By Mired In The Grey

Boredom is a fickle temptress. She can drive men to the brink of insanity, or she can convince them that writing tepid, vacuous articles about coats is an awesome idea.

As you may or may not have noticed (depending on your geographical proximity to Africa) winter has taken a huge, steaming dump and wiped it across a large swath of North America. Subsequently, the resultant ridiculous conditions have allowed for me to wear every coat that currently inhabits my front-hall closet. To kill time before my wife gets home from work, I have decided to rank said coats as a service to all jacket wearing members of society. Except The Masters winners, as they can fuck RIGHT off. How many of you out there can say you have three coats to wear?

What's that? all – ALL of you??

Anyhoo.

The first jacket up for review is a black, ¾ length offering from Mexx.

Full disclosure, I bought this coat because of the faux-fur that lined the outer brim of the detachable hood, and cared nothing for what it offered in terms of winter protection or benefit. That being said, what it did offer in terms of winter protection and benefit was plenty. The outer shell is a blend of polyester and some sort of 'non-textile part of animal origin' whatever the Good God Almighty that means. It is completely water resistant, and the material acts as a wind repellant. This jacket is so cozy, that I often fall asleep in mid-stride, but that's the risk you take with a lining that mixes down and feathers. I am 100% confident that there was enough heat contained within my jacket to power a locomotive full of Confederate troops from Antietam to Appotamatox. Oddly enough, the main issue I had with this coat revolved around self-confidence. I would sometimes catch glimpses of myself in a passing mirror or storefront and it often looked like I was wearing a ladies coat. Which is fine, but if I'm going to be wearing a ladies coat it had better be mink. Also, after the first wash, my faux-fur hood liner transformed from awesome and chic into an opossum with hair like Bob Ross. I usually reserve this coat for shoveling snow under cover of night.

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Verdict: Fantastic protection from the cold and winter elements - rain, sleet and snow proof. If you have no self-confidence or you care what people think of you and are not comfortable with your masculinity, then avoid this number at all cost.

Our second contestant is a crass and sassy, black mid-length winter coat from GAP.

I apologize for the picture size, but I was doing this while watching squirrels fight over a piece of ice outside. It's fucking ice guys, there's enough to share.

It is wool, with a lining that couldn't keep a sneeze from coming through. I'm not sure why I own a wool coat in a country where it precipitates in some shape or form, constantly. I usually wear this coat when it is somewhere between -5 and 10 degrees Celsius. Anywhere over 10 and I'll sweat myself into a methodone clinic, and anywhere south of -5 is inviting hypothermia in for an iced tea. This coat is the bane of my existence. Like an ex that you return to out of desperation, it knows you need it, and it laughs and laughs as you whimper and cower in a corner, disgusted in what you've become. It also attracts hair like a barbershop vacuum. I constantly look like I have been in a donnybrook with a late 70's porno.

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Verdict: There is absolutely no reason I should still have this coat in my closet, other than to serve as a stark reminder of what not to buy ever again. If you like showing up to work looking like someone dumped a bucket of cat-hair and barley soup on you, by all means buy this coat. It's tired, worn out and smelly. It's essentially the Scott Hall of winter apparel.

Lastly, our final entrant – the Foxtech FX-180.

Let it be known that I own the Grey version of this coat, however as testament to it's popularity, I could not find one picture of it in a google search. And I didnt feel like taking a picture of my actual coat in my office, because really, who stands up in their office and takes photos of their clothing? Other than Karl Lagerfeld.

The FX is an abbreviation for FOX I imagine, which lends credence to its already Stallonian levels of badassery. This coat has a devil-may-care attitude and it shows it. It has a metallic emblem of a fox on the breast and some sort of shiny, metal doodad on the sleeve. This is a jacket that you can wear whilst participating in all the requisite winter sports: Snowboarding, Skiing, and Snow-Blowing all your snow onto your neighbour's driveway hoping he doesn't notice. And if he does, look at your driveway quizzically, look at his, back to yours, furrow your brow and deny the whole thing. This is a jacket solely designed to take winter, grab it by its stupid fucking pony-tail and toss it down a flight of stairs, as you triumphantly kiss Mrs. Winter on the mouth. I could wear this jacket and stand behind a jet engine on a -40 degree day in mid-January and my Pina Colada and I wouldn't even flinch. It also has a caricature of a Fox on the pocket so when you walk into bars, people know that you're either a snowboarder or someone who purchased a jacket at Marshalls because you didn't feel like spending more than $200 on a winter jacket. It may come as a surprise to you, but I pitch a tent in the latter camp.

Verdict: This is a coat that is so dependable I would let it babysit my children, probably for an entire weekend. It is completely water proof, it breathes where it needs to, and it keeps the biting cold out. If you're trying to present an image of responsibility and charisma then maybe you should check out the GAP wool coat smart guy. But, if you're living in the past and trying to reclaim or hold onto some sort of youth, and/or former glory AND you don't like being cold - this is the coat for you.

Stay tuned for my next installment: 'Sock It To Me', where I rate and discuss all 34 pairs of socks that I own. Actually it's 34 1/2 as I've lost the partner to a black sock.

Mired In The Grey is currently employed in the Creative Field. Whatever that means. Actually he knows what it means. It means he makes no money, and fights stray dogs in alleyways for food and/or sympathy depending on the wager. Also, an avid supporter of PETA