Saturday, November 22, 2014

Banana Republic Pea Coat Review

A look back at an old winter coat that I got during my fashion exploration year. It got a few years of heavy use, but got put into the back of the closet after that. It was hanging in the open, actually, when I wrote this -- I heard moths didn't like bright light or moving air. Got it on sale during a post-Christmas sale years ago at Banana Republic. Christmas of 2009, specifically.
Banana Republic Pea Coat Front
Banana Republic Pea Coat from late-2009
Materials (from tag): 77% wool, 23% nylon
Size: S
Paid: CAD$ ~220

Banana Republic Pea Coat Overview

This was a black pea coat, which should paint a pretty good picture on its own. Anyway, it was a wool-nylon blend and double breasted, and it had a rear center-vent, two side pockets in front, and 6 front buttons. The button openings were on the left side of the jacket. Two additional buttons could be found on each wrist.

Items from the Gap and Banana Republic in the XS size usually fit me pretty well back then -- slightly long in the body and sleeves, but well, overall. Unfortunately, Banana Republic didn't have any XS pea coats available at the time in store or online. I settled with a S and it fit okay. With a single fall/winter weight sweater inside, the pea coat still fit pretty well and had additional room for layering. My satisfaction with the coat was not as great when I wore it over a single shirt. The item felt a bit on the loose side then. But overall, for thermal purposes, this coat fit well and allowed for layering..

The coat was very comfortable through the years I wore it with and without layering. I liked the wool-nylon material as it allowed for some breathing and didn't restrict my movement. The larger size allowed for plenty of layering and even with the extra clothes, things didn't feel too tight.

I found a single interior pocket on the left side. There were also the two aforementioned side pockets. Having the vent at the back definitely made it more comfortable to bend over or sit down -- my coats that had a narrow waist usually required pulling the jacket up slightly before doing either. Being double-breasted, it provided an extra layer of warmth up front, but it didn't have a zipper to help with sealing -- hence the double-breast?

Banana Republic Pea Coat Rear

Water Resistance
This pea coat usually stayed home whenever it got wet outside. If I was lucky enough to be caught in wet snow or light rain, it held up alright. I hated the idea of getting wool wet because water didn't bounce off like it did with some of my treated nylon or polyester jackets. And the feeling of wet wool bugged me. It did fine with "regular" snow, but I made an effort to brush everything on me off before heading indoors so there would be less to melt. When a bit wet, drying didn't seem to take too long. Overall, this jacket was babied when it came to water so my experience was somewhat limited regarding water resistance. Not really sure how it would have held up in a proper rain storm.

With a medium weight sweater and scarf, this jacket was good down to about -10 C with light wind. There was one time I think I double-upped with two sweaters when it hit -20 C outside. The wind was terrible that day and I could feel a gentle breeze get through the coat. It felt like it held up okay for the most part but wasn't completely wind proof. At the other end of the thermometer, I remember being able to wear this up to 10 C if I took out the scarf and sweater. Opening up the buttons, scarf, and sweater allowed me to wear the coat somewhat comfortable in heated buildings during the winter.

It lasted at least three winters of heavy use. There were few signs of wear on it even when I took the photos in the article about five years after purchase -- it didn't get much use in the past year after I got a new jacket. Just a note though, I usually babied my stuff, and the jacket only got "dry cleaned" (it was "wet cleaned" at a cleaner) once. The worst looking part was probably the neck area where fibers from scarfs and sweaters got attached.

This Banana Republic pea coat served me well for years, and may do its duty again if I ever want something dressier or just feel like it. Not the cheapest at about CAD$ 200, but it was all worth it in my view. I liked how it looked and felt. No real complaints aside from fit.

Score: 9/10

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