by admin on February 8, 2011

esme's coats

i realize i’ve completely neglected a crucial cold weather fasion issue:  how to decide on just the right coat.  since we humans do not come with our own fur, we have not only an excuse but a need to shop for coats.

i’ve come to believe that some of the difficulty in choosing a coat has to do with an atavistic reference to our lost fur.  indeed, esme spent most of the early ‘80’s obsessed with coats.  she devoted countless hours with her darling analyst to the topic (thank you dr. s.), and made numerous costly mistakes from which the goodwill reaped the rewards. 

it is only in recent years that she has felt complete in her collection of coats.  surprisingly, these coats have endured, not on the basis of fashion, but rather on their merits in regard to usefulness, comfort and simplicity.  first in the collection is a black mid-calf length burberry raincoat, single-breasted, with a belt that can tie.  this coat pre-dates christophe (who tells me that the label identifies it as an “older generation” of burberry). my only quibble with it is that it has no hood, and i’m still searching for just the right black rain-hat to wear in a windy storm where an umbrella is useless. everyone needs a good raincoat. 

the next is one you have heard about before—my ethel coat.  sometimes a marriage comes with unexpected benefits, and my ethel coat has been one of them. (my husband also came with a few pieces of tupperware, and a really cool set of danish flatware).

everyone must have a black cashmere coat.  several years before meeting my husband i had bought a good one at saks, but an ex-boyfriend persuaded me to return it, and to my discredit, i listened.  thank heavens for the ethel coat, a 1940’s vintage from bonwit teller that i inherited upon the death of my mother-in-law.  it has served me well for many years, and i always think fondly of ethel when i wear it. 

a warm and water-proof dog-walking coat is not as fun to shop for, but just as necessary if you have a dog.  i finally found a satisfactory one at the eddie bauer outlet:  black (again), lined, hooded and mid-thigh length.  worn with water-proof pants (i found some in violet) and ducky rain-boots, it is guaranteed to keep you dry even in the foulest weather. 

two more and we’re done:  a long, black, quilted, hooded parka/coat from land’s end for when it gets really really cold.  don’t need it too often, but just having it makes me feel safe. 

finally, a black leather bomber jacket from north beach leather that has been worth it’s weight in gold.  it has a zip-out lining and shearling collar, making it wearable in all different sorts of weather. 

so, there you have it.  as you see, these are serious coats with serious jobs to do.  all are black, all have narrow or cuffed sleeves to keep out the wind, all have necks that can be buttoned or zipped up, and two have hoods.  i must admit that i still occasionally long for something wild and impractical—-a red wool coat i saw at leaf and petal, a fitted purple coat with a ruffley fringe at antrhopologie, and the occasional italian leather jacket.  but coats are costly, and you can’t have everything……. 




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