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Chantal's Preppy Coat

Ideal outerwear for between seasons.

When I arrived at my New England college some years ago, I was introduced to the preppy staple known as the Barbour jacket. It seemed as if everyone at my school had been issued the waxed cotton jacket at birth to wear during transitional weather, preferably underneath falling autumn leaves.

At first I thought the price was a joke (the most common women's styles are $300 to $400), but then I realized that was an essential part of the appeal. For others, anyway. I, instead, satiated my need to fit in by getting L.L.Bean's classic Adirondack Barn Coat. I have never been to the Adirondacks, nor have I visited a barn since purchasing the item six years ago, but this corduroy-trimmed cotton jacket has been a very valuable player in my closet ever since — especially considering I have outgrown most of my college wardrobe. It's warm without being too bulky, neutral enough in color to go with almost any daytime look, and still looks sharp with its stiff collar and pleated pockets. Sometimes I want to embrace the look and pair it with duck boots and a headband, but it works just as well with cropped jeans and oxfords. 

L.L.Bean also has the jacket in a "rustic red" color I am temped to buy, as well. It could be a fresh option to get me through these moody spring months, when you never know if it's going to rain, shine or snow. 

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Adirondack Barn Coat, Insulated, $119, available at L.L.Bean.

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