White coat


So I am actually wearing it. My new white coat I bought at the end of the last winter season, after having walked past it every day for 3 months, waiting for the price to drop to a level that I could actually justify.

I fell in love with it the first time I saw it. It is perfect. A creamy clean cut three quarter length wool coat with quarter inch black seams , buttons not down the front middle but down the front side, the bottom three hidden and then 3 espresso saucer size black ones above them. A 3.5 inch wide cream belt, also lined with black and a narrow rectangle black belt buckle stands in gorgeous contrast to the large black dots which help hold the coat shut. And the best thing: the collar which doesn’t just stop but like a milky waterfall overlaps just below my chin and bends back towards the chest, not bulging but just a gentle curve smoothing the cold lines of what follows below.

Yes, it is beautiful. But maybe more importantly it is the coat the woman I want to be would wear; simple sophistication, not overbearing but confident, stylish but only able to impress in combination with the personality wearing it. A little less Spaz, but not less heart. And, I admit it, something that dims the loudness of fellow females that spend so much time on themselves that they indeed manage to blind whomever they are trying to lure into their nets during that valuable first impression.

It has taken me a week to actually take it out of the closet, despite the cold temperatures. I have never had a coat colored lighter than tomato red. As long as the coat hung in the closet the dream was intact. No dark rings around the cuffs, no pollution on the waterfall (yes Mum, I know I need to wear a scarf), no coffee stains down the front or seat fuzz on the back. Clean straight cut lines, stiff wool woven fabric, no elbow or bum bulges to document how many times I’ve sat down or what the actual size of my behind is. Problem was, as long as the coat remained in the closet, so did the woman I know somewhere deep down I am longing to be, want to be. If for nothing else but so that I can once and for all see that dream go up in flames and will forever remain plain and simple ‘me’.

This morning, I mustered up the courage, removed the price tag, slipped into it and……… realized with horror that this is not the type of action one takes without planning. Instantly I had the following issues to deal with:
a) My usual running shoes that facilitate my 2km walking commute didn’t work with this outfit.
b) My Swiss army backpack that holds my laptop, books, lunch, wallet, cell phone, keys and a lot of other small but vital items did not only risk ruining the coat but for sure turned me into an overdressed mule
c) My earrings kept getting caught in the waterfall

Knowing that I NEVER have any seconds to spare when getting ready in the morning, this was a tremendous speed bump. Ok, so getting rid of Spaz wasn’t going to happen immediately. Now stressed, I growled at hubby (forgive me), found my heeled black boots, changed my earrings and as far as the backpack went, well, I would have to carry it in my hand, as I had nothing else that looked better that could actually hold all the stuff I really needed to take today. My lunch hour was going to be spent in the mall, looking for something more appropriate. Screw the economy.

The train posed the next problem. It is too warm to wear any coat in the train and so it needed to be taken off. Usually I fold up my winter wear and place on top of my backpack underneath the seat. I couldn’t possibly do this with a white coat. I made a mental note to bring one of those plastic vacuum hooks the next time, that way I could hang the coat on my mobile coat check (brilliant, no?). But for then, I’ll had to fold the coat inside out and place it on my lap. No chance to start typing on my computer or drink my coffee (which could spill). Lets just say it was a long ride downtown.

Once in the city, I was painfully aware of every door and building corner, constantly making sure my arms didn’t double as a cleaning rug. Around me, people were walking with their morning drinks in their hands and chocolate covered donuts (can’t they eat breakfast at home?); hundreds of potential threats. My backpack turned out to be too heavy to carry in the hand, so I pondered whether to take a cab (with potentially dirty seats) or pray that a 15 minute backpack rub wouldn’t destroy my coat. I walked. But not like every other morning enjoying the sites, no, worrying and getting a little annoyed that the public didn’t repay my sorrow with looks of unmistaken admiration. I concluded that my mood must have been visible and hindered any focus on my new fashion item.

The relief of arriving at work was almost great enough to cover the shoulder pain I felt (didn’t have the nerve to strap my bag on both shoulders). Before I could strip out of the liability, multiple colleagues commented on the beautiful coat and how great I looked in it. Maybe it hadn’t been that bad a decision after all and be perfectly fine once I sorted out all the logistics.

On my way home, I decided to take the subway over the 15 minute walk only to find myself perched in the car with a goey, tomato sauce dripping pepperoni pizza next to me. On the train I was lucky enough to find 2 seats, one for me and one for my coat. Now back in my town, I decided to walk home, it’s only 10 minutes and winter was in the process of laying down her own coat, adding a peaceful ambiance to a rather stressful day. And then it hit me; a white coat in the snow is hardly impressive as it struggles to be barely visible.

At that point there was only one remedy left and I started to laugh out loud while replaying my coat commute in my mind. I was tempted, as with every first snow that falls, to sit down in it. It is the best way of getting a visual of my current butt size. Ok, fine, I resisted……… that could wait until I got home.

As for the coat, I still love it and I will take care of it. It’s not an everyday commuter but I’ll do some research on scotch guarding. Hey it works for white couches!

And lessons learnt? Well, I may be able to buy a new coat, but I will never be able to shake being a Spaz. And come to think of it, that’s ok with me, because anything else isn’t half the fun.

I actually found a picture of it:


  1. beyond

    funny story. am exhausted just reading it.
    hmmm. i think it takes guts to wear a white coat. stands out in an urban setting. rare here in new york city anyway. i had to wear a white coat in a short film once and when the editor saw it he exclaimed “wow! no one would wear a white coat in this city in REAL life…”

    Yes, I guess you would be the person (right after my mother) to question what on Earth I was thinking! And yes, NY would be even more of a gamble.

  2. diamondsandrust

    It’s certainly a lovely coat,but maybe that red Galleries Lafayette number was more you.

    Hey! YOU were the one grumbling that a coat bought in 1994 should be respectfully buried. And are you saying that I haven’t changed in 14 years? 😉

  3. enreal

    Sounds like my kind of drama… you are too funny… I envisioned this as a lucy episode… really funny! Great prose

    Thanks Enreal, yes I had hoped that the length of it was worth the read. Glad you liked it!


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