A Brave New Coat

Several years ago, I wrote a post about Ye Old Barn Jacket.

barnjacket

This is the official retirement post of Ye Old Barn Jacket as we have entered a new outerwear chapter entitled A Brave New Coat.

That means this is a post about clothes and shopping and while these are unusual topics for me, sometimes I just really want to talk about grave issues like my struggle to get out of pajamas. I presume some of you have the same challenge, although I am aware some of you wear shoes from dawn to dusk even in your own home, and that some of you can literally pair any shirt with any pair of jeans with a choice of brown or black shoes and TUH-DUH! you’re a man ready to conquer the world!

So, I have worn my barn jacket for more than twenty years. People do go on about it.
“I can’t believe you still have that!”
Yeah.
I have had other coats. I have. I have other coats even now. I simply preferred to wear the barn jacket. Neither the shape nor the color is flattering to me, but I don’t wear my barn coat and ask the mirror who’s the fairest. It’s not a nice coat. It doesn’t look nice. It looks utilitarian. You know why? Cause it is. It’s highly functional. It’s warm, but not too heavy. I can move freely in it, even when it’s all fastened. It’s got some texture, but basically no structure. It’s lined with actual flannel. It’s got pockets so deep, it’s basically like wearing cabinetry. It’s machine washable, but who cares, because it repels pet hair anyway.

Fancy blue wool dress coat and fancy gray wool peacoat are heavy and have shallow girl pockets and stupid belts. Stupid belts! Open, they just hang there, makin me look unkempt. They must be buttoned-up. They must be dry-cleaned and frequently de-linted. I have to take them off or at least flip them up to drive. I can’t move freely in them. Hell, I can barely hug people in them.

The thing is, I wanted a coat that would be as practical and comfortable as barn jacket, but new, and in a Joey-friendly color, and would look nice with my everyday life clothes. I had NO IDEA this would be such a freakin ordeal, which is what makes it blog worthy.

First things first, I searched for a new barn jacket, or field jacket, but in sunshine yellow or powder blue. Nope. Not a thing. Color, it seems, is the hardest part of the coat search. Coats are, in my opinion, all too often black, burgundy, and olive. Not good. Adding insult to injury, the brighter colors include mustard, teal, rust, and raspberry — which make me look contagious. The paler shades include blush and silver, which make me look like I haven’t slept since the last time I bought a coat. I realize that this is because of the seasonal palette change, but MY palette doesn’t change seasonally.

Enter, the puffer coat. Puffies! Puffer coats come in happy colors like white, too blue for the sky, and pinker than Hello Kitty’s bow. Yay! Color!
I need something that covers my bottom a lil, cause I wear a lot of longer tops. Great, puffer coats come in various lengths!

The puffer coat is not for me. Not light, not medium, definitely not heavy and, not in any of its various lengths.

They are all some version of (if you’re local, Bob Gregory’s kid) and if not, this:

giphy (1)

It’s like wearing a blood pressure cuff for a shirt. And hot as fuck. Wow hot. So hot. If you like seat warmers, electric blankets, and saunas —  a puffer coat might be for you. If you’ve ever wanted to know what it would feel like if fire gave you a big bear hug, I reckon a puffer coat would help.
Where am I going, Neptune?

Also, I’m not tryin to catch a snowman and I don’t like clingy apparel, but for the sake of sundaes, anything that makes ME look shapeless, anything that is so puffy, my waist and bottom disappear, well, that ain’t right. It ain’t right.
Am I still a woman, or am I the lovechild of Rainbow Brite and The Michelin Man?

My parents look NOTHING like that.

I know oversized hoods are all the rage, but I am not an infant. I have been holding my own head up for more than 45 years now and I don’t want to feel like I am carrying a toddler on my shoulders or a jug of water on my head. Puffer coat, no. Oversized hood, no fuckin way.

Also, why must our coats be packable now? Where are all these people GOING?!? What is that? Are so many people traipsing about in tank tops when the temps drop 50 degrees? I think these packable coats should come with those travel cups that promise 8 hours of fire and 20 hours of snow. Is everyone else having Patagonia-esque experiences while I taxi kids and run to the post office quick? Crossing a rope bridge when suddenly, snow! Do their iPhones not have weather apps? To whom do these things happen?!?

So I eliminated wool and puffers and that took me to lightweight parkas. In black, cranberry, midnight teal, neon asparagus pee… right, so then we’re back to color. Hunt, hunt, hunt. Something with a lining. Hunt, hunt, hunt. Something with deep pockets. Hunt, hunt, hunt. Then the sizing. Hunt, hunt, hunt.

I need y’all to know there is only one coat in the entire universe that ticked all my boxes. I got it in orange. Orange you glad that ordeal’s over?
A Brave New Coat.

About joey

Neurotic Bitch, Mother, Wife, Writer, Word Whore, Foodie and General Go-To-Girl
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

75 Responses to A Brave New Coat

  1. loisajay says:

    Orange. Well, you’re ready for hunting season. All I got.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. scr4pl80 says:

    You make me laugh. Thank you. Totally agree about the puffers. I’m trying to get rid of the rolls, not add to them. I haven’t bought a new coat in forever either but here in California our coat wearing weather is so short. I usually wear sweater coats. All of my clothes are getting too big for me though so I’m afraid there is some shopping in my future too. After Christmas. Trying to wait until I get to my goal. 25 pounds to go.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. orbthefirst says:

    I went through a similar ordeal, last year with my black m65 field jacket. 15 years with the same coat does that to a person, I guess. I ended up buying some off brand of the same thing, a size up. Funny I barely ever wear the thing, and when I do, its usually cold enough to kill small children & old folks. Its a good coat. Hopefully thisll be my last one.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. eschudel says:

    I want to see it now, this coat you finally found after all that!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I hear you, Joey 🙂
    It isn’t easy to find a new coat, as is just so nice to wear, as the ones we have used for many, many years. Can we see your new jacket now?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. darsword says:

    Yep. Same problems here. My go to for a couple of decades, sewn pockets and zippers a couple of times. Warm alone for errands. Layered for more outside. It is a double layer windbreaker. I still have people who compliment it. But it is just utilitarian. If I need heavier I have an orange one I wore in Alaska. Sad that coat makers don’t talk to real people. I’m glad I’m not alone but feel your pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Either there are coat people like you and me or they don’t have a clue what we’re talking about. I have a barn coat that is about 12 years old, a lined jacket about 10, but then I have a ‘real’ barn coat that is probably close to 30 years old. It was a great medium weight cotton lined jacket with lightweight cotton hood that was a casual coat back in the day. Since then, it has been sewn and fixed too many times to count, and still works as my ‘outdoor barn’ coat, you know the coat you hang in the garage and wear to do dirty outside chores or go to the barn to find tools to do those chores. I can’t wear it anywhere outside of the property, but it’s like an old friend. It stays as long as I do. 🙂 Good luck with the new orange addition – may it become a long-term wardrobe addition so you don’t have to coat shop any time in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      YES! Isn’t it nice to have ye olde barn jacket? I will still wear mine for chores and dog walks and snow play, I’m sure. It’s like a friend now. But it’s very nice to have a coat that looks like it was meant to be seen while still being comfortable and well, handy 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Bill says:

    Clothing? Colors?
    The truth is that while I care, I’d be fine with one pair blue jeans, one pair of shoes (preferably gym suitable), a few tees and sweaters, some baseball caps, one grungy newsboy cap, and enough socks and underwear to get from one wash-day to the next.
    I have a red rain jacket I got for moving to Seattle (hate umbrellas) 5 years back. The liner for my motorcycle jacket is a black, thin, puffy-ish deal that works fine for cold days, but staying home is easier.
    Yet, I have a wardrobe (of sorts) to fill my share of closet and drawer space. When I shop for clothes, one word keeps going through my brain: ‘need.’
    This week I submitted my application for the job of wardrobe consultant for the Voice. Shelton gets it, but the others either seek attention or got into some rancid acid.
    Orange? We can always count on Joey to brighten up our days. Have a great weekend, y’all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Thank you! I cannot have enough sweaters. Just cannot have enough.
      Blake Shelton is a fine ass man. I don’t care what he wears, that man is fine, fine, fine. I don’t watch that show, but mmhm, he’s got it.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Dan Antion says:

    I’m happy for you! A coat, the right temp, color, length, thickness, material – asking a lot, but it seems you persevered – congrats! I love reading the Joey stories. Thanks for starting my day with a few laughs. Enjoy the coat.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. rvpackard says:

    The Pillsbury doughboy was your favorite toy from 8 months and beyond two. I wonder where he went?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. markbialczak says:

    I always want my polo shirt to look good in the summer and half-zipper fleece to look good in the winter when I go to work, Joey, with khakis and jeans, respectively. I have many in the closet from which to choose every morning. There are my fashion thoughts for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Benson says:

    Orange is good. If you ever find yourself trapped in a construction zone then you are safe. Stay warm in your Beave New Coat.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. marianallen says:

    I had a coat I loved. I still have it, but I’m not allowed to wear it in polite company, because it can be washed but washing it doesn’t get the dirt off. It was just right. But, truth, I fatted out of it anyway. It’s blue, with a BRIGHT YELLOW lining. Now I wear it inside out to hunt mushrooms during deer-shooting season. No excuses for shooting me in error. Shoot me, you gotta mean it. ANYWAY, I bought a new coat, black as my heart. Not warm, as advertised. HOWEVER, it turns out to be perfect, because it holds what heat I generate. So–short sleeves plus coat, perfect for cool weather; sweater plus coat, perfect for Antarctica. Deep pockets. Hood. Perfs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Your blue and yellow forever dirty coat sounds like my barn jacket — like an old friend for all the best outdoor adventures!
      I am SO GLAD your new coat is perfect! Stay warm, Goth Gal.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Wow, finding a coat is like finding a pillow. I have an old flight jacket, and since I’m a fat little man now, I quit wearing it. I can hustle to the car or building without one. I suppose losing enough weight to zip it up is a decent goal, but I tend to put a flannel shirt on over my tee these days and just leave it unbuttoned.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Swinged Cat says:

    I’ve never even heard of a barn coat. The very name conjures up images of utilitarianism. You want something sturdy and functional when you’re out in the north 40 feeding the pigs, I suppose. Good luck with your search! And even non-locals get the “Christmas Story” reference! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Growing up here in Indy, Bob Gregory was the weatherman. He had a son, Kevin, who was featured in cold weather commercials, all zipped up and hidden like Randy from A Christmas Story. If you saw Kevin on tv, you knew it would be cold. I reckon Kevin was about my age. NOW Kevin is our weatherman.

      Like

  16. Tara says:

    I have a puffy coat that isn’t that puffy. Never saw one before; haven’t seen one like it since. It’s like I got the only one they made that’s wearable. Pockets like cabinetry, as you require as well, even inside the coat! It’s like the proper purse I can never find because the right purse, in the right color, with just the right amount of pockets has NEVER been made.

    I’m so happy for you for finding a coat and I’m so happy the coat has such a happy new owner!

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Oh Em Gee, Tara, it’s like we’re the same person! The pockets. Why don’t they understand our need for pockets in everybloodything?!? If you ever decide to relocate, I want you to consider my neighborhood, okay?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tara says:

        I know, right? And I don’t know why they don’t get the whole pocket thing. I actually am investigating places to relocate, and if memory serves, and your coat post as well, you’re in a very cold part o’ the country. I have that, been there done that. And whilst I do like the cold, I also remember you’re NOWHERE NEAR THE OCEAN. So! The solution, obvs, is that I relocate near water and you and your fam (or just you if you need some YOU time/ they can visit! 🙂 ) move there with me. Bring the coat, though. I’m not going below the Mason Dixon so we’ll need it come Winter.

        Liked by 1 person

        • joey says:

          Hah! Yes, it is cold and landlocked here. I won’t live below the Mason-Dixon again either! If I move, which I don’t plan to, it’d be norther and easter. Boy, I’d have to have A LOT of money 😛 Thanks for saying you’d share beach with me/us 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • Tara says:

            My research indicates that you wouldn’t need as much money as you might think. 🙂

            No problemo. Happy to have such a fun family in my midst.

            Liked by 1 person

            • joey says:

              When we were buying our house (shopping for houses) here, my NE friend made me a spreadsheet for approximate mortgage payments with varied rates and down payments. It was extremely helpful, EXCEPT

              Liked by 1 person

            • joey says:

              I must have hit a button — EXCEPT that his chart showed homes in the $380,000 – 400,000 range and homes here are more like $100k. So although we both live in bungalows, theirs with 2bdrms and ours with 3, and we have over an acre and they have a quarter acre and we both live in average American urban neighborhoods, their NE home is worth four times ours.

              Liked by 1 person

  17. But… but… what’s going to happen with the barn coat?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Flipping up the coat to drive…Jesus! Or tugging it out of the seatbelt. Probably the worst thing about winter. So I got a new coat, too, one that is short enough to avoid the seatbelt deathtrap. Ahh! For the record, though, I also have a puffer coat, but only for when I do those manly outdoor things like cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Greener than green so the rescue teams can spot me from the helicopter.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. ghostmmnc says:

    That’s a funny word for a coat – puffer coat. I never heard that before – sounds like a puffer fish or something. I think I know what you’re talking about, though.
    I have a coat. It isn’t pretty, but has a hood and a lining you can zip out. I never wear it. Only a very few times has it been cold enough to need one. I have 2 long sweaters that I wear instead.
    I can imagine how hard it is to find just the right kind that has everything you want on it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      It MAY be easier to find a good man, LOL!
      It’s nice you don’t get too cold. Here, we need a coat almost half a year — not that I’m complaining, but it’s not for everyone 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  20. JT Twissel says:

    Repelling pet fur – really? I’ll have to look into barn jackets. I need a new coat but so far haven’t been inspired!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. When you find the right coat, it’s worth keeping it around for as long as possible. Perhaps you should even buy another one so that when the first one gets too old you have a replacement. I’m glad you were able to find a coat that was just right, but I completely understand about the irritations and limitations of shopping!

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Susanne says:

    Oh how you make me laugh with your funny lines like being the child of rainbow brite and the Michelin man. Brilliant. Or how mustard, teal, et al make you look contagious. That is Pulitzer-worthy. Pleased you got a new barn jacket with deep pockets and flannel lining. It will go perfectly with your pj’s and as cloth cabinetry, it will carry cups and bowls and cutlery, too! Merry Christmas, Joey.

    Like

  23. Prior... says:

    you are so funny!!!
    and agree with his with the packable coats:
    “Where are all these people GOING?!?”
    __
    Also, I understand how you could keep that barn coat for so long – when something works and it is right – it can work for as long as we are comfy with it ((as long as it lasts that is))
    ans glad you found the right jacket.
    🙂
    __
    side note – I have a dark gray lightweight down that is my fav this year. and if it works well – I will not update each year – but the thing to share was that I wear last year’s black down jacket around the house – and wash it often – and my hubs reminded me that is is bad for down jackets to be washed and dried (he air dries his down jackets and sleeping bags – but he also has high-tech stuff worth caring for)
    and with my leftover (light) black down jacket – well I am going to beat it down and wash and dry that baby because it is my jacket and that is how I want to use it.
    It reminded me that sometimes people take such nice care of their items to where they don’t “use it” to their potential.
    and truth is – the down in the arms is not as even because of all the washing and hot drying – but it works so well for what I need and want this winter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      You remind me of Alice Walker’s Everyday Use. I’m super into that. You do with your light black jacket as you please, as it is yours.
      I used to have a down bedspread. My mother bought it. It cost nine billion dollars and was dry clean only. I paid to have it cleaned ONCE, $70. I almost died. After that, I washed it in the bathtub and hung it on the line. It lasted a good 20 years anyway. We all have our own realities.

      Like

      • Prior... says:

        Thanks for the support on the black jacket and my “grinding it down” and I added the “light” black toy comment because I remember in one of my what time war posts you mentioned “no black” – and maybe that was for dresses – but I guess there are many shades of black – and another side note on when I got that jacket (well you started it with all of this awesome outer wear talk) – i almost got this Columbia down jacket – with hood and a little longer – same price – and it was ultra thin – but it was liked with their special
        Silver stuff inside and it was one of those “hot” to wear Jackets you were referring to here. Good for those hiking and sleeping outdoors –
        Anyhow – we used to wash our down comforter in the oversized washer and dried it with tennis balls – and it said dry clean only – and we bought it in the 1990s when they were pricy – so I can imagine how true one you had was costly –
        And lately – we really love “down alternative” comforters – oh and next on my list to try is a “weighted blanket”
        Hmmmm

        Liked by 1 person

        • joey says:

          I truly believe there are people having outdoor adventures, and traveling! who need the packables. I just don’t think every suburban cookie cutter mom is looking for a packable coat.
          I love weight as I sleep. While I do not have a weighted blanket, 100% cotton quilts three deep is QUITE heavy and pleases me. (I also keep the x-ray vest on at dentist, as it is comforting.)
          I don’t do black. For many many years when I would wear black, I’d think in order to look good, I’d need a whole mess of makeup to pull it off and I’d still look tired and dull. I sorta phased it out — I kept a few things that are black, like my mother’s old silk clutch, a black blouse with more bright flowers than black, a funeral outfit… but then I just stopped, because it’s not like black is a problem, it just doesn’t do anything for me. It doesn’t make me feel good, it doesn’t make me look better, it doesn’t suit my personality. I wear navy and brown to funerals now. My Sassy, she wears black like I wear white. It works for her. It’s her staple.

          Like

          • Prior... says:

            Thanks for sharing that (and I was looking forward to some clothing chat with you…. )
            And funny thing is “white” is a color
            That does not suit me – and your cotton blankets sound like just the right amount of weight and warmth!

            And one more story comes to mind – think it was 2013 – my niece asked for a 185$ north face fleece jacket – her grand mom found the same fleece style
            And color for 1/3 –
            But with no north face logos –
            And of course my niece was into labels at that time — but her grandmother said “she doesn’t need the north face Technology for waiting for the bus – although buffalo area is uber cold – the knock off could be just as nice –
            Anyhow – she got the jacket she wanted – all ended well – story stays with me – a lot of us Americans buy a whole lotta stuff we might under use

            Liked by 1 person

            • joey says:

              Unfortunately, teens are label dependent like that. On some of them, I’ll splurge, if the quality is right. Mostly I No. Some things I don’t understand. Like hydroflasks. My girls had to have them. They’re nice, but it’s a brand thing, no better than Tervis or Yeti as far as I can tell. If the status of a label makes them hydrate and not lose the bottle, then I count it as a win.
              I bought Moo a knock off backpack — the ideal is some Norweigan $115+ and I bought her the $50 lookalike. She’s cool with that and I am glad, cause the other was a No.

              Liked by 1 person

  24. This is a seriously happy ending. I wish you wear it happily just as long.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. bikerchick57 says:

    Orange is a great color, Joey, and if it’s the coat that makes you happy, that’s everything! Enjoy your colorful winter!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Amy says:

    I can never find clothing when I’m actually searching for it. My tall boots have lasted many seasons but I know their time is coming and yet I haven’t found their replacement. I’m glad that you were able to find a coat that ticked all of your boxes!!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Joey I laughed until I peed… I too, have my barn jacket. Thankfully I look good in olive, but I want red. So I have an old coat, and I have taken to stitching it with embroidery thread so it is not going anywhere.
    I think we are twins separated at birth. I stay barefoot and am now at the point where I have two pairs of wearable shoes and HATE shoe shopping but I have to now and Mitchell is bugging the hell out of me to go do this. I want to be barefoot in pj’s all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

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