Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Raincoat (Fashion Notes)

Go to buy a raincoat. A serviceable raincoat. For me. I have an old grey one I have been extremely fond of but, well, RIP raincoat.

It is raining.

Go into several likely places (John Lewis, Debenham, Marks & Spencer, Top Shop - etc...). No raincoats. Not really raincoats. Vaguely rain-coatish jackets, vaguely military-style anoraks, nothing below lower bum length. Mostly warm and lined.  It is muggy and warm outside. No proper raincoats.

But this is England, where rain is obligatory on any day with a D in its name.

Not one raincoat anywhere. Not even one. Ask whether they sell umbrellas. Confused smile. It dawns on them I am now in light joking mode. What larks, eh Pip!

Venture into a kind of countryman outfitter's. Only ladies have raincoats here. Gentlemen can choose something that makes them look like the Grim Reaper on a particularly stormy day. I try it on. I smile into the mirror. Still Grim.

Finally into a very old-fashioned Gents' Outfitters. Served by extremely obliging salesman who treats me like a gent. May I bring you this? May I bring you that? Raincoats. 

Now I have a raincoat and a jacket. I am a gent.

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