On the left, we have Old Navy's Fishtail Anorak, currently $23.99 plus 20% off online. On the right is upscale UK retailer Toast's Parka in ink blue, currently 155 GBP (about $240).
I'd spied the latter version 3 months ago when introduced to the brand's AW 2011 catalog (pages 23-24) via my very favorite online style forum, YLF. Boy did my britches burn that 1) I'd fallen for yet another brand based outside the US and 2) that cool coat with the rockin' fishtail hem was way out of my league!
Then, by some strange twist of fate, I found myself browsing Old Navy's site - I don't follow Old Navy's offerings closely, because I usually prefer to save money by shopping secondhand - and I was instantly drawn to their own blue fishtail-hem topper. It took me a while to order it, because I couldn't find it in stores to try on for size - but when the Thanksgiving sales started to hit, I pounced (I paid $30). I got it. I wore it. I LOVED it so much I bought it in alabaster, too (to be dyed red).
The coat is lightweight, but well constructed. It feels solid, and the metal zipper, snaps, and thoughtful design elements make it look way more expensive than it is (even at full price, it'd be way cheaper than they'd ask for something similar at Urban Outfitters). I'm 5'4" with a 33-inch chest, and the XS fits in a nice, closely tailored way, hitting just above the knee in the front. I could also see sizing up for a more relaxed vibe. If you have long arms, the sleeves might be short for you. For me, I like how the cuffs of my shirts can peek out.
The similarity my anorak to the Toast parka didn't even hit me until just recently, when I logged on to Toast to see if they had any new stock to wistfully ogle from afar... I was already pleased as punch with my coat, but the fact that I'd basically secured something I'd assumed I could never have - and for about 88% off - just made my day.