Last spring I bought TWO coats at J. Crew, both on sale, both at a great price. I still have one, this one:
It’s a herringbone tweed topcoat, just like the one my dad used to wear. I’m sure the ones he wore didn’t cost as much, and weren’t of the same quality, but they looked the same. It’s a classic coat, a man’s coat, and since I’m nearing the age of 60 I figure it’s time to dress like an adult. I got it for $125, a THIRD of the original price.
The other coat, a snorkel type coat in cotton with a Sherpa lining in the hood, looked great on the mannequin but looked like a green horse blanket on me. Cut like a box, but it sure was warm. I sent it to my son in Omaha, Nebraska. He’s pretty happy with it, as I’m sure he was cold.
For Christmas 2007 when my son Javier came to NY for a visit (he was living in Santa Fe with his mom at the time) I gave him a cowboy Duster from Western Spirit in Soho.
It looked like this and he loved it. I figured it would work great in Santa Fe. At the time I paid almost $300 for it, the most I’d ever paid for a coat and it wasn’t even for me; but the look of joy on his face was worth it.
I’ve always been a coat freak; I usually have more than one.
The first time I ever bought a coat for myself was when I was 15 and in high school, I had my first job helping renovate a brownstone on DeKalb Ave in Brooklyn and I decided I wanted an army field jacket.
I found one I could afford on my 15 year-olds salary, an imitation U.S. Army field jacket for $19 at Hudson’s Army and Navy Store on 3rd Ave. The real ones were twice as much. The first time I wore it in the rain I discovered it had a bad smell when wet, and I vowed never to buy an imitation again.
Ten years later, at the age of 25, I got a real U.S. Army field jacket for free, courtesy of the U.S. government when I enlisted in the Army. That was in 1979, and I kept that field jacket until it fell apart in 2003. I replaced the zipper twice.
It wasn’t real warm, but at least it was authentic, and free. I always wore a Sherpa lined hoodie with that jacket, which is actually described as a “coat, cold weather man’s field” on the tag sewn into the neck of the thing. Now all of these hip clothing companies try and sew imitation spec tags into their imitation military style clothing. I love looking at coats on the subway with all these dumb patches like “521st Air division” or some shit, things that don’t exist. Or with the chevrons sewn on upside down.
I bought a series of coats at the old Canal jeans in 2000-2001, right after I got divorced. I’d come into a lot of money and had no one but myself to spend it on, and I also lost a lot of weight that winter.
I bought a leather pea coat (Shott) that was way too big once I lost 115 pounds. Then there was the black leather coat with the faux fur lining for $49 that I couldn’t resist the price of. It was like a pimp coat, and I gave it to an Italian guy who liked looking like a pimp. The Shott I gave to a friend who was way bigger than me. I ended up with a black duffle coat, after seeing some pictures of Bernard Montgomery in one at El Alamein. That’s a picture of Monty up in the banner.
It was wool felt, and only had two patch pockets on it. Again not very warm; and with only two patch pockets, it was a suck coat.
In 2005 I scored a great Diesel coat at Atruim for a third of the original price. It was listed at $499, and that being a particularly warm winter, they couldn’t give coats away. It was black cotton with a hood and Sherpa lining throughout. It was warm and had lots of pockets. I loved it.
This isn’t the coat, but it’s a reasonable facsimile.
I waited till the price dropped to $199 in late January and bought it. I had that one till this winter, when I gave it to housing works. I also donated a black down coat from Onassis, a fancy Soho store to housing works. That was another suck coat, with feathers that stuck me every time I wore it and a Snap-On hood that snapped off more often than it stayed on. I got it on sale a couple of years ago, but since I only wore it three times it was a waste of another $199.
This winter I was looking to replace the J. Crew horse blanket, and I saw a really great coat at Scotch and Soda, but it was $399. But I love it; it is waxed cotton and has the “fishtail” back that’s very popular this winter, another military imitation.
Last month Scotch and Soda had their winter sale and I got it for half price. So that and my dressy herringbone tweed topcoat should do me for a while.
That’s when I sent my kid the horse blanket coat, but since he’s way taller and bigger than me, I’m sure it will fit him better. I wonder what he’s done with the duster.