New York's Farewell to the Winter Coat?
First Day of Spring was on March 20th. What a cruel joke! With several inches of snow on the ground still outside and yet another snow storm on its way, this day sadly is not a farewell to winter- though it should be- at all!
This wretched extension of cold weather reminds me of the importance of a winter coat in one's Fall Fashion selection.
As fashion items, coats, hats, scarves and the like don’t get their due compared to the outfit underneath them, but, in reality, you probably wear your North Face fleece zip-up or Canada Goose parka far more often throughout the season than even your favorite pair of jeans. Which is why it is all the more important to choose carefully.
Your coat also tells us more about you than your jeans.
Your jeans are definitely denim and most likely blue, ripped, threaded or casual. You are certainly aware of a trend if you combined them with one of those black Canada Goose coats with the furry hoods that goes for $1,000 (on the low end), the kind warm enough for the Antarctic but so ubiquitous in Midtown, and you give the vibe that you mix your practicality with style. Those fleeces, so many from brands that pride themselves on partnerships with environmental causes and sustainability efforts, are, perhaps, a signal that you spend your downtime on the ski slopes and hiking trails, or you at least wish you did.
There are still pockets of fur coats in enclaves on the Upper East and West Sides. That said, more and more fashion designers are ending their use of animal fur. Something to watch as a designer trend will be to what extent faux fur can capture those status customers.
Will it extend the map into other corners of Manhattan with newfound social awareness?
Commuters clustered near Grand Central, Penn Station and Port Authority are in probably the most practical garb: assorted ski jackets and weatherproof gear from tried-and-true outfitters. They probably wear sensible boots and carry their work shoes in their bags. If you are wearing LL Bean and Eddie Bauer, then you are likely either a commuter or prefer to be sensibly attired for winter.
City-dwelling colleagues in their cashmere coats, just barely warm enough, give the signal that their commutes don’t involve any shoveling or snow that would hit the mid-calf hem. Ultimate New Yorker Michael Kors has been quoted as saying that a camel cashmere coat instantly gives one an air of sophistication, maybe beyond her years or means.
I like the winter white version, a bona fide status symbol. Winter white is chic and elegant– and says you can afford a high dry-cleaning bill.
Are the above stereotypes? Absolutely – and you can probably break any one if you stand on a street corner long enough. But you’ll also see how many people fit so cozily into their predicted coats. So, chose your outerwear well next Fall. It will be the most frequent Fashion statement you make all Winter (and Spring!) long.
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Author: Mona Maine de Biran
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