I'm just gonna put this all here in case people don't go back to look at the comments for the last post.
Tell me more about coats ---- if I follow Absurdist's advice and zip up a snuggly sweater underneath, does that mean I should go up a size when trying stuff on? How do I go about getting it to fit well with layers? (And then isn't there the problem of becoming too roly-poly with too many layers and then a big wool coat thrown on on top of it?)
Thank you for the advice to get something lined with "thinsulate" --- see? Now I have a new term to look for when I go sniffing about in the stores.
Right now I only need the coat for going from home to my car to school on teaching days ... I'm out of the house by 7 and it is already cold and dark (bleah!) ... so I'm looking for something that will not look too awkward with nice teaching clothes or dresses. I have a camping-rain-gear coat that is bright orange, and besides being too thin already (though great on the days it has rained), I feel odd running around in something that orange and casual with my teaching clothes. Inside is pretty good since they keep the building on pretty high heat already. I hope they don't up the heat more when it gets colder because I hate bundling up and then coming indoors and stripping back down to a t-shirt or blouse ---- for one thing, it's hell on my hair with all the dressing and undressing and static. For another, I have thrown up in the past when I get too overheated. Don't need to be experiencing random nausea on winter days, thanks!
You all suggest black but I do have my old pea coat and the insane floor-length rabbit-fur collar one from mom --- what about something in that caramel color? Do those show dirt and not wear as well? Something like this? (I also quite like the floppy look of this but alas, I'm sure a red coat would limit my clothing options too much. Useful for if I got lost in the snow, however.)
I am continuing to look about. At the rate I move from "looking" to actually going to stores and trying stuff on, however, I fear it will already be the dead of winter before I get a good coat. Alas!
ETA: Ok, is this a possibility? (In the camel) I notice it's not really wool. And that it has shoulder pads (loathe!) I notice that this is only available online, erm. And it has polyester. And it has those sideways bars around the waist that make me worried. And I don't know if "polyester lining" is the same as "thinsulate lining," but I am guessing it is not. And then this seems so cute and yet totally nothing like what I need. Sigh. The perils of shopping.
Edited to add again: Where did it get the name "car coat"? And is that a standardized length? Cars come in all different lengths.