Many years ago before all of us had our calendars in our computers, on January 1st I bought a new daily planner. While I knew I could just scribble on any average planner at the drugstore, I preferred to pick out the one set up exactly how I preferred – laid out by the week with a month at a glance in between. I paid more getting the exact planner that would suit me, and it felt worth it, because it was something I was using daily and it made my life easier.
I think about this theory when it comes to buying wardrobe staples. It’s more fun to spend money on a cocktail dress you’ll wear once in a blue moon, but it makes more sense to use the money towards the items that you wear daily. Whether it be a pair of jeans that make you feel fabulous, the coziest of sweatshirts, or the workout clothing that makes you happy to be at the gym. It’s with the everyday items that we feel the true benefit of paying more for quality.
Another thing that makes me feel good is putting my money towards businesses whose values are in line with my own and where I know that the money is supporting practices and materials that extend my own feelings about fairness and compassion. This all brings me to Vaute Couture. I wrote about my first coat from Vaute Couture a couple of years ago – the Belden in camel. (You can read the review here.) That coat was made with their Luxe fabric, and it’s thick enough to get me through a frigid Midwest winter. (And for someone who despises the cold as much as I do, that’s saying something.)
The coat can be worn three different ways around the neck – like a traditional trench, buttoned to cover the chest, or buttoned all the way to the top to protect the neck completely and even the lower part of the face. When there’s a strong icy wind, it’s nice to have the option.
That same year, I got the Whitman from Vaute Couture for my husband in black for Christmas. It has a slim, European cut, which he loves. It’s a mid-length coat in the same Luxe fabric as my camel colored Belden. Because his coat is in a dark shade, it has worn absolutely beautifully. It looks the same as when he first got it a couple of years ago, and a winter of slush and ice isn’t always the most forgiving! With some hesitation, we washed the coats in our washing machine following their online directions, and both the coats came through just fine. Because my coat is a lighter shade, it’s not wearing quite as seamlessly. There’s a bit of discoloration around the edges, but it’s pretty minor.
Still, when Vaute Couture announced their new line this past fall, I was intrigued. Every year they entice me with their bright colors and playful yet sleek designs. They start out the season in late summer offering 50% off on their new coats (to be shipped in the fall). The discount goes down incrementally until it’s at full price by the time the coats are being shipped. It’s not always easy to think of buying winter coats when you’re still donning tank tops and sundresses, but it pays to do it! Plus, it helps offset the production costs for the small company.
So this year when the new line launched, I started dropping my hints early – involving emails, size, style, and color choices – to my husband with Christmas in mind. When I’d gotten my Belden in camel a couple of years ago, the color options were more limited. Now that they offered shades of eggplant and ocean (plus many more colors in the other styles), I was eager to try out my favorite coat in an updated shade. I decided on the same style but in bright, ocean blue.
After my hinting emails were long since sent, my husband took a business trip to New York in early December. Unbeknownst to me, he’d already bought my coat when they were having their summer sale. However, he still wanted to visit the brick and mortar location of Vaute while he was there, chat with the friendly sales staff, and admire all of the coats in person. (He has his eye on the James motorcycle jacket. Maybe next Christmas!)
On Christmas Day when I got to the boxes under the tree from my husband, I had high hopes. In addition to other things, he got me a new hoodie from Vaute Couture that he purchased while in New York. It’s super cozy and great for kicking around town. (I already have their sheep sweatshirt, which is my favorite. It’s super soft, and sheep are one of my all-time favorite animals. That’s a big part of why NOT wearing wool is so important to me. Sheep are so funny, inquisitive, gentle, and affectionate. I know that wool can seem innocuous, but it’s far from that. You can learn more about it here, on this Vaute FAQ, or I highly recommend Colleen Patrick Goudreau’s podcast on wool called The Shearing of Sheep to learn all you could ever want to know about it.)
Finally, I opened the biggest box under the tree, and it was the Belden in Ocean. Thank you,
Santa David! I was surprised by the color. While the picture on Vaute Couture’s site looks closer to a dark, true blue (you can see it on the model for the Lori design), the color in person is closer to teal, as you can see above. This was a good surprise, because that is my favorite shade of blue to wear. On gray, dreary, winter days, I love wearing my new bright and cheery coat. It seems to say, “Winter, be damned!”
Unlike my prior coat made with their Luxe material, this one is made with vegan wool. It’s a lighter coat both in terms of weight and in terms of how warm it is on winter days. On their website, they recommend the V-wool for fall anywhere, and for winter in places that aren’t brutally cold. In my experience, the V-wool is great for any temperatures 30 degrees or above. Below that and the Luxe is best. The V-wool is also nice for the times that I’ll be wearing my coat inside or carrying it for long spans of time. It cuts the cold without being heavy.
Anyway, if you live somewhere cold, travel to those places, or you just like pretty things, I highly recommend the coats from Vaute Couture! Even better than how toasty warm they make make you, it feels so good to know that no animals were harmed in the making of them!