A Big Girl Rant: Finding The Perfect Coat

January 7 2009 | CeCe Olisa

Every November (just before I freak out that its December) I start casually looking at coats. Every year, I am disappointed. I look around at my slimmer girlfriends in their trendy, colorful coats and jackets, but when I shop around, I find either very warm coats with no style, or very trendy coats that wont keep me warm! I am on a mission for fashionable-yet-functional outerwear, but each year I see a lot of:

Bubble Jackets: These coats are super warm, but add inches to your body all around! When an NYC~PSP (New York City Plus-Size-Princess) like me is trying to casually wedge herself into a seat on the subway, every inch counts!

Pea Coats: Yes these coats are classic but with the shoulder pads and double breast design, they make me feel boxy and boyish… also, over the years I have had a pea coat in 3 different colors… I’m ready for something new! The same goes for the standard Single Breast Button Down Coats

And while I’m at it, why do plus size coats only come in Black, Grey and Red? For once– I would love to see a pink, belted, cap sleeved, well designed coat in a true extended size (no more 3X’s that are actually a 14-16).

Now, while I still say the coat selection for a PSP leaves much to be desired, I did hit the jackpot twice this season. JoJo, my new pal from Luvin‘ My Curves recommended the Metro Leather Jacket from Avenue– I never shop there, but was quite pleased with this sexy piece… even my skinny friends covet this jacket (which I purchased in black).

Then last week, I was at Macy’s with a friend and ran across a really posh coat. With its high wide collar and silky leopard print lining, I was in love! I was shocked when I found out it was Baby Phat because I’m not a huge fan of that brand, sadly this image doesn’t capture how cute and posh the coat really is. I button the coat all the way up to the collar, which is built to stand just below the chin and the vintage shape it creates is just darling.

*Note: We are in a recession, so I’m not advocating reckless shopping, for me this coat was made possible by sales and gift cards!

Oddly both of my favorite outerwear pieces came from stores and designers that I usually ignore, perhaps I need to open my fashion net a little wider in order to catch the trendy looks that I crave. On the other hand I still challenge the plus size designers to start thinking outside of pea coats and bubble jackets.

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27 responses on “A Big Girl Rant: Finding The Perfect Coat

  1. Kristin

    I agree 100%! In past years its been hard finding a really cute coat.. but this year i’m seeing lots of cute styles and colors for us PSP’s!! I found cute patterns and colors at Lane Bryant and Old Navy… Dept stores like Macy’s has had some cute ones as well. I put my pea coat back in the closet and wore more of my cute trenches and short swing coats this winter… well, so far!

  2. Adam

    Some of my favorite items of clothing are from brands that I would never in a million years think of buying. It just goes to show you how much the “image” of a brand influences how you think of the design.

  3. RainyJane

    Ha, I feel your frustration! I am a size 6, and I hate the way most coats look on me. They either make me look enormous or dowdy. I always look for a cinched waist, or belted detail, and try to find coats that will keep me warm without being too puffy. Really long coats don’t work for me since at 5’4″-5’5″, I’m not tall enough to carry them off. I’ll try to experiment more with colour in the Fall though, I always disappoint myself and choose the safe black or grey coat.

  4. MizzTracey

    It's almost November… Old Navy is stepping their game way up, as well. As for me, well… I've got size 20 shoulders but a size 32 hipline so my coats will be custom made by own hand… *le'sigh*

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