I have a rather large collection of winter coats. A few weeks ago, the AW10 trend for a signature coat (think Burberry Prorsum, Gucci) got me thinking about why I have so many winter coats. Sure, a girl needs different coats for different occasions – a long, cosy coat for snowy days; a short jacket for a sunny but crisp winter morning; a fur for evening; a casually smart yet practical coat for walking. But I have thirteen coats. Thirteen. Thirteen winter coats, and that’s not even counting lighter options such as macs, jackets, leather options, yada yada. So many coats, but none to wear.
Why? Why do I have so many coats? Because I get bored. I fall head over heels in love with a coat, I simply can’t live without it. I try it on in the store, I gush over it. I sprint to the checkout and dash home, triumphant that this time I really have found “the one”.
I wear the new coat a few times, satisfied with having finally found a coat that fits well, in all the right places. As my smugness intensifies, as if to bring me back to earth, I catch sight of my reflection in a window.
I don’t look quite as marvellous I had originally thought. That swing coat doesn’t disguise my hips, it makes them appear bigger! The long minimal black coat looks boxy, not sleek! The grey coat with silver flecks might nip in my waist, but is that a pea above my enormous shoulders where my head should be? The longline woollen jacket with oversize collar and tie waist reveals to the world a monoboob. Sigh. Huff. Sigh.
And so my quest continues. I think the coat hunt takes place every winter because in fact, high street coats just don’t cut it for my figure. If the waist fits, the rest is too big. If the shoulders fit, the hips don’t. If the length is perfect, the sleeves aren’t. Fabric and detail play a part too – for £60 to £100 you can’t expect the same level of coat seen in a designer campaign. No high street replica will ever touch the craftsmanship and luxe materials involved in creating a high end coat. C’est impossible.
With this in mind, perhaps I need to up the ante in my search for the perfect winter coat. Aim for DKNY, or Chloe, or Aquascutum. Undoubtedly, it would take me a few years to save for a really great coat with longevity in all the right areas. This of course means no more high street coats. Until I can afford an expensive (or even better, bespoke) coat I’ll just have to make do with the ones I’ve got. All thirteen of them.
Debenhams black minimal coat, circa 2000
Oasis faux fur, 2010
Dorothy Perkins black duffle, 1999
Next red swing coat, 2008
Marks and Spencer grey coat with silver flecks, 2007
M&Co quilted and belted, 2010
White coat from a random catalogue, 2004/2005
Next navy coat with faux fur collar, 2011
Topshop red coat, 2001
Florence and Fred at Tesco black, belted, oversize collar, 2006
George at Asda, casual coat with fur trim hood, 2009
Vintage fur, circa 1930 (debatable as was my Granny’s coat)
M&Co houndstooth, 2007 (also included this in black and white – I love the picture in black and white, it looks slightly odd, slightly French!)
Which is your favourite? My current favourite is the navy one from Next with the fur collar, but this is probably because it’s the most recent purchase, and I will forever love the vintage fur for sentimental reasons as well as style reasons.