|DG facing Winter (credit: John Musnciki)|
It's still 90 degrees; I haven't even picked a pumpkin, but I bought a coat. This is how I know it's Fall. For many years the only way I could deal with the frigid months was to buy a new coat. I hate the cold so much, I needed to find one I loved enough and that would (hopefully) keep me warm.
|Calling Julie not Omar|
The search has come up with a few duds. There was the Russian-style suede with a shearling lining. It was "Dr. Zhivago" snazzy but weighed a ton. There was the full-on full-length fur from a thrift shop (in London no less). It was wonderful, although I did feel like I was wearing one of my cats. It was also very old and in the process of molting. Then came the mohair cape, in theory a giant blanket, but the arm slits let in cold air.
|And you can sleep in it|
Once Norma Kamali made the down-filled coat chic, life changed for the better. I never owned one of her "sleeping bag" coats, but my versions were toasty if not exactly flattering. Like Pedro, the cold-blooded penguin of "Three Caballeros", at least I was warm.
Now I live where 60 degrees on a winter's day is cold. And it is, if you're not used to it. This still requires a coat, even if the down coats are stored under the bed. Zara is my go-to for coats that are stylish and not too expensive. Sure enough, one recent sweltering day (when the air conditioned mall promised relief), I found this one, and it came home with me:
|Brushed wool, Zara, $169|
|Also comes in navy|
Here's why you should find yourself a coat to love. If you live in a cold place, a great many people will see you only in your coat. That all important first impression will be made wearing a coat. You will make an entrance— and exit— wearing a coat. There will be the act of putting it on and taking it off. It almost doesn't matter what you wear underneath. If you know you will leave your coat on in the museum/gallery/store you don't want a lot of frippery getting in the way of an unbuttoned coat, so the simple top and bottom or dress will do.
|Anna knows how|
If it's not that cold a lightweight version or sweater coat or long jacket works the same way. It can be the third piece that makes an outfit. It can make a statement of its own. Did anyone say "kimono"? Let's face it— a coat can cut the mustard.
|A coat and a dress and mustard!|