are to long and too loose. It is just not elegant. I think a cool toned camel coat (not puffer) would be better. Sorry for the negativity but that’s my gut level reaction to this look.

    1. I had the same reaction to both the size and color, but then I rethought my initial feelings, and decided that the fit will allow for layering, and is most likely very cozy and comfortable. It is a bit whimsical and fun, so if Susan loves it, who are we to disagree?

  19. Love the coat! Much better than a run of the mill camel coat. The color POPs on you and is so sharp with the scarf. As usual, you find something :outside the box” that still hits all the requirements. Yes, keep it.

  20. Here you have chosen a coat that is not like every-other-coat-in-the-world. It’s a personal style decision, which is always interesting. Plus it’s a great color for a blonde. You will not melt in with the rest of us in our black outwear. xo

  21. I noticed that Eddie Bauer has fabulous down coats, some with hoods and some without. No camel but they do carry a nice taupe color called Driftwood. Several styles to choose from and they are not too bulky. I live in Dallas and bought two to take with me on a trip to New York. A few coats are rated to -20 degrees below 0.

  22. I like the color on you and it’s not an easy color to wear. I agree that the sleeves need some adjusting as they seem to swamp you. Other than the sleeves I like the color and that it’s a different look for you. I think it’s a color that can be treated as a neutral in most cases. I really like what you’ve done with it! I’ve bought a couple of short puffer coats that were on sale here and there and I have yet to wear them here in Northern California. And what to do with the wardrobe of wool coats from New England! I can’t part with them but I know one day I will. I’m still playing with what works as outerwear here that doesn’t make me too hot. Before I moved here and planned trips to visit, my daughter would constantly say, “dress in layers.” She is so right. The temp can change thirty degrees from morning to afternoon! p.s. I attempted to purchase the EF blue-violet cotton sweater from the last post but it was out of stock. Great price. I find I cannot wear more than about 5% wool – again, adjusting to this quasi-winter climate.

  23. I think the coat is a keeper. The color is not of the norm but it really adds a bit of brightness to the dreary winter gray skies and bare trees! Honestly, I would bring it Paris. I’ve been in Paris during snow and in the dead of January and the winter weather never seemed as severe as it gets here in the Northeast of the States. But then I’m that person who, as long as I’m wearing a hat, gloves and a scarf can run around with a blazer on! But seriously. I think it’s a great coat!!

  24. The whole glorious scene is distinctly empyrean. You look radiant, beautiful and immensely happy. I like a slouchy look so the size of the coat and the sleeves look just right. I hope you buy it – you and the coat look made for each other in every way.

  25. Love the color of the coat. It’s an unusual color but would look great with many other colors – navy, green, ivory, denim, and deep brown. I like the color on you too.

  26. I love it and have been eyeing it myself. I found that color actually works well with my blondish coloring and love it with blue/black/gray/olive/burgundy/rust etc. And off topic, but new glasses? Do tell more. I’m obsessed with finding a new pair lately. Found a pair of bluish Tiffany frames but like the cat eye with these.

    So, my vote, keep. More fun than camel.

  27. I think the color looks wonderful on you, it really suits you. The cut flatters. You look quite elegant and very slim in t. Love the colour over black and it would look brilliant over navy or an inky blue as well as over charcoal grey. When I’ve been to Paris in December the weather has been suitable for that coat. My adult children live in Paris, however, and there have been snowy Decembers on occasion requiring either more fine layers or a heavier coat. Hard to imagine here in sunny 31 C Sydney at the moment!

  28. Hi Susan,

    I do like that you went adventurous and tried a non-traditional color, but perhaps the fit could be a little better. But being petite it is hard to find clothes that fit proper, get it tailored if you love it.

    I have never seen this color look good on anyone, but you manage to pull it off, perhaps because of the scarf, I think without the scarf it wouldn’t work.

    All this being said I am a child of the 70’s and the little designer in me hated avocado green, mustard yellow, and orange. Is hate a strong word, yes but as a little girl right up to this day those colors used in design and clothing I literally have a cringe feeling looking at. No matter what fancy name “Arnica” a designer gives it, to me it is still mustard yellow, and even if it looks good on someone, the color brings back nightmare 70’s design ideas in my head…. (I actually use another word to describe this color but it isn’t polite:()

    In the end, even me who has such an aversion to the color, you do manage to pull it off, especially putting it with blue. And most important is that you like it.

    I also recommend layers, the weather has been really nuts here in Europe, if you have too warm of a coat and it gets hot you get overheated and have to lug it around all day, then if you take it off and don’t have enough warm layers under you get cold. My suggestion also is to do this coat weight with layers. I wear at least a long sleeve t-shirt or long john type thing under my sweaters, usually cashmere turtleneck then my coat. Always a winter scarf, like cashmere type, even with a turtleneck it is easier to fold or wrap or loosen to adjust what temp I need. By doing this type of layering you can unzip the coat still wear it without having to carry it and cool off a bit.

    By the way the glasses are really pretty on you, they suit you and when you wear soft red ones.

  29. Yes, yes, yes! Keep it! Love the color on you, especially with that scarf. I would layer up underneath and take this to Paris instead of the other coat you selected. Why blend in with all the other black, navy and grey coats when you can stand out in this warm color?

  30. Keep it! Just so refreshing to see something different. Not a color I can wear but just love it on you. And I think very versital even though a strong color.

  31. The coat and the colour both suit you and make such a wonderful change from the general darkness of winter coats everywhere. You love it and it is eye-catching but chic, so I say keep it!

  32. Just popped ack to say I have bought this coat in black. It runs a little large so I bought the small. I am in very cold London at the moment (I live in Sydney) and will a cashmere jumper and Uniqlo Heat tec tshirt I am warm.

  33. I like the coat and I like it on you. I am tired of seeing these coats in black or another dark color. We look like a bunch of robots running around.

    You are inspirational these days. I keep meaning to tell you how much I admire your current style choices.

  34. I agree with all of those who say this coat looks good on you. Cheerful and unique. It has an edge to it in that you appear to be breaking the rules a little bit (insofar as color experts may not advise it) but I think that is part of the charm.

  35. Susan, loved the coat on you! Waited, waited, waited…when it went on sale and I received a gift card for EF purchases I got myself the black one! Love love love it! Here in south central Indiana our winters aren’t that cold anymore, or just short spurts of arctic air now and then. Perfect! Am looking forward to wearing this many years, very flattering. So happy it did not have hood. Thanks for sharing your views.