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Buying a stylish, but functional winter coat: Tips to remember

Shearling can be fake or real. While both are warm, investment-category real shearling, with lamb- or poodle-looking fur, is wind and water-resistant.

Cons of real shearling:

  • Can stain and soil easily —  inspect after each wearing
  • Must be cleaned each season by a specialist
  • Should be stored in a cool, breathable environment

Down is, ounce for ounce, the warmest and lightest material. It is also the most compressible — and one of the most durable.

Cons:

  • It’s more expensive than poly-fill
  • It’s complicated to clean and very slow to dry
  • May trigger allergies: down is not entirely hypoallergenic.

Poly-fill and “puffer” coats are easy to care for, hypoallergenic and offer a wide range of options.

Cons:

  • Can be bulky to wear, won’t compact like down
  • Heavier than down
  • Breaks down over time

Wool and cashmere can be very warm, especially if lined. Both can be treated to be water-resistant — and provide a good barrier to cold and wind — but performance is specific to each coat. Cashmere is typically lighter and offers more mobility than basic wool.

Cons:

  • Wool can be heavy and bulky to wear and store
  • Can take on an odor when wet
  • May be a problem for sensitive or allergic people

Having fits?

If you gained (or lost) a little around the middle during the pandemic, the summer or the fall, time to check for comfortable fit on your winter wear. You can always pick up a new pair of Spanx, roomier sweatpants or expandable comfort waist trousers. Better yet, our alterations department can usually do wonders up a size or down a couple on classic winter woolens.

Thanksgiving leftovers still on the tablecloth?

If your candles dripped on the tablecloth, let everything cool and peel the wax off with your fingers. If it’s stubborn, freeze the tablecloth, then scrape off the wax with a credit card. Wash in hot water to remove the remaining embedded wax. Better yet, and a lot easier, bring your begrimed table linens to us for expert stain removal, professional cleaning and wrinkle-free finishing. We’re experts at rescuing lace, linen and cotton blend napkins, runners and tablecloths.

Time to give thanks.

We’re inspired by author William Faulkner’s quotation: “Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.”

While we’re all getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family, we’d like to take a moment to thank a few important people in our lives. Thanks to our staff, who deliver quality and service every day. Thanks to our community, without your support we’d be nothing. Thanks to our families, for understanding that running a business is a 24/7 commitment.  And thanks to you, our customer and friend. We’re all lucky, blessed and need to share our gratitude every day.

Cashmere deluxe.

While it still can seem like a splurge, cashmere’s more affordable than ever. But it’s an investment worth protecting. Wait for deodorant to dry before putting on your sweater to prevent build up and stains. Wear cashmere sweaters no more more than once a week to avoid stretching. Retouch wrinkles with an iron on low, press inside out. And for years of pleasurable wear, dry clean your cashmere before storing (folded in tissue) to avoid moth damage.