Hello! I’m back today with another fashion post. I’ve noticed that my blog has transitioned from skincare and makeup to more fashion, and I apologize to any long term readers who aren’t the biggest fan of fashion. I feel like as I age, I’ve become way less experimental with my skincare, preferring to use products that are more suitable for my skin type, and I also rarely wear makeup now that we’re working from home all the time. I still love fashion, as whenever I do get to leave the house, I try to be a bit more dressed up since the opportunities to do so are so limited now.
That being said, this isn’t a true review. The weather in Vancouver is still really warm, and I haven’t been leaving my house or needing a coat this warm. However, since we are slowly entering fall, I know many of you are looking for coats like this, and I wanted to get this initial thoughts post out as soon as possible so that you can have some kind of information to help you make purchasing decisions. I also noticed that The Curated is reopening pre-orders for this coat (and other teddy coats) this week, so I hope that this post will be useful to those who are looking to buy a teddy coat from The Curated.
Anyways, onwards with the post!
[UPDATE – I’ve since made some updates based on my latest experience. Please read to the end of this post!]
I’ve never been a fan of the teddy coat trend, but since we’ve been working from home all the time, I’ve been spending more and more time with my fleece blanket. That’s when it clicked that I could technically be wearing a cosy fleece blanket with me everywhere I go, and still be fashionable, in the form of a teddy coat! I was a little concerned that the teddy coat trend had already been over by the time I caught on, but based on an Instagram poll, it looks like 2/3 of you still believe that teddy coats are on trend. Regardless, the potential to be walking around in fleece blanket was too much of a draw, and I started researching teddy coats.
You know my love for all things luxurious, so I had to start my search at Max Mara, whose teddy coats are amongst their most classic coat lines. Unfortunately, they are also priced at astronomical prices so I had to let that go. I also searched on Etsy, as well as other more conventional websites for clothes such as Saks, Nordstrom, The Bay, and Simons, but it seemed like most of the teddy coats that were available were either thousands of dollars for real wool, or a few hundred for synthetic materials. As I grow older, I really prefer to invest in a good solid piece of clothing and then I never have to replace it again, so I prefer natural fibres to synthetic. That means looking at wool, silk, cashmere, alpaca, camel hair, etc. I also didn’t want to pay a ton of money for something that was still considered a trend item.
I randomly stumbled on the brand The Curated on Instagram, which has just been around for the last 2-3 or so years. It was started by a female entrepreneur, a lady who is South Korean by heritage, but adopted to Australia, lived in China for a few years, and now she has set up her home base in Norway. Initially, the brand focused on affordable yet luxurious double faced wool and cashmere coats, but in the last year, they’ve expanded to teddy coats, alpaca, and other materials. The coats are very minimalist, and most of them are made of double faced wool / cashmere and is unlined. The products really remind me of Max Mara but without the steep price point.
The brand philosophy is also centred around sustainability. The Curated works with vertically integrated suppliers (those who harvest the wool, make it into fabric, and also manufacture the coats) in Inner Mongolia, in China, where a lot of the world’s wool and cashmere production is located. Most of the fabrics used are leftover from prior seasons, so it is more sustainable. Lastly, the products ship directly from China, so customers don’t incur the additional costs of having the items stored in local warehouses, and having to pay shipping twice (from the supplier to the warehouse then to you). Because the fabrics are mostly past season leftovers, the coats are made in limited quantities and sell out very quickly.
The coats are all very reasonably priced. The wool / cashmere blended coats start at US$295 and then the 100% cashmere coats are US$875. Shipping is not free, but it’s a reasonable US$25. You can also see how much taxes you will incur before you order, so you know the all-in cost and there won’t be surprises upon arrival.
I ordered the Classic Teddy Coat in Camel, which was priced at US$295, plus US$25 for shipping and another US$97 for taxes and duty (prepaid at the time you order), so all in I paid US$417, which converted to approximately C$550. It shipped from China (directly from the manufacturer, to save costs), using DHL. My order arrived super fast. I placed my order on Sunday night (past midnight), my item shipped on Tuesday from China, and I received it Thursday afternoon. Estimated delivery was supposed to be the following Monday, but then I received a notification on the Thursday that my order was out for Delivery.
The Classic Teddy Coat is made of 100% wool outer, plus a silk lining. The texture for teddy coats vary significantly on the market, you can get ones that are more fleecy, and ones that are more like faux fur. The Classic Teddy Coat was inspired by the texture of the Max Mara classic teddy coats, so you get a very luxurious product without the $5000 price tag. The Classic Teddy Coat comes with beautiful lapels, as well as is single breasted using metal eye and hook closures.
The Classic Teddy Coat is one of two teddy coats offered by The Curated, the other is the Modern Teddy Coat, which does not have lapels. In addition to camel, the Classic Teddy Coat is also available in a sand colour, which lighter and more cool-toned. I love my camel coats, and I also love warm tones for fall, so it was a no brainer which colour to pick. Both the Teddy Coat and the Modern Teddy Coat come in a long version, which comes down to your calves, as well as a shorter version, which is thigh length. I wanted something that would be wearable through the winter, so I picked the longer version.
In terms of sizing, I went with my usual M size. I’m 169 cm (5’6.5) and I usually wear a size M or US Size 8 / UK size 12, and it just so happened that the founder of this company, Nicola, also is my size, so I was able to use her sizing for reference. I also sent a message to their customer service just to confirm the sizing, and they did confirm that I would be best with a size M.
One thing to note is that it just so happened that my coat in my size was available for sale right then and there, but because The Curated primarily uses past season leftover fabrics for sustainability, based on my research, they primarily rely on pre-orders for their product sales. As such, the item you want might not be available to purchase and ship right away. Pre-orders will be announced via their Instagram and Facebook group, so keep an eye out if a particular item you want happens to be sold out now. There’s a schedule posted on the Curated’s website that has an estimate of when things are expected to ship.
My initial thoughts
My teddy coat arrived in a vacuum seal bag. I understand this is to save costs and so that customers don’t to pay extra for an extra large shipping box. I have no issue with this because the box will get thrown out anyways, whereas the vacuum seal bag is great to be reused for future travel or packing. Because it’s vacuum sealed for so long, you do have to fluff it out a bit before you wear it. You can either throw it into the bathroom after a shower so the steam will allow the coat to fluff out and straighten, or you can also gently steam it to steam out any wrinkles. Do not use an iron on this!
Of course, being the impatient person that I am, I had it hung up for an hour and then I decided to steam it, first on the silk side, where I spent most of my time steaming, and then very very quickly on the wooly side. The wrinkles mostly steamed out, with some faint lines still remaining, which I’m pretty sure will fall on their own as the coat wears. As I was steaming it, I did make a note of the quality of the fabric and stitching. The silk is very soft, and is not a thin layer of silk – it felt quite substantial, which I’m sure is necessary to prevent ripping as the coat is pretty weighty.
The stitching is okay – not amazing, because the knotting was done a bit messily, and the stitches aren’t evenly spaced out or as tight in some areas, but it’s fine for the price point. I found one very light snag in the silk lining, but it’s very faint and not very noticeable. I also noticed a few of the wool fibres detaching from the coat; it was just a few standalone fibres though, which isn’t unusual for a furry coat like this.
The medium size that I purchased fits me pretty much perfectly. It is slightly oversized, which is what I prefer. The sleeves are a tiny bit short, but it’s not a huge deal. It’ll look wonderfully layered over both thin and thick sweaters. As mentioned previously, I am 5’6.5, and the coat is pretty long on me, hitting me at my upper calf (modelling shots below). I think this is a good length for me.
The coat is heavy. It is also very warm and cuddly. I love wearing it, even just around the house, because it feels like I am just walking around in a cuddly blanket. I haven’t worn it out very much, but wearing it at home does feel very warm. It’ll be a great piece to wear if I don’t feel like wearing my parka, and it’s too cold for my Max Mara Manuela coat. It’s not waterproof, but wool is naturally water resistant so it would be okay to wear in the snow as well, just not in a rainstorm or downpour.
This wasn’t a huge deal to me, but it might be to some people – the colour of the coat is not a true camel. Next to my Max Mara Manuela coat, which I consider to be a true camel colour, the Curated Classic Teddy Coat in the Camel colour is more of a warm, rusty brown. That being said, the colour still looks great on me, and the warm tones make it absolutely perfect for the fall season. I just wanted to point it out in case people were looking for a true camel coat. I posted about this on the Curated Community Facebook Group, and Nicola the founder responded saying she’s noticed the colour difference and they’ve been thinking about changing it, so in the future there might be a truer camel teddy coat coming. In the meantime, if you’re not the biggest fan of the warm tones, the sand colour is a much cooler-toned colour.
I’ve read people say that the feel of this coat is more akin to a faux fur coat than a true teddy coat. I disagree. Even though I don’t own any other teddy coats, I’ve touched them in store, and I do think this feels like a true teddy coat made of natural fibres. If you buy a teddy coat made of synthetic fibres then you might end up with something that’s more faux sherpa, but that wasn’t the look I wanted.
This coat doesn’t have buttons, rather you close it up using a set of hook and eye closures. They’re very easy to use, and well hidden in the teddy material, so it maintains the minimalist look.
Comparison with Max Mara coats
As you may recall, I did a lot of research on Max Mara coats last year as I was trying to decide which one I wanted to buy. As I wasn’t looking at buying the Max Mara teddy coat at that time, I didn’t specifically try on or do a deep dive at Max Mara teddy coats. That being said, I can do a quick high level comparison between the quality of my The Curated Classic Teddy Coat, and my Max Mara Manuela coat which I’ve had for about a year.
The biggest difference between the Max Mara coat I have and my teddy coat is that the stitching on the Max Mara coat is done absolutely beautifully. If you’re a stickler for little details like this, then you can’t beat the even, tight stitching on the Max Mara coat. There’s a reason their coats are so expensive, and part of that reason is the attention to detail is really there. That being said, if you are okay with not 100% perfect craftsmanship, but the items are made with quality materials, then I don’t think there’s a huge difference between Max Mara and The Curated. I’m very happy with the wool fabric of my The Curated Teddy Coat.
In terms of materials, Max Mara has several teddy coat styles that come out each season. They are all very similar in look and price, BUT they can be very different in terms of material. I’ve seen Max Mara teddy coats come out in 100% wool, a wool / cashmere blend, a wool / synthetic blend, and even other types of materials. I haven’t looked too deeply into why there’s a discrepancy but I’ve just noticed that there is one. Obviously if you are comparing a wool / cashmere or alpaca blend teddy coat by Max Mara, then the quality of the material and the softness should be superior to The Curated teddy coats, but if you are comparing a wool / synthetic blend or even a 100% wool Max Mara teddy coat, then the quality differences will be debatable, especially since the Max Mara version is nearly 10x more expensive than The Curated.
Max Mara often releases double faced wool / cashmere blend coats, and they are way pricier than The Curated’s coats. Something like this would be indistinguishable from a The Curated coat. Even the Weekend Max Mara Ted Coat I tried on last year, which was 100% wool but not that soft, was more expensive than the 30% cashmere / 70% wool coats put out by The Curated. The S Max Mara coats I tried on were softer than the Weekend Max Mara coats, but those are even pricier (and are still only 100% wool). If you are looking for a double faced wool / cashmere blend coat, then I don’t think you can go wrong with the price point of The Curated.
The Curated also has 100% cashmere coats for US$900. By comparison, Max Mara’s 100% cashmere coats are usually over C$5,000 and can go up to C$8,000. Both are lined.
Overall I’m very happy with this coat purchase and I’m very excited to get a lot of wear out of it this fall and winter. For a price of C$550, you get a beautiful coat made of quality and natural materials. I can’t wait to incorporate it more into my fall wardrobe (or just continue to wear it around the house).
I already have a minimalist coat from Max Mara (my Manuela coat), which I am very happy about. If I had discovered this brand before I purchased my Max Mara coat, there’s a chance I might not have even gotten the Max Mara coat and just bought something from The Curated. The styles are all beautiful and I think worth a look if you are interested in getting a minimalist wool coat.
Hi everyone, I thought about whether I wanted to post about this here because I know that the Curated is a small brand and sometimes small brands have issues catching up to their demand, especially since they’re a small team, but I decided that I’m honestly so disappointed in the brand’s customer service that I’m going to speak about my experience on it. I am writing about this nearly two weeks after I first brought up the issue to the brand, after multiple follow-ups, posts on the Curated Community facebook group, their live chat, and Instagram messages. In the meantime, they’ve been completely active on social media, posting new releases, commenting on people’s posts, etc. while largely ignoring my correspondence.
I’m in Vancouver, Canada, so I got my coat shipped to Vancouver, Canada. I mentioned above that I paid approximately 33% in taxes and duties on top of the price of the item and the shipping cost.
My work VPN is in Toronto, so when I was shopping during my lunch hour, my shipping address defaulted to Toronto, which is when I noticed that for shipments to Ontario, people were only getting charged sales tax of 13%. That was a 20% difference, which is pretty huge for a coat that is hundreds of dollars and in USD.
I contacted the Curated customer service about it via live chat (they were showing online at the time). After several days there was no response, so then I sent an email. The customer service person, Mary, responded saying that she will have to ask Nicola, the founder about it. A few days later, it was still silence and no one had gotten back to me or addressed the issue. I finally posted on the Curated Community Facebook group as a PSA for Canadian shoppers to be aware of this issue with the taxes being calculated wrong, and to hold off on ordering until this is figured out.
Finally, after many other Canadians said they just made orders and paid the inflated 33% tax, Nicola the founder came on and said that taxes were supposed to be 25% (not 13% or 33%). No effort was made to contact affected Canadians to give them a refund for the difference, and she just brushed off the 33% and 13% taxes as a Shopify glitch. I later emailed her to ask if I can get a refund for the difference, and asked whether the refund would be for the difference between 25% and 33%, or the difference between 13% and 33% (since 13% was what my other Canadian counterparts were paying, I thought it was only fair that I get refunded that difference). I still got no response, no apologies, and no explanation. I ended up getting a refund of 8% (difference between 25% and 33%) via my Paypal a few hours later, but again with no attached explanation or apologies for the inconvenience.
The next day, I got an email from Mary (the customer service person), who thanked me for pointing this out to them, and offered me free shipping on my next order.
I went to try out my free shipping code, and saw that the taxes for a shipment to Vancouver, BC had been updated to 25%, which is what they said they would do. Just for the heck of it, I checked the price for a shipment to Ontario and it had been updated to ZERO tax. I honestly couldn’t believe it, because now not only were people in Ontario not paying ANY taxes on this (the Curated would still have to pay tax to the government so it just means us other shoppers are supplementing the shopping of Ontario buyers), the difference between the taxes paid is now even greater. It’s a 25% difference now, whereas before it was a 20% difference.
I contacted Mary again, and also Nicola, just to ask about it, and again received no response. Meanwhile, throughout the next few days, the brand was constantly posting things on social media about their new releases. Nicola, the founder, even did an “ask me anything” on Instagram. I sent her a question asking if this had been fixed, and of course she didn’t respond to it. She later posted saying that if we had any questions, to send her a DM.
In the meantime, I’ve had a few people reach out to me on Instagram and Facebook saying they saw my post on the Curated Community Facebook page and ask if this issue has been resolved. They said they’ve been trying to get ahold of Nicola and their DMs go unread and emails are unanswered. Meanwhile, Nicola is still answering questions about products on her “ask me anything,” and also posted a screenshot of her responding to someone sending her nasty messages on Instagram. If she has time to read and respond to nasty trolls on the internet, I’m surprised she doesn’t have time to respond to her legitimate customers.
I saw that they posted recently that they will soon be offering free exchanges and returns to customers in Canada / US. That’s great but that only affects new customers, it won’t be valid for previous orders.
The next day, I went to try to check out my cart again and this time, the issue was even worse. Thankfully Ontario’s glitch had been fixed that it was charging 25% tax, but BC was showing a whopping 54% in taxes. Once again, I emailed Nicola and Mary to ask about this, and also included a screenshot. Finally Nicola responded with a very curt “can you refresh it” (verbatim, with the same capitalization and punctuation). I responded saying I did, I tried using incognito mode, tried removing it from my cart and adding it again, etc. Because this was so unfair to my BC shoppers, I posted an update to my post on the Curated Facebook group to let people know this was still happening. A few hours later, Mary responded to the Facebook thread saying this had been fixed. If I didn’t point this out (or point out any of the times that the website was overcharging tax), The Curated would continue to overcharge taxes for certain Canadians. They also locked my thread from additional comments. Finally the next day, Nicola made an announcement on the Facebook page saying that the Canada tax issue had been fixed.
The products are beautiful, that’s a fact. The prices are also really good for the quality that you get, but the customer service has honestly been disappointing and lacking. I get that they’re a small brand that has grown quickly, but they should be adding people to they’re growing so fast. If they have time to launch new products every week, they should add new team members so they can help them manage this growth. They’re still sending products to influencers regularly to promote their products, but they don’t have the infrastructure to support that boost in demand. It’s very clear where their priorities lie.
I really wanted to refrain from talking about this (for months I didn’t) because I don’t want it to look like I’m bashing the brand in any way, but as a consumer myself, I would want to know all of the things I’m saying now and then make an educated and conscious decision about whether I want to embroil myself in any drama. I understand that the company and the people worked really hard to establish it and the products are nice, but it looks like there is zero accountability when it comes to quality control, as well as some very questionable business practices.
Some examples of things that happened:
- Another company released a coat that was similar to the Curated’s Classic Coat, so the brand founder asked the people in the Curated Community Facebook Group to go spam the other brand’s Instagram and tell them to remove the coat for copying the Curated’s design. Well the truth was that the Curated actually took the coat from a catalogue offered by an OEM, and made minor tweaks to it (e.g., lengthening the sleeves). This whole time, the Curated founder has called people who don’t design their own clothes “lazy,” and said she absolutely designs all of her own coats.
- Related to the above incident, the other brand was running a promotion where customers can submit photos of them wearing the coat to get 30% off. People on the internet, who wanted to get the discount, took photos from the Curated Facebook group. The Curated founder found out, accused the other brand’s founder of malicious stealing, and again told her minions to go attack the other brand. As soon as the other brand realized what her customers were doing, she removed all of the photos, but the online bullying didn’t stop for the entire day. The other brand’s founder said she was having a breakdown because of all of the online bullying, and she couldn’t argue with the Curated’s hoards of supporters… over a coat! Does The Curated’s actions remind you of anyone else out there who is calling for people to bully others?
- There were a lot of sizing inconsistencies in one of the batches of coats that were sent out where the actual coat in a particular size was several inches smaller than the measurements that were posted on the Curated website. The founder didn’t take responsibility, said it was the factory’s fault, and instead asked the affected customers to sell their coats in the Facebook group to other customers instead of accepting a return. As a company, asking your customers to sell their items instead of accepting a return for defective items is simply unheard of.
- The “silk” lining advertised by the brand turned out to be polyester in the coat pockets of some of the coats. The founder also took no responsibility, said the factory “never told her.” The brand’s founder has since asked the affected customer to sell her coat in the Facebook group rather than accept a return. The last I’ve heard, it seems like the brand is potentially looking into offering a return, so hopefully this is resolved properly. Update – just kidding, the affected customers were provided with store credit of $25 to spend on their next Curated product.
- The brand advertised down coats with “100% waterproofed cotton outershell, 100% ethical down fill.” A customer tested this on her down coat and commented saying she didn’t think the coats were waterproofed as the water soaked right in. The Curated founder said they do not use chemicals to waterproof as chemicals are bad, and that they waterproof the coats based on the way they’re woven. But that still doesn’t resolve the issue of the coats not actually being waterproof?? Again there was no accountability from the brand, only deflections.
If you want to personally see some of this stuff happen in real-time (or if you don’t trust what I’m saying), you can go to the Curated Community Facebook Group and see for yourself.
Nicola – if you are reading this, please do NOT attempt to contact me. I gave you my personal number for order fulfillment purposes, not for you to call or text me whenever you want to talk about random things. My order has been complete for a while and I’m no longer a customer so you have no reason whatsoever to contact me personally. Living in the EU, I’m sure there are laws against the misuse of personal information. We definitely have that in Canada. Also please stop telling people that the constructive feedback (or negative comments, if you see them as that) affect “your family’s finances.” I get it, you are trying to make money for your family, but at the same time, consumers also have a limited amount of funds to spend on things like coats. Everyone is trying to make money to support their family. If you spend hundreds on a coat and it ends up being nothing like what you expected and in some cases not even wearable, wouldn’t you be upset?
This post is not sponsored. I purchased this coat with my own money. I do not use affiliate links.