Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Trench(es) Warfare

Last night, at 1:30 in the morning, I began to try on my trench coats and quasi trenchcoats. I had no plans to go out and streak or anything of that nature. I wear clothing underneath my outerwear. I was simply analyzing why these long coats were just okay and not exactly what I wanted in a trench.

I've been chasing this trench dream for about seven years now. It first started when I saw a Yohji Yamamoto coat in either Elle or Harper's Bazaar. It was marvelously structured with molded shoulders and sleeves that bent inwards at the elbow. I wasn't able to afford it because my funds were tied up in my offshore accounts (read: I was broke). I ripped out the magazine page and saved the picture. In fact, I still have it.

Then one day I was perusing the aisles of Beacon's Closet in my old Williamsburg neighborhood. After some digging and breath holding, I stumbled upon a classic Burberry mackintosh for $49. This is back when Beacon's was quite cheap. I thought the coat was overpriced and figured I could get it for less money in a matter of time. That was six years ago and I've been on a quest to find the perfect trench ever since.

Now I own 5 trenches or quasi-trenches that do their job, but weren't quite what I was looking for when I acquired them. With every purchase I thought, "This is the one." But it never was. A collarless DKNY zip up with a cinched paperbag waist is cute. I wear it often, but Lord knows it's not what I had in mind. A perfectly acceptable Theory coat is a real trench in that it has the right collar, properly placed buttons, a storm patch, and a belt. But it has no sleeve loop. What's that about? Then there's the taffeta (yes taffeta) Catherine Malandrino with the pimp collar and gypsy-print lining. Not very practical in the rain. There's also a BCBG jacket in this weird ecru color that fits like a dream...except the button panel on the left is awkwardly sewn, so it puckers a bit. The real show stopper is a Viktor & Rolf (no, not from their H & M line-we've been over this before) black number that screams Matrix. It's a beautiful coat with every trenchy element...and then some. If I wear the collar up (as I'm prone to do), I end up looking like Count Chocula. And De Heer Horsting and De Heer Snoeren could have made the belt a tad longer.

I know all of you current and future clients are asking, "Style Therapist, why haven't you purged those jackets during your quarterly CLOSET DETOXES?" The short answer is that they're all good jackets and like my old boss would advise, I'm making them work. They look good on and serve a purpose. One is worn on mild, rainy days, another on sunny, warmer days, one's for dressier affairs; etc.

The truth is, if I tally the price for each of these facsimiles, I would have been able to purchase the real deal Burberry several times over...or maybe even a beautiful Yohji Yamamoto. I ask that you learn from my lesson of settling. If there's something you really want and your funds are tied up overseas, create a saving plan and purchase it; otherwise you'll be spending lots of money and time (and closet space) on items that don't measure up.

1 comment:

  1. I've spent ages looking for the perfect trench coat. I'm quite curvy so pretty much all of them just made me look frumpy. I popped into Primark one day to buy socks & just stumbled across the perfect one. Really. The cut just suited my figure perfectly. And it was only £17. Result all round. I wear it EVERYWHERE and I've lost count of the compliments I've received.