The Jacket My Date Wore

by M. Lizabeth Currain

In dishonor of New York Fashion Week (Feb 9th-16th) I am going to be sharing some fashion related thoughts with all of you throughout the week. As a note, I have a degree in Fashion Design and spent some time working for various fashion companies. It was the worst. I continue to have opinions about fashion, the main one being: Seriously, what the fuck are you wearing? So for the next week don your best headband and enjoy the ride.

So on Saturday I went on a date. He was from the land of OkCupid and I used Whitney Houston’s death as a way to end the date early. What does this have to do with fashion? you may be asking yourselves right about now. Let’s just file this under “things that guys shouldn’t wear on a first date or ever, even if their life depended on it.” This the coat my date wore:

:shudder: I’ll give you all a few moments to process this. I know what you’re thinking, “what does his jacket have to do with what kind of person he is?” And to you, I say this: A lot.

We are in a time where it is perfectly acceptable for a man to know how to dress himself properly. There are magazines, websites, television shows, movies, and countless other forms of media that a dude can get sartorial inspiration from. Do you know that this jacket says to me? Do you know what kind of inspiration I think you had when you picked this out?

via

You remind me of a neo-Nazi. You remind me of all the people that weren’t Edward Norton in American History X or Ryan Gosling in The Believer. Because for you, I cannot separate your hideous jacket from somewhat “eh” personality. If his jacket or other parts of his outfit had been better, it might have detracted a little bit from the fact that he was asking me idiotic questions about Alaska (where I grew up) like, “I just saw The Grey. Are wolves like a thing there?” He also kept looking up things on Google on his phone. You’re on a date. Set it aside for a second.

I am not even kidding you when I tell you that I turned the corner and saw a guy in that jacket and immediately thought to myself, “I really hope that’s not him.” And it was. All night I just kept looking at that jacket, crumpled up next to him, wishing I had the ability to set things on fire with my eyes. It was puffy and ill-fitting. There are times and places for jackets like that. I am willing to say that hunting is probably the only place that a jacket like that would be acceptable. Not on a first date in Williamsburg the hippest part of Brooklyn./insert eyeroll. And frankly, since the earth is dying from all the punishment we are putting it through, it wasn’t even that cold out on Saturday. He would have been okay in a nice wool sweater and a scarf.

But it’s winter, he’s just trying to stay warm, you say? Well, I’ve got some advice for all of you guys out there in need of a date/LIFE appropriate winter jacket: It’s called a peacoat. Nothing fancy. You don’t even have to have any fashion sense and you can still look good in a well-fitted peacoat. As Mindy Kaling wrote in her book, “guys need to do almost nothing to be great.” Her words are truest when applied to fashion.

This is the kind of coat you wear on a first date.

Do you think that Ryan Gosling wore that green monstrosity on his first date with Eva Mendes? I don’t think so. If he had, I don’t think they’d be dating. I mean, Ryan Gosling is hot, but that coat green coat is fucking terrible.

Peacoats not your thing? Try a slightly fitted, wool coat, with minimal embellishments. Make sure that the shoulder seams are hitting at your shoulders. I can’t tell you how many people I see with coats a least a size too big for them. This coat below is a nice alternative.

via llbean

So a few things that hopefully you will be taking with you the next time you go coat shopping:

  • Wool is always good. It looks expensive, doesn’t have to be.
  • Peacoats! If they are good enough for Ryan Gosling, they are good enough for you.
  • Slightly fitted coats with a zipper are a nice alternative for the man who thinks peacoats aren’t for him.
  • Make sure the shoulder seam is hitting you at your shoulder. Not below, not above, but at.
  • Navy, black, gray, and brown. You can’t go wrong with these colors. They are fool proof.
  • Stay away from shiny fabric!
  • Take someone with you to buy a coat if you feel like you are completely hopeless.

This shouldn’t really be that hard. You’re an adult. Start dressing like one.