Quilted car coat, perfect for travel

February 6, 2017


Leslie Anne Tarabella — blog
Christmas market in Montepulciano.

I’ve had four different readers ask about the coat I was wearing in my photos from Italy. It’s often difficult to find a heavier coat around here, because we rarely need them. Even on cold mornings, it usually warms up by lunchtime and we can dash about in lightweight jackets or even heavy sweaters.


The scene driving from Florence to Siena.

Because of our college son’s school schedule, January was really our only option for travel. Our younger son is homeschooled, so he’s good to go anytime!


Leslie Anne Tarabella — blogI knew Northern Italy would be colder than what I was accustomed to in balmy South Alabama, and on top of that, I wanted a longer car coat style to cover my bohunkus. That extra length really makes a difference when out and about.


Leslie Anne Tarabella - blog

Usually not one to worry about details, for some reason, I went crazy when it came to this coat, and researched every one I could find on the internet.

We went out every night when the temperatures dropped even more, but with a heavy coat, we just moved right along with no trouble. This is the Tiber River in Rome.

I was searching before Christmas, so unfortunately, there weren’t many sales going on at that time, but I think if you look now, you can probably find a lower price for most of them.

Leslie Anne Tarabella — blog


Here are the final coats I considered:

The LL Bean Winter Warmer Coat. It came in other colors, and I wanted black to go with everything and blend in with the crowds. I decided to keep looking for a quilted, puffy coat that could be rolled up tightly in a duffle bag.

LL Bean Winter Warmer Coat


This is the Lauren Ralph Lauren Faux Leather Trim Coat. It was cute, but not long enough.


Faux Leather Trim  Coat – Lauren Ralph Lauren, Nordstroms


This is really cute and is from Ellen Tracy. To tell you the truth, I can’t remember why I ruled this one out, but alas . . . I moved on.


Ellen Tracy Quilted Barn Coat – Amazon.


Travelsmith’s Belted Trench is adorable and comes in a longer size as well as other colors. I may still need to snap this up because it’s 75% off now and only $41.99!


Travelsmith Belted Trench

But the winner was . . .

The Hooded Quilted Car Coat from Coldwater Creek. Super warm, big pockets with secure zippers so I didn’t even need to carry a purse, removable hood — it had it all. This coat runs BIG, so I ordered a small, and still had plenty of room. It rolled up semi-small to stuff in a carry-on bag and use as a big pillow on the plane, but fluffed right up into shape when I was ready to put it on.


Hooded Quilted Car Coat from Coldwater Creek.

*Here’s an update: I forgot to mention I was able to throw this coat in the washing machine when we got home and it ended up looking brand new. No problems at all!


The bad news is, this may be sold out in black now, but was available in garnet the last time I checked. I’m guessing they’ll reissue this coat, or a similar version for next year since it was a big seller.

This guy needs a coat.

Even though we had to travel with bulky coats, we were still thrilled it wasn’t steamy hot July! Have you ever traveled in cold weather? Would you rather wait until it’s warmer?


  • Sandy Hill says:

    Leslie Anne, Robert’s photo of the driving scene from Florence to Siena at the beginning of your blog reminds me of an impressionist painting! Please pass on my compliments to him for all of his artistic photography.
    Loved “traveling” with you to Italy!

    • Leslie Anne says:

      Thanks Sandy. I thought we were going to fall off the edge of the sloped road when we stopped to take the photo, so I’m glad it turned out so well! I’ll be sure to let him know.

  • I am just now getting to comment. I love your coat selection. I think you made an excellent choice with all the points in it you were looking for. I definitely think not having to haul a purse around would have been a plus. I think traveling in winter is probably a good idea.

    • Leslie Anne says:

      I’m not much of cold weather fan, but yes, the cold wasn’t so bad in exchange for shorter lines and no smelly people.

  • It looks super comfortable and classic style that will always look good. I know you made a life time of memories during your incredible trip!

    • Leslie Anne says:

      I don’t know about classic style. I remember a few years ago when I saw “puffy coats” I laughed! But they are soooo warm! Who knows? Maybe they’ll stand the test of time.

  • Well the coat is fabulous and you looked fabulous wearing it! But your son’s photography is outstanding. I love Italy and just swooned over the photos!

    • Leslie Anne says:

      Thanks, but these were all from my husband. Both boys and my husband are all great photographers (my personal paparazzi). This was the most documented trip anyone has ever taken!

  • I was in Naples in June, and I almost died from the heat and humidity. If I ever go back, it will probably be in Winter!

    The coat becomes you, and the zippers are certainly a good idea. My purse was snatched in Naples, and I guess I was lucky that they didn’t cut my finger off — they were trying to get a ring, too! So glad you had a great time, Bob’s photos are incredible, and you look like a model.

    • Leslie Anne says:

      Thanks Ellen. Naples was definitely the hotbed of “action.” We didn’t spend much time there, but kept our eyes wide open the entire time.

  • It was a good choice. Not too puffy. Just right. Didn’t you feel like loaning it to poor David?

    • Leslie Anne says:

      Well, I had to stand there a while and think about it . . .

  • Tee-hee, he does need a coat, maybe one like your husband is wearing–or a little bit longer?

    Yours is very chic and the pic taken on your drive to Sienna seems straight from the pages of a fairy tale. Breathtaking!

    • Leslie Anne says:

      Thanks Dewena. It was a beautiful drive, and one of the few times we drove ourselves instead of taking public transportation. The navigation system on our phone took us on some tiny, one-lane gravel roads, but the scenery was amazing. And surprisingly, we ended up right at our destination!

  • The coat was perfect for your trip. You’re right, I think I am going to want that coat. What a wonderful trip for the whole family.

    • Leslie Anne says:

      Yes, it was a great trip, and I didn’t complain once about being cold!

  • Love your coat and it’s similar to the one I have for trips. Bought a RL car coat years ago it still looks great. Light weight and has a little fake fur collar and yes, I have used is as a pillow in airports. Love the cute snaps of you and your family. I think I’m needing a trip soon!
    Have a wonderful week……..

    • Leslie Anne says:

      Glad to know you went with the car coat. You’re such an experienced traveler, it lets me know I made a good choice!

      • You did and I went with black too so I’d fit in. While waiting at the metro in Paris and waiting for the train in rush hour crowds a sweet lady walked up to Jim and me and said not to get on the train since it’s so crowded and we are tourist, just what the local pick pockets look for. We ask her how she knew and she smiled and walked away. We waited for the next train.

        • Leslie Anne says:

          That’s why I wanted zippers on my pockets! So glad there are nice, helpful people everywhere!

  • You should do ads in that coat. It looks so darn cute on you!! Have a great week.

    • Leslie Anne says:

      Thanks Katie. It could have been a little smaller, but it gave room for big sweaters underneath!

  • I like having a hood on a coat (even if I end up wearing a cap as well) because it can be pulled up for protection from a light rain. I’ve given up being vain about my hair, but I really hate getting rain spatters on my glasses!

    • Leslie Anne says:

      Thank you Suzanne.

      • Just wish I could rock a padded coat as well as you do! Pretty much any coat makes me look like a sausage!

  • The hood and especially the zipper pockets make the Coldwater Creek coat a winner, for sure! Thanks for doing all of this research for us!

    • Leslie Anne says:

      I’m sure in Chicago, you know a thing or two about coats! I love the hood, but to save space, I removed it for the trip.

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