Friday, October 14, 2011

Minimizing: 5 coats streamlined to 1

In addition to still having too much stuff, I really had TOO many coats. Living in Minnesota my whole live seemed to justify my "need" for multiple jackets and coats. It's true, the weather in Minnesota can change on you in an instant. It gets pretty hot and really cold, and everywhere in between.

I've yet to experience winter on the east coast, but I hear winters are milder. And no matter where I live, I have no good reason for having 5 different coats. I decided to streamline down to one.

First of all, each coat that I owned had its good and bad qualities. I realized I was keeping each one for a specific purpose. So I figured out what those purposes were and used them as my Requirements list while shopping for ONE new coat.

1. Red & Black Winter Coat
Its best quality: warm

2. Green Furry Coat
Its best quality: cute

3. Leather Jacket
Its best quality: water resistant

4. Pink Fleece Jacket (reversible)
Its best quality: lightweight

5. Peacoat
Its best qualities: dressy and long

So, my new perfect coat should be:
  • warm
  • cute
  • water resistant
  • lightweight
  • dressy and long

So what did I find?

I chose this coat: Columbia Sportswear Aravis II Long Interchange Parka - Waterproof, 3-in-1. As the name implies, it is waterproof and long. It is a 3-in-1 coat so the inside lightweight fleece layer zips out of the waterproof outer layer, or you can wear them together for a nice warm winter coat. I got it in all black, so that fulfills my dressy requirement, and it is a parka - so the length is long.

It's not as cute as a fashion jacket, but I don't care about that. I could go ga-ga over fashionable jackets all day, but they're not as good at multi-tasking as this coat is, and that's what is most important to me now. It was difficult to find the perfect all-in-one coat that met all my requirements. I have high standards. But spending hours shopping online for this coat made me really think about what mattered most to me. Of course I was concerned with price, but also value and quality. And I think that's something so many consumers often overlook. We're so captured by that cute frilly mustard-colored jacket that's on sale at the store, we just HAVE to have it. NOW. It's not until we get home that we realize it doesn't match with anything, it's not warm enough, it's too short, too tight, etc, etc. I enjoy taking the time to search out a product that I really want and being picky. I'd rather spend more money and time finding that perfect coat that I'm happy with and will last for years than impulsively buying something that I wear only a few times and then have to worry about finding something new.

We're such a throw-away culture. Here's a new idea: how about we buy stuff that we LOVE? Only buy what we NEED, and make it LAST. You'd do it with a car-- you probably would only buy a car if you NEEDED it since they're expensive, you'd only say yes to one that you LOVE, and you'd try hard to make it LAST. Let's treat all our stuff that way!

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