Every winter there is a need to find the perfect winter coat; something civil and restrained that does the job but with style involved. The runway trends filter down to the high street ready for the winter shoppers on a budget. Coats are a tricky item to shop for, you want a solid colour with a serious silhouette; black or navy- always the fail safe. Camel possibly, but there is something about a camel coat that feels temporary, nervous even, because it makes you feel a little restrained but a camel coat is a resplendent item of clothing to have in your arsenal and can lift any old outfit. Often times, we end up with something similar to what we already have because a force of habit appeals to human nature thus we feel comfortable in the familiar.
I like a camel coat. I like a black coat, I adore a navy coat… I have all those colours but a red with a pink tint faux fur coat… nothing like her.
This is a story about how I lost my mind for a coat in space of 30 seconds then lost it even more, and gained it again the next morning.
You know that saying “people don’t know what they want until you show them?” It applies here, because I did not know that I was not looking for a black or navy or camel coat until I saw a pink coat; I didn’t want a pink coat but I did not want a black coat even more. When I set out to buy a coat it had to have all the qualities listed above, one that would remain true to a particular silhouette and style- please note that I most certainly did not need another coat but as the saying goes, new season, new wardrobe etc. etc. I’d checked off the usual suspects, Zara, COS, Other Stories, but nothing really stuck out to me until I saw that pink coat.
I stepped into H&M, I almost never did; train to catch and nearing closing, I didn’t expect to find anything outside of the norm of what I’d seen; more classics, but what the hell.
She was the second coat I saw, and it was her colour that got me in a space of seconds; red but not quite with a pinkish tone that stood out just enough without being ridiculous. But the coat in her entirety was just ridiculous enough. This is not my typical aesthetic, when it comes to the coats, I go by the book; black or navy, belted possibly or a rounded silhouette with an oversized aesthetic. This coat was the opposite of everything I’d had in mind.
I bought the coat against friendly opinion to the contrary, bar one, but then on the bus ride to the station, I began to question my sanity or lack thereof; this is not my kind of coat, BUT, looking at that colour I fell even more in lust with her. I arrived at Victoria station and was about to board my train when that sliver of doubt kicked in and I jumped back on the same bus, sat in the same seat actually, all the way back to central London to return this coat that I was so sure I really liked and possibly even loved. I was unconvinced that returning her was the right call, but I needed to be smart about my wardrobe even though I could do with being a little risqué. I have other more sensible coats so what difference would a reddish pink faux fur, members only coat that has me looking like an extra in a Diddy video from the nineties meets Isley brothers step-sister, make. Still as ridiculous as she is, and she is pretty fucking ridiculous, I adored her; on first sight, on the ride to the station, about to board the train, on the bus ride back to central and even whilst retuning her, I loved her so. She is not an everyday coat, far from it, but I knew I would wear her enough to be satisfied and in the grand scheme of things, she is not as expensive as my last coat or the one before that. In any case, doubt or common sense intervened; I returned her and went back about my long train journey home.
6am the next morning, I woke up thinking about the coat, I dare say I even dreamt of her. I searched online but could not find it in a store near me. 7am left my house to make the journey back into central London, bearing in mind I should’ve been on a conference call with my colleagues in Australia but nah. I sent my apologies; there is always another day for an early morning conference call, but there mightn’t be another coat like this in my size. I arrived at the same H&M store to which I returned the coat, waited until 9am open time and wouldn’t you know it, the coat I returned the night before was just there, waiting for me. As if she knew I’d be back.
Look, sure, eight winters out of ten buy a Black or a Navy coat. One out of ten buy a camel coat and on that rare occasion, go for a ridiculous coat that takes you right out of your style comfort box. Like this coat from H&M.
And as long as you’re here, check out the coat edit below for the season…
Wear them well. That sounds like something Dumbledore would say to Harry but these will go well with most your entire wardrobe, this is the one season out of ten to step outside the box.