I recently had the opportunity to start reviewing babywearing coats/jackets, which I had hoped would help others answer those things that they wish they could know before buying (as well as help me to pass the winter with something to do since I’m not a big snow fan and hate the cabin fever! Plus I have a toddler who is adventurous so wrap and carrier reviews are at a standstill until Baby comes along in April!). Living in an area with season changes and differing degrees of inclement weather, I get many questions from clients and patrons of my local babywearing group about which jackets would work for where they live.
Hopefully, reader, these reviews will assist you in answering such questions. I’m using more of a Q & A format rather than my typical story format so I hope that you find it easier to go straight to any questions that you may have. If you have a specific question about a specific coat/jacket that I didn’t answer in my review, don’t hesitate to leave a comment for me and I’ll give you the best answer that I can! 🙂
Name of Company:
Where are they located?
“Our products are developed in Italy (designs) and Russia (construction & testing), and produced in Portugal, Italy, India and Russia. Our main office is located in Portugal, with warehouses in Portugal and Russia.” ~ as quoted from their website
Product being reviewed:
Diva Milano Wool 4-in-1 (medium-warm) Babywearing Coat (Antracite); this coat offers the option for a back carry
Materials it’s made from:
Outer layer: 80% Wool, 20% Polyester
Inner lining: 50% Viscose, 50% Polyester
Portugal, Italy, India, and Russia
Where can you get it in the USA/North America?
Nina and Jack Babywearing – located in Chicago, Illinois, USA
Purple Elm Baby – Alabama, USA
Papas PRO – Mexico
WithMyBaby.com – Canada
Initial thoughts/first impression:
Straight out of the box, this coat is gorgeous. It reminds me of a designer coat that you would see in a big city. Trim, sleek, very modern and fashionable. Also, I am a big fan of wool! I love the way that it feels, smooth yet slightly rough in texture. The silky smooth feeling of the inner lining felt so luxurious and soft. I was also a fan of the larger buttons- they really drew the eye! And the whole hood setup was beautiful on its own – the high collar with its double buttons and the deep hood that had a soft structure, so that it fanned out on the shoulders rather than stood up on its own. Not to mention I love wool for its sustainability so the coat already had that going for it!
How did it feel the first time that I wore it?:
I found it to be warm yet breathable. The soft inner lining kept me from feeling the slight scratch from the outer wool layer. It reminded me of the feeling that you get when you rub a child’s taggie blanket and was extremely soft against my skin, helping the sleeves to slide on & off very easily. There was no struggling to pull it over my shoulders as would be expected from simply feeling the more textured outer layer.
Unlike down and synthetic style jackets, it had weight and substance to it. It reminded me a bit like wearing a weighted blanket (in a good way, not a dragging down kind of way). I found myself really liking that attribute; as an outdoor hiking/backpacking person I am used to lighter styles of jackets so this was new for me.
Weather I wore it in:
Snowy weather!!! Unfortunately, we got a warm spell just as the jacket came in for reviewing (early Feb 2018, Utah) and I found that I didn’t reach for it on the warmer days, though this was less about the materials and more to do with the length, all of which I will discuss later. So when we had a nice bit of snow come through, I was excited to give her an inclement weather test run!
Avg temps: (on days worn) anywhere from 18-30 degrees F
*A note from their website on cold weather and this coat: “Diva Outerwear Wool Babywearing Coat has been developed specially for cold climates. It is designed in Italy and tested in Russia known by its cold and snowy weather. The Diva Wool Babywearing Coat will protect you and your baby from cold, wind and snow. It is lightweight and elegant, you can use it at temperatures from 0C (32F) to -10C (14F). Wool fabric is very warm, it makes the coat very lightweight which is important in babywearing. A touch of PA in a wool fabric is important for better coat durability.”
How was the overall fit with the size that I was wearing (add in my own measurements)?
Though I wore this coat between 7 and 8 months along, my measurements at 7 months pregnant were as follows: 5’3” (63”) height, 39.5” bust/chest size, 43” hips, arm length measurement from outer wrist to curve of shoulder 22”/56.5cm (my pregnant belly and chest obviously would fluctuate within a few inches as time would go on but this should give you an idea of overall fit). I generally fall into the category of an hourglass shape, with shoulders/bust being about as wide as my hips.
I wore the XL coat and was able to cinch it down to fit around me snuggly or let it out to create a little more room in whichever areas needed it. My hips were in-between measurements but I elected to go with the XL instead of the XXL because I was afraid that it would have too many oversized spaces elsewhere on the coat. I’m glad that I did not go up in size because this one fit my hips very well!
Fit for pregnancy:
It is a beautiful coat for pregnancy! Because the coat is designed to be form fitting, it really shows off the baby bump nicely! And I love that the maternity/pregnancy insert is included with the coat when you buy it (not having to buy another extra thing is a plus to me!).
I imagine that it will be similarly delightful as a non-pregnancy, non-babywearing coat as well! I would have loved to have kept it around for that opportunity because I think that I would have really enjoyed how snug it is on the body (I prefer things that are more form fitting because I’m very active and tend to catch flowy clothing on things, which greatly annoys me!).
Fit for pregnancy + toddler:
I did not wear this coat with Alice, as she refused to be worn when I had it out! I did, however, wear it with my weighted doll Bumi and he fits 3-6 month clothing. It was overall comfortable and he fit well within the head opening, so no complaints there.
(To gauge fit – Bumi the Weighted Doll is 8lbs of dead weight and fits 3-6 month clothing; he was worn on my back in a Lillebaby All Seasons soft structured carrier [a standard size SSC]. In some of the from-the-back photos you will see the babywearing panel zipped down a little – I did this to show where the back of Bumi’s head, neck, and the top of his back fell within the panel to give an idea of where the baby/doll was sitting in relation to the type of carrier being used)
Favorite things about the coat/jacket (toggles, zip pulls, hoods, wrist elastics, etc)?
As you may have read in previous reviews, I love toggles! Being able to cinch down areas that would otherwise pool and circulate cold air is a win in my book. I really like how it has the option to cinch down around the baby and not just around the adult wearer.
Also, I really loved the buttons! It was a nice change up from only zippers; it gave the coat a very chic look. I especially loved the option for tightening or loosening the waist with wool belts and buttons- it kept with the overall style and added an eye catching, designer appeal.
There are also a few hidden, unique features about this coat that I really like in theory but was unable to try out on my own, however they are worth the mention. There are hidden zippers inside of the pockets that open and allow for a little toddler feet to poke out of! Fun right? Also there are hidden zippers within the babywearing panel to allow for mom to breastfeed to adjust baby (in a front carry), all without having to remove the coat to do so.
However, my very favorite thing about this coat was the hood. As far as what is so special, it clearly functions just as any hood does – it keeps precipitation off of the wearer’s head. Not to mention that it had a zip-off option, which I am a huge fan of. No, I love this particular hood from a purely aesthetic standpoint… it made me feel like an elf! Ooooh, be still my scifi/fantasy loving heart! A wool hood, adorned with buttons at the neck, that has a decidedly Lord of the Rings cloak-like feel? Sign me up! Hands down a fan favorite here! Normally I’m not a fan of hoods on jackets but I could see me wearing a hood exactly like this one all winter long (or, in the event of living in a rainy/misty climate, all year long).
Does this jacket/coat come in plus sizes?
Yes! This coat sizes from XS-2XL. However, BE SURE to follow the size guide, as I found it to run true to size (see my measurements for reference). It fit my hips and shoulders very well and was only slightly long around my wrist, but not so much so that it annoyed me.
Would I recommend this product?
Yes, though I would add in that if you are as short as I am (or shorter) and do not wear heels on a daily basis, you may find the coat a tad too long for practical, everyday wear if you are very active (more than casual walking). Overall, however, I think that it’s a great product and, like I said before, I am a huge fan of wool. It is a sustainable, antibacterial, antimicrobial material that is very breathable in hot weather and keeps the chill out in the winter. Wool is also able to absorb up to 30% of its own weight (fun fact).
I loved the overall look of the coat and consider it to be very eye appealing – sleek, trim, and form fitting. The rolled cuffs and large buttons catch the eye. It’s definitely more than your average, everyday piece of clothing! Quite fashionable!
Things that I would love to see different:
A shorter length option; this coat, while beautiful and deluxe feeling, was hard for me to bend down and try to zip up while 7-8 months pregnant. And zipping it above the belly and pulling it down was not an option due to the form fitting nature of the coat.
I also do not typically wear skirts or dresses on a day to day basis so I would prefer the shorter option so that I didn’t feel so ‘tied up’ around my knees; I prefer freer movement. I felt a little restricted because of this and would not have been able to run after my toddler if the situation had called for it.
I would also like to see deeper pockets with a closure of some kind, such as a hidden zipper or perhaps a large button to match the rest. It was hard to get my hands in very far around my bump and even harder to put something in there with them, such as my phone or tiny wallet.
I reviewed this coat as part of a collaboration with Nina & Jack Babywearing. They are a US based small business that carries some of the Diva Milano line. I highly recommend going through them if you are in the US and looking for a coat because not only is the shipping much cheaper than ordering from them directly, but the customer service is top notch! To me, that’s good business and always worth the buy.
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