Apologies in advance for any offense caused by my politically incorrect and sexist observation, but some ***women*** have a passion for shoes and others, a passion for handbags. In both cases, these ladies can’t walk past a collection without stopping and looking and probably buying.
I don’t share those passions. I use a pair of shoes into the ground and then wish I’d bought three just like them so I didn’t have to start over.
Same with purses. I buy them based on utility, not style. Right now, I have more than I need, not because I love them, but because I make a lot of mistakes. The pockets that seemed practical create too many spaces to lose things, or the black lining hides my stuff, or, I thought a hand bag would work, but I really need a shoulder bag. So, I buy them, test drive them, toss them into the closet, and repeat.
But I do have one weakness, and I’m going to come out of the closet and admit it: coats. I love coats. I have so many, you’d think coats grew on trees and I lived in a forest.
Currently, I have at least 14 in my closet, but it’s a revolving door. In any given year, I might wear two or three with any regularity. That leaves something like 12 that take up space and collect dust. But I keep buying.
Because here’s the dilemma: I live in Southern California, so when I go out, I rarely need a coat. And I’m a social-phobe, so I don’t go out unless I need to walk my dog. Or go to the thrift store. Therefore, anything beyond two dog-walking hoodies— one lightweight and the other mediumweight–is just closet clutter.
But, I’m drawn to coats like the proverbial moth to the flame. I swooned over the outback coat my parents brought me from Australia. That was 25-years ago, give or take. It was miles too big when they gave it to me, and it’s miles too big now. But I can’t part with it. It’s cool.
Another “cool” coat is an original bomber jacket my dad got while in the Navy. I used to wear it quite a bit when I was 20-something. It doesn’t work as well now that I’m 60-something. But it’s in my closet.
I went crazy for a trench worn by main character Nina Proudman in the Australian series Offspring. That sent me to the thrift store where I bought at least five variations in search of the perfect trench. I finally found a winner, but as of this writing, I haven’t worn it, or any of the others.
I love vintage, and I’ve acquired a few pieces. One, a pretty pink, 3/4 sleeve, full-length coat, and another, a robin’s egg blue car coat. I wore them once or twice before I realized I really can’t pull off the look, so I found them new homes. Still, I couldn’t say no when my neighbor offered me a very fun classic mohair. I wore it once. It’s not me.
My priciest coat, and biggest folly, came last year when I was in rising hysteria about not being warm enough for a late-winter trip to Norway. All of the warmest-rated coats were down, but I am an animal wacko and didn’t want to go in that direction.
As the trip neared and I hadn’t found anything that would work, I panic-bought a near maxi, synthetic down, made in USA coat I’d seen online from a niche manufacturer. When it arrived, I tried it on and immediately hated it. But, I’m not a returner. Plus, it was too late; the trip was just a couple of weeks away. I figured OK, I’d like to be warm and fashionable, but I’d mostly like to be warm. So, I kept the ridiculously expensive, not pretty coat. And COVID canceled the trip. But, hey! I got a Norway winter-rated coat out of the deal! And we did have a couple of Southern California mornings that hit the low 50s this past winter!
And so, I turn again to my trusty hoodie. I throw it on when I walk the dog or hit the grocery store. I tie it around my waist for the thrift store.
Where the chronically chilly, over air conditioned interior makes winter outerwear seem like a logical purchase. So, I hit the coat rack first.