Friday, October 10, 2014

NINE coats? Necessary? Excuse you, Popsugar Fashion.

So um, I saw this nonsense on PopSugar Fashion, and I couldn't go without saying something.

There are certain things I love about the fashion industry. I LOVE to watch runway shows and look at photos of the latest designs. It's nothing short of art that folks can wear. The ingenuity that comes from the human mind, seeing fresh and exciting new patterns and cuts each season, it's so exciting.

Seeing the way people mix up those styles to wear on the street, mixed with low-end trend pieces, DIY remixes of thrifted items, all thrown into personal expression. Like Miuccia Prada famously said, it's a language of expression without saying a word about who you are. It's fabulous on many levels.

 I just also have nearly endless criticisms when the barefaced, desperate nonsense of American-style capitalism gets thrown in.

Look, I'm all about folks making a living, and the apparel industry provides great ways of doing so. But NINE coats as an essential thing? Sorry, no. That's idiotic. That's playing to the worst sides of making a fantastic thing an ugly thing by playing on people's insecurities, and it's the wrong way to move product. Let's take this down.

1) A trench coat. (light jacket - yes, essential)
Waterproof trench, LL Bean, $79.99. Available in khaki, gunmetal gray, and deep red
Heart patterned trench coat, ModCloth, $129.99
This is entirely fair. It's a classic piece, and one can also turn it to a statement piece by selecting a trench in an exciting color and/or print. In emerald green, oxblood, hot pink, or classic khaki, camel, or black, this could be considered an essential piece.

But basically, any light jacket is what I would say goes here. Personally, I'd go with the classic color and make a statement with shoes, sunglasses, or a scarf.

 A packable down jacket is also a viable, versatile option for a light jacket as well, plus -- well -- it's something you can roll up and toss into your purse if the weather gets warmer and you don't want to carry it around.

Packable down jacket, Sam Edelman, $79.99. Available in coral and black.

Packable down jacket, Michael Kors, $169.99.

Packable down jacket, Express, $89.60 currently on sale. Available in black and berry.

 2) A duffel coat. (Not actually essential.)

Black duffel coat, Burberry, $995.00

Ginger duffel coat, ASOS, $142.13, also available in light blue
Patterned duffel coat, Woolrich, $325. Available in black and oatmeal.

OK, this looks cool, but I see no reason to have both this and a peacoat, so I'd say pick one or the other. Both can look polished and professional. 

 3) A parka. (Only essential if you live in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Canada etc)

 Probably entirely necessary if you live in a place where the winters get super cold. In my area of the Midwest, it's good for a couple of months out of the year. Instead of this, though, what I've found works well is to layer my packable down jacket under my classic black peacoat. It's entirely comfortable, and still looks cool and polished.

 4) A peacoat. (Yes, essential.)

Via Spiga peacoat, $198. Available in black, navy, and winter white.

Lambswool peacoat, LL Bean, $199. Available in navy, lapis, red, plum, and teal blue.

Professional, versatile, and it never goes out of style. Much like the trench, you can find one to flatter every body. And it's perfect for layering. Love this classic coat in navy or black, or channel Olivia Pope in white or cream.

 5) A cape. (Not essential.)

This is a want. Plain and simple. They're not a particularly practical item, but they're pretty, and I see why you'd want to have one. Sometimes you get lucky and find one cheap at a thrift or vintage shop, so that's where I'd start if you have a burning wish to buy one and you're on as limited of a budget as I am. However, shame on anyone who says this is a need rather than a want.

 6) A puffer. (Not essential.)

 It's my personal opinion that these things look stupid on just about everyone. Your mileage may vary, of course. Layering the packable down under a sleeker silhouette such as the duffel coat or pea coat brings the same warmth in a more attractive look.

7) A camel coat. (Possibly but not necessarily essential.)

Sure, go ahead. It's a classic. Again, though, this is a want rather than a need, and you can just go with this color in your previously-mentioned pea coat, duffel coat, or trench.

8) A furry coat. (Not essential.)

Want, not a need. I love my faux-leopard jacket. I consider leopard to be a neutral. These can be obtained inexpensively, and they're a lot of fun. You can also be super awesome and get a brightly colored one that looks like you skinned a Muppet.

Faux fur coat, H&M, $168 currently on sale for $99. Available in "I just killed Cookie Monster" blue, black, and mauve.
Cheetah coat, Kohl's, $196.

White faux fur jacket, H&M, $68.

 9) A statement coat. (Not at all essential!)

What part of this is not already possibly covered by getting a furry coat, or a brightly colored trench or pea coat? Why not stick to a classic coat in a classic color instead, and make your statement with an accessory that will only run you between 5 and 30 bucks, rather than a coat that's going to be at least 60 on the low end and only last a season? What in the actual hell, Popsugar? You're daft.

In conclusion, only two to four coats are truly essential. Resourceful fashionistas can mix, match, and make a statement without devoting half the damn closet and hundreds of dollars on the sort of nonsense this type of fashion article peddles. Discernment is downright sexy, folks.

Above all else, buy 2 or 20 coats if that's what you want and if you can afford to do so. It's your life, your style, and your wallet.

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