Seeking warm women's coat in ATX, tomorrow.
February 24, 2015 2:09 PM   Subscribe

Where in Austin, Texas can I find a women's down coat or other warm, femme-looking winter coat tomorrow? (Extra challenge: tall and broad-shouldered.)

On Thursday at 7 AM I get onto a plane to fly to upstate NY for a job interview. I will not have time to shop between arriving at the airport and the interview. It is forecast to be well below freezing there, the warmest coat I own is inadequate, and I would like to not be miserable.

The "femme-looking" part is unfortunately something I strongly prefer not to compromise on. I am trans, and have learned the hard way that when I wear gender-ambiguous clothing to meet people for the first time, it tends to lead to bad first impressions. It shouldn't be true, but it is, and my goal here is to get this job rather than to change the world.
posted by nebulawindphone to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total)
Burlington Coat Factory! I still have my coat that I bought in Miami when we had a cold snap in 1997. It's a gorgeous thing, made in Ukraine. I have a sable hat from GUM that I wear with it, and I look like a happy Soviet soldier when I wear it. It also keeps me toasty warm.

You have three stores in Austin.

Good luck on your interview!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:13 PM on February 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

It's a problem for sure. Most of the stores are getting bathing suits in right now. RB's right that Burlington is good, but you might try Brooks Brothers downtown also. They have some really well-cut womens' wool coats. You could pick up some wool socks while you were at it. So nice when you're trying to look professional and freezing your toes off.

Different level of suggestion, but the Savers on Burnett actually had a pretty good selection of coats when I was in last Saturday.
posted by theweasel at 2:18 PM on February 24, 2015

Best answer: I wonder if the local REI stores have some women's winter coats left. They will be more outdoorsy than sexy but the women's down coats have waists, some shaping and other more femme details. The REI brand is usually more affordable than the other name brands and their XL size fits my broad shoulders well. I'd definitely call and ask about stock and available sizes before making the trek to any of these stores.
posted by barnone at 2:25 PM on February 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I was going to suggest REI as well.
posted by Juliet Banana at 2:31 PM on February 24, 2015

Try the plus size section too.
posted by brujita at 2:34 PM on February 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If budget isn't an issue, the Patagonia store downtown has coats year round. They have a more feminine cut down jacket.
posted by hrj at 2:48 PM on February 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Burlington Coat Factory is Austin is pretty cleared out of coats (I'm looking too) - but if you run to taller/broader women's sizes you might find something. Everything towards the middle of size spectrum is gone.

REI will likely have something but it may not be as fashion-forward or femme as you want.

I would try the better department stores. I would also call ahead -- it might save time if you can talk to someone on the floor and say "Hey, do you have any size 12 women's winter coats left". Try Nordstrom's at Barton Creek Mall or Macy's at the Domain. Hill Country Galleria might be worthwhile too.

Consignment/resale shops are not bad for coats in Austin, either, but that can take some time.

If you don't mind more "sporty"- the ski shops have down jackets all year around.
posted by pantarei70 at 3:03 PM on February 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Another idea is thrift stores - their selection is much more unpredictable, but on the plus side it's not seasonal in the way other retail is (and they often have more varied sizes) so you might have more luck. I'd probably call ahead rather than waste time going from store to store, but this is how I found snow boots in late February for my son with hard-to-fit feet, so it might work for you.
posted by forza at 3:15 PM on February 24, 2015

Here's something I learned from commuting between Atlanta an Pittsburgh. You're current light weight coat might be just fine, if you throw a nice heavy shawl over it.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 3:33 PM on February 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

REI will have bunch of very feminine coats. They're 50% fashion retailer these days.

Mountain Hardware brand fits tall, wide shouldered people. Patagonia probably will, Arcteryx might and are washable synthetic insulation, though nice. Call and ask if they have any of those in stock in L or Xl. North Face won't fit, they run short and just get wider in larger sizes. REI doesn't have a house brand for down.

And don't buy used down unless you want to smell like someone else's dirty socks.
posted by fshgrl at 5:00 PM on February 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Marshall's, TJ Maxx, or Nordstrom Rack. Personally, I would hit Nordstrom Rack first, I know they had nice down coats as of a couple of weeks ago.
posted by MexicanYenta at 10:02 PM on February 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Oh, and pick up a scarf and gloves, too, and bring tissues with you, in case your nose starts running from the cold. A hat is optional, since this is an interview and you probably don't want to have hat head.
posted by MexicanYenta at 6:39 AM on February 25, 2015

Alternate suggestion: even if they are out of coats, REI or Patagonia will definitely have some ultralight down vests.

Ultralight down is incredibly warm and low profile, and would fit sleekly under your current coat. They also reduce to a tiny zip packet that you can tuck in your purse before the interview; just stop in a starbucks or a bathroom shortly before you arrive.

As a former upstate NY resident I can attest that this under your current coat plus gloves+scarf should be fine, even with the record lows they're having this week. You could also add earmuffs, which won't muss your hair.
posted by susanvance at 7:48 AM on February 25, 2015

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