Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Jacket

By Chuck
I finally have a sports coat that will allow me to blend into any environment -- from casual to mildly dressy. There was some history to this.

Most sports stores with clothing do not have the casual dresser in mind; they are catering to sports types who might occasionally want to make a modest impression. We tried REI, North Face, Magellan's Travel Supplies and Holloway Travel -- to no avail. We did find a "dark sage" jacket at the Travelsmith Outlet store that fit my budget; but they only had XX sizes in stock. I thought it looked cheap; but, I liked the style; and, it had TEN pockets, some of them hidden, was washable, and only cost $75! (One youthful fantasy had been to own a fishing jacket with dozens of pockets!)

We ordered a medium, online; it arrived from the factory with creases in the material that we were convinced would not come out with a washing; also, the sleeves were too long. I ordered a replacement; it arrived in due course; I went to our ace tailor, Han, to shorten them. There were some minor creases in the material that we thought a washing would cure. But, the lining began to pull apart due to the washing. Annoyed, I finally managed to get Travelsmith to send another replacement and to credit me for the tailor's work. But, by the time it arrived, we had decided that the secret pockets could not offset the poor quality of the jacket, and we returned it, too. To their credit, a prompt refund was issued.

We finally decided to try the Men's Wearhouse. Gregory, the wardrobe consultant, quickly found just the right sports coat; it was a trifle long in the sleeves and only had 6 pockets - 3 on the inside - none of them hidden. But, life is not perfect; and, it did look and feel terrific, is made out of microfiber and wrinkle and stain resistant. $99 on sale. I wore it to Rob and Anna Iannacone's wedding reception last weekend. I did take it off before we ate; I'd hate to ruin a new jacket with food spills on the first outing, even with a claim of stain resistance.

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