For those who are looking to cozy up a winter wardrobe, then this adorable orange toggle puffer from J. Crew is an excellent choice. Well, it’s partly J. Crew anyway. It is available at CrewCuts, the brand’s division for the younger set – the cool, hip, smaller sized crowd that was born to be very loud, very outlandish, very modern. It’s a fact, that since The First Family daughters wore head to toe CrewCuts at the 2009 Inauguration, the stock in the national brand’s teen awareness got pretty stocky. The youthful and trendy line of J. Crew (and now, due to some serious sizing second thoughts, fitting even a petite mom or two) has given life to the younger version of the hot (and much more expensive) label.
Case in point, this pretty down puffer and its mandarin color. Last seasons coat was so popular, that the brand has decided to carry it over for yet, another season. Yes, this particular down is already warming up for a second winter. And although the color and now slightly matted faux fur hood, has gotten a bit tiring to look at in my own closet (the color is, very loud) – it is positively the warmest coat I have, ever, worn. It trumps all the warmer brands hanging around, even the popular and very pricey Canadian Goose, the Pacific Northwest’s Columbia ski insulation apparel and a few Patagonia 800-fill-power downs.
CrewCuts made this no-nonsense coat to keep kids WARM, DRY, COOL and PROTECTED no matter what. The outlandishly orange color is, indeed very bright (it also comes in modern red and blue but their navy hue is not navy enough for me – there is a Brooks Brothers store with a similar kids offering downtown that does classic navy better.) I found out that unisex is another rage that hip designers cut these kids duds for, to appeal to shoppers of all sex and sizes, and their moms. This aforementioned coat and the rest of the kids clothing lines these days, are much bigger than your teeny teen. A size 0-2 (where I hang) is equivalent to a range of children’s sizes 12-16 at Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers, CrewCuts or at any kids department. And, naturally, the price is far nicer. This particular toasty down toggle puffer coat is also 1/3 the price of the J.Crew grown up alternative. Gotcha! And while not all (or most) kids clothing might be aesthetically pleasing or age appropriate, there are the occasional items that were made for a more liberal and non discriminate small (sales) shopper that actually tries on their tweens clothes before they buy them. (For fit, or course.) And then, when they like what they see and it fits – they too, can be heard in the dressing room asking a laughing, lingering salesperson, (who has seen this coat tried being tried on by women of all sizes, way too many times) “Excuse me, but does this coat come in a bigger size?” Which is exactly how I ended up with this thoughtfully detailed faux-fur-trimmed hot hoodie.
It took a while to warm up to this autumn/winter color, but since orange is the new black this year, (wow, that one liner certainly got a lot more play than even Netflix could have hoped for) the coat and its color certainly got a few thumbs up from even some NYC orange vested outdoor workers. The stimulation of mixing red with the cheerfulness of yellow to create an orange makes for a simply warm and inviting an ddelicious color. And its not only kid friendly it seems. On a recent stop in front of a tony NYC prep school, I witnessed a Lilly Pulitzer, sort of matching mother daughter moment. And like the pink pairs that Lilly coordinates for their preppy girls AND THEIR girls, there was a cute mom and her babe waiting at the school’s gate, dressed in the orange down – one in the stroller and one pushing the stroller, wearing this cute coat, it was very sweet. Orange you glad that this cut joined the crew?
Photographs by Viva Violeta Photography