The perfect winter coat

How much time do you spend finding a great pair of shoes?  Insanely hot earrings?  What about the perfect winter coat?

the perfect winter coat

I’ll be honest, for me shopping is about quality first, then price, and fashion last.  I’m cheap thrifty, and I can’t seem to kick the habit even though we’re not starving college students anymore.  So when I was asked by Mom Spark to test out a few winter coats and pick a favorite, it was nice to look at quality and fashion first, price last.

the perfect winter coat1. GAP 2. Nautica 3. Lands’ End 4. L.L.Bean

I tried out four different winter coats to see which was the warmest, had the best insulation, most comfortable hood, best placed pockets, and easiest snaps and zippers.

For reals.

It wasn’t hard because Utah’s fall got nasty fast, and aside from a few warm days hasn’t gotten warm again.  We had winds last week that almost blew the house down, but I was okay in this champ:

perfect winter coat

Cute right?  This is the coat from Nautica.  Aside from being the warmest coat on the block, I think it’s pretty adorable.  The faux fur hood is toasty and warm, with pockets in all the right places.  It rings up at a hefty $199, but is insulated with down and kept me warm through the hurricane force winds.


finding the perfect winter coat
The black coat might be my favorite, but honestly it’s hard to choose.  The color is just right {I have children, white might be foxy, but it’s dangerous} and the weight of the coat doesn’t make me sweat.  It’s from Lands’ End which is one of my favorite clothing companies, so I absolutely know that even without subjecting myself to some time in a meat freezer, this bad boy will hold up to cold winter temperatures.  It’s just the way it is.  A close second at $179.


finding the perfect winter coat
The green coat is from L.L. Bean which isn’t second to anyone anywhere in quality.  It’s a little bit short so my thighs might get a little cold in the snowy months, but it’s adorable.  I love the belt and overall as a fashion statement, this one makes me look least like an Inuit.  It ties Lands’ End at $179.


the perfect winter coat

This short black coat with no collar is not my favorite.  It’s from the GAP, a store I love, a store I’ve  patronized since the 9th grade when I spent my babysitting money to buy a turtleneck for a 9th grade dance {remember that one Sarah?  it was grey + navy blue stripes?  the one where I slow danced with Matt all night long?}.  The coat was $99 and for that kind of change I expected a little bit more fluff.  It’s not terrible, but it didn’t win the general election.

What’s your favorite, just based on fabulousness? I’m torn between the white Nautica coat and the black Lands’ End with fur. Love both of them, and they’re both equally warm.

It’s going to come down to style. In which case I choose black. No, white. No, black. I can’t choose! You do it for me.

I was compensated by Mom Spark Media for my time and the coats are mine to keep but all opinions, as always, are my own
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Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!


  1. Iris :

    I love the green LL bean coat, its got a bit of sass in it!

  2. Jenn :

    I’ll totally take that White Nautica jacket off your hands if you’re worried about getting it dirty! :)

  3. Mrs. Organic :

    If the black had a little more shaping like the white, it would be my favorite.

  4. Kalli :

    Coat donations this way.

    Love the LL Bean, wish it was a tad longer as well. What’s up long torso?

  5. Clisty :

    You wear that white one and wear it well! Do something wild and wear it regardless of the kid-danger…how often do you get a chance to do that?

  6. christina :

    oh I am so happy that you got like $700 in coats – congrats! well anyway it is hard because it could just be the photo but the llbean one does look the best. But yes between black and cream I would pick black – coats get dirty sleeves and the length is great.

  7. ChickenWhisperer :

    The white one of course! I have one similar (that I bought at Burlington Coat Factory) and it makes me feel lovely and dressed up everytime I wear it :)

  8. Lillian :

    Black! Because I have the same exact coat sitting in my shopping cart waiting for me to bite the bullet and actually purchase:) The cream one is pretty as heck, but I’d get it so filthy with kids.

  9. Laura :

    The Land’s End one! It seems to give you a lil sumtin’ sumtin’.

  10. Mitra@ My Midwest :

    I got my Lands End coat for 50% off right after Christmas. It’s so cute and warm, I love it!

  11. Jen M :

    The white one is by far the best looking one. I’d wear it for sure! All of them are nice looking with the exception of the Gap one…not loving that one at all.

  12. Deb :

    I love the LL Bean one. But since you’ve ruled that one out, I would say go for the white one. It’s a very close second!

  13. Heather :

    You got to keep all of them…really? Where will you store them…really?

  14. Jenny :

    I say the white because it has a flattering waistline and a massive hood. Hoods are completely underrated.

  15. Sarah :

    I am going against the grain here, but I would go with the black one. I have done this, bought the slightly cuter coat, but been sorry. I am sure that the white one is great quality, but you are not going to be able to wash it as much as you want. Brushed up against a dirty Utah winter car lately? you’ll be filthy.
    The black one is super cute, and it will hold up to a surface clean now and then. Just my two or three cents.
    Oh and thanks for the shout out, you made my weekend. Yes I remember THAT dance, oh, such good times :). Just a few more years and our girls our girls will be right there.

  16. Sarah :

    I really like the green one too!

  17. Ashley :

    White!! I vote white! :) But I’m inpractical and try (keep word try) to be stylish. The green is my second fav. Good luck!


  18. vanessa :

    Oh you look beautiful in ALL OF THEM! Love your earrings too :)

  19. Jessica @ One Shiny Star :

    I think the green one is the most flattering, but I would pick the black one over the white. I have a tuape colored jacket, and you wouldn’t believe how dirty it got after just one winter – I’m sure a white coat would be worse. Maybe since you have them you could just wear the white one to church or something.

  20. Niri :

    No way!!! Those were my top 2 favorites too!! I settled on the black one though it was hard to say no to the Nautica. I least liked the GAP one too – shocking since I used to love GAP stuff