I'm getting excited to receive my LE Luxe Down Coat...but for now, the weather isn't too cold and I've been wearing my two mainstay coats. Both are by the Canadian brand Soia & Kyo. You can see their online boutique here, but many smaller stores carry the line, at least in major Canadian cities.
I find their coats to be really well made, quite warm for a woolen coat, and very stylish and distinctive. Its a popular brand in Montreal (you can normally tell a Soia & Kyo coat when you see it because it's quite a distinctive style) and given that Montreal is known for a) being COLD and b) being quite a stylish place, I think that's quite a recommendation.
The coats are pricey: I paid about $300 CAD for my first coat and about $150 CAD for my second, but that was a very lucky Winners find (a discount store that stocks various brands - there are lots of similar types of stores in the states as well).
The first coat I have from them is a lovely mid-thigh length houndstooth number. This is my answer to the classic black wool winter coat. It's a bit more interesting, goes with everything in the same way black does and makes it waaaaay easier to find my coat in a pile at parties! The fabric is a wool/acrylic but I find its worn well - I bought this coat in fall of 07 and continue to wear it on a daily basis in the winter even now. It's a bit of a rougher weave than my other Soia & Kyo coat but very warm and snuggly in the winter. The collar is the best part...it's very high and stylish and keeps the neck quite warm when its windy. You can wear it down and it becomes a nice asymetrical look (in the picture at right) or higher up with the top button buttoned and it protects the neck.
The second coat I have is a very fun cape-style coat in a pinky-red wool with a faint herringbone pattern. This is the one I got on super discount at Winners. Obviously, its not the most practical winter coat but its great for fall or when you want to be quite stylish (like going out to dinner/the bars at night). This wool is very soft and snuggly and has the same high asymetrical collar that can we worn differently depending on how many buttons you button. It's warm enough for many fall/early winter days, and can be worn like you'd wear a down vest in terms of temperature - it keeps the body warm but not the extremities. I have a pair of long gloves I wear with it when not wearing long sleeves. You can see the cape-like sleeves let air in, but essentially it's like a sleeveless coat underneath and then a cape on top, so there is protection for the upper body. It also has a belt, like the other coat, which is a pretty common feature on all Soia & Kyo coats.
This year, I really like these coats from Soia & Kyo, although my coat buying budget is maxed at the moment.
The "Violet" - $370 CAD
Also available in a great dark red, as well as brown and black. The zipper is very trendy right now and I love the ruching on the pockets.
The "Ivet" - $430 CAD
What a lovely print - very similar to my houndstooth coat. If its like mine, below the belt are interior buttons so it keeps out the cold all the way to the bottom of the coat.
The "Mia" - $350 CAD
This is my favourite of their Fall/Winter collection. Its also available in black and a dark purple, but this grey is gorgeous with the black trim. It looks classy yet futuristic and I think it would be a great alternative to the traditional black wool coat.
They also have some lovely leather and down coats available, but I can't attest to the quality or stylishly of those IRL. Overall though, I give Soia & Kyo a 4 **** or cashmere rating. They are stylish, distinctive and yet classy and appropriate for anyone, and incorporate trends in what I see as a timeless and lovely way.