This is my first clothing review. Before I begin, I want to tell you the very reason I started this blog. I’ll try to make it easy to skip this monologue/rant if you want–just scroll until I get off of my soap box.
*STEPS ON SOAP BOX*
I have always felt like an oddly shaped person. I’ll tell you straight up–I’m 5’7” and about 170 pounds. But, my bust-waist-hip measurements are 39”-31”-46” (feel free to send me clothes). Most of my weight is concentrated in my hips and a generous amount of *cough* behind. In suburban Colorado, I always felt ugly, and since both sides of my mixed family had similar stick-thin standards of beauty, I never quite liked the body I lived in. I wore long and flowy or baggy clothes that hid my body, and more often than not, these were ill-fitting and unflattering.
It was not until college that I realized, actually, whoever you are and however you’re shaped, you just need clothes that fit you in order to look good. I didn’t realize that the cut and the fit, of clothing could be so different, and look so different on different people. I found cuts that worked for me–for example, I never like tops that hit at the hip, it either has to be a slightly cropped style that comes just above, or a longer style that goes down to mid-thigh. High-rise pants are a blessing, for similar reasons. Whatever you might be going through with your personal body image or your clothing, I recommend setting aside your insecurities or misconceptions and simply focusing on finding clothes that fit you, and that you feel happy and confident in.
While on a journey to find clothes that fit, I found a lot of helpful people on the internet. There were kind anonymous reviewers that would include their height, weight, and fit information so that I could get a better sense of how things fit for them. Most of the fashion bloggers I would find while doing a google search of some item were anywhere between sizes 0-6, or self-identified plus-size bloggers. I am a self-identifying “inbetweener”, I am the 10-12, the 29-31”, with a hourglassy, pearish shape that has made it difficult to find clothes. And God Knows that very, very few bloggers I ever came across were black women, and similarly hourglassy or pearish where I could trust their fit reviews.
So my reviews will always have as much fit information as they will other stuff (aesthetics, durability, etc.) because I know I fill a spot that is unique in this internet world–a place for inbetween, curvy-ish ladies who love startup-y brands and good design.
*STEPS OFF OF SOAP BOX*
So here is my fit information: 5’7”, 170 pounds, bust-waist-hip: 39”-31”-46”.
I’d like to note that I never actually buy bottoms that list the hip size as 46”, because they’re usually way too big. I usually base my bottoms off of just my waist measurement and will take a hip measurement of 40” and above, but depending on the material or cut this definitely means there is the most stress on the fabric around my hips, causing it to sometimes fit awkwardly. (Now that you have all this information, you really could send me clothes if you wanted. Just sayin’)
Fit: Structured but relaxed
Size I Buy: M/L
Durability: N/A I can’t speak to the durability since I haven’t had the item for long, but the fabric seems well made and sturdy. I’ll update this post when I have more information for you.
I first saw this coat on The Strategist, like many things I own. What struck me was that it was beautiful. I did not think (rightly so) that this coat would look the same on me as on Emma Stone, but it seemed, even from the photos, unique and well made, in that subtle, quiet way. I could feel truly that this would be an art piece in my closet, but at the same time, robust, at the same time, ethically made, at the same time, used near-daily in the fall and spring seasons. At the time I saw that article, the coat was sold out–it had sold out a long time ago. It was maybe 3-4 months later (just recently) that I found out the coat had been restocked.
But it is neither fall nor spring–it is winter, and I knew I had to act fast because Jesse Kamm makes limited production runs (partly because they are scrutinous about their manufacturing line and take the term “ethical production” to new heights). This would be the most expensive clothing item I have ever owned. I went back and forth–after all, this piece still stuck in my head months after I heard about it, so it’s not as though it were a split-second decision, right? I had been looking for a trench coat I could invest in, even found myself on Burberry’s website (where trench coats are likely much less ethically made and much more expensive). So this was an ongoing search–not a trench coat for fall or spring, but a trench coat for life.
I took a deep breath and clicked “order”.
It’s crazy, I know. I know I could get some sporty rain jacket from TJ Maxx that functionally would do the same thing–or if I was going for ethical, maybe even a used Patagonia something. But I wanted something that could be workwear and dress-clothes appropriate too (as if I wear business casual that often…) and I was happy to support Jesse Kamm’s limited-production style of doing things. I can’t say I didn’t have second thoughts. But when I went back and read Jesse Kamm’s statement on ethics, I was reassured. This would be a good decision. I planned to never buy another trench coat–I’d clean and repair this one until it fell apart, and I had reasonably good confidence it never would.
But of course, I was most worried about the fit. When it arrived and I tried it on, there was a small flaw in my usual area–when the coat is tied tightly, a little section of cloth bunches up awkwardly just above my bum. My hip-waist ratio is annoyingly disproportionate, so barring getting something custom or so big that I am swimming in it, I felt I could accept this. I usually prefer to do without belts that hit at that spot anyway. The fabric–a stiff japanese weather cloth–also seems to soften with use, lessening the appearance of that particular flaw, and I feel that after a few years it might mold to my body, become truly mine.
It is winter in Boston, and this coat was not weather-appropriate, but I took it for a test drive on a not-as-freezing day, a brisk, mercifully short walk to meet a friend for dinner. I wore it over a thick sweatshirt and a scarf, and given how thin it is, it performed surprisingly well, breaking the wind a bit. Although, any warmth I felt was more a testament to my sweatshirt (the ADAY Like A Boss Sweatshirt) than the trench. But it wasn’t made for that, so I accepted this. The color and long cut were striking and went well with the scarf I chose, black leather gloves, and casual white sneakers.
This trench is never going to be something you see everyone wearing, because of Jesse Kamm’s limited production runs. This trench makes me feel like I can live up to my lofty closet aspirations, which is to say, I think of my closet as a collection of curated pieces, as opposed to just clothes on my back. I really appreciate its design–and I’ve already gotten compliments on it.
I look forward to spending a good part of my life with this piece.
P.S. I did actually get the chance to test this out with some rain recently, which is what it’s *actually* made for, and it did quite well! Not as repellent as a hardshell raincoat, but it’s also much more breathable than one, and will definitely keep you dry running around a city, which is all I really need.