Buying outerwear for winter is a serious matter for us fashion conscious ladies. We want it to be warm, but not too heavy; stylish, but not too much to overpower us.
As better material and design are introduced in down jackets, puffer coats become more popular these days. But who should we buy from? How to choose a down coat? We will give you some tips here.
When choose an outerwear, we look at 3 things: 1. Performance 2. Quality and Style 3. Price.
performance comes from fabric and insulation.
Tip #1 : Look for Water Repellent fabric (W/R).
Water repellent(W/R) fabric is a must in my opinion. While you can’t expect a down coat to perform like outdoor rain coat, it should keep you comfortable in light rain or snow for 10-20 minutes. It should be able to dry fast. Water should slide down the fabric without making too much mark the first few minutes exposed to rain.
So look for products that mark their fabric with W/R (waterproof is better, but rare in down coats, I will explain in a different article). It’s a good feature, most brand will market it if they did it. If you are not sure, test it with water. See below a water repellent demo.
Insulation: down and synthetic.
For better protection from cold.
90% of cases, down is far better than synthetic insulation. But there are different grades of down. Usually, 550 Fill Power (or 80%) and above can be called performance down. In casual wear (not for outdoor excursion) products, 650 Fill Power is more than enough. Performance down are much more expensive material. So, again, if they are used, they will be marked on their label.
For more comfort and styling
I will always choose performance grade down over a household brand name. They are much more comfortable to wear and usually better styling. Because high grade down is softer and easy to make the coats fit better. That's essential to make a sleek down Lower grade down contains harder feather pieces that’s easy to stick out. That is why those down coats are lumpy, bulky.
Brands that uses performance down fill:
Happy Goat Lucky down North Face Canada Goose
Moncler Mackage Dawn Levy
Sam New York Add Down Moose Buckle
Outdoor specialty brands Most pack-able down jackets
Tip #3: Be smart about temperature rating. If you really don't know, ask them!
Then comes performance measure: temperature rating. This is the tricky part. Ratings are subjective. For example, the famous Canada Goose Kensington Coat is rated level 3 in their system, marked for -5F/15F. Based on my experience, it’s the same warmth as our Temperature Rating 5 Coats which we rated only for 10F/35F. Probably because they expect you to lay a lot under.
So, the idea is to use your experience and common sense:
* Within same company, especially the outerwear brands who take temperature rating seriously, the relative ratings are usually reliable.So, once you try out a brand, you get a sense of what their system is like. You can also ask them to bench mark against other brands. For example, I will tell you, our rated 5 coats are about same warmth as Canada Goose rated 3 coats, some are warmer than some of theirs because of the variation within one categories of rating. .
* To achieve same temperature rating, higher grade down jackets weight much less than the non-performance down filled jackets; Coats of same weight, the higher grade down gives much better performance; Same type of down, the more the warmer.
* Look at other buyer’s reviews. This the last but actually most important of the 3. Temperature Rating in down coats is very subjective. I definitely see brands overate their coats. So, take a look at reviews.
**Choose by Warmth Rating: How warm you need it be?**
To help customers to choose the right coats for their needs, Happy Goat Lucky also rated our coats for warmth. You can find the right coats for all kinds of weather condition. See below temperature rating details.
If you lives in North East region, or mountain area of United States or Canada, you would want to have a our temperature rated 5 coats. Among them, Adeline, Valentina, Elizabeth, Amanda, Alexandra, Paris are favorites for many. Check out our customers Reviews. Quiet a few of them are Canadians. It's interesting to see Canadians' view of our products. I found that they are very happy with the coats I think only good enough for New York weather. Some told me she only wear the warmest Happy Goat Lucky coats on very cold days. I think the reason is that when it's warm enough for New Yorker commuter by train, it's warm enough for Canadian commuter by car, or more sheltered Canadian transportation system or more brave Canadians!
And our New Yorker commuter also reported to me: her Happy coat(Adeline, what she has) " is warmer than my North Face Coat". That did not surprise me. While their summit series would have better performance than our coats, HGL also uses 600-650 Fill Power performance down, that would be inline or even better their commuter series(from 550 Fill Power-700 Fill Power down filled)
Second key consideration, quality and style.
Tip #4: Look for quality: good workmanship, Good zipper, Storm cuff, and FIT
As like choosing any other clothing piece, good craftsmanship is a big fact. So, carry your experience here. On top of that, an outerwear is a SHELL outside our body. It alters your shape. It can amplify your nice feature hide your little imperfection. I always tell my customer, it’s all about the fit! Below, left is an Happy Goat Lucky Coat; right is a North Face coat.
Tip #5: know your body, find the right fit. Athlete or feminine?
While I have a lot of respect to our American outdoor brands, I think most of their coats are not that flattering. Because they are mostly athlete-fit: broader shoulder, bigger muscle, smaller hip. That is unlikely to change anytime soon.
What are features most highlight your feminine body? Form-fitting shoulder, snug fit arm, vase shape back. As we age, we might not have a flat tummy, but our back shape does not change that much, as long as we don't give up stand straight! These are fit consideration of our coats design.
So, apart from price consideration, choose the right fit for yourself and you will feel good about it!
Tip #6: HGL coats are good for average height women, also fit elegantly for petite woman!
As a petite woman, I found it's hard to find outerwear that's not over powering. However, I don't like to buy petite brands. I found them fit ... FUNNY. So, one of our design goal is to fit well for average height and petite women.(up to 5'9" in general).
We crafted contemporary fit with details to make you look sleek and even taller! Form-fitted shoulder, sleek arm and back are our signature. Whether you are 5'9" or 5', you look at your best in our coats.
* Our fit is contemporary fit, it's slimmer than Missy fit or classic fit. And different from Athlete fit. Our fit is similar to a few brands: Burberry, Mackage, ADD. But more petite friendly than these brands.
Third consideration, price point.
Tip #7 Sports brand are usually true to their price. Happy Goat Lucky is selling at deep discount.
Performance long puffer are usually $250+-$450 for sports brand; Fashionable brand mostly don't use performance material or it's very expensive. Fashion style performance down jackets usually cost $600+ with fur.
HGL uses only performance down and currently on sale at 30%+ discount off its' regular price. It is lower than sports brand.
Happy Goat Lucky coats usually priced at $300+, $400-$600 with fur.Now everything is 30% off. Clearance items are even lower, up to 70% off。Based on the ever changing market condition, we shifted focus to direct retail. That is the reason why our coats can sell so low.
2 charts of comparing the above mentioned coats in a nut shell! Hope you like them: