The Search for a Warm Coat


Cover of "Nanook of the North (Criterion ...

Cover via Amazon

It happens every year about this time. We get a spate of cool weather, I find myself caught outside unprepared, and this spurs my annual quest – the search for a warm coat. Now before you think, “How silly, there’s a gazillion warm coats to choose from out there,” you have to know what is warm for most people is not warm enough for me. I’m the person that everyone in the office hates, because I sneak the thermostat up when no one else is looking. I gave up on buying electric blankets years ago, because none of them had a setting that was one click under “electrocute.” I bring two sweaters to work every day. I wear gloves if it’s less than 60 degrees. Yes, I’m THAT person, and I’m trying to find a coat warm enough for me. To complicate the matter, I’m short so I have to find a coat among the limited selection that’s available in petite sizes, but that’s a pet peeve to discuss at another time. 

So, I head for Macy’s. Don’t know why – I know from experience that there is no sense looking for a stylish-looking coat. The coat that is almost warm enough for me is never stylish – always utilitarian, bulky and unattractive. The nearly warm enough coat makes one look like a cross between the Michelin man and Nanook of the north. But, hope springs eternal, so I head to the coat department. There are all sorts of coats in the usual brands – DKNY, Calvin Klein, London Fog, etc. I try on and reject coat after coat – none of them are petite sizes, so the sleeves are too long, and the collars come up over my ears. My arms aren’t long enough to reach the pockets, and the zippers end up in an awkward spot.  There is no way I can wear any of these coats. So I head for the petite department, where there is exactly…one coat. Really, one coat to choose from. It’s an off brand; the fabric is cheap, the zipper is a struggle to zip, so it’s a no go.

So now I’ll begin the online search for a coat, always a pain which involves ordering and returning at least half a dozen coats. The lady at the post office knows me by name. “Sending back another one” she always says.” Yes, I singlehandedly keep the post office in business.

Coming up: the online search begins.

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