An amazing, affordable winter jacket -- for under $200!

The Most Amazing (Affordable) Winter Jacket

One of the funniest things about this Internet biz is how style bloggers (myself included) will stand in next-to-nothing when it’s 20 degrees outside to shoot their outfit photos….


Talk about an occupational hazard…

Like, what? Reality check! That faux leather mini skirt is great and all, but let’s be real: It’s mid-November, what we all need is an awesome, affordable, quilted coat that keeps us warm AF.

(Or perhaps that’s just us over here in the Midwest?)


To date, I’ve had the same black winter coat forrrr — nearly four years, I believe. (Not the one I’m wearing, we’ll get to that.)

… I know.

But I never saw the need for a new one until my friends and colleagues recently — and quickly — convinced me otherwise. Whenever I bend the wrong way or make a sudden movement, the bottom of the coat’s zipper would unhinge and speed north toward my nose, leaving the lower half of my body subject to some brutal Windy City weather. So not cute.

[Insert fat joke.]



So, a few weeks ago (right around the same time I fell in love with this boots-and-vest combo), I started my search for the perfect “socially appropriate” winter jacket. Something I could wear to work during the day, that would also work seamlessly into happy hours and late nights.

Priorities included: A slightly longer-in-length, tailored, quilted coat — black or navy in color with plenty of pockets. So something that’s warm that doesn’t scream “Hey! It’s Winter!”

My search went on for awhile, but I finally settled on this coat — North Face’s Ruka parka — and it’s definitely the best I’ve found in the winter outerwear department for less than $200. (And to clarify, yes I did purchase this — it wasn’t gifted!)

It comes in two colors, has a slim-looking fit and four sets of pockets. I was nervous that the snap-flap pockets (on the front) would make me look wider than I am, but surprisingly, they don’t.

There’s also these little interior loops that you can weave your headphones through so they don’t get caught on your clothes/they’re not exposed on the outside. (How the hell do people think of these things?)


It’s also made of PrimaLoft insulation (a fancy term for warmth that also blocks out wet conditions), and the tall collar keep the wind out.

What really sold me, though, is the fact that it’s machine washable…. My LIFE needs to be machine washable, ha!


I have a different daytime jacket that I wear when I’m walking to the gym or the SoulCycle studio, so I wanted something that didn’t have a hood/wouldn’t look or feel too bulky.

If I was buying a jacket for everyday wear in the winter, this is the one I would have gone with. It’s still machine-washable and I love the nipped-in look the side-ruching lends.

As for the rest of my going out ensemble, over-the-knee boots that are good for day or night, and these definitely fit the bill. We’ve talked about them before, but they’re walkable and under $150, so you really can’t beat ‘em. Quick tip, though: Order your regular shoe size, don’t size up to your boot size. Steve Madden has most sizes in all three colors in-stock!


Do you have your winter coat yet? Nordstrom has a lot of unique styles to choose from. Brand-wise, The North Face is your best bet in terms of quality-for-the-price.



Over-the-knee boots: Steve Madden (less than $150)
Quilted jacket: The North Face ‘Ruka’ parka jacket
Black clutch: Unknown (similar Tory Burch version)


Hair styling: Living Proof’s No Frizz collection (get the introductory kit here)
Blush: NARS ‘The Multiple’ in Riviera (blended with NARS Kabuki brush)
Foundation: bareMinerals Complexion Rescue (in ‘Natural’)
Lipstick: NARS satin lip pencil in ‘Palais Royale’ (my fave!)
Mascara: bareMinerals volumizing mascara

*Click to shopwinter coats for women | northface jackets |
NARS lip pencils | this post (below):


*Shop the essentialswinter coats for women
Brands to browse: Canada Goose | The North Face | Patagonia | below:

Hallie’s pick: The North Face ‘Ruka’ parka, $180


Iron & Honey Photography

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