Here at T&C, we pride ourselves on our discerning eye for quality. With Tried & True, our editors will give you an inside look at the pieces they simply cannot live without.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated in October 2022.
As I write this, we are deep into the doldrums of winter: the snow is dingy, the holiday cards have been put away, and every single coat has been worn on repeat and then some. Unlike some people who love their coats and the routine of wearing essentially the same outfit from November through March, I hate it. I get bored. I struggle to button and unbutton myself into various layers while juggling gloves, hats, and scarves in public while everyone else waits for me at the door.
Which is why I was utterly surprised when I realized that out of the disaster that is my winter wardrobe, there was one coat I wore roughly 100 times more than my other ones: the J.Crew Cocoon Coat in Italian stadium-wool. It isn’t a new style—it has been a bestseller since 2011 and has over 200 five-star reviews (and very recently got a revamp by the brand)—but I still get stopped on the street and asked about it. First, it has a zipper, which is not only warmer than buttons, it is far easier to manipulate with gloves on. Second, it has a nice, high collar, which means that I can skip a scarf and still stay toasty with it zipped up to my chin. The fabric, which is made in Italy and inspired by old-school stadium blankets, is soft and thick. The overall effect reminds me of Audrey Hepburn in Charade: elegant, but ready to run around (preferably with Cary Grant).
When temperatures dip below 30 degrees, I will pull an advanced styling move and layer a light down-jacket underneath (Uniqlo makes a good one). The coat hides this inner layer perfectly so that I look sleek and polished on the outside, but feel cozy on the inside. I have the jacket in cream (a now-discontinued color), black, and red, and wear one of them almost every day. They look equally great with floaty dresses, jeans and turtlenecks, and leggings and snow boots (and everything in between). While I am counting down the days until warmer temps, I have to say it feels much more manageable with a solid supply of J.Crew Cocoon coats on hand.