Universal Standard Willow Coat Review: It’s Official I Love It

universal standard willow cocoon coat 1

When I received my Universal Standard Mystery Box, one of the items was the Universal Standard Willow Coat. This is a coat that I would never have picked for myself, but has become my favorite coat to wear this winter. Below is my Universal Standard Willow Coat review.

Universal Standard Willow Coat Review

john bender breakfast club coat
Add fingerless gloves and a red scarf and I could be Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club

Okay, the fabric (this beautiful tight weave wool knit) is gorgeous. But the color? Blush?!? Well you know my thoughts on soft neutrals, it's not a color I would usually choose for my wardrobe. And the cocoon style of the Universal Standard Willow Coat makes it oversized and retro-looking (think a luxe alternative to John Bender's iconic coat).

universal standard willow cocoon coat petite

I thought I looked as though I was playing dress-up when I first tried the coat over a dress that also came in my Universal Standard Luxe Mystery Box but with some creative posing, made it work. But then running a few errands after the shoot I realized how incredibly great this coat is.

universal standard willow cocoon coat petite

It always is a boost when a stranger compliments you, and even bundled up and wearing a mask and sunglasses, I had a stranger ask about this coat. But I found heading into the store, getting in and out of the car, searching my pockets for keys and gloves, I saw the beauty in the Universal Standard Willow Coat.

universal standard willow cocoon coat petite

Coat: Willow Cocoon Coat c/o Universal Standard (XS) | Sweater: Cotton-Cashmere Wrap Front Sweater c/o Chico's (2) | Tank: Chico's (1) | Jeans: Girlfriend Jeans c/o Chico's (2P) | Boots: Kamryn Waterproof Boot c/o Vionic | Bag: c/o Maxwell Scott | Earrings: Baublebar | Necklace: Goldtone Status Bib Necklace c/o Chico's | Bracelet: Goldtone Chain Link Bracelet c/o Chico's | Sparkly Ring: Sedge Stacked Ring c/o Sorrelli | Gold Ring: one from this set c/o Chico's | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

And now it's the coat I reach for any time it's a dry winter day. The oversized style is very on-trend; it sort of reminds me of a long ivory dress coat I had in college and as a young adult; it felt very nonchalant luxe to throw it on over my cocktail dress for a fraternity dated party, worked great over interview suits, and kept me warm for many a fall funeral, outdoor wedding, and post-church coffee chats. This coat from Universal Standard is just as versatile.

chicos zenergy cotton cashmere sweater

This isn't the coat I wear on freezing mornings when taking the dog out. It's not the coat I wear when there's a chance of rain or snow. I like it best John Bender style with a scarf when it's windy (a pashmina is a nice way to fill the neckline but also have it look chic peeking out when unbuttoned).

universal standard willow coat review

But this is an amazing throw-on-and-go coat that doesn't make you look as though you just threw on a coat over the leggings you're wearing today and also wore yesterday. And the oversized style means it fits over that turtleneck under a fleece topped with a pashmina. And that blush color? It somehow makes my black leggings and well-loved fleece look chic.

What I Wore Under the Coat

chicos cashmere review

As for the rest of the look… the sweater is this one from Chico's and it's super nice. I ordered a similar sweater during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and returned it; I like how this one is washable yet just as soft. I have this tank under it. The jeans are also from Chico's; this style specifically in 2 petite. They're super comfy, like the kind of jeans you can sit in all day, but they're not a skinny jean and they don't slide down my rear each time I get up from my desk chair.

vionic waterproof boots review

The boots are from Vionic; I've worn them a few times before. They come in a variety of colors but I think this brown is so chic and loved how they made a statement instead of a black boot with a black sweater. They have great arch support, an 8 medium fits my wider feet, and they're waterproof! Oh, and they're currently on sale at Nordstrom.

vionic waterproof boots review

The sunglasses are Ray-Ban; they are sold out at Nordstrom where I got them, but I found them at the Ray-Ban site. The necklace and bracelet are Chico's, the earrings are Baublebar, the bag is Maxwell Scott and several years old, the sparkly ring is Sorrelli and the brushed gold one is Chico's.

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15 Comments

  1. RoseAG
    February 22, 2021 / 7:23 pm

    I like lighter colored wools for late Winter.
    Who isn’t tired of dark skies and colors? But it’s not warm. So, warm fabrics in lighter colors.

  2. Heidi
    February 22, 2021 / 7:06 pm

    I love that coat! I had a similar pink, long, wool coat in the ’80s, purchased on sale for $39 (why do I remember things like this). I loved it to death–when the cuffs were threadbare and very dirty.

    • Siona
      February 23, 2021 / 12:13 pm

      Ooooo, girl. Did you get that coat at express? That’s where I got my blush wool coat in the 80’s and wore it to death. I loved the contrast with Docs and black jeans.

      • Heidi
        February 23, 2021 / 7:40 pm

        Ha! I don’t remember the store. Thanks for the image. 🙂

  3. February 22, 2021 / 5:36 pm

    Nice review, though not in the market for a coat . . . I had to visit the link to double-check the color, since many new items are labeled, “camel.” The coat looks camel to me! It there a rosy hue to it?
    Louise

  4. NW
    February 22, 2021 / 12:00 pm

    Love the coat….also do the jeans stretch out? Sometimes Chico jeans do and sometimes not…have gained a “few” lbs during Covid so not sure if I should go up half a size.

    • February 22, 2021 / 12:02 pm

      I hear you on some Chico’s jeans stretching out. At first I thought these would and wondered if I should size down but I found them to keep their shape pretty well and be comfy without being saggy. I am glad I stuck with my normal size.

  5. Karen
    February 22, 2021 / 11:38 am

    I LOVE it was well. This is one of those items that just works. On paper maybe it seems like it shouldn’t, but IRL it just does. And it’s totally one of those things that just elevates everything around it.

  6. E
    February 22, 2021 / 10:28 am

    I appreciate your always including the size you’re wearing — I’d say the #1 reason I do not order from Universal Standard is their sizing, where what is usually called an XL (14-16) translates in some unfathomable way to an XS. Love the coat, and, like every other commenter, think it looks absolutely gorgeous on you.

    • February 22, 2021 / 10:38 am

      The reason their sizing is so weird is that when they started their smallest size was 10/12 so they called that XS. Then after a couple of years they extended their range to 00-40 so there’s such weird names for everything. It is pretty confusing!

      • Leu2500
        February 22, 2021 / 11:41 am

        I appreciate US’s sizing – it seems better synchronized with the size distribution for American women. & they include a translation to standard sizes.

        And besides, I don’t care where you buy clothes from, you have to figure out how their cut works on you. Which is why I sometimes have to order 2 sizes so I can choose which one is right for the way I like a sweater or blazer to fit *on me.*

  7. Linda B
    February 22, 2021 / 9:59 am

    I was about to write the same things as Emma and Krista did. The coat is gorgeous, and perfect on you! (And living in Tucson I have zero need for a nice warm coat, except for maybe 2x/year!)

  8. Chelsey
    February 22, 2021 / 9:55 am

    LOVE this coat on you and now I want one (even though my coat closet has absolutely no more room). Blush is/can be such a hard color to style but it looks fab. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Krista
    February 22, 2021 / 8:20 am

    That coat almost makes me want to order one. And I do t need a winter coat like that where I live. But it’s beautiful and you look fabulous wearing it.

  10. Emma
    February 22, 2021 / 6:15 am

    Alison, you look STUNNING in that coat! It looks so luxurious and the length and size are perfect on you. The thing I really notice is how amazing that color is with your complexion. It’s great that you can keep an open mind and see how wonderfully it works for you.

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