I always wanted a Carhartt coat, even when I didn’t live in the boonies where it would pay to…well, pay the extra and actually get one. I’ve worn through two canvas coats since I got here – granted one came from Salvation Army and lasted me eight years and the other was a neighbor’s cast-off that apparently just wasn’t up to the task, but what I really wanted all that time was a coat like the big boys wear. I figured this time I was going to save my nickels until I could go into a store and actually buy a new good quality chore coat. Circumstances of the past ten years have shown that the cost would be justified, and once before I died I would actually own a Carhartt coat totally without guilt.
A couple of weeks ago a Generous Reader decided to short circuit that process and just send me one. I appreciated the offer, duh, but was a little doubtful that this was going to end well. I’ve had bad experiences buying clothes and boots online, and I kind of fall into the cracks between “medium” and “large.” And then when it seemed like things had gone a little wrong, it worked out to be just what needed to happen.
Last week Landlady came up with a bunch of care packages (thank you all,) conspicuously not including a coat. Turns out it arrived at her place just in time to not make the trip. Well, that was okay, because that particular time, for the first time in six years, I was going to come back with her. And sure enough, it was there waiting for me.
It was size large, and it fit me like a tent. Seriously I looked like a six-year-old in his dad’s coat. Also it was the kind you usually see, which is quilted for some serious winter weather. We get pretty mean temperature swings here; nights are very cold, but the days rarely stay below freezing from dawn to dusk. I was disappointed – and I’m also not sophisticated enough in the art of buying things to know what to do about it. Fortunately: a) Generous Reader had bought the coat at a widespread retail chain AND thoughtfully included a gift receipt, and b) Landlady knows how to deal with situations like this.
So in the course of my week in the city, we drove to one of these stores. But this city is located in a region where winter is just another word for “less hot.” The store sold Carhartt merch, but not coats.
Landlady, bless her heart, went out of her way on the trip back up to the Gulch. We stopped at one of these stores in the big town about 50 miles away, which (I phoned ahead and asked) did indeed sell Carhartt coats. And they were perfectly pleased to exchange the one I had with me. Joy! Alas, this was in the first week in January, which you might have noticed is very shortly after Christmas. They were having a sale and trying to sell off as many of their already picked-over coats as possible, and what they had left wasn’t very encouraging.
I went through everything they had and came up with three medium-size coats in various styles. That was it. Two didn’t fit well at all. The third fit as if the Kingsman Tailors had bespoken the hell out of it just for me. The lining was a little heavier than I’m used to, but it was a cold night. I practically sprinted with it back to the counter.
The guy dealing with me at this store was nice as can be (you know I’m not real comfortable dealing with strangers) and made the whole process simple and pleasant. And since the Lair is now staying warmer than it has in previous winters I’m not really layering up the way I always used to, so I think probably the heavier lining will turn out to be a blessing.
Fits great in the body, with the shoulders and arms full enough that I can actually move them without the whole thing shifting around on me, but not so long they hang down over my hands. Double zipper pull so you can get to your belt gear without a striptease.
I Like This Coat. Thank you very much!