Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Out in the Cold

For most of the weekend, the weather was disgusting. Too wet to go without layers but too steamy to feel comfortable in them. I spent far too much time on Saturday and Sunday deciding which piece of outerwear would be appropriate. In the nook that branches off of the small hallway near the door of my apartment, there are multiple coats and jackets. At the moment, there might be six. A few options remain on my futon after being discarded this morning as I tried to dress for both the coolish morning and the warmer afternoon. I finally decided on my blue Luella for Target blazer and a thin multi-colored scarf to join the white tank and lightly deconstructed Long and Leans I already had on. Thankfully that ensemble proved to be the correct choice.

Picking the right coat is an art. Well for me it is. I have an aversion to looking lumpy, which can often happen when coats or jackets are combined with top-heaviness. And breasts. And sweaters. All things that either I can't get rid of (breasts are occasionally handy in filling out tops) or can't avoid (winter is cold). When I was younger and much more of a lemming, I was a fan of all things double-breasted. One, because I had to have that camel peacoat from J.Crew when I was a freshman in college. And two, because I had yet to understand how to dress my body to its full potential. Now not a single blazer or jacket or coat has more than one row of buttons, though I'm occasionally tempted. Like when I see things like this:

But like with many, but not all, things that I know are bad for me, I've trained myself to stay away. Nothing is worse than a smooshed chest. Nothing. Okay, maybe hot pink short shorts worn with purple tights are worse, but this is a close second.

Beyond purging myself of the double rows and the puffy jackets, I've tried to increase the range of my outerwear. To move away from the more juvenile items that defined my high school and college self. There's the trench that falls some inches below my knee. The slightly heavier coat with the rose-patterned lining. The green swing jacket for early spring and fall and days when I eat a lot of lunch. The long and thick black for the coldest days. The military-inspired bluish-green from The Gap. And the formal Victor & Rolf for H&M that my mother gave me as a gift:

It's taken me at least the past five years to get my collection to the point where I feel like I have something for every occasion and every temperature. In fact, it's the one area of my wardrobe where I am completely satisfied. I wear my flats into the ground. My headbands fall apart. But I always have something to protect me from the cold.

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