I had a DKNY
parka I bought for cheap until I realized it's just too bulky for me to use, especially when sitting in the car. I came across this parka after looking at other options (e.g. The North Face
), and it is a best buy for its price (I bought it on clearance
-- yay Zappos!). It's not too thick, relatively light, and gives my petite frame a slight shape so I don't look like a burrito. It's relatively warm for a walk around the block in midwinter -- now it should be understood that unless you're all intentionally bundled up like a sherpa you won't stay warm in sub-zero teens temperature with this, however, with a couple layers, you'd survive the colder winters in the Midwest.
To give a point of reference, I used to live in the tropics where the coolest it gets would be the 70s -- now, I typically wear a fleece-lined cotton hoodie
for 50-60 F temps, a thick zip-on cotton sweater underneath a leather jacket
at about 30-upwards temps, a thick cotton sweater underneath a wool trench coat at about 20-30 F. Anything lower I don a down-filled parka (like this). I tried this on a 4 F day with a thick sweater underneath, and it's kept me cozy and warm for errands. Of course if you commute, you'd have to err dressing on the warmer side.
Overall, it was a great buy for me. I got the nice blue color at XS for my 5' petite frame, and it leaves me enough room for a couple thick sweaters to layer underneath. The sleeve length is just right (that's coming from someone who usually has problems with sleeves that are too long).