Saturday, 31 January 2015

acquisition analysis: navy pleather sleeves coat

Image from

I purchased this coat in November 2013. I have learned a lot of things since spending one winter literally living in this coat.

I liked this coat at first glance because a friend got a coat with leather sleeves and she looked stunning in them. Her coat was a classic shape, yet edgy at the same time. It had the I am nice but can be naughty sort of vibe, and such a contradiction in a coat are something that I find endlessly intriguing. had several colour options available, and I picked the navy (as pictured), that looked like black. As you can tell, I wanted the coat to be as monochromatic as possible. And yes, just like the other coat I purchased recently, I bought this coat in the middle of (Australian) summer, when it was smelting hot.

I lacked a lot of insights when I purchased this coat, one of which being the lack of shape. This coat was cut like a boyfriend coat, straight up and down and thus erred on the side of edgy and trendy rather than edgy and classic. Somewhat thankfully, I purchased the correct size (can be a hit and miss with online shopping), so the shoulders fit me well, and the sleeves were perfect length, and so was the coat itself. The only issue is the lack of shape on the back, which isn't really an issue for me because I could pull it off, but inconvenient because all the images I had at the back of my mind do not match the reality of this coat.

Needless to say, I struggled with this. I could find combinations that worked, after a lot of trial and errors and even so, my options were limited. But I was determined to wear this coat during winter because I did not want to purchase another coat, so I alternated between this coat, the red coat I used to own (and have retired since) and another coat that I bought during the winter of 2012.

Composition of this coat:
Body: 52% Wool, 38% Polyester, 5% Viscose, 4% Acrylic, 1% Nylon
Lining: 100% Polyester
Sleeve: 84% Polyester, 14% Viscose, 2% Elastane.

The composition is okay for the price that I paid (it wasn't full price), and that said, I don't think I would have paid full price for this coat. Sydney winter is often mild at best, so this coat is sufficient for that purpose. It is probably more of an autumn/spring coat for those in colder climates. As a general rule, I try to maximise the wool content of the coats that I consider purchasing. The higher the wool content, the higher I expect the price to be. If the wool content is less than 50%, it would be an autumn/spring coat for me.

You know what they all said about 'investing' in your coats? I hate to say that they were right. The red coat, as much as I loved it, disintegrated after 2 winters, because it was, well, el-cheapo. The issue with el-cheapo stuff is that they often represent good value per wear, but do not stand the test of time. They disintegrate, or start showing their age, within the first two seasons :( which brings home the point of quality first.

This navy coat is yet to disintegrate on me - because I've only worn it for one autumn and one winter. The colour, unfortunately, is a tad too dark for spring, so I have not worn it since last winter. At best, I estimate that this coat would last me another 2 years before it starts showing its age. To be completely honest, I am not sure that I would hang on to this for that long - I plan to retire this at some point post winter 2015.

The most important lesson is to buy quality coats - this is so important because the two times that I've done this so far (they were both Karen Millen coats), these two coats have lasted for more than 2 years and they seem to be holding up well. One of these coats is a compliments magnet, year after year, despite being a classic colour (not black, but not a bright colour either).

Will I consider another navy coat? Yes, of course. Navy is a friendly colour in my closet, it rivals black in its versatility and reliability.

Will I consider altering this coat to give it a more 'feminine' shape? Errr... probably not. I don't love it that much to spend more money to alter it. This sounds really bad, I know, but it is also the truth. I bought it thinking that I didn't need alterations at all, so I wasn't mentally (and financially) prepared for forking out further sum for alterations. That said, if the coat is of a better quality, then I would have considered altering it for a better fit, rather than trying to making it work in its current form.

Will I buy it again? Knowing what I know now, no. I learn a lot of lessons on online shopping and buying coats from this incident, so all in all, it has served its purpose well. I try not to dwell so much on the opportunities that were supposedly lost from this one endeavour, largely because the cost per wear is low enough for me to consider it an okay purchase (plus it got my creative muscles working again). However, if the coat is a better quality, with higher wool content, less synthetic mix and genuine leather sleeves, then yes, I would consider purchasing it again.

All in all, this purchase highlights the importance of buying quality for me - and this also marks the end of me purchasing random, low quality stuff (because I regard their prices as low enough to warrant further consideration). Graduating from the idea that a low price gives me a free purchasing pass is a very long, painful process, and I am glad that I have been actively trying to overcome it. A purchase is a purchase, the item will end up as part of my closet, and I'd like it to earn its spot through quality and versatility.

acquisition analysis is a series of entries that centres on the practical side of how to maximise your marginal utility when spending your money. it is not primarily directed at the financial side of things, rather, on refining my buying skills, specifically on how an item would fit into my life. after all, if it is true that i get to design my life, then it follows that i need to be more critical in both adding and subtracting what's in it. furthermore, i personally believe that in order to maximise one's resources, acquisitions (or purchases) have to be of a strategic nature, instead of a mere time-filler. i admit that at this stage, i am yet to formalise an acquisition process, so one of the goals would be to come up with my acquisition process after i analyse a few of my past purchases. this should make for an interesting exercise because i note that some of my acquisitions do not necessarily stand the test of time. some items that i purchased turn out to be of a terrible quality, despite meticulously taking care of them. lots of lessons to be had!

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