Saturday, November 10, 2012


I feel like I am not as avid a shopper as I should be, considering the fact that on some days of my life I have the ambition to develop a fashion blog, yet every time I take an hour or two to do an in-depth shopping session in search of a particular product, I come across a huge inspiration prompting me to write a post.
Yesterday, I was inspired by something so utterly uninspiring that paradoxically I couldn't resist giving it some thought. What is this peculiar thing you ask? Well, you brought this on yourself.
See, here is a regular coat.

Its aesthetic appeal has been achieved by careful design fulfilling the classical rules of tailoring, the selection of appropriate fabric and  the addition of details like pockets or buttons. It accentuates the body shape of the wearer (looser silhouettes do this also, but in a different manner) and sculpts it, as well as compliments the wearer's individuality.
It seems a perfectly fine garment, so where is the issue? This time, it cannot be fully appreciated on the Internet, because its discovery is made possible only through the pinch test.
How to do the pinch test:
1) grab coat from hanger,
2) find part of coat where fabric is single-layered (unlike at the very cuff or on the lapel)
3) pinch hard with thumb and index finger
4) assess thickness.
Having manically pinched some 30 coats in the mall yesterday, I realized that none of the coats I looked at passed the test. They were all super-fine! This would've been perfectly good for a silk blouse, but I was not looking for one, mind you. Out of the 30 or 40 coats that I touched, about 15 or more would be unnecessary to remove indoors. I have sweaters thicker than this. Worse still, pathetic imitations of fur coats (the kind with sheep fur on the inside and hide on the outside) seemed lighter than blazers. I have not found a winter coat at Marks&Spencer, Zara, Kapp Ahl, Bershka, Reserved, Mango, Camaieu, Stradivarius, Pull&Bear, H&M and - oh desparation! - Orsay.
It seemed suspicious to me that women in this country, with winter temperatures occasionally reaching -4 F, do not feel the need to dress warm, whereas the men seem to have no difficulty in finding a jacket of appropriate thickness if they take a little time to search.
And finally it dawned on me. It has been there all along, infesting the shelves of each store. In all colors and sizes. Ignored at first, then feared.
(Epic horror music.)

Ladies and gentlemen, the puffer coat. Even the name sound like some sort of a cruel joke. Puffer? Really? Has "puffy" ever been a positive feature? Puffy eyes? Puffy bruise? Puffy ankle? The only good thing about puffy is puff pastry, which by the way is not really puffy, now, is it. It's flaky.

Mmm, delicious flaky goodness with raspberries also! OK, I got a little carried away there.
Puffer coat, you are a joke of a coat. You fulfill none of the functions that a real coat does. You're not stylish. You don't give the wearer a James-Bondy/Tsarina feeling. You don't look good, and you make your wearer look even worse.


Making a hot thin model look like a dumpling in a plate of borsht? A matryoshka doll? A swollen polar bear in the icy deserts of Syberia? Let the Red Army Choir explain.
As regards the selection of fabric... Where do I start? Have you ever heard anyone say "A little bit of static electricity never hurt anyone" or "I like my coats like I like my autumn leaves. Rustling with movement"? No? Oh, surprise, surprise.
The only thing that the puffer coat does is that it warms you up. Hard. Metaphorically speaking, a puffer coat is like a gigantic multi-functional golden vibrator. Does it give you the bodily satisfaction you strive to achieve? Well, yes, but it is still artificial and an eyesore.
Why do Polish women choose the plastic warmth over something elegant and acceptable? Why do manufacturers keep screwing up every winter? Why don't Arctic explorers take their clothing back to where it belongs? Someone explain!


  1. I'm so glad you're blogging again! I love both your writing style and your personal style. I agree, puffer coats are a problem. I found my thick wool coats at secondhand stores. I suppose the past was devoid of so many synthetic materials.

    1. Thanks! (I should look at a secondhand store too.)

  2. Thank for your comment!

    Moving to Paris is easier than you think... honestly I just saved for like half a year, packed my bags and off I went! You should read Grace Coddington's biography.. it will inspire you far more than a picture!



  3. This is funny and your rant is completely justified. I never find coats in Poland that pass the pinch test, and the horror of having to opt for a puffer coat out of desperation looms closer every year. This shouldn't be true for a country this cold.


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