Last winter was cold in Knoxville, certainly the coldest winter we've had since I moved here. Well, technically the previous January may have reached a single lower temperature, but the overall trend was colder on average last year than the previous couple of years. I still have a couple of New York coats, so I didn't freeze. Nonetheless I wasn't happy. The styles, the colors, nothing seemed right for the life I have now.
This fall, I decided I needed to find a new coat, a real coat, not just vests and light jackets, which actually get me through most of my running around town on the average Knoxville winter day, but a coat that could adapt to weather, that would be suitable for both running around and walking the dog. A coat that would make me smile. And I found one, this one, from Patagonia. Technically, I guess it is three coats, as I can wear the components separately.
So far I've mostly just worn the outer shell, although I wore the lining once, on a cold night, when I needed something slightly dressier. Both components make me happy. The color makes me happy. The lining alone is perhaps a little bright, but that makes it more festive, and I adore the rich but muted color of the outer shell. Perhaps, since I've had a cold or bronchitis most of December, it plays up the flush in my cheeks and redness of my nose, but this too shall pass.
The coat perhaps looks more sleek in the photo than on me, but I've come to accept that I'll never quite manage to pull off elegant sleek sophistication. I am more comfortable being a little mussed, a little bit not-quite-pulled-together. Perhaps that was part of the problem with my old coats. The were more aspirational than I could ever quite pull off. I wore the black Moncler down coat, shown below, for a few years, but it always felt like it was wearing me more than anything else. Aside from the fact that it is black, perhaps it just had more polish than I can ever quite manage.
We'll see, I'm considering wearing it to New York later in the winter, if warranted. Is there still a remnant of my old New York self hidden deep inside? Or is she in the wind? I suspect it will be our last trip together, black coat and I. Time for new adventures.