Friday, December 31, 2010

A Rose By Any Other Name

It's possible that I'm a little frugal. Or cheap, depending on your point of view. My winter coat tends to be the same one year after year because ... it works, so why get a new one? Periodically, though, my coat will tear or get stained (I hate winter salt and muck!) or simply become something I can't imagine putting on even one more time.

Fortunately, that tends to happen at the end of the year when the winter coats are all on sale. Of course, the selection then also tends to leave a bit to be desired, but I can get over that. I had to buy a new coat not last year but at the end of the winter before.

Living in Chicago, I needed to find a coat that would keep me warmer than the one I had at the time. My mom had bought a coat that she loved that promised to keep you warm to 15 below zero. It sounded good to me, and I liked the style. I couldn't get the same color as my mom (she dressed my sister and I too alike for too long growing up for me to ever be matchy matchy with anyone), but they offered more than the chocolate brown she'd purchased.

I went to the store and found the coat on sale for $15. Marked down from $138 (which my mother had paid). The only downside? There was one coat in the color my mom had gotten and one in gold. Gold! I can't wear a gold coat.

Smart me, I went to the online version of the store to see if they had a better selection of the coat. And amazingly, they did. As I recall, they had it in silver (it was a muted beautiful silver), white and something else. For $45.

And the frugal in me warred with the I-can't-wear-gold part of me. I vented to my mother who talked me into the gorgeous gold coat - her words, not mine. And really, for $15, how can you not love a coat that will keep you that warm. Because of course I went back to the store to get the coat, and the only one left was the gold coat. So I bought it.

It went into my closet for the next winter (which was really last winter). And when winter came last year, it stayed in my closet. I couldn't wear it. The coat was gold - GOLD. I just don't have that much fashion pizazz (ok the fact that "fashion pizazz" was the best phrasing I could come up with should tell you something) to pull off a gold coat.

And so it gathered dust in the closet.

Late in the winter, my mom borrowed it one day to get Little Miss off the bus. And she realized it still had the price tags on it because ... I hadn't done anything with it since the day I bought it. She convinced me to try it on.

I reluctantly wore my coat after that. And you know what, it really is warm. And sorta fashionable - just obviously not in that picture from a horrible angle. Trust me on this one. That doesn't mean I was comfortable wearing it, but I wore it.

The other day? A random woman gave me a great compliment. I love your coat. Champagne is such a great color on you - and so trendy right now, too!

Oh. My mistake. It's not a gold coat. It is simply champagne. I'm not sure why, but I can totally wear a champagne colored coat. And I do. With pride - and warmth.


Tara R. December 31, 2010 at 5:11 PM  

It's a lovely champagne color... if it keeps you really warm, call it whatever color you want.

One Petal At A Time December 31, 2010 at 6:58 PM  

I love that color! My goodness, its the trend right now. It doesnt get old, specially in the winter time plus it look great on you Michelle. If it keeps you warm and cozy, why not wear it? $15? OMG! where did you say you get it? I love when december is over when all the winter sales start because that is the time to buy winter clothes for next year. Coats are so exspensive when they barely come out! Why not wait patiently when winter sales start and buy that favorite coat to wear for the next winter =D At least thats what I'll be doing this yr and the next and the next lol.

Susie January 1, 2011 at 10:32 AM  

You are hilarious! Happy New Year:-)

Pat January 1, 2011 at 12:23 PM  

Sometimes warmth and comfort trumps anything else, but in this case your new coat is stylish, too. I like the champagne and I like the price!!

Debbie January 1, 2011 at 12:24 PM  

You make me smile, Michelle. This sounds like something I would do. I am far too cheap to worry about color or style. But champagne? I could do that!
I wish you all the best in 2011.

Holly W January 1, 2011 at 8:35 PM  

honey...rock out in your champagne coat!
I must be your cosmic twin because I shuddered when I read gold, but I gave a big sigh of relief when champagne was read...
because gold=tacky

Mrs4444 January 1, 2011 at 9:34 PM  

That's funny :) It looks great on you,BTW!

Melisa with one S January 1, 2011 at 9:50 PM  

That is a GREAT coat. Love it!

Mary~Momathon January 1, 2011 at 11:44 PM  

Cheers to you in your $15 champagne coat! Love it! I misplaced my coat and was mourning the loss (it happens to be a very ugly coat and I love love love it) when it turned up I cheered and was so very excited again! It's not gold, but while it was gone I did get a new blue one. I still have to form a friendship with my new one.

Kimberly January 2, 2011 at 9:05 AM  

It's all about perspective, huh? Love the $15 champagne coat!

Michelle January 2, 2011 at 8:51 PM  

Tara - It keeps me awesomely warm - and it's longer than most winter coats I've worn, and that means a lot.

One Petal At A Time - I got it from Lands End (via Sears) at the end of the season two winters ago. I'm absolutely with you on buying at the end of the season for lots of stuff!

Susie - I'm glad you can see the humor in it. I sort of can but also see myself as being so abnormally vain, too.

Pat - You can't really beat the price for a new coat, I'll give you that.

Debbie - Thank you! The best to you in 2011, too. I can't believe it's already here.

Holly - I am SO with you. Gold is tacky. That's why I couldn't wear it. But champagne? It's a different story altogether.

Mrs4444 - Why thank you! I appreciate it :)

Melisa - Have you seen me wear it? I will admit it's a bit ummm much with jeans and mom sweaters when doing carpool, but hey - I'm easy to spot, right?

Mary - Coats - and purses for tha matter - really are something that you have to develop a relationship with. You can't just use them without really liking them.

Kimberly - It's always about perspective. And the coat is growing on me, too. Even since writing this post!

Karen January 3, 2011 at 6:01 AM  

Ha! Funny what a new word will do, even. Go, you, getting a warm coat for $15. That is a bargain!

septembermom January 4, 2011 at 11:57 AM  

Oooh, Michelle, that's very pretty on you. Quite feminine and stylish.

Michelle January 6, 2011 at 9:08 PM  

Karen - It's all about the word, sadly. I apparently am actually that vain. So good to see you!

Kelly - Awww you are too sweet. It's ... a fun coat but so not my normal style!

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