Every year during Reading Week, I go out with a group of friends for food and shopping (to see last year's post, click here). This time around, I found an H&M coat ($80) worthy of mention:
What caught my eye about this coat was how it's slightly different from what I would expect to find in H&M. Even though H&M offers a wide variety of styles, I still didn't expect to see this prim and proper trench with a lady-like bow in any setting other than a high-end boutique. So naturally, I tried it on! And for a Red-Soled Fashionista first, I actually have a photo of myself wearing the jacket! I know I rarely make personal appearances on this blog, and that is mainly because I didn't have a digital camera when I first started out, and in the end, I don't consider this a personal style blog. It still isn't, but now that I've discovered how to transfer photos from my phone to my computer, I can at least give you an idea of what the things I try on look like.
I've positioned myself to present the coat in the best light (sidenote: why do change rooms always have the worst lighting?), but don't be fooled - there are many things that make this trench not worth your money. Although I grabbed a size 2, which ended up being too big on me (you can tell in the arms), my criticism of this coat has nothing to do with fit. One of the easiest ways to distinguish a quality coat from a cheaper one is cutting. You can't see in the photo, but the supposedly flared hem turned out to be undulating rolls of thin fabric. This trench could have benefited from a stricter cutting of the flare and thicker fabric. The first thing I look for in coats is a structured hem, and a lot of the times, they don't manage to past this test.
Next, this coat had press-studs/snap-fasteners that were just awful, awful, awful. Not only are press-studs a sign of low quality, what's worse was that the outline of one of the fasteners was clearly visible beneath the, as I mentioned, thin fabric. You can't even hide the fact you have a bad quality trenchcoat...it's now clear as day.
And if you'll allow me one last punch, the bow belt was so obviously made with fake leather (H&M even proudly calls it "imitation leather" on its website) that I had lost all faith in this trenchcoat. But I'll soften the blow by giving H&M some props. The lapels were done perfectly, the belt accentuated my waist quite well, and the general look of the jacket itself is very chic. I commend H&M for trying its hand at this design.
Overall, nice try H&M, but considering I see you as one of the highest quality fast fashion retailers out there, I know you could have done much better.
Note: This has nothing to do with fashion, but just want to give a huge congratulations to the Canadian women's hockey team for winning GOLD! Couldn't be more proud of my country.
Image source: hm.com