It’s possible that I’m a little frugal. Or cheap, depending on your point of view. My winter coat tends to be the same one year after year because … it works, so why get a new one? Periodically, though, my coat will tear or get stained (I hate winter salt and muck!) or simply become something I can’t imagine putting on even one more time.
Fortunately, that tends to happen at the end of the year when the winter coats are all on sale. Of course, the selection then also tends to leave a bit to be desired, but I can get over that. I had to buy a new coat not last year but at the end of the winter before.
Living in Chicago, I needed to find a coat that would keep me warmer than the one I had at the time. My mom had bought a coat that she loved that promised to keep you warm to 15 below zero. It sounded good to me, and I liked the style. I couldn’t get the same color as my mom (she dressed my sister and I too alike for too long growing up for me to ever be matchy matchy with anyone), but they offered more than the chocolate brown she’d purchased.
I went to the store and found the coat on sale for $15. Marked down from $138 (which my mother had paid). The only downside? There was one coat in the color my mom had gotten and one in gold. Gold! I can’t wear a gold coat.
Smart me, I went to the online version of the store to see if they had a better selection of the coat. And amazingly, they did. As I recall, they had it in silver (it was a muted beautiful silver), white and something else. For $45.
And the frugal in me warred with the I-can’t-wear-gold part of me. I vented to my mother who talked me into the gorgeous gold coat – her words, not mine. And really, for $15, how can you not love a coat that will keep you that warm. Because of course I went back to the store to get the coat, and the only one left was the gold coat. So I bought it.
It went into my closet for the next winter (which was really last winter). And when winter came last year, it stayed in my closet. I couldn’t wear it. The coat was gold – GOLD. I just don’t have that much fashion pizazz (ok the fact that “fashion pizazz” was the best phrasing I could come up with should tell you something) to pull off a gold coat.
And so it gathered dust in the closet.
Late in the winter, my mom borrowed it one day to get Little Miss off the bus. And she realized it still had the price tags on it because … I hadn’t done anything with it since the day I bought it. She convinced me to try it on.
I reluctantly wore my coat after that. And you know what, it really is warm. And sorta fashionable – just obviously not in that picture from a horrible angle. Trust me on this one. That doesn’t mean I was comfortable wearing it, but I wore it.
The other day? A random woman gave me a great compliment. I love your coat. Champagne is such a great color on you – and so trendy right now, too!
Oh. My mistake. It’s not a gold coat. It is simply champagne. I’m not sure why, but I can totally wear a champagne colored coat. And I do. With pride – and warmth.