Friday, 16 January 2015

acquisition analysis: yellow coat (JCrew Lady Day in Golden Sun)

I must have been in another planet when I ordered this coat, right smack in the middle of summer, when the night was hot, and I was literally sweating. Then again, it might as well have been the limited free shipping offer that J Crew had that was clouding my judgment.

This is the Lady Day coat that is hailed as the classic, most feminine-shaped coat from the J Crew line. It beats all the rest of the other coats: Stadium, Metro, etc - at least in my books. Full disclosure: this is a brand that I got familiar with by following a few bloggers, one of which is Jean from, who has been teaching me (from afar) how to build a cohesive wardrobe collection.

Outerwear, be it a coat like this, or a jacket, or a trench, is very, very important. I have been lucky to be able to build a collection that has been inspiring for me so far, which is probably why I find it easier to dress in the colder weather (despite not liking the temperature).

Colour: It is impossible not to notice the colour: bright yellow aka golden sun is not as bright in real life as it is in the pictures. I think a bright coloured coat literally brightens up a winter's day, and also has the added benefit of elevating your mood (winter's blues no more!). Note that this colour is not the warm chartreuse that's currently still retailing at full price at JCrew (at the time of writing). The warm chartreuse is, as the name indicates, more of a warm tone than the bright yellow (which errs on the cooler side of yellow). With the exception of my orange dress, I tend to stick to the cooler version of colours. This is a personal preference. I am a neutral, so I can wear either warm or cool colours, but personally prefer the cooler tones.

Fit/shape/style/comfort/quality/etc: This coat is made of 'double-cloth wool, which takes colour beautifully and is made exclusively for [JCrew] by Italy's Manifattura di Carmignano mill (known the world over for its exceptional woolen fabrics.' It is a single breasted, feminine, tailored fit, with length that falls around my knees (which is okay for me, but is designed to fall around mid-thigh, a sign that I probably should've ventured off to the petite collection). I wear a regular size 2 and it fits me well in the shoulder, with a suitable sleeve length (erring on the long side, which is how I like my coats). JCrew has a comprehensive review section whereby the purchasers of this coat give their feedback on the coat, including how it fits them. In fact, it is the feedback of one reviewer that sealed the deal for me:

"The tailoring gives you a really streamlined look, perfect for professional, formal, and casual occasions. The Thinsulate does the trick during the cold New England winters! This coat also wears really well, it doesn't really wrinkle with wear. I really like the fabric used for this coat as well. My cheaper coats pilled, collected lint, and look dingy after one season, but my Lady Day Coat always looks pristine! This coat is worth the investment!"

A lot of the reviewers mention that this coat run small, and I don't find it true based on my experience. They also mention that the sleeves run small, and this, I find to be true, although admittedly, they actually fit me well. I know I sound rather contradictory, and this is because most of my jackets/coats currently have sleeves that are too big, which I'd like to alter, but don't really want to fork out $50++ for each jacket for alterations (another contradiction). So, we'll see how this coat works out for me.  I am yet to wear this coat on a full day, so I can't quite speak for the comfort, particularly on the sleeves.

Price: this retails at approx AUD610 (at the time of writing) but I purchased this for less than that, thanks to the promotion that J Crew had at the time of purchase. JCrew has a different set of pricing for their Australian customers that is higher than their US customers (even after exchange rate conversions), and why this is the case is absolutely beyond me. I have bought a few things from JCrew at the end of last year because I have been intrigued for so long and I must say they did not disappoint. The different pricing does bug me, so I am going to lay off buying from JCrew for a while. I get that this different pricing schemes also exist for other retailers, including, so really, following my logic, I should just not engage in online shopping at all.

Concerns: I do admit to one concern and that is the lightness of the colour, which translates to how easily visible dirt would be on this coat. Granted that a dark coloured coat can be dirty without showing any signs of dirt, so this isn't about not washing them, but more about the light-coloured coats being more high maintenance.

Personal feelings: (need to find a better label for this) I have been eyeing this style of coat for the longest time. I wanted (actually, still want) a replacement red coat for the one that I donated at the end of last winter, and I stumbled upon this colour, fell in love and hit purchase. I have said previously that I wanted my purchases to inspire me, and this coat does because I could think up a dozen different ways to wear it even before I actually wear it (it's not winter yet).

So, in a way, this coat is a quasi mindful/impulsive purchase, enabled by a sale sign and free shipping offer. Jean from maintains a curated, well-edited coat collection, so I trust her judgment on this coat (from memory, she entertained buying a third colour but decided not to because it was, in her words, 'overkill').

Side note: while we are on the subject of coats, I entertained the idea of owning a peacoat by JCrew, in the same colour (golden sun) when it went on a deep discount (AUD178, from AUD420 - about 60% off - woot!). I almost purchased this because recently a blogger (forgot who, sorry, but it was not one of the blogs that I frequent regularly) wrote about it and said it was a staple, and I was sufficiently intrigued. This is a really good price, in a possibly versatile style, which I ended up not buying because ... I haven't thought much about it. I am glad I didn't purchase this because a week later I got the lady day in the same colour. Patience, guys, patience.

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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