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Why I Will Always Be Cold - cellophane
the story of an invisible girl
renniekins
renniekins
Why I Will Always Be Cold
One of the exciting things about the fact that I did not re-join my synchro team this year is: I get to buy myself a winter coat! For the eight years I've been on the team, I've been forced to buy a total of three Team Elan coats. Our uniform colors and style change every few years, so we have to keep updating them. Since I've been dishing out all this money on team coats, I haven't felt justified in buying yet another coat of my own choosing.

The last real winter coat I chose for myself was in 1989. Right before I went to college, my mom and I went coat-shopping. I knew it would be cold in Massachusetts, and I knew I'd be doing tons of walking around outside. I found a bulky black coat in the men's section of a camping store. It was too big for me, but I could roll up the sleeves. It was warm and had lots of pockets, and that was all that mattered to me then.

That was all I wore until 1994 or so, when I started my first professional job. I had to wear a suit to the office every day, and the shapeless old coat didn't look right on top of it. So I found a dressy green wool jacket that, when paired with a scarf, almost kept me warm. I still wore the black one when I didn't have to go to work, because it was more suitable for frolicking in the snow.

Right when I started thinking that I really needed something newer and more attractive, I joined Team Elan. Then, like I said, for the next eight years my coat choices were made for me. I did buy a nice leather jacket six-ish years ago, but that's really more of a "late fall" weight, not suitable in the Dead of Winter.

So, we come to the fall of 2004. For the first time in a very long time, I don't have to buy or wear a team coat! Finally, I feel fully justified in buying myself a nice winter coat, anything I choose! I was thrilled by the idea.

Happily, I started hitting the stores. That's when things got complicated. The problem is: I have no winter-coat experience! What do people wear in the winter, when they're not in Elan gear? The choices were overwhelming.

As I tried on coat after coat, I discovered that I have a very basic conflict. I am always cold, and I hate being cold. However I am short and solid, so I hate bulky clothing. I want to find something that is cute and warm. Apparently these are mutually exclusive, at least for my body-type. Everything I tried on in which I liked the way I looked? Wasn't very warm. Everything that felt like it would keep me nice and warm? Made me look about three feet wide and dumpy. I also found that I much preferred the way coats looked on me when I was just wearing something light underneath. If I wore a nice warm sweatshirt? They didn't fit as comfortably, and they looked weird.

So essentially what it comes down to is: if I want to like the way I look, I'm going to be cold. In fact, this is probably already part of why I'm always cold, because I only look good in thin layers. Maybe this is just a sign that I don't belong in the North?

Winter is fast-approaching, and I still haven't found a coat I like. I did find a fancy fur-lined coat, which will be good for dressing up. But that will look silly for day-to-day wear. So what to do? I'm (literally!) frozen by indecision.

I think I may have to give in and just buy a big bulky coat, even if I don't really care for how it looks, so I'll have something to wear when I want to be warm. After all when I want to look cute but be cold, I can just wear my leather jacket. Maybe that'll work....
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Comments
From: stilldocked Date: November 29th, 2004 10:14 am (UTC) (Link)
suggestion: a long wool coat, hopefully in black, with a removable thinsulate lining., dressy enough where you can wear it with a suit, but comfortable looking enough that it looks fine with jeans.
retepsnave From: retepsnave Date: November 29th, 2004 12:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
ditto!

i've an old navy peacoat... wonderful thing... (heavy as a stack of bricks...) but the thinsulate would be wonderfully modern way to keep the warmth up and bulk down...

black wool coat certainly the way to go!
hannunvaakuna From: hannunvaakuna Date: November 29th, 2004 10:21 am (UTC) (Link)
i've yet to find a dressy warm coat that i've liked enough to spend money on. i went strictly for warmth and got the Carhartt coat. it's big and bulky, but i tell ya, it keeps me warm (:
elizilla From: elizilla Date: November 29th, 2004 10:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Down coats are warmer than anything, until the down shifts and then they get cold spots. If you get a high quality down coat that has compartments inside to keep the down where it belongs, you will be warm. A down coat will not be heavy or bulky feeling to wear.

Unfortunately down coats are visually huge. Remember that even though a nice down coat is going to look three feet wide, you yourself will look tiny huddling inside that huge down coat.
elizilla From: elizilla Date: November 29th, 2004 10:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Also remember if you go skiing with us this year you will want something warm to wear for that!
cannibal From: cannibal Date: November 29th, 2004 12:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I was just thinking that a down coat is what Graham got for moving to Traverse, colder than here. burlington coat factory has a selection of down and wool online, and some seem to be fitted so they have some shape to them.
encorecrazay From: encorecrazay Date: November 29th, 2004 10:26 am (UTC) (Link)
There are a couple of REI stores in Michigan, not far from you, ok, one in Troy, one in Northville. Get something that will keep you warm. Remember layering is one of the best ways of staying warmer, turtleneck shirt under a sweater then a down vest and finally a coat will keep you really warm.
hannunvaakuna From: hannunvaakuna Date: November 29th, 2004 10:32 am (UTC) (Link)
ohhhh good point! the REI in Troy is right at 16 and Rochester, by Organized Living (: if you wanna go scout out coats, let me know! then we can sneak down and visit our favorite Barista, too!
pi3832 From: pi3832 Date: November 29th, 2004 10:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah. To get warmth without bulk you need cutting edge synthetics, and those tend to go into camping and hiking gear first.

Of course, they're also damn pricey.

###

On another note, I realized the other day that the only water-proof and warm jacket I own is my Joe Rocket riding jacket.

Too bad the armor makes it hang so odd when I'm not gripping a set of handlebars, or I'd wear it all the time.
encorecrazay From: encorecrazay Date: November 29th, 2004 11:38 am (UTC) (Link)
I owned a winter mountain climbing coat from the 1970's until about 1996 that kept me so warm I'd just wear my skiing jacket instead but now I've gotten rid of all of them.
pi3832 From: pi3832 Date: November 29th, 2004 02:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, if you can wear coat for 10 or 20 years, then suddenly $300 isn't that much money.

Personally, I've still occasionally wear a black bulky coat that my dad bought for me... oh, dear Lord, that means I've had it for over 17 years!
jeffreyab From: jeffreyab Date: November 29th, 2004 10:56 am (UTC) (Link)

Short and Solid

These are good strong power words!

Anyway if you want warm and not bulky go with thinsulate.

My black leather jacket has it and as a result its the warmest coat I have.

For coats look for a draw string that cinches in the coat at or below the waist of the pants you usuually wear.

Look for those velcro tapes on the wrist to cinch them up tight too.

A big collar that you can zipper up to your nose is handy too.
infernus1218 From: infernus1218 Date: November 29th, 2004 11:01 am (UTC) (Link)
I would recommend a coat with an inner lining. that way if you are wearing something bulky on the inside, you could just take it out.

that way you can stay warm in all sorts of weather. My friends have had great success with stylish and functional coats from Columbia.

Those coats come with all sorts of cool little features and tons of extra pockets.
atdt1991 From: atdt1991 Date: November 29th, 2004 11:54 am (UTC) (Link)
I had the best coat that I lost a few weeks ago. I have no idea where I got it from, so I don't know how to replace it. It was longish, grey, had a hood and a full zipper with snaps overtop the zipper, and pockets on the outside and inside, as well as a CDplayer pocket with a hole for the headphone jack.

Admittedly, it was large. But I find that pretending I am not large is as easy as pretending the empire state building doesn't exist. I get warm extremely easily, so I usually wear a couple of light layers underneath so I don't roast when I get to my location.
greyyguy From: greyyguy Date: November 29th, 2004 12:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't think heavy coats are really able to be "cute". And to be fair, as a male who has grown up in places where the temperature allows women to safely go outside in revealing outfits, I've never looked at a woman bundled up for cold weather and said "oh mamma".

Now if I was an Eskimo, I'm certain that I could tell you exactly how to bundle up and look alluring.

But since I'm not, I would recommend going with comfort instead of style, and just plan on being cute when unwrapped ;)
elizilla From: elizilla Date: November 29th, 2004 03:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
If you want to see women who look cute, stylish, and warm all at the same time, go downhill skiing. If you're willing to spend the big bucks, you can probably find their coat choices at the ski stores.
From: lindaatzarquon Date: November 29th, 2004 04:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love all the advice from guys: too warm? What is that?

Ski jackets are only good if you're also wearing ski pants, otherwise your legs and butt freeze, especially when you first sit in the car, bus, etc. Oh, and it also helps if you're skiing or otherwise working up a bit of sweat.

I am also always cold. We really need to get together!

I have a long wool coat, which looks nice, but is only good if it's above freezing. It's not warm enough for December through March or so.

For the dead of winter, I sprung for The North Face's warmest woman's down jacket, cleverly hidden under a shell with drawstrings for shaping. It is worth it over several years. But it only goes just below my hips. So I also wear fleece lined jeans, which may not be an option for you.

Sorry, didn't mean to end up doing an essay. :-)
nishar From: nishar Date: November 29th, 2004 07:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Don't get a new coat. Spend the money moving down South!
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