Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Might Need that 30% Off Coat.

Still planning our Christmas & New Year's trip to Europe (thanks to cheap airline tickets and tons of Comp time off at work) and have come to the daunting conclusion that I am going to freeze my arse off. So that "selected," or more like 5 coats that are on sale at J.Crew right now with 30% off might get looked at a little more closely.

I mean, duh, I knew it would be cold. But taking in the pics of what it's really going to look like has sort of freaked me out. I like to think of myself as a cosmopolitan girl. That I can accept and adapt to all kinds of situations and places easily. But the truth is when it comes to weather, I'm like a little country mouse whose never been off the farm, for sheezy. I grew up in Hawaii - perfect weather all year round at a comfortable 75-80 degrees, sunny (even when it rains, hence the Hawaiian Term "Liquid Sunshine") and never cold. It dips to 60 and people freak out in Hawaii. I mean they want to close schools. & yeah, yeah, we have snow on like 1 mountain on 1 island, but truly, hardly anyone goes there and its an anomaly. You won't find any ski runs or lifts, that's for sure.

& now in Okinawa, I'm in the same boat. If you don't know Okinawa, it's a little island about a 1 hour plane ride from Taiwan. It's a prefecture of Japan, but is influenced and geographically closer to China. Its climate is sub-tropical with humid 95 degree summers and winters that might dip down into the 40s if we're lucky. No snow. Ever.

My dad lives in Denver and worked for an airline. I hung out there and ski'd like crazy when I was young. But that was my exposure to snow. Let's say, at 5 days at a time. Most of my vacations are spent in warm climates these days. & for good reason.

& this scene, let alone anything more harsh, is kinda freaking me out, weather wise:

The city of Colmar in the Alsace region of France.

It's pretty and it's festive and it looks so darn cold.

So my closet full of J.Crew coats (Well, I've got like 2) are going to come out. But I still think I'm going to freeze! Any tips for how to stay warm from you ladies who are completely used to real winter temps that you can give a girl who's used to island living?


  1. I just caved and bought myself a Lady Day with Thinsulate thanks to the promo...I'm also planning European travels this winter (Paris and London in January) and the thought of the temperatures there scares my little California-raised heart half to death. I have a stable full of coats, but they keep me warm in the Bay Area, they've never actually seen snow! Hopefully this new coat will be warm enough (though I read afterwards that only the body is lined in thinsulate and not the arms -- hrpm. Time to buy some elbow length wooly gloves as well apparently.)

  2. Layers layers layers! I'm a HUGE fan of Cuddl Duds - they're thin enough to wear under just about anything, and they really do help to keep you warm. Last year I also had a few pairs of the sherpa lined leather gloves from J.Crew, as well as the Sherpa Puffer Coat - I've never had such a warm coat before! I highly highly recommend. And while I only live in Ohio (and not some truly nordic tundra like Minnesota!) it does get pretty cold here every winter - hovering around 0 for most of January-March-ish. HTH! :)

  3. I agree with everything RatsonParade says! Cuddlduds are a great first layer. They are so thin and silky, other layers do not stick. Hats, gloves and scarves. I have not tried the J. Crew coats with thinsulate, so the ones (5!) that I have are not the warmest. I bet the puffer coat is fabulous! I live in MA and when it gets really cold, I take out my North Face down jacket. It is not stylish but very warm.

  4. Hats and scarves are a must to stay warm. Also, it's all about the feet. If my feet are warm all is right with the world. Most people say those Ugg boots are made of warmth, but I loathe them. And if you're going to Paris, I don't think they will fly. If you're going to the Alps or something, then yeah, they probably would rock.

    So, good warm shoes, socks, scarves, hats and gloves. If that doesn't work, sit your ass down in a cafe and get a good drink. :)

  5. Thinsulate is wonderful! I grew up in coastal Texas, where the coldest it gets is in the 40s-50s, so imagine my SHOCK when I moved up to Boston for a few years where reached the single digits at times! I have one J.Crew coat with Thinsulate, and a few others without (but all are wool). The J.Crew one kept me warmest for sure. Layers are great, and if you plan those layers right, you can layer up, keep warm, and still minimize bulk. A good fleece jacket that's cut pretty fitted will layer nicely and snugly under any coat and keep out most of the chill. Gloves and scarves are great, and a nice big beret will keep your ears warm. I also have layered thick tights too, and this can also be worn under pants on especially cold days. You can do this! I can't wait to see what you come up with!

  6. Layers-- tees, turtlenecks, cardigans, tights under pants (yes, I do this!). Smartwool socks are great, I wore them pretty much every day during my Colorado vacation last winter.

    I wore my jc coats w/ thinsulate through many a blizzard in MA. Mine are older and have thinsulate in the arms, apparently they no longer do this?

    I wear wool gloves b/c I don't like the idea of leather ones, but my bf's hands are always cold and he is a big fan of leather gloves with cashmere lining.

  7. Ladies thank you so much for your advice and suggestions! You had great ideas and now I know what to prioritize. I don't feel too much like a chicken without a head.

    @Goldenmeans:Glad to hear there's someone else like me out there used to gorgeous yearlong sunshine! Great point about no thinsulate in the arms. I just checked my J.Crew peacoat that has thinsulate -- and none in the arms. So I love the idea of elbow length gloves!

    @RatsOnParade: I definitely will check out the Cuddleduds and the J.Crew gloves. Thank you!

    @Kathy: I've got to agree about the down puffer. I'm checking it out, though I'm more inclined (on looks) to buy something preeeeetty. But I'll be pretty and freeze, so I guess I better think seriously!

    @Susan: I most def can't wear Uggs in Paris. Mais Non! But I cracked up reading your last line. I could think of lots of things to warm me up if I get cold - thanks for the reminder! I love that you ladies think of so many great things!

    @Amy Kelinda: Great idea about the thick tights under pants as a layer. I hadn't thought of that and I really like the idea! & the beret!

    @Tastymoog:I checked my coat and they don't have thinsulate in the arms anymore. Thanks for the comment about the gloves. Because that has been something I've been playing with in my head - wool or lined leather? I might just go with elbow length wool thanks to you!

  8. I definitely agree with everyone's suggestions on the layering! My ears get cold easily so those J. Crew hats with the sherpa ear covering thingies (ok, awesome description, I know lol) help keep me warm. I have one of the long puffer jackets that's great for winter as well. Sadly enough, of all the nice wool coats I have, none of them have thinsulate and so aren't as practical for northeast winters. Hmm, I think I need to take a look at the coat sale one last time :D