Here we are, firmly into a new year – a new decade – that is 2020. It sounds futuristic, but the irony is that the future hasn’t been a priority for us and we now find ourselves in a state of turmoil around the world.
This space isn’t for preaching or for politics so I won’t get into all of that, here. All I will say is that I’m trying to be more conscious of my shopping habits because I know (in fact, I am fully aware, so there’s no excuse not to make change) that the fashion industry is destroying our planet. There’s not much point in dressing well if you’re extinct.
In an attempt to curb my spending as well as save the planet, I decided to do no shopping January. Of course, as soon as 10pm on 31 December struck I placed an I-must-fill-the-gaps-in-my-wardrobe panic order at Zara. Two weeks later and it’s pretty much all been returned, but it did include this puffer coat, which I’ve kept. Why? I needed a warm, weather-proof coat for stormy January days out and about.
I wanted something that would keep me dry and warm and protected but which I could throw over anything (dresses, jeans, tailoring) without looking like I was off to walk the dog. The idea was to be comfy and practical (because I am 37 and can’t be arsed with suffering for fashion anymore) but not feel like a frump. This coat looked 70% Kanye and 30% Dog Walker so I was excited to try it out.
I’m usually a large or medium in Zara depending on style, so I ordered a large to be on the safe side. It arrived and I almost drowned in its puffs and folds. In my frustration at being disappointed by it’s gigantic proportions I ordered a shorter puffer jacket from M&S and, if you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen on my stories the dilemma that ensued around choosing between them.
With much input from my followers and friends I decided to order the smaller sizes of the Zara coat. All this ordering was, in my mind, acceptable as part of a process in finding the right coat from the December order… technically, I still hadn’t shopped in January.
However, The Puffer Coat Saga seemed to go on and on. To cut what is turning out to be a long story short, the small looked much better and after almost two weeks I settled on the Zara coat over the M&S one, which felt a bit too practical – basically, it was a bit boring.
Despite the agony I put many, many people through over choosing this coat (sorry guys), the prolonged decision-making process is important to me when shopping. It usually means I don’t make any impulse purchases – I try to consider what’s missing from my wardrobe, compare styles (I did this mostly online but in store is better when possible, for both the planet and for ease), and ask the opinion of friends and colleagues.
I was definitely influenced by Instagram’s reaction to the coats but ultimately, the decision was based on a feeling. It was founded on moodboards, research, at-home fittings, personal style and need, and all of this – plus my delay in making a decision – got me to a point of knowing that the Zara coat was the most suitable option, and therefore more sustainable as I’ll be less likely to want to change it in a few years.
And, you know how I know I love it? Because when I wore it I felt amazing! Even when I noticed it had dropped AGAIN in the sale AFTER I paid for it, I feel amazing. That is the fun part of shopping – not the quick hit you get from impulse shopping, but the joy you feel when a piece of clothing really brings you happiness in its ability to fulfil both a purpose and make you feel good at the same time.
I’m wearing: puffer coat, Zara (on sale but not many left, so linked similar here and here; jumper, Zara; jeans, Topshop (similar); shoes, GAP (similar); bag, Mulberry; necklace, Nell & Digby (similar).
Images: Kris Miller.
Location: Johnston Street, Dundee.
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