Growing up in Phoenix, AZ, I never had much need for coats. I had a sweatshirt or a zip-up hoodie that served me well the few months that it was actually less than 60 degrees outside each year, but that was it. When I moved to Missouri, I was thoroughly unprepared for the necessity that is a winter coat (not to mention scarves and hats and gloves and snow boots).
The first coat I ever bought, and I believe the most expensive single item of clothing I have EVER owned was my wool pea coat. (Even my prom dresses didn’t cost as much as this coat, but I never paid more than $20 for those.) Ok, my wedding dress cost more, but not by much. Anyway, my (male) friend took me to Target when winter started in earnest and I was FREEZING my butt off in just a sweatshirt. He explained all the different options surrounding coats and we decided I should buy the $50 (or maybe $70- it was a lot) black wool pea coat. This coat is great. Since I don’t walk much anymore, it has unfortunately been relegated to church or going out coat. It isn’t really comfy to drive in, but when I walked all over campus, it was great. Unfortunately, I cannot button it any longer…
The second coat I bought when I moved to Salt Lake, where it gets even colder than Missouri. (And actually now that I think about it, I think it was a christmas present from my mom.) It’s an LL Bean coat that is two parts- one fleece jacket and one wind-breaker jacket. I love this coat because together, it is just so warm, and it’s also great to wear one part or the other when I need to. It has a hood on the wind-breaker, but the hood folds up and hides away when you don’t need it. This is the coat I wear 80% of the time probably. Unfortunately, if I zip it up now, I can’t put anything in the pockets. This makes it difficult to carry keys or gloves or a phone, or my hands. So it has been put back in the closet.
The coat that I have been wearing, because I can still zip it and continue to breathe, I did not buy. My older sister bought it in Flagstaff, AZ when she went to school there. Yes, it snows in AZ. It’s a big, puffy, down (or down alternative, not sure), reversible coat. Teene gave it to me when I moved to Missouri (actually I think it was the first Christmas I was back when I was complaining about how cold it was). She decided she wasn’t going to live anywhere cold ever again, and gave it to me. How thoughtful. I love this coat because I can wear it with the black side showing or the red side showing. I also love that it is a very slick material, so I can put it on easily over a long-sleeve shirt (not so with the fleece inner of the LL Bean coat). Unfortunately, there has been a tragic occurance with this coat. Somehow, I’m guessing someone stepped on it, the zipper pull got crimped and I couldn’t zip it up. So I very cautiously pushed it back open enough to use, put the coat on, zipped it up, and the zipper pull broke. I nearly cried. Does anyone know if I can buy just a zipper pull and put it back on this coat? I need this coat!
So anyway, the last few days, with snow coming down all around, I have been without a coat that closes. So Saturday we went to Ross because we were in the area, and I managed to find a nice long slightly puffy coat. It’s warm enough and it covers my belly. I can zip it and there is room to grow in it. It was only $15. So I can’t complain too much. But I will be glad when I can wear my regular coats again. And I really hope I can fix or get fixed my puffy coat. I haven’t seen anything like it. Almost everything that is puffy has fur on it. (Luckily mine doesn’t.) Who decided that the world wants to wear faux fur on their puffy coats??? And all the “puffy” ones I have seen (at least in my one trip to Ross, very scientific I know) aren’t that puffy, or that warm. It’s like a fashion coat instead of a useful coat. Sure, my puffy coat is annoying sometimes, like in restaurants when I put it on the back of the chair and it sticks out into the walkway, and it might make me look a bit like a linebacker (or with my beanie on, my friend used to tell me it made me look like a gangster or a thug and wouldn’t go out with me in it), but at least it keeps me warm!