I had a few quick minutes to try on the new down for a run jacket and vest in stores. I had been waffling back and forth for weeks on ordering these, so I was glad I had a chance to try them out instead of ordering.
First up, the down for a run jacket. In my true size, this was a pretty good fit. I had room underneath for layers, but it was still form-fitting and flattering. My only gripe is that I felt like the “flat” space under the bust where the pockets are did not look as nice as if the stitching details had gone all the way down (as they do in the back or as they do in other jacket styles).
I thought the hood looked a bit awkward. It didn’t lay nicely, and the tiny logo just looked a bit out of place or out of proportion or something. The thumbholes are part of the down sleeves, as opposed to the rulu cuffs on my fluff off jacket. I prefer the cozier feel of rulu to the slick fabric on the DFAR jacket.
The length of the jacket is a bit longer than years past, providing a bit more bum coverage. I was happy with the length–the butt warmth is a welcome addition–and I didn’t think it was too long on me (I’m 5’3″). That said, I wasn’t impressed with the thickness of the jacket. It’s supposed to be fairly lightweight for running purposes, but I wasn’t convinced it’d be all that warm, especially since down jackets like this tend to lose feathers over time. Although I didn’t compare them side-by-side, the DFAR jacket struck me as a bit flimsier overall (in both the rulu panels and the down panels) than my fluff off jacket. The DFAR jacket is warmer than a define jacket or a rulu top, sure, but is the warmth really worth the price? Eh, not so sure there. Plus, my 2-yr-old fluff off jacket has served me well, and I think I’d end up reaching for that one over a DFAR piece anyway.
On to the down for a run vest:
The vest fit very well in my true size (I wear the same size in all lulu tops and bras). I like the back, but the panels in the front look a little bit blocky due to the “flat” space at the pockets, much like they did in the jacket. I was wearing a CRB and rulu 1/2 zip underneath and I could still zip up my true size easily. If these types of layers are how you would wear it, definitely stick with your true size.
The length is a couple inches shorter than the jacket. As you can see, my CRB sticks out under this one, while it’s fully covered by the jacket above. I really like the styling of the back of the vest, and the side pockets are subtle but useful. Like the jacket, the vest is pretty thin, and I’m not sure how much warmth it really adds.
Overall, I found both items to be a bit underwhelming, especially considering the prices. I didn’t try on the pullover since I can’t think of a time I’d rather wear a pullover instead of a jacket. I skipped out on both pieces, since as far as outerwear is concerned, I think I’d be better of spending the money on something a little beefier.
As an alternative to the DFAR vest, I recommend Lorna Jane’s candy puffa vest. I have it in ocean, which is actually a more saturated cobalt blue in real life. It is sherpa lined, has a removable faux fur hood, and is overall far more substantial and warmer than lulu’s DFAR vest. I’ve had mine for a year now and it’s still in perfect shape. Also, I can’t find any indication that LJ used any down, so this is a nice alternative if you prefer to avoid down in your clothes. Sizing runs a bit small, perhaps a half size (I am a lulu 2 and have the vest in XS, more try-on pics are here). I’m not sure how well it would work for running, but as a to-and-from/casual/warm-up piece, it’s a real steal for the sale price of $80.
Also, while were talking lulu reviews, some other quick lulu notes:
While I was at the store, I bought the new black grape toasty techs since I really like my bordeaux dramas. One thing I noticed is that on the black grape, the zipper is plastic, and there is no contrast lining in the zip pocket. The bordeaux have a gold accent zipper and a wee stripe lining. Overall, it seems like lulu put a bit more effort in the detail on the bordeaux pair. I’m still keeping both, though.
Speaking of tech fleece, I decided against the face the frost 1/2 zip. The tender violet color is so pretty, and the fit was not blocky on me as it was for some others. I noticed that the zip does not open up as far as most other lulu 1/2 zips. It’s more of a 1/3 zip. ;) That wasn’t a big deal for me, just something to note, but I had a couple other issues with this PO. For one, it didn’t strike me as significantly warmer or cozier than my rulu tops, which was a bit disappointing for the price. Second, and most importantly, I found the seam accents down the arms to be uncomfortable, especially when bending my arms. Ultimately, that was the dealbreaker for me. I recommend avoiding it for other who are similarly seam-sensitive. Sorry I don’t have pictures of that one! :(