My quest for the perfect winter coat. SUCCESS!!

After days spent searching, my quest has finally come to an end.  And though it might sound like an endorsement of polygamy – which it is NOT.  I am here to announce my perfect coat is not actually ONE coat, But Two.

Meet Coat No. 1.  The Spyder Glacier Jacket by Spyder Active Sports.

spyder glacier jacket


1) This jacket is the MOST BAD ASS COAT EVER.  It makes me feel like a million bucks.  Which – given its MSRP of $600 FREAKING DOLLARS, I guess isn’t too far from the truth.  Fortunately I got mine at the super ski-tastic sale going on right now @ T.J. Maxx in South Portland.  And since you get the max for the minimum at T.J. Maxx, you know I did not pay full price.

2) As you can see from the photo below, my arms are indeed long.  Yet this jacket does not leave inches of flesh exposed to the elements.


LISTEN UP, L.L.BEAN!  Tall women w/ long arms are people too.  In this case, people w/ cash.  And though I did pay a good deal more for this Spyder jacket than I would have at your most beloved of Maine institutions, it was worth every penny.  My advice?  Next season, branch out.

3) Speaking of sleeve length.  When I found this coat – in T.J.MAXX of South Portland w/ its super ski-tastic sale going on right now – I nearly swooned.  It was IT.  Hood – check.  Front zipper – check.  Roomy pockets – check & check.  ADEQUATE SLEEVE LENGTH? With room to SPARE.  But there’s more.  The cuffs have adjustable velcro closures to keep out all the cold.


AND – the Best part ever?  There are spandex half gloves – BUILT RIGHT IN!!!!!  So no breeze will ever billow up my sleeve, my sleeve will never come loose from my glove, and every day will be better than the day before.

spidey half glove

4) While I am discussing the superb features of this coat.  I would like to compliment the genius designer who came up w/ this lil beauty.  B/c it ROCKS.  We have something here along the southern coast of Maine.  Both a blessing & a curse, it is called coastal air.  In the summer, the ocean breezes are a DREAM.  But as the weather gets colder, and then colder still, this body numbing blustery wind has a unique effect on the bones.  I liken it to death.  So when I saw that this coat not only had a hood, but a hood w/ all sorts of hidden toggles, to cinch in my heat from that fearful icy wind, I thought to myself.  BLOODY GENIUS.

hood is good

PS: When I discovered two days ago that said hood also features a built-in VISOR.  I nearly cried.

5) We have a running joke in our family about how much spiders love me.  Wherever I go, Poof! there they are.  As a child, I used to find them crawling on me in the night.  Two months ago, a spider literally FELL FROM THE SKY right on top of my head.  So imagine the jokes when I found this perfect coat, made by Spyder.  With a spider logo right there on the chest.  Calling all my minions to rally round and/or jump right onto me.  It was fate.

me & the spyder

But – I hear you asking – if this coat is so darn perfect (which everyone knows it is) then why Coat No. 2??

Like most stories about mothers and daughters and winter coats, this one isn’t simple.  B.c it gets cold here in Portland.  Really cold.  Like, right now – even though it’s only mid-October, it’s 41 degrees.  Sure, that’s warm in Alaska.  But compared to HOTLANTA? nothing doing.  My mommy is checking those weather forecasts every morning in the AJC.  She already knows there’s a 40% chance of snow tomorrow in Portland.  And being too far away to wind a scarf round my head, she wants to make 250% sure that I am warm.  Like all good Mommies, nothing is ever good enough for her baby.  Even when it’s a $600 FREAKING DOLLAR TOP OF THE LINE SKI JACKET MADE FOR PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES CASCADING DOWN MOUNTAINTOPS AT HYPER VELOCITY IN THE DEAD OF WINTER.  It’s just a coat.  A coat which doesn’t cover her baby’s tushy.  THAT’S RIGHT!  Even when baby is 3 decades out of diapers, momma still wants to dress you.  SO/to recap.  Not even the BEST is good enough for me.  My beloved Spyder Glacier Jacket only comes to my waist.  Leaving my derriere and nether regions exposed & vulnerable.  I’ve got a brand new unbelievably pricy Spyder jacket now hanging (next to my forlorn former coat) in the closet, and I was STILL getting suggestions from my mom about long puffy parkas from The North Face.  I felt like a newlywed, whose mother continues forwarding links to eligible bachelors on  Knowing this would not end until we were both satisfied, I soldiered on.  It was essential to find yet another perfect coat.  One which would cover my sensitive butt-ular regions, my chicken thighs, and perhaps – if I was lucky – even my two underinsulated kneecaps.  And so I went.  Back to that blessed Maine institution with the two first initials & the heavenly last name spelling out the very best of good fortune.  NO, NOT L.L.BEAN!!  I am talking about T.J. Maxx of South Portland.  And as fate would have it.  I scored once again.  High five.

Meet Coat No. 2.  Black Rivet brand 3/4 length parka.

black rivet


1) I love the fit of this coat.  After trying on countless iterations of the same theme and being horrified by the marshmallow staring back at me from the mirror, I was genuinely pleased w/ this style.  It is lengthy and provides the warmth I need, without the look of an overstuffed sausage.  It manages to be both lightweight, yet well insulated.  Wearing it, I look more like a sleek female seal than a male walrus, and for this I am grateful.

2) This coat has good features.  For instance, the zipper.  It works.  Don’t laugh.  If you had tried on as many coats w/ crap zippers as I have, you would know it’s no joke.  Easy on & off, zero hassle.  Check.  A built-in hood, both roomy & warm – NO FUR TRIM – and without so much hang it renders me blind.  Check.  Only downside: I truly wish it had cinching toggles each side, but not every hood is perfect.  I will wear this one w/ a hat.

roomy hood

Fortunately, this coat makes up for it in a very high neck.  I like these types of collars.  They are practical, providing excellent wind protection, plus they are attractive.  The two zippered pockets are lined and roomy enough for my (very large) hands.  Check & check.

3) The sleeves are long enough. HINT HINT L.L.BEAN.

sleeve length - check

sleeve length - check twice

4) Despite all the pluses. I am not big on the shiny factor of this coat. Although some may think it pretty and satin sheen seems quite the rage this season, this would not have been my first choice.  Nor my second, nor frankly my 15th.  The last time I owned a satin coat I was in late elementary school.  Something about the shininess makes me feel like a little kid wearing brand new patent leather shoes, terrified of getting them scuffed.  It also reminds me of Morticia Adams and/or the inside liner of a coffin.  But I liked everything else so much, I am pretending i like the satin sheen too.  Yes i am one of the satin ladies.  Bling-bling.  That’s no supernova – it’s just me in my new coat.  Yay.

5) This coat, unlike my beloved Spyder, cost less than a casino outing.  And at $49.99 a little sheen never hurt.

16 thoughts on “My quest for the perfect winter coat. SUCCESS!!

  1. honey! you are such a model! really! i love both of your coats and all of your craziness. i wish you were my neighbor or something. we could have fun…

    i ADORE maxx and marshalls…and homegoods, much to husbandito’s chagrin. (more shit?! says he.)

    all is well here. thanks a mil for the you know what! delish!! you’re too sweet. oxoxoxo

  2. Ok, so you look AWESOME and those coats are pretty perfect. Can I be honest though? I kind of had my heart set on a peacoat…it would be Maine-licious!

    And speaking of deliciousness, I am the luckiest friend ever! They are heaven!


  3. I looooove both coats and feel soooo much better now that you are suitably outfitted in your new environment!! And of course I would have chosen the satiny finish of coat #2; women from Texas can never have enough glitter, feathers and shine (bling bling bling). I am now waiting to hear about winter sports in your Spyder coat!

  4. THANKS EVERYONE!! I must confess this post was mostly for my mom’s benefit. Now that she’s seen the coats I am off the hook!

    Curly babe we would have TOO MUCH fun as neighbors. Can you imagine what crazy antics we could come up with?? I am giddy at the thought.

    Hayden – so glad you enjoyed it!! Love ya! xo

    Thanks Daff — I couldn’t agree more/ ;o)

    MOO!! Cannot say how thrilled I was to FINALLY GET A COMMENT FROM YOU! WOOT! I lauuughed when I read about Texas bling-bling = TOO TRUE. I love you! xoxoxoxo

    Thanks MTAE!

    CONNIE!! I will be more than happy to send you some too – of course!! Was just getting the ladies back for their individual kindnesses, and I cannot think of anyone more deserving than YOU. Be on the lookout — xoxoxo

    1. Ok, my daughter is 12 and over 6′ tall. Her arm span is 5″ taller than she is tall. I cannot find any jacket at all the fits her. She needs it for skiing. Can you tell me how long the sleeves are on the spyder jacket?

      1. Hi sharmay! I’m so sorry, I can’t give you the length bc I’m out of town. But I’d imagine the sleeves would def be long enough. My arms are extra lengthy and they’re plenty generous. The exact coat isn’t likely made any longer, but you should check out this season’s styles from Spyder. After all these years, it’s still in great shape (and plenty of sleeve length). Best of luck to you! Christy

  5. you’re too funny – and shiny! the only thing i keep looking at (besides you thatis) is that H U G E stack of firewood in the background! you guys must be using that (those – which one???) fireplace(s) send me a pic of it in full blast, will ya? that way I can live vicariously through your fireplace warmth ps. we may or may not have some news …

  6. I was just kidding darlink! however…doesn’t the dish household have birthdays and anniversaries galore going on…my 50 year old brain is not working so good…so you beware…

  7. Erika -Hah! I know, I am way shiny. I prefer to think of it as protective device –I may blind them, but no one will run into me w/ this coat. PS: The wood piles have actually grown since the pix. We have 4 cords now, getting one more. Can’t believe I didn’t fill you in on the woodstove saga. If it doesn’t get resolved properly soon, I’ll be telling the whole world. PPS: Are you guys moving??!!!

    Oooh Connie — your mind is a steel trap! Yes, we celebrated anniversary no. TEN (whoa), Georgia’s and then my bday.. lots o cake round these parts.. YUM! xoxoxo

  8. Hey,

    I was Googling reviews on the Spyder jacket because I, too, was graced by its presence in TJ Maxx and couldn’t stop thinking about its features and the warmth it provided. Thanks to your post which reminded me just how awesome the jacket is, I’ve decided to not only buy the jacket, but KEEP IT as well! 🙂


    PS: did you know it has a patch on the sleeve that rescue teams can use to find you in case you’re trapped under snow?? Yeah, pretty sweet.

  9. Hey Jessica! Happy to help! PS: I saw that patch too. SUPER SWEET! Now – if either of us gets swept up by an avalanche – we’ve got MORE than a snowball’s chance in hell of being rescued.


  10. It’s SO true! I have been looking for years for coats that the sleeves are long enough!!!! I have returned more coats than I have ever kept. and just to hold me over last year I purchased a coat for 25 bucks from a big box retail store whose sleeves are actually long enough. only problem is it’s not that warm and the zipper is SO cheap. I hope LL Bean hears your complaint!!!!

  11. I am sooooo jealous of your Spyder. At a chubby 5’10”, I am also cursed with the longest arms a woman could possibly have but cannot get past the *gulp* pricetag. I live in Vegas and need a jacket maybe 1-2 months a year, so it would be a hard one to justify… the search continues…

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