I know that, as a short and stockily built woman, the last thing I should be wearing is a massive swing jacket of thick, nubby wool which is topped off with a luxuriant faux-fur collar.
When I saw it hanging in the World shop, I loved the black and red wool fabric and oversized red and gold buttons - but the fur collar wasn't detachable and the cape-like silhouette was going to make me look like the dwarf in Don't Look Back (old movie starring Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland, if you're under 35).
So I tried on a different coat, which was similarly floaty but too long and had giant heart-shaped pockets that didn't open at the top (they unzipped at the sides). And then, because I had nothing to lose I decided to try on the gorgeous red coat with the neck-shortening faux-fur collar and the widening cape shape.
World is not a shop I enter frequently, it being a designer shop where a skirt at 50% discount will still cost over $200 (though it will be beautiful and look like nothing else on the street). So I was unprepared for the sweetly attentive saleswoman, an older woman who knew how to talk me into buying it. She told me how much the original price was.
Suddenly the fur collar was not at all irritating, the voluminous folds "draped beautifully". I lusted after it.
Dear reader, I bought the coat.
I had to - it was, like, 60% off and a World garment.
Of course, by the time I had got it home and tried it on again, I didn't look quite as classy in it as I'd remembered. But it is still a beautiful coat which looks really special and is wonderfully warm. I don't care that it's not completely flattering, because if I only ever wore what was flattering my wardrobe would be full of black scoopneck long-sleeve t-shirts, black tunic dresses, black tights, black shoes and a black princess-line coat (which, even though a common item, would be expensive because I'd have to have it altered to fit me). Actually, that does describe most of my wardrobe - except for the coat.
When I wear my new coat I am reminded of when I was a teenager accompanying my mother to a shop in town that specialised in real fur, leather and suede coats and jackets. We went more than once and at one point she probably had about four coats of different styles, from that one shop (she always managed to bargain the retailer down to get a good price). While most of her coats have been passed on to others, she still has one coat which gets lots of wear now that she's elderly and feels the cold. I'm just glad no-one has tried to throw paint on her.