It has suddenly gotten cold, here in Tuvalu. 18 degrees cold.
One of you told me that thin people feel the cold more intensely. I'm kind of thin right now and I can tell you that I do feel the cold more. And though I do have lots of layers to pile on, I found myself with an outerwear dilemma. When I was home, for a living, I hated climbing in and out of my car in bulky jackets and was quite happy wearing what most people would consider a spring or fall coat. It's long-ish and sort of an A-line and black, of course. It's wool, but not lined, so not especially warm. I have a fancy coat too -
blogged here. (Hmm, it's four years old!) But I learned very quickly that my fancy coat is warm but TERRIBLE for commuting. It's too heavy and long, whoever sits next to me on the train sits on part of it and those gorgeous sleeves? Make it impossible to swipe my subway card at the turnstile or read the newspaper or search for something in my bag. I know. WOE IS ME. Two coats. Fear not, judge not - we give coats and food and ALL KINDS OF GOOD THINGS TO PEOPLE WHO NEED THEM ALL THE TIME.
Where was I?
Oh, yes, the coat dilemma. THE PUFFY COAT DILEMMA.
So, I realized, in my commuting/thin/cold life, that I probably needed a coat. As the weather got colder I fine tuned my observational skills and realized that just about EVERYONE had a puffy coat.
Now, I've never been a big fan of the PUFFY COAT. In fact, I've sort of looked down on the puffy coat. But, the more I saw women wearing them, the more I considered the puffy coat and I came to decide that, aside from their incredibly stylish looks (NOT) they might just be WARM. I spent a couple of days noting the features of the puffy coat and making mental notes about the puffy coat and, of course, doing some internet research on the puffy coat.
Finally, after a particularly frigid morning commute, I set forth to find a puffy coat.
First stop: J Crew.
I wanted to try this one on.
(But on sale in a couple of sizes - so give it a shot.)
Next stop: Gap.
Verdict? SHINNNNNNNNNYYYYYYY. Shiny.
Kenneth Cole. IRL? UGLY. Also, the belt is not a good idea unless you are six feet tall and weigh 100 pounds.
How about Old Navy?
A hood - blech. Fake fur - erm, no. Fiberfill - nope.
I was feeling pessimistic. I started to head back to the office. All around me (freezing in my unlined coat) women were looking cozy in their puffy coats, toasty even. REALLY, they were everywhere. Suddenly, I looked to my right and saw a woman in what I deemed to be THE PERFECT PUFFY COAT. It was long, but not bulky, it was black but not shiny, it had a removable hood, no pockets or logos (I can't wear North Face) and it had two small belts to pull it in at the waistline. I was walking next to her and startled her by asking where she got it. She had a very slightly smug look on her face when she said: Searle.
Damn, I thought, that's the end of THAT. Searle, for those of you not familiar, has very distinctive, understated, beautiful outerwear. It also has very distinctive pricing - I don't think there is much of anything in their coat department for less than $500, which is just slightly out of my range. (Yeah. SLIGHTLY.)
I thanked her and continued on, but I was pretty sure that the dream of the puffy coat had now died. I suspected I'd never find anything as nice as the Searle puffy coat.
At the last moment (I had used up my lunchtime)I decided to run into Filene's. You know Filene's - it's the same as Daffy's and TJ Maxx and Lohmann's. What do you call those stores? I don't know. I ran in there.
There was a sea of puffy coats. Racks and racks of puffy coats. Cheap puffy coats.
I tried on half a dozen. None of them thrilled me.
I was about to leave when I walked past it.
The only one.
On a rack of really horrible Tahari puffy coats (who knew?).
The exact, very same, identical Searle puffy coat.
In my size.
And on sale.
Need I say more?