The Coat Complex: Guest Blogger Aliya S. King

Facebook is amazing. Beside being able to stalk your high school nemesis and celebrate the success of your elementary buddy, FB also lets you into the mind of those you admire as well, if they accept your friend request. Aliya S. King, is an amazing writer/blogger, my FB buddy and friend in my head. The lovely Ms. King is from New Jersey and along with working with my favorite recording artist EVER, Faith Evans, act like you know, Aliya is also a fellow BCWF, Black Chick with Freckles- duh! Recently, I replied to one of Aliya's FB updates which led to a very successful fashion adventure. It started with subzero weather, my love for coats and ended with bliss in Bloomingdale's . I'll let Aliya tell you the rest.

The Coat Complex
By Aliya S. King

Coats are weird.

I’ve always felt like it’s impossible to be comfortable, warm and stylish in a coat. You get the warm puffy coat and you look like an idiot when you wear a skirt. You put on the dressy wool coat and you freeze your tail off bustling through the city teetering on heels.
I don’t know how to shop for coats. (I don’t know how to shop for anything. But that’s another story.)

But coats really puzzle me. I can’t afford to have coats for every occasion. Which means, they’re have been weddings I’ve attended wearing a puffy ski coat. Not cool.

The coats in my closet right now:
1. A pink corduroy blazer from a Ralph Lauren outlet in North Carolina. It’s not really a coat. But when I put a sweatshirt underneath, it functions as a coat. Kinda. But not really.
2. A black wool dress coat from Macy’s. Very basic. Very blah. Very itchy.

3. I have a bright pink trench that I love. But it’s not for winter.
4. Blue swing spring coat. Again, it’s cold outside.

My coat game is pathetic. On the first super cold day of the year, I found myself freezing my freckles off in my pink trench.

It was time to buy a winter coat. Instantly, I was filled with dread. I saw myself wandering around aimlessly in a busy department store, trying to tear huge coats off the rack to try them on, only to find them attached with that wire. And no one would be around to help me. And then, once I found a coat, I’d realize that now I only had one coat. And I’d have to try a second coat for dressier outfits.
And then, I’d throw all the coats on the floor and running out of the store in tears.
That’s exactly what happened in 2008.

So this year, I had a mission. I would go to ONE store. I would KNOW what jacket I was going to buy BEFORE I left the house. I would find ONE coat that could be worn with both jeans and dresses. And this coat would be WARM.

I did research on the Internet and I found nothing. I was just about to give up when I decided to throw my question out into my Facebook/Twitter family.
My girl Elayne is super fly. So I checked out the Moncler coats. Cute. Puffy. Warm. Shiny. Not sure if it would work over a dress. But still, pretty darn cute.

Um. This coat is 775.00

Elayne, holla at your girl. I need to know what business you’re in. I can’t pay no 750.00 for a coat!


I was back to the drawing board.

My girl Dylan made a suggestion:

This is at Nordstrom. I like! Looks warm. But still stylish. And it was on sale for 109.00! But something about the neck was throwing me off. Were those straps from the hood to the chest area? Was it a real hood or a faux hood? Did I want a hood? Not really. I tend to drive with my coat on and the hood bothers me.

I was still planning on checking this one out.

And then, I checked out a link from Shaunya.

I clicked on the link. The heavens opened and angels began playing on harps.

It was long! It was a North Face which meant it was warm. It was puffy but not too puffy. I liked the way it didn’t make you feel like the Michelin man. No hood. Good. But still a high collar for warmth. And it was shiny. I like shiny.

I gulped at the price: 299.99.

But this was it. This was my coat.

I zipped over to Bloomies, went right to the coat rack and tried it on.

Yaaaay Shaunya! I wanted to hug this unknown woman who’d led me to The Perfect Coat. It had everything I wanted. And it felt like me.

Up to the register. And this joint was on sale! 224.00 instead of 299.00 Score!!

I bow down to the genius of Shaunya. Now, I need her to find me a super warm hat for a chick with big hair that doesn’t look like…what I have on in this picture. Let’s go Shaunya!

Aliya S. King is the co-author of Keep The Faith, with platinum-certified recording artist Faith Evans, published in 2008 by Grand Central Books. The memoir, which landed on the New York Times Bestseller’s list, was also published in paperback in 2009.

Aliya’s first novel, PLATINUM, will be published in July, 2010 by Simon and Schuster.
mathsl said...

Lovin and feelin every word. Sadly a coat like that wouldn't work for me I have a little to much in the back area. But you rock it and do your thing. I also think the one with the collar was nice but just a little strange.Lots of warm stylish days to you.

African American Mom said...

Love this coat! Love the first one two!

Jovi said...

Love the coat but won't work for me. I carry weight in my waist. Does that mean I have a belly?

mizzsuga said...

cute.i dont have the height to rock a coat that length but its cute nonetheless.

jamyla / oyin mama said...

BCWF's unite!! :o)

the coat is fabulous. stay warm out there!

Unknown said...

I really like the coats at the top, but I'm not really feeling the puffer coats. They just don't really flatter any figure, but I bet they're very warm.