Monday, 22 August 2011

Episode 4: Rob hunts for a coat (and nearly gets eaten by one)

Do charity shops and vintage stores have the same air fresheners or do old clothes really smell like that? Anyway, I was getting quite queasy standing there pondering that problem when I laid my eyes on an army-green, great coat on the furthest hanger from me...

So I spent the weekend clothes hunting by myself in Exeter. It seems that layers are the key to keeping warm outside and cool inside during Russian winters, but thermal underwear is a different story. This post is all about the search for a good coat.
Predatory hunting ground of the green-backed great coat

Before tackling the big department stores I thought i'd be smart and hunt through the city's charity shops for one. The logic here also came from the fact that vintage clothes tend to be made of warmer natural materials whereas their expensive modern counterparts are imitation and deceptive. Unfortunately, being Napoleonic in height, and not exactly round in the middle, I have trouble fitting into retro and vintage stuff...

Taking the great coat off the hanger and putting one arm down a musty sleeve I was suddenly lost in mass of weighty fabric and mothballs. I looked at the gum-chewing girl behind the counter as if to ask for help but she didn't look up from Cosmo. By this stage the coat had attained the weight of podgy toddler and my knees were going to give way. How did people wage war in these things!? I rallied and wrestled the green beast off my back and onto its hanger but the effort left me sweaty and undignified. A pack of hipsters, latte dribbling from their chins, barely contained their sniggers as I left the vintage store in dejection. I slogged up the hill looking for marks and sparks.
Another satisfied customer

I was distracted by a stickman leaving his temple (topman) and soon found myself ambling down aisles of carrot-fit jeans and "hilarious" slogan t-shirts. Suddenly I was affronted by a plumage of knitwear and to my surprise found a useful "Fair-Isle-style" jumper made (mostly of wool. Bagging this for the winter ahead I eventually made it to Marks and came across a suitable coat that doesn't make me look like a pensioner :) happy days. I suppose you can still rely on certain British brands to produce mainly woolen, Winter coats with room underneath for layering up. It's a stylish, double-breasted, military number in black. Its three-quarter length (or i'm really short) so it should keep my lowers warm too...yeah.

Whether it will survive the Russian winter is something that only time will tell and if I get turned into an ice-cube I expect all my readers to clog the customer complaints line...

More soon!

(In other news about two weeks until I go and the sainted VISA has just arrived! All feeling very real now...)

PHOTO CREDIT: "Vintage store" taken under creative commons from miss.libertine's Photostream on Flickr:
"Stickman" taken under creative commons from Anders.Bachmann's Photostream:

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