{17/10/2012}   Autumn jackets and coats

My flat is currently deceptively chilly, chillier than it is outdoors, so I have been unnecessarily wearing my autumn jacket collection.  Really, these are days between my black corduroy jacket (one grade up from a cardi) and what I now realise is an impressive collection of autumn-wear jackets and coats.  I am actually looking forward to the temperature dropping a good few degrees so I can wear this array of lovely jacketage and coatage and not break out into a sweat on leaving the house.  But my annual dilemma rears its annoying head again: what is the perfect autumn coat or jacket and why have I never found it?

I have autumn jackets for most eventualities, yet not an all-rounder.  Yesterday, I wore a diagonal-zipped black wool jacket with catalogue-woman high collars.  I often admire it in shop windows as I walk past (that’s normal, right?), but it’s far too warm for the current temperature.  However, much colder and it’s inadequate around the bottom area as it only covers the top half of my bottom, and I appear to be prone to a chilly bottom!  Another autumn favourite is also far too warm for the current weather.  It’s a battered-looking (you pay a lot for that effect, bizarrely) olive green leather jacket in a biker style.  I love it.  Except for the fact it only just reaches my waistline so leaves above the waistline toasty but below and just above it a touch too exposed to the elements.  It’s probably a triumph of loveliness over practicality.  But I really like it.  Another favourite, in fact probably the coat of coats in terms of style, is a silk-lined cashmere coat in a dark tealy green that was made for me in Shanghai.  I didn’t like it that much when I first had it made because the shoulders were a bit too Dallas but now I love it and I have probably never had an item of clothing that has garnered as many positive comments, including from strangers.  I guess the joy of this coat is that it actually fits me and, now that it’s the time of year I can wear it, I am officially retiring from my diet (what diet, says a voice in my head!) for there’s no point having a beautiful bespoke coat if you’re not the same size you were when you had it made for you.  My autumn coat list does not even end there for I also have a genuine 1960s black leather just-past-the-bum length coat which I can only wear without the buttons done up as it’s a touch snug, ie doesn’t do up.  I don’t use it that often as I always feel a need to revert to my c19 year old self who used to wear it all the time, ie black hair, DMs and the odd foray into red lipstick.  If I tried to recreate that look, four words would spring to mind, of which the emphasis would be on “mutton” and “lamb”!

Then there is my very sensible and practical rain and wind proof jacket.  It does exactly as it should but makes me feel geeky and I don’t like it.  Plus, when it rains, the water pours off the jacket and largely congregates around my thighs.  However, it is a joy to be out in the rain, then get indoors and still be dry underneath, at least on the top half.

So really, what I need is a jacket that covers my bum, is not so waterproof that rain pours down the length of my jacket and settles just below the hemline but is nonetheless waterproof, that looks stylish, has a high collar (a feature in all my favourite jackets and coats), is olive green or black, has pockets, is roomy enough to enable a few layers as it gets colder and can be done up.  I have often thought a mac would be the way forward but they look rubbish on me and never seem remotely insulated or indeed water resistant.  Thoughts?  Suggestions?  And I’m not talking winter wear here, I will eke another blog out of that in a few months!


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