December 17, 2008

Consumed by Coats! The New Addition to my Outerwear Collection

Every year, in the bitter cold of Pittsburgh's late fall/early winter I convince myself that none of the already perfectly acceptable, and even arguably fantastic coats in my closet will be enough to carry me into spring. I started to get the bug in October, when I promptly staged a "shop my closet" style intervention, trying on all of my coats, which subsequently forced me to acknowledge my wealth of outerwear. This practice facilitated a short-lived but practical approach to the impending coat season. When out shopping, or looking at magazines, I could encounter the finest cashmere topcoat, the warmest duffle or puffer jacket, the quirkiest-classiest peacoat, etc. without even blinking in their direction. But around late-November my sensibility snapped.

(3.1 Phillip Lim, Zara)

I revisited the closet, and suddenly nothing was right. The black Mackage topcoat was too long to wear with flats and too dressy to fit my lifestyle. How did I not notice this last year? My red funnelneck jacket was starting to pill and one of the buttons would not stay fastened. I should have known better than to trust the quality of fast-fashion retailer, Zara. I swam in my formerly beloved reversible tweed number by Phillip Lim. And even my See by Chloé and Marc by Marc suddenly felt average rather than extraordinary. While a few of my vintage coats looked beautiful on the outside, their linings were torn and their pockets had holes. They hardly made a persuasive case in defense of my closet when they were in such poor condition.

(MBMJ, See by Chloe, Mackage)

So began another hunt. A quest for the one coat I permited myself to buy per season. Of course, I have bought more than that per year. But after amassing a collection of versatile, unique, and stylish pieces that suited a range of social circumstances, there became little reason (other than self indulgence) to buy more. Knowing that I didn't have any gaps to fill and that I didn't want to buy something that was just a new version of what I already had, the task became daunting. I went to all of my favorite etailers, department stores, and local boutiques to scope outer-wares. I established a price point I was comfortable spending while balancing the demands of holiday shopping. And I came up with a few contenders. That is, until impulse (and the super sales of late-aught-8) took over and I saw this insanely loud, 70% off, harlequin print "clown coat" as I have dubbed it.

It is officially called the Domino coat and it comes in two colorways (one of which is slightly more muted than mine). It is from Marc by Marc Jacobs. And I am not surprised it went on sale. It is awfully bright. Not for a wallflower. And sort of hard to match. If I match it exactly, (and I have a pair of blue J Crew cords that do match exactly, so I speak from experience), I end up looking like a reject from a Joker lookalike contest at a Batman convention. And if I bring in other bright colors, it feels like I am seeking attention in a bad way.

But having said all that, I kind of love it. I think the shape suits me and the pyramid stud button snaps are an exciting subtle detail that keeps the coat from being too twee or prim. It is plenty warm and the length is just right. I can wear it with dresses or pants, flats or heels. And it certainly fills a unique niche in my coat collection (some of which wasn't even pictured here). I am not sure it was the most practical purchase, but with a collection full of already-practical coats I had room for something a little more daring. And so long as I remember to pair the matchy matchy cords with another coat in my closet, I am sure it will get a lot of wear this winter!


Anonymous said...

Okay, I LOVE the See by Chloe one...and can totally relate to your coat dilemma/addiction.

May Kasahara said...

very very nice buys. I totally agree with D on the See by Chloe coat. LOVE ♥

Anonymous said...

Outterwear is IT. It's my weakness, too...that and a decent pair of trainers! I've been eyeing up some amazing 6876 stuff recently and of course, someday I'll have a CP Company Mille Miglia watchviewer coat. Ahhh...the Italians!

Excellent work here! Keep it up!

Jules said...

I have that Domino coat on my watch list in the black and blue colour. Doubt if it will go 70% off here in the UK though :- (

MizzJ said...

Cool coat! Colored and patterned coats are so sweet b/c they are so unique. The only issue is that they are so unique as to become almost too recognizable, but hey, if you're comfortable with being known as "the girl in the ___ coat" then go for it :)

Jesspgh of Consume or Consumed said...

Thank you eye4style, MayK, and Eric!

Jules, the sales here in the US have been unprecedented thanks to the economic downturn. It is bittersweet in that regard.

Mizzj, I know what you mean! And because of it I don't intend to wear it very often. It will be an "occasional" coat put in a rotation with a plethora of others (some of which were in the post but some of which weren't). Being or becoming the "girl in the ____ coat" can be too limiting to be appealing to me.

Thank you all for reading!


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