A Stylist's Search for the Elusive Classic Trench
Why shopping is not for the faint of heart, weary or time-constrained among us. Read on for a practical approach to this and other profound questions of life.
Do you occasionally ponder some of life's more perplexing mysteries?
Like what do they do with the fat they remove from no-fat desserts, and just how exactly do they remove it? Or—I love this one from my 4-year-old brother many years ago, "Why does God make weeds?"
Currently I'm asking myself, "Why is it so darn hard to find classic clothing in stores these days?" It's ridiculous. No wonder more and more folks are hiring personal shoppers like me. Please don't get me wrong. I appreciate the business, but even I am becoming frustrated lately.
Case in point, my client, let's call him John, needed a new trench coat. First, I perused the various store websites. It's always a good idea to see what they are currently offering in terms of style, color and price. I looked online at Brooks Brothers, Nordstrom, Macy's and, of course, Burberry. I quickly eliminated Burberry on the basis of price alone. The rest had only a few black (John's preferred color), knee length, classically styled coats to choose from, but enough to make in-store shopping worth my while, or so I thought.
Unfortunately, there are no "just for men" stores in the Oak Brook shopping center, but I have about eight go-to stores for men and Nordstrom is tops on my list. That said, I was enormously disappointed to discover they had but ONE trench coat on the floor for me to look at and it was not exactly classic. I must admit it was cool looking, cut in a sharp, fashion-forward Italian kind of way. But, it was not at all what my conservative client had in mind.
Next I went to Macy's where they had only two coats total that could potentially fill the bill. I was not thrilled with either of them.
Would you believe the next six stores I shopped in had zero trench coats in stock? Here it was, mid-spring, and looking for a trench coat was like searching for the Holy Grail, for heaven's sakes.
At long last, I found what I was looking for at the Mark Shale store. They, too, were woefully under-stocked, but I found the perfect trench. The quality was unmistakable. It was a Sanyo classic cut with a great removable lining and it was impeccably tailored in a beautiful charcoal black weatherproof fabric. This coat will be a wardrobe workhorse for John for many, many years to come.
Glory halleluia! Best of all, and most importantly, it looked great on John and he was happy. Whew!
So I'll ask again. Where the heck are all the classics? We need them. We want them. And gosh darn it, we are going to have them.