Winter clothing elicits such strong memories. The season keeps bringing back little vignettes from my youth. There are some positive notes.the comfort feeling of a sweater. The softness of flannel.
But mostly they are miserable. Ill fitting boots. Zippers getting stuck. Stepping in a puddle and getting a soaker. Sweating inside a nylon and fibre-filled snowsuit hoping that you’ll be able to get out of that contraption before you pee yourself because you really, really need to go to the bathroom now!
This fashion frustration continues on today. To survive a Toronto winter I need at least four different coverings (but I have more): a short puffy or shearling coat for cold and sleety days, a vest for in-between weather, a medium-sized wool coat for days when one has to be a little dressier, and a long coat for when one has to cover up many under layers.
The long coat, for me, is always the most problematic. It is hard to find one that fits my refrigerator-shaped body, and when one travels, they take up a lot of room.
I thought I had found the solution in a packable puffer jacket from the Hudson’s Bay a couple of years ago but it made me soooooo sweaty that it was like wearing a portable sauna. I ended up giving it to my mother.
Then I found a wool overcoat that didn’t overheat me. It didn’t really fit me either (see above). It was a beautiful blue wool man’s coat but the generous shoulders hung limply on my frame and it never buttoned up properly about my midsection.
So yesterday I swapped it for a non-nylon quilted coat. It’s a mom coat — vintage but of an uncertain age. It’s blue with a honeycomb pattern by Tradition—an old Sears in-house label. So far, it has survived a very long day with out causing hot flashes. And it’s ample enough to wear over a dress and cardigan without making me look like I’m wearing all my clothes at once.