Review: Grana Trench Coat in Camel

Grana Trench Coat

The people at Grana have been very generous these last few months!

With all the Grana gear I’ve been reviewing, I feel I’m fast becoming an official reviewer haha – only kidding. I’m not getting paid to review these items! They simply suggest an item to me, I say yes or no, I pick the colour and size, they send it to me, I give it a fair go (wearing it around for two weeks or so), and I write what I think about it – the positive and negative.

I do spend some time looking for similar items at Zara, Myer, Target, Country Road and other high street stores… pondering the deep and meaningful questions: How does it compare? Why would someone buy this Grana item?

(Only jokes)

Grana Trench Coat

So! I picked out this Cotton Classic Trench in Camel (AU $259) as part of their latest Coats and Jackets range.

What I really like about it – Classic, double-breasted trench style. Minimal design. No embellishments!

There are no fancy buttons. No shoulder epaulets. No shiny buckles.

It’s really well made and has a high quality feel to it. The stitching, full inner lining, edges, cuffs, collar, the buttons,  the button stitching, button holes… are all fantastic!

The cotton fabric is smooth, soft to touch, strong, has a good weight to it and feels thick enough (to withstand a cold breeze).

It does feel a little stiff and doesn’t drape as luxuriously as I would have liked. Maybe I haven’t worn it long enough for it to soften up?

Sizing – I am a standard AU/ UK 6, so I ordered a Size XXS.

The coat length finishes below my knee.

Sleeves and shoulders are perfect, woohoo! They are not embarrassingly long, or awkwardly short!

It’s a regular fit across the chest. It’s not a slim fit.

I can easily wear a thermal singlet, a white button-down shirt, a thick knit sweater (3 layers underneath) and the coat will NOT feel tight across my chest, back or armpits. It feels perfect actually. I found it great for layering up.

However, when I try to wear as a Spring outfit, with a light top + jeans, or a dress, it feels a tiny bit big and roomy for me in the chest. But as you can see, it looks fine and it’s me being super picky. Would I really have a Winter trench and a Spring trench? Who am I?

I guess you could size down and get a slimmer fit for yourself. Or maybe you have bigger chest than me and ‘fill out’ the coat perfectly? Anyway, I’m already the smallest size, so I won’t be able to have that slimmer fit.

Be sure to check out the garment sizing, it includes body measurements and the product measurements. Very useful.

Grana Trench Coat

Colour – On the website, the coat looks like a pale light camel colour. But in real life it’s more yellowy/sand brown, so a bit more like the Burberry trench.

Quality – This coat is much better quality than what you’d find in H&M, Zara and ASOS.

It’s about the same quality as clothes from Country Road, which, it turns out, has a trench coat also selling for $299.

Basically I think it looks and feels like a really good quality coat for its price point!

Price – I guess you have to weigh up between quality vs quantity with this one. Yes $259 sounds a bit high to pay for a coat you haven’t tried on before. But then there are heaps of designer coats on, say Shopbop, between $300 – $750. So in comparison, $259 is pretty good.

Years ago I reviewed a beige trench coat from the ASOS brand and I *think* it was around $80… it looked great, but the fabric was stiff and it wasn’t very fluid. It was OK for a cheap and cheerful coat… but I gave it away after a while, because I  didn’t love it. I’m not saying everything from ASOS is bad though! I guess I’m saying, you get what you pay for.

I definitely can’t wait for winter, so I can layer up with a white shirt, cashmere jumper, jeans and long boots.

Would I recommend to my friends? Yes! Totally. The classic style is gorgeous. The perfect fit across the shoulders and arm length is worth it (for petite shorties like me!) .

And lastly, Grana have once again given me a discount to share:

Special Discount Code

If you’re a new customer, you can use my code “karenxgrana” to enjoy 10% off your order and free shipping!

No Markup Sale

Oh hey, and Grana still have their “No Markup Sale” with lots of items still for sale. You might pick up a bargain. Do check it out!

Enjoy!

xxx

What I Wore: Shirred Tops and Summer Silk

Shirred Top from Seed

This outfit is from November! I wasn’t going to share it here, because I just snapped it for my Instagram feed. So why am I sharing it now?

You see, I tooootally fell in love with the Seed Heritage Summer Range when it was first released. They had so many great designs in such fun, pretty and wearable styles. (I find Country Road and Witchery are a bit too serious sometimes). What I like the most about Seed is their fabric. I love the fabric quality, textures, weight, colours and patterns.

Anyway, I added so many items to my cart. I whittled my list down to TWO and finally bought them.

They were cool, wearable pieces that went well with my wardrobe and the weather. Not too trendy. Good for going out in summer.

I bought this Shirred Top (sold out) and this Tie Sleeve Blouse (still on sale).

HOWEVER it’s 3 months later and these same tops are 60% off at the “End of Summer Sale” — oh man, I feel so much shopping regret! Don’t you hate that?!

Oooh I’m trying to justify my shopping.

I’m trying to buy better quality clothes… But they weren’t exactly low-quality, fast fashion clothes. They were great quality!

I’m trying to buy classic, timeless pieces… But then I get kind of bored of white t-shirts and blue jeans.

Plus I have worn them lots of times.

And, um they bring me joy, haha!

Also wearing Grana Silk Ankle Pants, Tibi Sling Back Heels, Mansur Gavriel Bucket Bag.

What I Wore: Gold Silk Slip Dress + Leather Details

Grana Gold Dress

This evening I went out to dinner with some friends and enjoyed a 7 course Omasake Menu (chef’s selection) at the extremely difficult-to-book-a-seat, Marumo Japanese Restaurant.

It was such a treat. I loved it!

I wore my new Grana Silk Slip Dress (in gold!) which I bought at their End of Year / No Markup sale (which is still on here) for $48. There were some complaints on Instagram about Grana’s slow delivery during that busy period, but my parcel arrived in 7 days, which was totally fine for me. I don’t think I received special treatment from the PR department, because I purchased and ordered from my personal account?

Anyway, I crossed my fingers and hoped that the gold wasn’t too gold… and omg I love the colour! It’s more of a muted bronze/sandy beige with a soft silk shine, rather than a ‘typical metallic gold shine’. I’ll share more pics soon.

I’m wearing the XXS (I’m usually AUS Size 6) and I also have the slip dress in red.

I took my 3.1 Phillip Lim Alix Clutch Bag out for a spin… and was quite pleased that it managed to fit my compact camera, along with all my other handbagy stuff.

I also kept my look clean and simple, by wearing my Tibi Kitten Heels (this style is sold out, but there are similar ones here, for a third of the price).

Hope you have a lovely weekend!

xxx

Shortcut Liège Waffles

Belgium (Liege) Waffle

A few months ago, I went to check out a waffle cafe in Perth, which specialised in authentic Liege waffles. They were so delicious that I was desperate to make them for myself!

I found a recipe online and since then, I’ve made them 3 times, using this Liège Waffle Recipe by Smitten Kitchen and this Liège Waffle Recipe.

I’ve modified it a bit, because honestly, I’m not patient enough to wait for the dough to rise properly.

So this is a shortcut version! I’m sure waffle fans will poo poo this idea, but hey, I just don’t have the time throughout the day to tend to my rising dough.

My version is not super soft and fluffy. My final waffles are more like a dense, buttery bread, with a crispy, toffee-like shell. It’s ok… but no where near the good stuff from the cafe.

Shortcut Liège Waffles

Makes 16 thick waffles. Takes about 4-5 hours of prep.

1/2 cup (120 ml) warm, whole milk
1/4 cup (60 ml) warm water
1 packet (7 grams or 2 1/2 teaspoons) of active dry yeast
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 and 2/3 cups (460 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons raw sugar or brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coarse salt
200g unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 (300g) cups of pearl sugar (I just use chopped up sugar cubes, and I decrease it to 200g)

Make Dough:

Mix warm milk, warm water and yeast in a large bowl.

Stir in eggs and 2 and 2/3 cups of flour (leave 1 cup out) and mix well to combine. Sprinkle over the remaining flour, but don’t stir it in. Cover with cling wrap and leave it for 10 minutes.

I like to clean up the kitchen and pack away the ingredients during this time.

Add sugar, salt, vanilla. Using a dough hook on a mixer, beat the dough for 5 minutes.

Then mix in all the butter, a spoonful at a time. This should take about 5-7 minutes. (I like to knead it with my hands sometimes. Makes a buttery mess, but it’s fun and feels so nice!)

Rise Dough:

Cover the bowl with some cling wrap and leave at room temperature for 1-2 hours.

After that, stir the dough with a spoon to deflate it, re-wrap the bowl and put it into the fridge overnight. Or if you’re like me, leave it in the fridge for 1-2 hours! (But of course, the waffles won’t be very fluffy)

One time I completely skipped the fridge bit and it still turned out ok.

Roll Sugar into Dough:

When you are almost ready to cook your waffles, take the dough out of the fridge and knead all the pearl sugar (or in my case, chopped up sugar cubes) into the dough.

Make 16 portions. Roll them into semi-flattened balls, arrange them on a plate/tray, cover them with cling wrap and let them rest for 1 hour.

Cook Waffles:

Heat up your waffle iron from https://goodfoodblogph.com, I like to add extra butter. Cook the waffle until they are a lovely golden colour.

Be careful, as they are full of molten sugar, so they will be really hot.

As they cool, they will harden, so you just have to warm them up to make them soft again.

The waffles should be kept and eaten warm!

Serve with fruit or ice cream :)

 

Fitness Update: Twilight Running

Sunset Running

Ahh I loooove the long days of summer.

And I loooove running at twilight after i tae my supplements including what is called the best testosterone booster.

This has been our evening schedule:

My husband usually comes home from work at 6pm. By then I’ll have dinner cooked and I’ll head out the door for my run. My husband will eat dinner with the kids and take them to the park too.

At the moment the sun sets at 7:30pm, so I have a delicious golden hour to enjoy my run.

The best thing about running in the evenings:

I DON’T have to wear sunscreen all over my arms, shoulders, neck and chest!

I really hate putting so much sunscreen on myself when I run, because I get SO hot and SO sweaty… and by the end of my run, I feel greasy, sticky and so so so gross.

I just wear sunscreen on my face, even at 6pm. This might be unnecessary, but to me it’s like a moisturiser, so sun protection is just a bonus really.

Also, the temperature in the evenings is perfect for running. I could wake up at 4:30am for a run to get a similar perfect twilight and temperature, but that’s not going to happen!

Here’s my fitness schedule for the past week or so:

Sunday – Run

Monday – Weight Training (at night)

Tuesday – Yoga

Wednesday – Date night!

Thursday – HIIT Workout + Run

Friday – Nothing

Saturday – Yoga

My husband also does some kind of activity / exercise everyday. But he does more cycling, weights and walks. Also, you can acquire legal steroids for sale like us on this website to help lose weight and improve your health.

I wouldn’t say we’re exercise buddies, and we are definitely not hardcore fitness freaks (haha!), but we keep each other in check, which is a great thing!