Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Trench

I write a lot about favorite things. Those that spend little time in my closet. Those lost to the vagaries of overuse. But there are far too many pieces that I overlook every day.

Trenches are iconic. Everyone should have one. Or so I’ve learned from piles of fashion magazines and a number of pop culture icons ranging from Carmen Sandiego in her red, double-breasted version.

To Audrey Hepburn's Holly Golightly in her more classic take.

My trench has been sitting idly in my closet for…well I actually don’t remember when I got it. Four or six or five years ago. It spent my time in Brooklyn living in a little nook of my apartment with all of my other coats. Yet when it rained, I never reached for it.

The Trench, like almost every coat I’ve acquired since the end of college, is single breasted. Lightweight and of a more classic shade, it came with a blue and yellow striped belt that lives on a separate hanger in my closet. The belt was a bit preppy for my taste. Or, if I’m honest, more preppy than I was willing to admit that I was at the time of The Trench’s entrance into my life.

But on Sunday as I prepared to work an overnight shift, my mother suggested that I throw it on. It was warm yet misty. Perfect weather for The Trench to make its first appearance in who knows how long. I was wearing a skinny pair of olive sweatpants and a lightweight navy hoodie over a black tank. But finished with The Trench, a high ponytail and two-tone ballet flats, the outfit made it seem that I was headed off to do anything but work for the next nine hours. I walked down the street twirling my floral-printed umbrella. A tall, cute boy carrying a pizza smiled at me. I smiled back.

So often I don’t feel like the adult that I’m supposed to be. Any signs of stability or success are fleeting. But like the sparkles and shots of color that I put on to mask the feelings of restlessness and disappointment that sometimes overwhelm me when I think about all of those things happening and not happening in my life, wrapping myself in that coat gave me a momentarily lift.

If May continues on as it has, I think I’ll be wearing it more often.

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