My friend Sarah* has a coat. It’s mauve. Shiny. Has no discernible shape. It zips right up to the neck, creating a highly attractive ‘shelf bosom’, and cuts off mid-thigh making Sarah look short and stumpy, even though she’s size 10 and shops in the tall section. The overall effect is that of the Michelin Man dressed in his Christmas best. Add a hat, scarf, gloves and wellies to the equation and she’s instantly transformed from girl to wool-trimmed inflated tyre.
I’m not afraid to tell Sarah I hate her coat. She hates it too. But, as she tells me every time she slips the wretched thing over her fabulous Alexa-inspired outfit, it’s stuffed with feathers. I’ll give you a second to digest that – yep, she’s walking the streets wrapped in a winter weight duvet, and that’s okay, because it keeps her warm.
Next time you’re out and about, take a look around. How many people do you see swaddled in sleeping bags masquerading as coats? Or wearing attire designed for scaling Mount Everest while browsing the rails in H&M? Do you think they need a hypothermia-resistant lining for choosing their Christmas party outfit? No. And don’t even get me started on hiking boots, waterproof trousers and/or hats with ear flaps.
It seems the good British public are crying out for a winter intervention and a new outdoor wardrobe – one that doesn’t include rubber, a drawstring hood or feather stuffing. How about a tailored wool coat? A faux fur stole? A pair of knee high leather boots, a chic beret and some knitted mittens?
Diesel parka, Primark blouse, Zara cardigan, Topshop jeans, Steve Madden leather boots, Primark ring
Come on, you can do it. Step away from Millets and make your way to Urban Outfitters. This camel cape would look fabulous over skinny jeans and boots. Don’t worry, I’ll hold your puffa jacket for you…
*Name changed to protect identity and fashion reputation.