Should probably think about the practical...

.... seeing as it doesn't look like it's getting any milder any time soon.  It's freezing here.  I took the boys to football this morning and even when we got back in the car, it was still zero degrees.  But it's beautifully bright and crisp and not remotely damp which means it's perfect parka weather. 

Now I have a parka.  I love my parka.  I have had my parka for 9 years now.  And I am still vaguely mortified by how I came about it.  Had just moved from London to what I perceived to be the sticks.  Plus I'd just given up work with a 2yr old and a 6 week old baby and my old London wardrobe didn't quite work, tramping around in the countryside.  

I was rather intimidated by the whole Barbour quilted clan - it really wasn't (and even after 9 years, still isn't) me but I needed a warm, practical (all those years ago that word actually made me shudder) coat.  

Which I couldn't find.  Until.. one day in the supermarket I saw this lady wearing the most amazing parka.   It had what looked like a fur capelet over the shoulders which, I realised on closer inspection, was a hood that you unzip down the middle to make into an oversized collar.  

Overtaken with coat lust, I asked her where it was from.  She replied, "Oh it was super cheap, I *think* it was from Littlewoods of all places." 

And before I knew what I was doing (believe me when I say I had looked everywhere for a coat and had seen nothing that I vaguely liked), I had yanked down the back of her collar to see the label. 

Not entirely who was more surprised or mortified - her or me...  I remember apologising profusely and grovelling that I had a tiny baby and was sleep deprived etc etc etc.  Still to this day, when I remember the episode, a small part of me curls up and dies. 

Obviously it didn't stop me heading straight home and spending hours trying to track down what was, I discovered, a completely sold out coat.  But all hail the ebay and patience being a virtue, I located a BNWT one a couple of weeks later.  At almost double what it had been in the sale at Littlewoods and they only had it in a size 16.  Which I have to say, fits like a glove. 

And I have worn it every year, without fail, for the past 9 years. 

Would I advocate spending a lot of money on a parka?  For me, I don't get enough wear out of it to warrant ever replacing with a more expensive version.  And it's easy to spend a couple of hundred pounds, up to over a thousand.  But for me - I mostly need something that's waterproof, which this isn't.  However it's super toasty and on days like today when it's freezing cold but beautifully bright, for being outside with the dog, they are the perfect coat.  Easy to layer under (well, it is when you get a size 16... handy drawstring waist means that it fits perfectly) and a change to my regular raincoat that I wear daily for dog walks and sporting duties (the kids' not mine).

I'm asked often about decent outfits for dog walking in and this is the perfect coat for the next couple of months (rain depending..)  And since it's very much an extra coat (as you really do need a waterproof one, even though I will admit I pretty much a fair weather dog walker...), I've found some more reasonably priced options. 

Well.  Apart from this one, but I thought I had to return to the scene of the crime, as I do ever year, to see if they've brought out a similar version to the one I have but they never have done.  At least with this one, although it's not cheap, you do get three coat options with it.

South 3 in 1 Parka £110  Parka with fur lining, parka without and the fur lining as a gilet to be worn separately. 

If you do fancy one without the fur collar, this is one of the best I've seen. 

V by Very Oversized Casual Parka £65

They also do this one in regular sizing as well on ASOS.   If you're tall, you know how hard it is to find coats that fit.  Cold ankles are one thing but bracelet sleeves on a parka with chilly wrists are another.  And warm knees with this one too.

ASOS Tall Longline Parka £85  And the regular version which is also £85

Khaki Parka with detachable faux fur liner from ASOS was £85 now £59.50

Another great bargain at Zalando with the Twintip Parka in khaki which was £60 now £48  Detachable fur collar.

A paler khaki also from Twintip and this is possibly the bargain of the day. 

Twintip Parka in khaki was £70 now £35 again with a detachable fur collar.

They also have this in a black which is still £60 - still a great buy. 

Although there is a black Twintip parka in the sale and this would definitely get my seal of approval.  An amazing buy. 

Twintip parka in black was £70 now £45.50  Same as the paler one above so the fur collar is also detachable.

And another black option if you'd rather not go for the more traditional olive shade.

Faux Fur Lined Lux Parka was £120 now £60

So they don't have to be super expensive and the joy of them is that they don't go out of fashion.  It's one of the oldest things in my wardrobe and pretty much every time I wear mine, I am asked where it's from.  I will say though, that no one has ever been as rude as I was and unceremoniously yanked down the back of my coat to look at the label.  Yet.... 

Here I am today in mine for a dog walk and taking the boys to footie at the crack of dawn (well - 8.30 which is downright indecent for a Saturday no?)


Parka - South at Littlewoods
Black jumper - Banana Republic
Coated Eden jeggings - Dorothy Perkins
Grey Wellies - Ilse Jacobsen
Cream hat - Amelia Jane
Camel wrist warmers - Topshop
Black Harker cross body bag - Anya Hindmarch

We have have another quiet night in tonight - wading in with more Harry Potter I think.  Had my glass of wine last night - just the one but it was rather fabulous.  I am now on a shoe mission, was very distracted by the other goodies in the Matches sale.  You have been warned... I've been asked for mid heels so mid heels I shall look for.  Well.. lower high heels anyway. 

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22 comentarios:

  1. I remember your parka incident lol. I've got a Cheap Mondays one that I've had for about 5 years, a complete bargain. x

    1. It was hilarious, wasn't it?! They last forever. It's definitely worth having one in your wardrobe for those crisp freezing days. x

  2. Oh, my parka from Next must be 8 or 9 years old now and is just such fabulous quality and timeless too. It's literally like putting a duvet on; so, so heavy. It hasn't really been cold enough to wear it properly this year ....yet!!

    1. Have you not been out the last couple of days?! It's been FREEZING here! I think it's supposed to snow tonight...

  3. My Parka is actually my husbands (he never wears it) which is far too big for me and I bought for him from Burtons 13 years ago. I wear it all the time, especially to football practice and it keeps me so cozy. Lx

  4. I have tried with parkas I really have, but they aren't me. One will never darken my door again ;)

    1. Oh I have loads of things that aren't me that I keep trying. I wear once and think NOPE. Until next year. On repeat.. (looking at you, loafers...)

  5. I have the Hush Fire Parka and love it - it's snowing here already!! I cant wait to get out into the garden tomorrow and build a snowman and throw some snowballs with my 3 year old! :-)

    1. Oh yes, the hush parkas are absolutely gorgeous. The world is divided into people who love playing in the snow and those who don't. I am a complete boring cow and HATE it! I might watch Frozen on DVD as a compromise.. (even though my children think it's lame and I'm the only one who loves it..!)

  6. I also discovered practical clothing with small children! Love your furry-hooded parka and how you got it. I have a waterproof parka from Craghoppers (bought half-price in a sale) which is navy with a huge, white fur hood. But it is not actually as warm as my down-filled coat, but that is not waterproof. Both are being worn loads in this cold weather... along with furry boots and heattech layers.

    1. Great thing about mine is that I can layer loads under it. What I do need though is some more welly boots.. I've realised. I am on a mission!

  7. I have a black Whistles one but really want a khaki one so might well peruse your options more closely. They are indeed very handy to have. I laughed at your anecdote! Snowing here in Farnham today - and guess what we had planned to do - before I read your post? Go parka shopping! My two daughters need new ones and I am hoping to find one in the sales for moi too!

    1. Good luck! they are the perfect cool coat for teenagers that's also practical. The Whistles one is a GORGEOUS one. I'd just stick with the black one and save your cash unless you're wearing it v often... Think Spring, think Spring, think Spring...!

  8. .....Primark has a good selection if you sift through for 15pounds!! get an oversized one...and unbutton the faux fur trim and stick a REAL fur trim around the collar instead(either button it on and add a stitch or safety pin!!)...sorry for those of us who are a bit my bit of fur on ebay for 30 quid or so last year and it makes every parka look very glam....and soooooo much more expensive. xx

  9. Love that furry hood on your parka, it looks great unzipped.

    I've been wearing a long puffer coat and a short puffer jacket for the longest time, but after last year's constant polar vortexes I just upped my winter coat game for this year with a J.Crew Nordic parka (mine is navy, it also comes in olive). I haven't tested it yet (I missed the recent polar vortex being away on vacation), but I'm betting this heavy and thick parka will keep me toasty warm. As I get older, my tolerance for being cold is nil,

    1. Oh I am SO with you on the tolerance schtick! Zero here. Wow - that is upping the game with a JCrew version but you'll have that forever xxx

  10. I have a rather nice coat but I sometimes get envious of the green parkas (mine is black and from Ted Baker). I saw a lovely one in the Mint Velvet sale today....shall I?

    1. If it's a bargain and you think you'll wear it enough, then I'd say yes. But if you've already have a black practical coat (that I'm assuming you really like... if you don't the all bets off and definitely get it!) then I'd probably hold strong and keep my budget for Spring. It also depends on how often you wear it. This is why I haven't replaced mine for 9 yrs - and have no intention of doing so. I don't wear it often enough to justify a new one but if I wore it al the time, like I do with my Ilse Jacobsen raincoat which is much more useful then I would. Clear as mud?!

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