Monday, November 10, 2008

Winter outerwear for mother and daughter

In this week’s baby bargainista column, Jenny goes shopping for a winter maternity coat and outerwear for her big sister to-be...

Even though we’ve been enjoying unseasonably warm weather, this week I couldn’t ignore the long-range forecast or the fact that I am, very soon, going to be in need of winter coats. One for myself to cover the growing belly, as none of my current coats can button up over the bump anymore; and one for my 4-year-old because I know as soon as the snow flies she’ll want to be outside rolling around in it.

I’d heard about the M coat – a marvelous creation by Canadian Spirit Downwear that adapts to the 3 stages of maternity thanks to a zip-out A-line front panel. Worn with the panel zipped in an “A” shape, it snugly covers a bump; worn with the panel zipped in a “V”, you can squire your newborn around town in a baby bjorn and keep them snug. And of course, with the panel zipped out, it’s a lovely parka for when I’m (hopefully) back to pre-pregnancy shape.

Unfortunately the only place I’ve been able to find that is currently stocking the M Coat is Sporting Life – and it’s very expensive! At $480 I can’t help but wonder if I’m better off just buying two different coats, one A-line maternity number and a parka for afters. What’s making me lean towards splurging is the ability to zip my baby into the coat when in a front carrier and avoid having to push a stroller through the snow in order to enjoy the great outdoors.

I still haven’t decided whether to go for it – partly because I’m still waiting for my chosen size and color to come in stock at Sporting Life. Maybe the delay is a blessing – an opportunity to comparison shop. (If anyone has any hot tips, let me know in the Comments!)

I had much better luck finding a coat and snow pants for my little girl. After some comparison shopping at various stores (Sears, Zellers), I couldn’t find anything that was up to my standards, so I went straight to my old standby: Gap Kids. I know, it belies my “babyBargainista” title but I love their coat and snow pant combos and in 3 years of buying winter gear for my daughter I’ve yet to find anything comparable.

I like that Gap Kids offers a selection of separates in various colors that you can mix-and-match (brown, pink, white, and silver). Their sizing and fit is perfect for my extra-tall girl. And the construction is impeccable – inside cuffs on both coat and pants, inside layer snaps on the coat so it won’t ride up, detachable hood and detachable fur trim, fully height-adjustable snowpants (very important for growing kids), a side zipper on the pants for easy on-off – all these elements make the combo well worth the $120 (combined) price tag.

What’s your go-to for winter gear?

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  1. Mountain Equipment Co-op has amazing winter wear -- but quite an investment.

    This year - we bought early at Joe Fresh...we'll see how warm "budget minded" shopping gets us...

  2. Update:

    After trying on X-large coats at a few other stores, I went back to try on the M coat at Sporting Life. It really does have the best fit -- and (Bonus!) because of my procrastination and dithering, it was on sale, 20% off! So I bought it. I hope its adaptability proves that it is indeed worth the (slightly discounted) investment!

  3. I know that Evy Mama carries the coats (West End) and so does MyBumb Maternity Store on Kingston Road at Victoria Park (upper beaches - east end)
    Just for anyone looking for the coat in their area!
    It's a beautiful coat by the way!

  4. That's nice!! I'm just looking for some new winter dresses...


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