Winter of Our Discontent
Upfront and with full disclosure, I do not like the Winter weather. As a matter of fact, I spend about six months out of the year complaining to anyone who will listen about how cold I am. People usually then say, “where are you from originally?” The answer is that I am from New York City; I just could not, even after 38 years, adapt to the Winter Season.
Living in Manhattan means an awful lot of time outside in extreme temperatures. I realize that I am not in the Antarctica, and I do not want to over-dramatize, but when it gets cold in Manhattan, walking my son to school, or waiting for a bus to work, begins to feel like the most dreaded task in the world; indulge me, I am over-dramatizing.
Add to that a winter coat that makes me look like an Oompa Loompa and frankly, it is just a miserable time for me. Every year or two, I search for a functional winter coat that is also cute. In the last 16 years, I found only one. I wore it for four Winters. It was a brown, down-filled, Missoni, lined in the signature Missoni print. I would still have it, except that I wore it while pregnant and the middle stretched, so I had to part with it; but I loved that coat.
Ice, Ice, Iceland , Baby!
I spend my indoor time in the cooler months watching The Real Housewives franchise; my favorite, being the ladies of The OC. Often, while watching I complain about how much I detest the cold weather and I look at these women living in beautiful sunshine and have such admiration.
While viewing an episode on a recent forty-something degrees evening, I learned the ladies were headed to Iceland. I was intrigued to see the outerwear these California Girls would come up with, and as always, they did not disappoint. The fashion forward, summer trends that the ladies sport, were transposed seamlessly to winter styles that made these women look like seasoned chilly weather pros.
The winter coats on the Iceland episodes inspired me. Maybe I too, could finally find a winter coat that I like, or dare I say, “love”?
There, my adventure began; and I could not withhold my findings from our readers. Hang on to your hats and scarves, as I present the Top-Five Women’s Winter Coats for 2017 based on the following criteria:
1. Functionality: Will it withstand a lot of outdoor time? I am not referring to skiing; simply getting from Point A to Point B outdoors in rain, snow or sleet.
2. Design: Is the shape flattering?
3. Versatility: Can I wear this coat day and night? (Not black tie, but if I am going to dinner will it make a favorable appearance? Will it match multiple outfits?)
The following five are my favorites for you to check out and are not in order of preference…
Moncler Imin Long Quilted Puffer Coat, Black $1,450
Moncler is a French company founded at Monestier-de-Clermont, in the French Alps in 1952 (Moncler is an abbreviation for the town). The brand was purchased in 2003 by Remo Ruffini, an Italian entrepreneur, who transformed it into a luxury Italian company. Moncler has become synonymous with luxury outerwear since the acquisition, and our list would not be complete without it.
This matte quilted puffer coat has a drawstring hooded neckline and zip front. The long silhouette will keep you warm and dry even when you are out and about in leggings. Taller ladies, (5’6” and over) can expect the hem to hit at or above the knee. Shorter folk like me get additional coverage to below the knee or mid-calf.
Herno Fur-Collar Long Puffer Coat $1,080
Herno was founded in 1948 at Lesa, on the shores of Lake Maggiore, by Giuseppe Marenzi and his wife Alessandra Diana. Lake Maggiore has a humid and rainy climate, and as a result, raincoats are a high-demand item. The brand, still connected to its roots, is known for innovation, opportunity and invention; their outerwear reflects a durability that withstands cold, damp and snowy conditions.
This channel ribbed puffer has a fitted shape, with a dyed fox fur collar. The lining is nylon and the fill is 90/10 goose feather fill. Not being as long as the Moncler means an excellent alternative for shorter clients; the length is still adequate in coverage for taller ladies. The fox fur adds an additional element of luxurious warmth and comfort.
Moose Knuckles St. Fabien Reversible Anorak Jacket w/ Multicolor Fur $2,950
Moose Knuckles is new to the outerwear market and was founded in 2007. Aside from the great name, this Canadian brand was developed with the desire to create the most luxurious sportswear in the world that is also the most durable. This coat haunts my dreams because I love it so much.
The multicolored dyed fox provides warmth, and the anorak provides protection from the elements. The coat is reversible so essentially this one can be dressed up or dressed down, making it an easy option to have on hand. The relaxed fit is wonderful for accommodating bulky winter garments.
Post Card Ortles Two-Piece Fur Vest & Quilted Puffer Jacket $1,750
Post Card is an Italian brand known for channel quilting and the brand logo of a cross, symbolizes safety and warmth. This coat made me exclaim, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
The genius of a parka jacket with a detachable vest made of rabbit and fox fur allows for high performance versatility that transforms to a glamorous statement coat. The fit is relaxed and the fill is made of 90/10 goose down/feather fill. And of course, vests have made quite a comeback in women’s apparel in the last few years, so wear that vest for Fall and Spring as a statement piece, minus the parka.
Mackage Janya Tailored Hooded Coat w/ Removable Bib $750 (25% off: $562.50 at press time)
Mackage is a Canadian brand with a great story of two friends who attended design school at LaSalle College in Montreal. Founded by Eran Elfassy and Elisa Dahan, they launched what has become the most prestigious outerwear brand in North America. The name was inspired by Eran’s niece, who mispronounced “maquillage” (French for “make up.”) The brand illustrates that outerwear is just as important to fashion as what lies beneath.
And I say, “cheers to that.”
The semi-fitted silhouette, hooded neckline and knee-length hem provides excellent coverage. I love this as an alternative to down, and find it an appropriate office, out-of-office or casual evening-out coat.
It looks like Winter is getting more fashion forward, and I have to say, it’s about time! Check out these and other options available at Neiman Marcus and online.
Angela Ranieri joins us as Contributing Editor with an extensive background in Fashion, Beauty and Digital Media. She has worked with PRADA USA Corp., Jurlique, Amore Pacific and the New York Daily News in management capacities including Marketing, Client Relations, Employee Relations and Training Management. She has authored and published the column, “Ask Angela,” featured on the Amore Pacific USA website. Her beauty advice has been featured in Shape and Fitness Magazines and CBS News.
She is a graduate of Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science in Communications and Writing. Angela also has an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Northeastern University. While at Northeastern, her Market Research on the Electric Car was published for University use.
Angela is currently creator of Circuit Cosmetics, a Brand Ambassador for luxury beauty line, Patchology, an On Air Guest for QVC and blogger for www.thelaughinmommy.blogspot.com.
In her spare time you can find Angela running, spinning, practicing yoga or getting beautified. She resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her Husband, Son, and Chihuahuas.