It took me a long time to find my travel backpack (CabinZero). The same thing happened when I was looking for a minimalist spring and fall jacket.
When my old jacket didn’t fit for some reason, it took me a year to find Botanie Vegan Puffer by Aritzia. My winter coat and hoodie are made by the same brand and holding up pretty well so I should stop thinking of a replacement: vegan parka (particularly Haven).
In a little while, I’ll spill the reasons why chose Botanie Vegan Puffer out of the many brands and styles.
What Do I Look for in a Minimalist Jacket
To narrow down my choices, I came up with criteria that a minimalist spring and fall jacket should have.
First thing firsts. How much is the budget?
Me, myself, and I, after a serious deliberation, came up with a budget of $100 to $300 that can be stretched a little bit. Only a little por favor. Budget is approved now onto details.
- Lightweight and packable (non negotiable)
- Warm enough for spring and fall
- Fits perfectly
That’s it. Only three qualities to look for yet I spent oodles of time researching on the Internet and visiting stores.
In some occasions, I felt as though I found the “perfect jacket” then I realized before heading to the cashier that I was only making the choice to end the search, to be done and over with and move on with my minimalist lifestyle.
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Why do I even bother to look for a jacket? I am a minimalist. Less is more, right?
I need a jacket for spring and fall. Period.
After at least three months of using my Botanie Vegan Puffer, I can finally write an informative review.
It’s time to justify how my $100.80 is well spent.
And that I am determined to make the jacket last for at least four years, similar to my iPhone (here’s how to send it to the Philippines). I’ll use it till it falls apart. But I know how to mend clothes.
How Light It Is
My top criteria are lightness and packable at the same time.
I want to wear a light jacket for the most part of the year. If the weather becomes warmer then I can pack my jacket inside my backpack without added weight.
As much as possible I don’t want to burden my back with weight so as to maintain proper posture. Stand tall with confidence. (It’s a work in progress).
To prove how packable the Botanie Vegan Puffer is, I packed it inside a pouch that is attached and hidden in the inside pocket. Glad that I’ll never lose the bag as long as I have the jacket. Ha ha.
After a struggle here’s the verdict. It is indeed packable.
To understand better why it is light, I’ll show what it is made of and how to wash the jacket to make it last.
- Shell & lining: 100% nylon
- Body filling: 100% polyester, exclusive of tream
How to Care
- Hand wash cold
- No bleach
- Tumble dry low
- Do not iron
- Do not dry clean
- Do not use fabric conditioner (I stop using it for about a year)
- Rinse well
- Do not wring
- Squeeze gently to remove water
Maybe I can cut out all the tags (3) inside because I have all the information in this blog. And that’s what I do with all the tags on my clothes. No more distraction and embarrassment.
Once I wore a shirt with a tag dangling on my back.
First criteria, check. Moving on to another important factor in a clothing, sustainable or not: the sizing.
Does It Comfortably Fit
Online shopping is a no-brainer solution in most of my needs and wants: gadgets, zero-waste dental paraphernalia, or anything that is available in online only.
For buying clothes online, I avoid it as much as possible. I’ll check an item online and see if I can find it in store to try it on.
It’s a must for me to try clothes with the exception of T-shirt or anything loose.
Botanie Vegan Puffer is only available online. Oh no!
Without much choice I checked the sizing chart, and figured a small jacket will fit me. Reading the reviews extremely helped also.
Kudos to the reviewers.
Caveat: the puffer size matched the sizing chart but watch out on the bust.
If you have bigger, how should I say this, breast, then you may want to buy the next larger size. There’s no problem with the arms length or width.
The small Botanie Vegan Puffer fits me well because I’m a skinny vegetarian Asian. Though I have broad shoulder, it doesn’t seem like it because of my petite body.
Do you want to wear a sweater or hoodie underneath the jacket?
If so, consider it also in choosing the right size for your body.
Next stop is knowing how it can withstand the weather.
Is It Warm Enough
Bueno. It depends on how you define a cold day. The tag says you can wear it in a weather with up to -10 degree Celsius.
For geographic comparison, I live in Calgary and I can say that I can wear the jacket even if the temperature drops as low as -10 with a hoodie underneath of course.
Sidenote: I find Aritzia/TNA hoodies warm and just the right size. Whereas, Lululemon is big for me. The latter is more costly.
Back to the weather. Don’t trust a weather app all the time.
Check the app and go out the door and feel the wind. Yes. The wind can turn a not-so-cold day into a chilly day maybe till night. Oh and even the sun as well.
A wind blowing onto melting snow calls for a warmer outfit. Also a scarf can keep you warm. As for me, I zip up and cover my head to also protect my cheeks and ears.
There’s not much I can do with my nose turning red.
This is a plus. I’m lucky to find a vegan alternative for Botanie Puffer. It’s good to know that Aritzia is acknowledging the preference of customers.
I would still buy the puffer even if it is not vegan because it’s affordable and the brand is tested as I own a few items of the same brand and I have nothing but positive feedback to say about quality.
I’m going to share the result of my hard work: researching on the Internet to find a minimalist spring and fall jacket.
These are jackets I was considering to buy but eventually bought Botanie Vegan Puffer in the end. You might find your future jacket in the list if Botanie doesn’t suit your needs.
1. Uniqlo Ultra Light Down Jacket – The brand was recommended by Gretchen Rubin the author of Four Tendencies and Happiness Project.
I should have gone to Uniqlo in the Philippines during my vacation in Manila to look for a jacket and maybe inadvertently buy other article of clothing. See there’s a silver lining in missing opportunities and having hectic schedule.
2. Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket – This is my first choice but the price is way through the roof. Still I am willing to shell out moola for the almost-perfect jacket.
Then I changed my mind when I saw it in person. It feels and look so thin that I’m afraid it will reap up. Spare me from a heartbreak.
Sometimes online image is different from reality. You can try Patagonia jackets at MEC and Sporting Life in Calgary.
3. Arc-teryx Atom LT Hoody – It was recommended on Reddit. I also saw it at MEC and Sporting Life. The problem is it’s expensive. I could buy another vegan parka with the price tag of Arteryx jackets. So it’s a no for me and my budget.
4. Eddie Bauer IgniteLite Stretch Reversible Jacket – This is a close contender and also costly. I almost bought it but the vegan puffer of Aritzia wan my earth-caring heart.
I like the convertible jacket but the logo is a turn off. It’s not my goal to advertise the brand I’m wearing; I can tolerate a subtle, small logo. If somebody ask what I’m wearing then I’ll gladly share the information.
Another thing that caught my attention in Eddie Bauer are socks and packable daypack.
Now I know where to go whenever I need a replacement. It’s nice to window shop occasionally; you’ll often find what you don’t need at the moment. It’s OK. Walk out of the store as if nothing happens.
Take your time in finding the right jacket or clothes that you need.
Your effort will not be in vain. You’ll find the item that is worth every dollar from a day job or side hustle.
And if it doesn’t fit you well or your not comfortable, return it immediately.
Every store has different policy with return and exchange so don’t forget to check the details in case you need a replacement.
What’s your favourite jacket to wear in spring or fall?
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