I think it’s safe to call the J. Crew Chateau parka a classic.
Year after year, this timeless winter coat looks right.
About two years ago I bought a new lightweight Patagonia down jacket, but as far as dressier outerwear goes, I realized I’ve had the same boring black cloth coat from Banana Republic for nearly a decade.
That, my friends, is a true fashion commitment.
Like the J. Crew coat, my BR coat’s classic cut still feels stylish. The fit is good. It’s not worn out in the slightest, so in the end, I can’t think of a reason to get something new.
Except that this season’s fun windowpane check version from J. Crew caught my eye:
The red is so awesome!
There is much argument to be made for having a bright winter coat, since it’s a major statement maker when you’re otherwise bundled from head to toe and it gets dark at 4 PM.
If you stick to safer colors like black or navy, you’ve got to much more creative in the hats, scarves and mittens arena. Which I am.
This year I also love how J. Crew styled the chateau parka with a jean jacket as another layer. This image is from their catalog:
Wearing a jean jacket as a sweater-like layer is a look I’ve seen quite a bit this fall. It’s inspiring me to dig out my own classic J. Crew jean jacket and give it a shot.
One consistent thing I’ve noticed: if you decide you are in the market for a J. Crew winter coat, wait until they go on sale in the late winter/early spring. They are usually deeply discounted, even for classics like this that will again be full price in a few months for the next winter season. If you miss the window of opportunity, try again next year. This style will (more than likely) be back.
For an even better deal, check the in-store sale racks in traditionally warm weather places. Stylish warm coats on sale go quickly around here in February, so you might be left with slim pickings. In contrast, I found a gray Chateau parka in my size for less than $100 at a Scottsdale, AZ, J. Crew store last spring. I am kicking myself now that I didn’t snap it up.
But there’s always next year.