When I moved from the Northeast to the Pacific Northwest, I took the opportunity to rethink my outerwear. I no longer needed my heavy winter coat (goodbye snow, ice, and sub-freezing temperatures!), but I did need something more waterproof (hello rain!).
I wanted just One Coat that would work for fall, winter, and spring, and settled on a mid-weight raincoat with a removable quilted liner. I opted for one with a hood, to eliminate the need for a hat (and hopefully, an umbrella—optimistic, I know, but so far, so good).
As far as color goes, I normally default to black for outerwear. But since this would be my only coat, I decided on gray instead—mainly so it would work in spring as well as colder months.
I purchased it late last spring, and wore it on a few rainy days before summer. The real test began this fall, and I found it to be the perfect weight as the weather turned cooler. It’s also kept me dry in what’s turned out to be a particularly wet season. To be honest, I never expected to use the liner; but when temps hit freezing last month (it gets that cold here?!), I finally fastened it in. And I’m happy to say, it’s kept me nice and toasty.
So, let’s do a versatility analysis:
- Weather. As it turns out, it’s the ideal weight and warmth for my region (both with and without the liner). Will it work for those of you in Michigan or Minnesota? Not this particular one, but I did come across several others that were significantly warmer. Find the right one for your climate, and you’ll be all set.
- Color. Gray has worked out well—it goes with everything, doesn’t show a lot of dirt, and will be brighter and cheerier than black when spring arrives. Personally, I think gray has a sophistication all its own, and the slight sheen on this particular coat makes it a touch dressier than your average trench.
- Occasion. Okay, it’s not quite glamorous enough for a black-tie event—but in the rare event I attend something in a ball gown, I’ll leave it in the car and brave the cold for a few steps. I wouldn’t hesitate to wear it to dinner, a party, or the ballet; things are a bit more casual here in the PNW. And for everyday errands—grocery, post office, school run, coffee shop, walks around town—it’s perfect.
I have to say I’ve found a certain satisfaction in having a (nearly) empty coat closet. It’s lovely to have one less decision to make in the morning when I’m trying to get myself and a little one out the door. I just grab and go without a second thought.
Just a note here (which will apply to the entirety of this series): I’m not going to mention specific brand names in my post. I don’t want it to be misconstrued as an advertisement, product placement, or sponsorship of any kind. The items I talk about are ones that I’ve purchased (often after much research and deliberation), and I have no relationship with the companies who make or sell them. This series is not about items you should buy, but what features make them so versatile that you could potentially own just One. (That said, if you really, really, want to know about a specific product, feel free to email me and I’ll be happy to provide the information.) Whew…glad we got that out of the way.
So I’m happy to report that One Coat is turning out to be a rather easy accomplishment. I’ve been doing this particular challenge since May, but I see no problem in continuing another full year from now (and far beyond that). Of course, that’s in large part due to my lifestyle and climate. I’d love to hear from others around the country (and the world)—would One Coat work for you?