Friday, November 23, 2007

Jackets and Hats and Gloves, oh my...

image courtesy of the city of New Haven.

Well, it's here. And it isn't going anywhere until March.

I need a new coat. Actually, I needed it last year when the year before that I burnt a small hole right at the left breast when I foolishly propped up a hot stick against it while unwrapping bannock from another hot stick, just roasted over an open fire.

You understand we're are not talking about a cute little pea coat, or even an adorable wool wrap coat, or even the lovely car coat CWAM found at leRedoute. Nu uh. We're talking wrap me up tight, don't let a breath of air bite, shroud me from head to bottom, cause brrr winter is rotten. (And now you know why I don't write poetry for a living.)

Of course, I do live in a modern city where I get around in my car: so the coat can't be too long. Just to the tops of my thighs is the best compromise between standing and freezing my tush or sitting on the blasted coat, unable to move. (The car I currently drive is even properly ventilated and heated. In my old Toyota I would have welcomed a coat down to my toes. I used to wrap a shawl around my legs to keep the draft from the door from freezing my legs. But that was before the heater broke. Then, I used a blanket. Aaaah, for the days when I was young and single and couldn't afford either car maintenance nor winter coats but could take off with no notice to anyone to Chicago or Toronto or...but I digress.)

So, to the coats then. These will be the most boring coats you will have ever seen. Scb will understand. While we analyse how close the hood stays to the top of the head and scrutinize whether there is room for a toque; while we peer at the front closure and imagine ourselves as blasts of icy air trying to find a way in; as we scrutinize the pockets--are they big enough to hold the toque and the gloves when you take them off in the store? the rest of you, well, it might be something like looking at paint chips. Gee, do I like blue, black or taupe rectangles?

All of these are from Sears.
My boots are black.
My current scarf is fuschia.

Contender #1

This is black with interesting swirls (honest). I love the micro fleece inner collar. Mmmm warm. But my scarf may not fit underneath. Not good. The zipper--whether metal or plastic gets cold and I don't want that sensation anywhere near my neck. The hood may have real fur or faux fur, I don't care. I've lived Up North, as they call it, where the fur trade is actually still a vital part of the economy. (But I'm not going there. This is not a political blog.) Fur around the face keeps the frost off my wire glasses and my nose. Seriously. It would also keep it off my beard, if I had one. Fur is a plus. I'm not sure those pockets are big enough though.

This is gorgeous. No fussy detailing. There's a zipper under those buttons. It has a hood, alas without fur. However, that makes it easier to slip my purse over my head. My scarf will fit nicely inside, wrapped tightly around my neck. The blue next to my face will be flattering to my rosy red cheeks. And I won't feel claustrophobic all bundled up in it. But is it long enough to protect my tush? And just how deep are those pockets anyway?


The big plus here, of course, is the big pockets. There are also two smaller ones in the chest region: perfect for carrying granola bars on our winter hikes. I can't tell, though, what's going on at the neck. Is that the inner lining, the coat, or is the model wearing a turtleneck? It also has a drawstring at the waist which helps keep that nasty wind from going up into and under your jacket. But, alas and alack, no hood.

Any of the coats above would go well with this toque from Roots:

Isn't that cute? A semi-stylish knitted toque. It wouldn't keep me as warm as this doozie though:

Isn't that just fabulous? A white fur trapper's hat--with ear flaps. I love it. Not sure it's actually wearable, though, except on those hikes. Taking it off when entering someplace warm might cause instant electrification and generate a dandelion halo effect to my hair.

But, this scarf sure is pretty:
Add this and a pair of black leather gloves to any of the jackets above and I may even, could even, dare I say, look good?


drwende said...

Yes, you will look good! All of the jackets are great, and half the battle is NOT looking as if you've thrown every warm garment in your closet over yourself in a hurry. (We used to live in Minnesota, and I'm sooooo guilty of the threw-the-closet-at-the-problem look.)

The first one is my favorite, but that's because it's the closest to what parkas from Sears were like when I was a tiny tot and wore one, so it's all nostalgia. You may ask yourself, why did people in California think they needed fur-edged parkas? I barely bother wearing a jacket there now.

smallcitybeth said...

I like the first one best, but that's just me. Is there an extra collar in between the zipper and your neck? That would be helpful (that cold zipper-on-the-neck sensation is not pleasant).

The pockets don't look very deep, but I like the angle of them better than in coat number two. I'm leery of pockets that are straight up and down. Stuff could fall out.

Whatever you do, be sure to test the hood fit before you buy, and make sure the hood has a drawstring. Those are two things I didn't do last year, when I bought the coat I'm still wearing this year, and I finally gave up on the hood, because it was monstrous (sagged over my forehead into my eyes), but didn't have a drawstring, so didn't stay close to my head -- heck, it didn't even stay *up*! A warm toque and a wrap myself from the neck to the earlobes scarf will be my style statement this winter.

Also, after the experience of last years'/this year's coat, I'm a firm believer in the zipper/button combo. Helps keep the wind out (my current coat just has buttons. If I had the choice again, I'd rather have just zipper than just buttons.)

A friend of mine talks about the winter wind as a "lazy wind"... it can't be bothered going around you, so it just goes through you.

(Your mention of having a blanket over your legs in the car took me back to the little Plymouth Cricket I drove 25 years ago. I had an afghan in the car for the same purpose. The heater never did work properly in that car, even after I got it fixed!)

Good luck coat shopping!

Alana in Canada said...

Great pointers scb! Thanks. I'm hoping I can go Sunday afternoon with the husband. He was hovering over my shoulder as I was "windows" shopping.

lsaspacey said...

My sister also swears by Lands End, Eddie Bauer, and L.L.Bean because since they make items for outdoors people in all weather, they really get it right about keeping the cold out. You should check them out too.

Alana in Canada said...

Thanks isaspacey! I don't know whether we have LLBean...but I do know we have an Eddie Bauer and Land's End (though they are a boutique in Sears, here, and I didn't see any winter coats while I was there.) I'll check them out tomorrow.

lorijo said...

I want that white fur trappers hat. A lot.

Do you know what temp. those coats are rated at?

Wende- I had one of those fur edged parka things when I was in grade school. They were quite cool in the early 70's in Michigan ;)

Paz123 said...

I love my brand new jacket which I bought from WilsonsLeather store through at discounted price...

halojones-fan said...

That white fur trapper's hat is the cutest piece of headgear I have ever seen.

Anonymous said...

where can i find that exact white fur trapper hat? i love it. i'd really appreciate the help. thank you...!

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