Every year people struggle with which coat to buy. I used to struggle with this decision , but I realized it honestly depends on what’s important to you.. Is it the designer label, the quality, the fit, function or the price? Either way it’s your choice. Many brands follow the same fashion trend so whether you select the Gucci or the Lands’ End version it’s really entirely up to you.
Here are my tips
Forever 21 and other bargain stores- Items are affordable, but most items want last more than a season. Last year I bought 2 coats for $40 from these types of stores and immediately a hole appeared in the side pocket. I guess my keys where too heavy for the coat? Truthfully other than sewing up the hole the coat was practically useless, since during the winter season, I always have my hands in my pocket. The store also only had a 7 day return police and so I was only able receive a credit.
Name Brand Store Designs vs Luxury Designer Brands– Brands like Express, Banana Republic, JC Penney, Lands’ End, Gucci, Elie Tahari & Neiman Marcus all carry great items. It honestly depends on the price you want to spend & the function of the piece.
Here are my tips:
- Look at the fabrication of each the item. Certain fabrics are itchy and are not worth the price. For example a designer brand had a beautiful felt coat for $798. It was a wonderfully designed coat, but honestly anything made of felt will not keep you warm. For the price of $798 you were paying for designer name, and marketing and maybe the office Christmas tree. This also applies at department stores like Banana Republic as they have to pay for marketing and celebrity spokes people as well.
- Know when the sales are happening. I know that Banana Republic normally does mark downs on Sunday night, and a lot of sales happen on Wednesday and Thursday. They also have a coupon floating around somewhere which allows you never to pay the full price for any item. I love Banana Republic, but I NEVER pay full price.
- Sign up for email notifications about sales- This will help you know the best times to shop.
- Become friends with a sales associate-They will normally call you when a great sale is happening or let you know me a certain piece comes in your size.
- Never buy the item more than 2 weeks in advance unless the store has a great return policy. Many times I have bought an item because it was cute or on sale, but didn’t wear it for 6 weeks. By now the price had already gone down and most stores will not give you a price adjustment. It would have been better to wait and get a better discount.
- Shop Around- Whether you go with the brands I selected or another brand, just know you can look on trend without picking the cheapest or most expensive brand. I shop at Neiman Marcus and buy designer brands, but I always buy them on sale.
Exception to the rule: If the item is 70% off or more than it is okay to buy it right away. For example I bought a pair of shoes at Banana Republic that originally cost $89 and was on sale for $20 plus 50% off. I scored these shoes for $12 and I have had them for 4 months and haven’t worn them. Even if I never wear them I can donate them to a shelter, or give as a gift to a friend. There are some deals, if you can afford to spend the money, you really can’t pass them up.
The Toggle Coat
Forever 21 $42.80
Banana Republic $185
The Short Parka
The Quilted Leather Jacket
The Detachable Coat
Kate Spade Fur Coat $895 Neiman Marcus
The Trench Coat
Burberry London $1250 from Neiman Marcus
Merano Target $49.99