In the Bay Area, it’s not as easy as you might think. Most of the time, we have no need for heavy outerwear, and even when it’s in the 40s, a surprising number of residents run around in shorts and a tee. Well, maybe shorts and a sweatshirt.
When a son needed such a jacket for an upcoming trip to NYC, I was coaxed along because, ‘Mom, I don’t know what to look for.’
Twenty-somethings usually don’t make requests like this. As it turned out, I desperately needed to get away from the horrific cough of another family member, whose lungs have been shaken, stirred and turned inside out these past many days.
After discovering that Macy’s and other such only carry lightweights, we wound up at Any Mountain. My son announced that he had a moral obligation not to wear Michelin-man down jackets. That culled out most of the choices, which included camouflage snowboarding jackets with fur-lined hoods. There was only one possibility, but it was on the pricey side. A quick check on the iPhone to Amazon yielded the same for a bit less, but not in the right size.
By this time, it was determined that the true test of a suitable jacket was the amount of sweat produced after zipping it up.
Exit another store. I don’t know how my kids got to be such picky shoppers. I quit taking them with me when they found that hiding under the revolving clothes racks was great fun. I always thought that guys made quick work of shopping. My other son can spend the better part of an afternoon in one shoe store.
On to Burlington Coats. Not my favorite store. I used to find things for my mom in there. I hung back, looking for hydrating shampoos and girlie socks at The Rack. When I caught up with my son, I had a movie moment, the kind where the camera pulls back to reveal the character is surrounded by endless desert or trees or crowds. In this case, he was in the middle of racks and racks of coats, lightweight, heavyweight, overcoats, peacoats, trenchcoats. And he was sweating.
We emerged about an hour later. He had his urban jacket in a tasteful, manly color, all lined with lots of down, but concealed in such a way that he only looked as if he’d had a really filling dinner.
He saved $200.