Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bundle Up

If anyone required further proof that I am no stranger to eccentricity, they need but look to the hottest day in August. For I have a little personal tradition that I try to follow on that day each year, and admittedly, some might find it a just wee bit odd. On the hottest day of the hottest month, I go shopping. For coats. The most beautiful of the new coats for next season will just be hitting the stores then and, you see, I have a absolute passion for coats.
Some women adore shoes, some dream at night of jewelry. But for me, it has always been coats. As a little girl, if ever I wandered away from my parents during a shopping excursion, they always knew they could find me in the coat department. Perhaps it is due to my ardent affinity for cold weather, but I have almost never met a winter coat I did not love. Throw in a hood or a cape and I am over the moon with joy.
Of course I do not buy a new coat every single year. And I am not fickle; I wear coats I have had for years. Such as the long black coat with the velvet collar that remains my favourite to wear when I travel. It is the ideal weight; wonderfully warm, but light. Unfortunately, since I prefer to travel in cooler months, in just about every photograph taken of me in the last ten years, just about everywhere, I am wearing that coat. Rather like a character out of Dorian Gray, I am aging, but the coat never does.
There is also the fabulous grey cape I found on sale at Bloomingdale’s a couple of years ago, complete with a scrumptious hood - and the long, black, hooded wonder that looks as though I snitched it straight off the set of Dr. makes me feel a shiver of mystery each time I put it on. There is my Ellen Tracy cashmere coat, puppy fur soft, the colour of a perfectly toasted almond.... and of course, I cannot forget my vintage, traditional camel hair jacket - every blonde should own one.
But the one I love most happens to be a coat that I found at Jenner’s in Edinburgh. I was wandering through that venerable old store one chilly afternoon, thinking more of Christmas presents than of coats, when I rounded the corner and spied it. Hanging quietly by itself, a truly magical creation, obviously designed by a wizard of rare sartorial talent. Long black velvet, with amazing, yet discreet, embroidery all down the back, an extravagant red faux fur collar and shell buttons. My heart almost stopped and well, reader, I bought it! Such joy! I happily lugged it all over Scotland and back home again, and each time I wear it, I feel like a princess.
I look for the hottest day to bubble up this very week, and I cannot wait to see what I find.
Oh, and don’t even get me started on muffs!!

In Edinburgh, moments after purchasing my favourite coat!
It's inside the big bag!