The DIY Playbook Style Series – Winter Coats

Coming back from Mexico this past weekend quickly reminded us how COLD Chicago winters can be. Escaping that cold for the week was amazing (full recap Tuesday!) but being greeted by 10 degree temps when we returned… not as amazing. We’re definitely not complaining because we feel extremely grateful for the chance to getaway and even more grateful to call Chicago home sweet home (cold temps and all), but we don’t want to give anyone the false impression that we LOVE the cold.

Quite the contrary actually. We love the pretty white snow and really love seeing 4 different seasons per year, but super cold temps are not our jam… especially since Casey walks to work everyday (rain, shine, or deep freeze!). Because we wear our winter coats everyday for months and want to stay as warm as possible, we don’t feel as bad splurging on this winter staple. We both have black puffy coats for our everyday wear, and Casey has a wool winter coat that dresses up just about any outfit!



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Like I mentioned in one of our recent Happy Hour posts, my sisters VERY generously got me this North Face Parka for my birthday in October. This coat runs around $299, which is WAYYYYY more than I have ever spent on any piece of clothing. I try to stick around $100 for my winter coat ($150 tops) but honestly this coat has sold me on splurging every once in a while because it is SO WARM and I’ve been living in it all season so far.
bridget_winter_coatWhen I spend the typical $100-ish on a winter coat, that coat usually lasts me that season and then I buy a new one the next year. But since this one was more expensive and is so much better quality than the coats I usually have, I don’t anticipate buying a new one for a few seasons. Lately I’ve been trying to do exactly this…quality over quantity. bridget-winter-coat-boots

And so far, I’m a huge fan because not only do I love the products I wear MORE but I also have less stuff, which is the ultimate goal. <— We have a lot to catch up on in this department but the short and sweet version is that I recently watched the Minimalist on Netflix and it really made a huge impact on me.

snow-hat-winter-coatThis year I’m trying to purchase quality items (even if they cost a bit more) so I don’t have to buy that same item three times over because the first 3 weren’t as great of quality. I promise we’ll dive into a whole post (or a few posts) on this topic soon but it’s already shaping up to be a consistent theme in our household, and I see this coat as a great example of that.

If you too are looking to invest in a quality coat so you can stay warm while practically living in it, I do recommend buying one over the next month or so. I highly recommend mine, however the main goal is that you find one that you’re obsessed with and one you feel is good quality. Now that it’s after the holidays, I’ve noticed SO many coats are on sale, which helps if the coat you have your eye on is a “splurge.”


I completely agree with Bridget’s new approach to her wardrobe. Quality over quantity all the way. And my new dressy coat is a perfect example of that.

I purchased this coat from J. Crew for 50% off on Black Friday…and it was still a large chunk of change for me. However, it was well worth it and made me question why I hadn’t invested in a nice quality coat sooner. Whenever I’d have to dress up for work or an event at night, I’d find myself donning my large puffy coat. This new wool coat instantly makes me feel more put together for those dressy occasions.


The gray color is on brand with my wardrobe, and the coat is so soft. The cherry on top is the gold zipper that adds the perfect touch of trendy…without taking away from the classic look.

Fit Tip: Size down on this one or else it may look a bit boxy on you! I got 1 size down from my normal size and it’s perfect, even with bulky layers underneath!casey-winter-scarf-hat

Since the coat doesn’t have a hood, I’ve been wearing this coat with a scarf, gloves, and a headband or hat on chilly days.

Casey-Chicago-WinterThen on those brutally cold days (Polar Vortex Alert!) I wear my puffy coat and hood. I got it a few years back from Nordstrom Rack and it has been a staple ever since. It’s Michael Kors brand, but I’m not so sure they make it anymore. Casey-Winter-Coat-HoodWith both my wool coat and my puffy black one, I’m ready for just about anything that the Chicago winter brings.

Our Favorite Winter Coatswinter_coats_for_women-001

1 Bridget’s Puffy Coat // 2. Casey’s Wool Coat (in a variety of colors)
3. Grey Parka // 4. Cloth Parka (similar to Casey’s but with a hood!)
5. High Collar Coat (in lots of colors!)  // 6. Puffer Coat under $100


  • Love this ladies! I just posted today about winter coats too – AAHHH, CHICAGO 😉 Happy Wednesday!


    • That is too funny, Kira! Looks like we all have the winter coats on the mind. It’s that gosh darn cold that is getting us in that mindset. Love some of the puffy coats you linked! So cute.

  • Erin

    ooh. i’m ready to change out my dressy winter coat — though my friends all swoon over my jacket — it has pleats in the back. but it’s cream, which means it kinda looks dirty sometimes especially on the sleeves. Loving #4 or 5!!!

    I usually just wear my snowboarding jackets when I’m walking the dog.

    • Ohhh cream and pleats? That does sound dreamy!

    • Kara D

      She’s not allowed to get rid of this coat! This is a forever coat. *pointed look* Though we all do have dibs on this coat should she do this forbidden thing.

      I really do like the North Face brand, they make very good quality heavy-duty winter coats! I pull that one out for the brutal cold days, and my long black puffer jacket for the rest of the time. If you guys have a BJ’s (warehouse store) out in Chicago, you should check out their jacket and loungewear area, you’d be surprised that they have really decent things. I’ve gotten a couple of friends hooked on checking it out! Super affordable too, my puffer coat – which is Kenneth Cole Reaction – cost me $40.

  • Katie

    Perfect time for outerwear sales! I got a coat similar to Bridget’s at Macy’s for $130 a couple years back. It’s saved me in some bad Maryland winters, great investment. Gotta love quality at a sale price!

    • That’s a great price for a nice jacket. Love when you can wear one for years!

  • Tammy Capelo Mitchell

    Love all these cute coats girls! Looking forward to meeting you in NYC next week! 🙂
    Tammy | Pink Peppermint Design

    • Tammy CANNOT WAIT to meet you in person next week! Our friend Courtney (from A Thoughtful Place) just adores you, and we can’t wait to officially call you a friend too! We won’t be there for the Tuesday dinner (sad face), but we’ll look forward to seeing you all day Wednesday! Safe travels!