While shopping this weekend, Tom and I laid out the four pillars of the ideal wool coat: visible buttons, slash (diagonal) pockets, just below waist length, and single-breasted. We wound up with nothing that matched our criteria, but with these cornerstones in mind, I set out to try some new stores today. On my way to the subway, I noticed a Kenneth Cole store and decided to walk in.
I looked around for a coat I had seen online, but when I couldn't find it, I asked the closest salesperson for help. Luckily for me, that salesman happened to be Josh, a flamboyantly gay and unbelievably stylish recent Hobart College grad - he majored in French- clad in all black--
Me: Uh, so I saw this Kenneth Cole Reaction coat online, but I can't find it here in the store. Is there somewhere I didn't look?
Josh: How old are you, sweetie?
Josh: Kenneth Cole Reaction- you see that's something you wear when you're in high school, maybe up to 19. 20 tops. You're a man now, start dressing that way. Our Kenneth Cole line is in more of the upmarket mileu you belong to now.
My inner monologue: [Yeah, you know he's right. I'm 22, I'm a man, I'm upmarket]
Me: OK, so Kenneth Cole it is. Now do you have anything in around waist length?
Josh: Oooh, waist length? That's not what you want. A 3/4 length is really more your thing. You're 22, you need a professional look. Something you can wear to an important job interview, but still throw on with jeans and Pumas.
My inner monologue: [Professional- yeah, that's right, none of this collegiate pea coat nonsense anymore. And a combo with jeans and pumas, that's a money idea. Note to self: buy Pumas]
Me: Alright, so we're looking at 3/4 length coats. Show me what you have. My only requirement is slash pockets.
Josh: Yeah... slash pockets? They're useful, I'll give you that. But vertical pockets with flaps are WAY more stylish. They give the coat a nice sense of structure. Try this one (hands me a coat which I put on; I look at myself in the mirror)
My inner monologue: [It DOES give a nice sense of structure! I'm so fortunate that I have Josh here to correct all my faux pas]
Me: Thanks for all your help, Josh. I just need to call my girlfriend to make sure it's kosher, then we can ring this baby up.
Josh: Girlfriend? Ehhhh... Maybe if you were 17, that would be OK. But now that you're 22, you really should be gay.