May 20, 2018:


Yesterday Prince Harry married American Meghan Markle and I couldn't get enough of the royal wedding. What a gorgeous dress, the bride was radiantly beautiful and the church at Windsor - oh my goodness, the flowers alone were soooo beautiful. There's nothing like a good love story to make one appreciate how precious we can be (and should be) to each other.

I'm glad the weather was perfect yesterday for the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding. I can't say the same for around here. Spring keeps teasing and then going away. This morning I woke up to a "balmy" 47 degrees F outside, rain, damp, and I turned the heat back on! It's May 20th, the heat. should. not. be. on. Period.

Last Thursday, however, was beautiful. I was able to get a goodly amount of yard and garden clean-up done over several days last week. I also took some photos of my flowering tree anchoring the north corner of my house and made the current collage. I think it's an ornamental cherry, and on the the other end of the house, I think that's called a purple sand cherry? I'll have to check that. The blossoms on the tree do not have a distinct fragrance, but the purple shrub that wants to be a tree (despite my hacking it back, back and back yearly - I'm losing, by the way) has myriad blossoms with a distinct fragrance. I can't decide if the scent is too beautiful to bear or too awful to smell, it certainly can be overpowering!

This coming week will be the third cut of the grass this season. We had rain late Friday night and then for several hours earlier this morning. This rain, on top of the rain we had over four days the prior weekend, and the grass is growing like nobody's business! I don't mind doing the grass, though, as long as it's not too hot, too cold, not raining, and not too windy. I'm not picky at all, am I...

I still have a lot of raking out of areas that suffered from snow mold over the winter, and have not yet really tackled cleaning out the north flower bed in the backyard. That will be a chore!

But Memorial Day weekend is coming. This coming Saturday I will be out with a friend (who has a nice large van - goody!) stocking up on potting soil, top soil to fill in never-ending low spots in the yard, grass seed, and lots of plants! For some reason, this spring seems busier than those in prior years. I can't figure out why that is...


Sunday, October 2, 2011

I Want a Red Coat!

I've had the idea in mind for awhile, but I've been spending so much on new clothes of late, and with the Madrid vacation coming up in January, how can I possibly justify the expense of a new coat when I have several perfectly adequate coats already hanging in my closet? 

I want a bright red - not a ruby red, not a rasberry - coat.  I already have a rasberry-colored down coat that I bought a few years ago from LLB that I LOVE!  It keeps me toasty warm during all but the coldest days of our Wisconsin winters where, if needed, I pull out the heavy-duty down coat that's ankle-length!  It's not a beautiful mood-lifting rasberry color, though.

Ideally what I'm looking for is a three-season bright red coat with a zip-out lining. But I'd go for a suitably styled wool-blend walker that fits!  That's the thing - finding something that fits. 

My height is 5' 3-3/4" unless I've shrunk (wouldn't be surprised if that's starting to happen now, post-menopause) but at my current weight, I'm not "petite."  Even when I was 106 pounds I wasn't exactly petite, because a lot of sizes called petite are geared for women shorter than me.  I'm in that shady borderline area where misses' clothes are usually cut too long and petite sizes are short-waisted, too short and cut too tight across the bust and shoulders.  Argggghhhhh!

I love this look, but I don't think it would be flattering on my current figure; the belt is a no-no right now and without the belt the look would be more potato sack blah than anything else.  Also, I think the short length would mean freezing my butt off - literally!  This is a New York winter type of coat, where it doesn't drop down to 20 or 30 below zero except maybe once a season, and then everyone stays home from work :)  The belt looks cheaply made, BTW.  I think a matching red belt would be more figure friendly, but if it must be black, make it out of a faux snake-skin look or something else than this tire-retred look!

Macy's, Steve Madden long sleeve belted cape coat.
Regularly $179, on sale for $99.
Here's a possibility - again, an interesting sillouette like the look above, and nice tailoring details.  The color is also spot-on what I'm looking for.  The figure-skimming A-line would be more flattering than the cinch-waist look.  It's a lined wool-blend too, and I suspect it would be warmer than the Steve Madden coat above

Tommy Hilfiger, long sleeve A-line wool toggle coat.
Regularly $198.50, on sale for $149.99.
 London Fog can always be counted on to have classic looks, and this coat looks promising, but the reviews at Macy's say the color isn't anything like the nice bright red in the photo, but more of a MAROON color.  Oh yuck!  That means - NIX.  Too bad, it has an acrylic lining (doesn't say it's removable, though), plus removable hood and removable scarf. 

London Fog rain coat, $99.98 everyday value at Macy's.
Doesn't anyone make longer coats anymore? In the winter I'm outside for up to 40 or 50 minutes at a time, walking and waiting for buses that sometimes don't show up!  I need something with coverage!

Ah - here are a couple of looks from Ann Klein, also found at the Macy's website and also on sale:

Ann Klein, wool blend belted walker.
Regularly $175, on sale for $169.99 at Macy's.

Ann Klein, wool/cashmere blend seamed walker.
Everyday value $169.98 at Macy's. Great price!
How about something below the knee, please?

Here's an absolutely gorgeous coat - and a price I can't touch:

Cinzia Rocca Long A-Line baby llama/wool blend.
Niemann Marcus $1,530.00.

I'll keep looking :)


  1. Great blog. I sympathize! But try looking for such a coat when you rule out wool, for the reasons described here:
    Now I'm so tired of my brown coat from three years ago. I love the first coat you posted and had been looking for it online, but it's only available in a large. Ugh!

  2. Thanks for your note on my blog, Jan, and thank you for reading it and opting out of buying into the torture and killing that sadly has become standard practice in the wool industry. So many believe that wool is a gift sheep give without pain, when in fact it is taken from them, along with their natural instincts and their right to live free of abuse. And killing is inherent in wool production.

    I'm glad I cam across your blog after my intensive and frustrating search for a red synthetic winter coat. I'm happy to report that I found one! It's more than I wanted to spend, but I'm actually not buying it ... my mother is, as a present for a big birthday I have coming up. See what you think, aside from the brands Jessica Simpson and Macy's (don't get me started on those fur whores)!

  3. Hi Jill,

    I tried posting a response to you here after I posted at your blog, but I'm having some problems, ach! It would not save.

    I checked out the Jessica Simpson coat and it's really pretty, but the color isn't what I'd call a red, precisely. Have you looked at I found some red coats there, and some red plaid ones that I liked the look of - I just haven't had a chance to post more lately. But -- now I see, just in doing a quicky search, that most of them are wool blends. How about this one, that is a "recycled wool?" Would that defeat the purpose?

    Thank you for opening my eyes. I am going to look for "sustainable" fashions or "organic" fashions -- surely there must be some producers out there who treat their wool-giving animals in a humane manner. Maybe I should just stick to cotton and polyester, although I hate the thought of using up precious oil that already does so much damange environmentally in order to make a synthetic fabric!

  4. Jill!

    I found a real possibility for you - no wool in it at all: check this out at Dillards

    It's also a Jessica Simpson coat but a really cute pea-coat style.


  5. Eek! Found another Jessica Simpson - no wool - also at Dillards:

    I like this one even better than the one I posted about above.


  6. Hi Jan! Wish I'd seen this earlier; I'm a little late in checking your blog. I returned that Jessica Simpson coat b/c it was way too far from the pure red we like. It looked maroon in the photo but turned out to be a shade of purple/pink/red -- ugh! Then I just found this one, which I like:

    I've checked to no avail; maybe I didn't look hard enough. Thank you for the links to those Jessica Simpson coats; I actually like the first one (not a big fan of the dark buttons in the second) and am going to see if the local Dillard's carries it. Have you had any luck, yourself?

  7. Hi Jill,

    I am still looking for a red coat, I fear, in vain! I have been trying on lots of coats -- I even found a Jessica Simpson red coat at one of the local stores. It was a Large and I couldn't get it closed across my front! Now I'm no 100 pound slip, that's for sure. Right now I'm somewhere between a size 12 and a size 2X, depending upon the brand! Go figure! I sure can't. Every single jacket or coat that I've tried on on that are "misses" sizes are either too tight across the shoulders, across the bust, won't close, or if they do close the arms are down to my knees. I don't like coats with in-set arms but try and find a raglan sleeve style coat! Hardly any! I resorted to trying on 1X sizes and those were too big! So -Large or X-Large in misses are too small, 1X is too big.

    And then there is the issue of the wool. Most of the coats I've seen out here have some percentage of wool in them, except for the synthetic jackets. I'd rather get a coat, I was trying for a dressier look; I don't really want another jacket. And I would like a nice bright red, or a bright red plaid. Ha! May as well ask for the Moon on a platter.

    So, I don't think Jessica Simpson's wool-less coats are going to fit me. I don't want to order coats over the internet - I went through that experience when I was shopping for a black dress and fancy shoes -- I don't want to go through that again, just endless frustration and inconvenience.

    I'm forgetting about finding a new red coat. Maybe in a few years LLBean will come out with one in a style I actually like! In the meantime, either I have to keep on my "training regime" to shed more weight, or gain it all back and then some to become a true 1X (or 2X). Geez!

  8. Aww, I'm sorry to hear about your sizing woes! I was wondering how you made out. The coats we've been looking at are definitely running small.

    I ended up with this one: I got a large, and I normally wear medium, sometimes large, and it's slightly snug. I LOVE IT. I'm so relieved that my exhaustive search for a synthetic/nonwool, red winter coat is over at last. It's nice and warm, and I love the belt/no-belt option. It comes in an XL too, which is probably a snug 12ish, and there is now free shipping, but I totally understand your resistance to ordering online. For me, returning the two Jessica Simpson coats I got online wasn't too bad b/c I just bagged em up and took em a mile down the street to the local Macy's. I'm glad I didn't end up supporting fur-profiteering Macy's. But the boots I need to return by mail are still waiting, and it's been nearly two months ... yikes!!

    Good luck! :)

  9. Hi Jan,
    Did you ever find a coat? I thought of you and had to send you a note b/c I found two new websites that feature nice coats, including red and A-line and nonwool:
    I just bought this one (granted, not red, but love, love it):

  10. Hi Jill,

    No, I never did find a red coat that wasn't wool or part wool, and even those didn't -- I would not have bought but I was trying to get the sizing issues taken care of. If something would have been close fitting I would have look further into the manufacturer's lines. No such luck. Plus size seems to be cut for Amazons only, not real women like me. There are a LOT of women like me, I'm sure - about my height, and with a basically non-existent (post-menopausal) waist! Where are the frigging close for us? We have money - lots of money - to spend!

    So, I went to Spain at the beginning of January in my ugly OLD blue synthetic winter jacket. It's too big on me now because I've been losing weight steadily since August, and while I'm certainly not slender, all it managed to do in photos was make me look larger than I am. I was not pleased, to say the least!

    I've given up. On Monday I'm resurrecting from the back of my closet an old Gloria Vanderbilt synthetic jacket with a zip-out lining. It's not built for deep Wisconsin winters but - wouldn't you know it - this winter has been extremely mild and temperatures way above normal, and snow way below normal! I hope it lasts! Anyway, that jacket needs a new zipper installed so I'll take it to my tailor downtown and have her do it. The jacket is at least 10 years old now but looking almost good as new. With my trimmer figure the new zipper should do the trick and I'll have something other than my down coats or the ugly too-large blue Forecaster to wear as we march into spring.