Tag Archives: winter fashion

The winter jacket Germans love to wear

I moved to Germany almost a year ago and have been silently studying their fashion taste. Sneakers and cropped skinny jeans have been a staple for majority of the year, but with the addition of chunky turtleneck sweaters, leather backpacks and a bold lip color for the colder weather. But now that most days are near freezing temperatures, the main thing you see most Germans wearing is a long, puffy parka.

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A common stereotype among Germans is that they purchase clothes for utility rather than looks. An interest in fashion still exists, but you’re more likely to meet someone who will convince you that a coat is not worth it unless it keeps you warm and dry. This is absolutely true among most people here, but something I, as a winter clueless Texan, can’t grasp. I gravitate towards peacoats and pieces with interesting details but not much thickness or a lining. I joke about people around here looking like giant trash bags in their puffy black coats but they’re much warmer than I am and spent their money well. I know I will grow tired of my Mango coat I purchased last year, which is already losing buttons and pilling along the hem.

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I typically see masses of black and olive green on the streets of Cologne, but it makes me happy when I see someone wearing color in the middle of January. I don’t understand why we reserve color for the warmer months, when it’s most needed during winter. Alright, yeah, it’s COLD. It’s GRAY. Doesn’t mean you need to be too, friend.

I often see the people of Cologne wearing Wellensteyn, a trusted brand found at Peek & Cloppenburg Düsseldorf, a department store in Germany. Their coats have a range of styles and utility, and even come in larger sizes, which I always appreciate. Though the price is a band-aid I would be reluctant to pull at first, I’ve learned that spending more on items that provide comfort and well-being, like a mattress or shoes, is completely worth it. It only takes so many days of letting my Mango coat dry on the balcony to convince myself to finally buy a proper winter jacket.

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Do you prefer fashion over functionality? I think a marriage between the two is ideal, but not always easy to find. It all depends on our personal preferences and regions. I just spent a weekend in Paris and noticed the people preferred long thin coats worn open to show their outfits, and then returned to Germany and saw everyone bundled up in parkas and short thick coats in the freezing weather. Totally different mindsets!

Stay warm and happy holiday shopping!

Thank you for the inspiration, Peek & Cloppenburg Düsseldorf!

Dezzal review: Fanice Leather Tote Bag

I’m no stranger to Dezzal.com. I’ve been reviewing their items since the beginning of this past summer, which you can find here. I am a fan of their dress selection, but I was curious about the quality of their purses, which I would consider expensive yet intriguing. They come in a range of quirky and sophisticated styles, and can cost anywhere from $18 to $458, their most expensive bag being a modern tan leather backpack.

I was able to pick a bag from their website for an honest review and I chose a leather tote bag by Fanice, which is unfortunately now sold out.

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The bag arrived well-packaged in a dust bag situated between cardboard and wrapped in plastic with the designer’s logo. The website doesn’t have a summary of this designer like they do for many others, but I assume it is based in China if I rely on packaging clues.

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It also came with this card inside an envelope, which I assume are care instructions simply based on the numbered list.

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The bag is completely free of any blemishes and looks exactly as it does on the website, which is a step above what I’ve experienced regarding loose threads and unattractive details that were easily overlooked with clothes I’ve received from Dezzal. However, my least favorite part about the bag, which I was already unsure of when I picked it, is the visible stitching. I think it cheapens the look.

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Though it does feel like real leather, I have no way of proving so besides taking it to a specialist. I don’t intend on doing that, because the bag suits my size needs and isn’t crinkled and caving in like the mess I received from Sammydress. It has heavy hardware, and plenty of pockets and slots for a phone, makeup, and change in the middle zipped pocket, and extra space in the buttoned sides of the tote.

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I took this bag for a test run while shopping in Düsseldorf, and was thankful for how much room I had for small items I purchased since Germany rarely gives you a bag unless you ask and pay for one. I know. But I have to admit that the biggest and most aggravating part of this tote is the zipper. For some reason the full zipper is attached to the bag even though it should have been cut to fit the length. This results in a three inch flap of zipper that needs to be tucked into the side of the bag. It’s not noticeable when it’s closed, but it requires both hands to be zipped, and often twirled itself inside out because of its length.

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The bag itself sits comfortably at my hip when worn on my shoulder, or near the end of my torso when worn as a crossbody. I was worried the handle straps would get in my way when trying to open the bag, but I barely notice them. I’m not sure if I will ever use the handles much, but I like how they look on the bag.

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Overall, the bag is functional, simple and attractive. I am trying to step away from fast fashion and add more basics and timeless pieces, and this style of tote has been around for decades. I am not thrilled about the visible stitching and zipper malfunctions, but they’re not bothersome enough to dislike the bag.

My previous Dezzal reviews: The website, Kenvicky Peacock Dress and Dress 1, Dress 2 and Dress 3.