Prior to moving to Portland, the winter of 2011-2012, I was not sure how to prepare for the weather I’d encounter.
I didn’t know how cold it would get (not very, most of the time), I didn’t know how difficult it would be to deal with the rain (again, not very, most of the time), and I wasn’t sure that my existing outerwear would fit in with Portland’s “style” (that’s up for debate, really).
I also knew that I was moving out here without guarantee of a job, and that since cost of living was higher out here, it was likely that the cost of everything else would be higher as well (accurate, to an extent).
So one afternoon when my brother was in town, we gallivanted out to the Goodwill on Waterloo Rd in Akron and raided the coat section.
IT WAS SUCH A GOOD HAUL, YOU GUYS.
I found a vintage London Fog full-length khaki trench, a bright yellow fisherman’s rain slicker (with detachable hood!), a charcoal grey J. Crew zip-front jacket (sort of a cross betw a barn coat and a moto jacket), and a vintage J.G. Hook double-breasted wool peacoat - like what you see above, except mine is a lovely heathered sky blue.
Between half-off tags and the generally awesome pricing at Akron area Goodwills, I spent under $30.
And even though I quickly came to realize that the full-length trench and the fisherman’s slicker were more trouble (and far less flattering/fashionable) than they were worth (they’ve since been re-donated), that thrift trip still ranks as one of the best in my life.
Why am I writing this?
Today in Portland it still has yet to crack 30F. It’s blustery, and there’s a dusting of snow. THIS IS TOTALLY UNUSUAL FOR PORTLAND YOU GUYS.
I had an appointment downtown fairly early this morning, and anticipating having to walk several blocks or more, I broke out my knee-length socks, a nice wool sweater, and, yes, the wool peacoat. Today is the first time I’ve worn it, ever. Given that it’s my second year out here and until today it had only hung dejectedly in the back of the coat closet, I’d considered re-donating or selling it. But *something* about that coat speaks to me - I just love it. I hadn’t been able to get rid of it.
And I’m infinitely glad I didn’t, because it was PERFECT for today. I would have been miserable outside in anything else, but as it was, I felt expertly prepared. And because it’s not a quilted down jacket or something by The North Face, I looked superbly professional exactly when I needed to.
I was glad I had to go downtown today in the winteriest weather I’ve experienced since I left Ohio. I was glad to have precisely the outerwear I needed to get through it.
And now I’m glad to be home and in comfy pants again. Sigh.
The moral of this story is: I don’t know? If you love your peacoat never let it go? And the perennial: thrifting is magic?
Whatever. I’ve run out of steam. In the end it was just a really good morning.