I knew all last winter that it was time to get a new coat, so I hoped that by ordering this coat from Pepperberry last July, I’d be done with coat shopping before the fall even began. However, my order was just the beginning of my coat search.

big bust darlene in pepperberry coat

Something about this coat just wasn’t right for me. First, I hadn’t realized how light camel is–I’ve since learned that I’m really looking for a nutmeg or hazelnut. Even so, I would have kept this coat if there hadn’t been so much extra room at my bust and if the waist had fallen a little higher. I’m actually glad it didn’t fit because I would have been tempted to “settle” for this coat even though the style wasn’t the most flattering on me. I want both fit and flattery! Obviously, I would have had to have shortened the sleeves and perhaps even the hem, but this is par for the course when you’re a busty 5’3″ at the upper end of the size charts. I’m actually pleased with the way the shoulders fit!

Perhaps either an 18RC  or a 16SC (both in stock as of this writing) would have been a better size for me, but the cost of return shipping made me glad I didn’t order anything else. It cost me over $50 to return this coat with the two pajama tops that I tried. Because the box was big and weighed over four pounds, I couldn’t send it simple first class, so next time I return anything internationally, I’ll ship the items separately in smaller boxes to see if it’s cheaper.

The quality of the fabric and the sewing seemed fine–nothing amazing, but not cheap-feeling. I would prefer a higher wool content than 53%, and it was very wrinkled out of the box, but I would have lived with these things if the coat had looked great on me.

It took me a while to return the coat because I couldn’t believe it wasn’t the one! Once I accepted that it wasn’t, I asked other women to try it on, hoping that they’d want to buy it from me. No such luck!

Here it is on a tall friend of mine. She has presence in anything she wears, and this was no exception. Too bad she looks better in winter colors than fall colors. The camel totally washed her out.

big bust friend in pepperberry coat

Finally, here it is on a reader. I think it looks pretty good on her, but maybe the fact that she was trying it on during our August heatwave kept her from falling in love with it! There was also an extra fold of fabric between her underarms and waist, which you can see only slightly in this picture, and it was more pronounced in person.

big bust reader in Pepperberry coat

There’s a new pale gray coat on the Pepperberry site, but it doesn’t tempt me. If it turns out to be the coat for you, I’d love to hear about it (consider a review here, pretty please?). Instead, I’ve been prowling department stores online and in person, and I’m getting very close to a final decision. Before I share it with you, however, I’ll show you all the other coats I’ve tried along the way. Maybe I can save you some time in your own busty winter coat search!