|Woolrich John Rich & Bros Arctic Parka|
|Nigel Cabourn Everest Parka|
Though they bother some people, I actually like the aesthetic of many down parkas and I'm not ashamed to own a Canada Goose Citadel. But I'll be the first to admit they suffer from the malady of ubiquity and some negative connotations that go along with their stratospheric popularity - they've become more or less known as the winter uniform for wealthy urbanites and their college age children. For anyone who has considered or is considering one, I will say that you are getting a high quality product for your money and I'm sure you would be happy with it, but I'd also agree that there are plenty of viable options either at or below the price point that are comparable.
Woolrich's John Rich & Bros down parka line is one of those options. It's no surprise that the tried and true silhouettes are there, and you'll find similar design cues throughout the parkas as well, but I've found they also stand up to close scrutiny for make and construction, unlike some of the other cheaper versions I've seen in person. Barneys Warehouse has had them stocked for a while now, though they haven't been found on much further discount until recently. Currently, the line is eligible for an extra 40% off their already slashed prices, which brings them down as low as $238.80 (with free shipping) for some quality down parkas that should keep you toasty warm in subzero temperatures (there are non down versions that start even cheaper, though I would choose the down versions). I'm particularly intrigued with the shearling-lined collar models, though I should note that the generous fur lining on the hood of my CG truly helps keep out the biting wind when things get real.
The question of "do I really need a parka?" is an entirely different subject, to which I'd say a simple answer is probably no, but the better answer is "no, but your life would be better with one" (which you could say the same thing about most outerwear, honestly). This, of course, only applies to people who live in temperatures below freezing in the winter. If you read around fashion advice forums, a lot of guys will swear up and down that you can get by in sub zero temperatures with adequate layering - something like a pea coat on top of a light Uniqlo down layer on top of a sweater on top of a base shirt layer and maybe an undershirt. That's fine if you want to do that, and sometimes I do, but when I'm going to work in scrubs or out walking in the city for brief stints I'm not trying to put on five layers to get warm. This way, I can throw on my parka over just a tee shirt and be perfectly comfortable without having to take the time to make myself a human onion.
Link to Sale - Purchases should also qualify for returns with a small restocking fee, with final sale items at extra 50% off for true clearance