Off the Rack ~ Bust-Friendly Coats: The Collectif Pearl

I really should have reviewed this before Christmas, but I just couldn’t get my shit together for the past couple weeks. The holidays wiped me out (in a good way), with family gatherings, parties, and travel. I’m even late this week, as you can see!

This week I’m reviewing the Collectif Pearl coat. Collectif is a brand I’ve reviewed before with mixed results. But my last review was two and a half years ago, and I’ve had much better success since then. I’m particularly fond of their “Dolores” styles (in which I take size UK 12 / Medium) and their sweaters (in which I take UK 10 / Small because they’re stretchy and I like them fitted for tucking into high-waisted bottoms).

Collectif also makes the best vintage-style winter coats. I’ve had my eye on the Pearl coat for years, especially after my pal MissShapen came for a New York visit a few years ago and brought one along. She looked amazing in it, and it was so flattering on a busty figure. From the original beige color, in the years since they’ve released it in navy blue, dark green, and, this season, in burgundy and textured black. I was excited by the green when it was released last year, but I couldn’t really justify buying another winter coat. Then this year, Collectif re-issued the green in limited quantities, and I knew it was finally time to take the plunge before I lost my chance. So I got rid of a bunch of jackets I don’t wear much to make room in the closet, and waited until Black Friday when I knew there would be sales.

I ordered both the green from ModCloth and the burgundy from Unique Vintage, so I could try on both colors and decide which I liked better. I ended up going with the green, as I thought its warmer tone (in both the coat and the fur trim) flattered my coloring better.

Oh readers, this coat is simply glorious. I literally get compliments every time I wear it. And even better, it fits a busty figure beautifully and it’s actually very warm and practical for New York winters!

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As you can see in the manufacturer’s photo, there are seams that expand at the bust and the hips while nipping in at the waist. These seams also continue in back, so you have a perfect hourglass shape all around. The fabric is 50% polyester, 50% wool, lined in 97% polyester, 3% spandex. It features faux fur cuffs, skirt trim, and collar; deep pockets at the hip; six buttons; and three hidden hook-and-eye closures on the collar to close it around your neck for maximum warmth.

I love wearing the collar unbuttoned and open when it isn’t too cold, as it really spreads out and makes me feel like a be-cloaked character from Game of Thrones. When it’s too cold for that, I close up the neck and snuggle my face into the luxurious faux fur. The fur is really soft and silky, and super-thick. It doesn’t feel plasticky or stringy at all. Additionally, the full skirt easily accommodates a poofy skirt, petticoat and all.

The open collar in action.

The open collar in action.

Note the petticoat peeking out, but not getting crushed.

Note the petticoat peeking out, but not getting crushed.

As for boob-friendliness, the seaming really is perfect. It stops fully under my boobs, and then expands with more than enough volume. My figure has never looked so hourglassy in a winter coat before!

At 5’6” and measuring 37”-29”-41”, I took my usual size UK 12 / Medium. Some people say you should size up if you want to wear layers underneath, but I really don’t think that’s necessary unless you plan to wear enormously thick sweaters. Otherwise, the sleeves and torso are plenty loose to fit a normal sweater or sweatshirt underneath without feeling restricted.

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At 44” long, Pearl may not suit very petite ladies. The sleeves also seem unusually long. Even when my elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle, the sleeves still reach my middle knuckle. When my arms are straight at my sides, they cover nearly my entire hand. Further, the pockets are situated lower on the hip than any other coat I’ve ever owned.

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As for warmth, well so far I’ve actually gotten slightly overheated when temperatures were in the mid-40s (Fahrenheit), and I’ve been perfectly comfortable in the mid-30s and 20s. The extra length also means that I can wear normal tights and panty hose (as opposed to leggings or fleece-lined tights) and my legs still stay warm.

Most stores are nearly sold out of the Collectif Pearl coat in all three current colors, but you can still find a few if you scour the internet and order from abroad. Or you can wait until next year and see what the next new color is!

 

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Comments

  1. Miss Dell says:

    Leah, you look lovely! I wish this coat came in more petite friendly lengths – I am 5’4 and I know I would be swallowed up by it. It looks AMAZING on you and love the faux fur collar and cuffs!

  2. Oh my. I adore this coat!!! What a beautiful fit! I found an extra long down filled coat this year (thrifted), and love how warm it keeps my legs.

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