CSr (Daaad) needs a new coat. CSr has always had great taste, although I am of course biased, but the last few years his fashionister self has slipped a bit…quite a bit. Sorry darling but it’s true…
It’s not that CSr no longer cares about his appearance, on the contrary, in fact his cycling habit has kept him fighting fit…but we’re talking spandex right? And what grown man looks fashionable in spandex.
The truth is, instead of buying himself trousers or a new coat, CSr spends his spare time shopping for things like shin pads for C1 or researching used pianos for C2, for which I am eternally grateful and of course adore him…and I am not complaining…AT ALL.
BUT…it IS 6 degrees (Celsius) out there right now and the Musto windbreaker that got him through the mild autumn and any sailing fantasies along the way, just isn’t going to do...AT ALL. So it’s time to visit Regent Street.
I have made it no secret that I despise shopping. (A Fitting Place) But for CSr, it’s usually kinda fun. I think. At least that’s what I thought. But then I haven’t shopped for him in awhile…uh oh…bad wife. Actually, I think the last thing I bought for him was a coat…yes…but that was five years ago. Ooops…and it wasn’t Musto so maybe it was longer than that? Hmmm…
Anyway, I get it now and CSr has had his eye on a Woolrich parka coat. Okay. That sounds good. Woolrich, an American brand, founded in Pennsylvania and known for their history and craftmanship with American work wear. I like it! But wait…CSr tells me it is the Italian Woolrich. HUH?!?! I start to argue like a Textile Workers Union member that Woolrich IS and always WILL BE, an American brand, but CSr stumps me with actually knowing the name of the Italians that supposedly ‘OWN’ the brand now.
I am as interested in sorting out Woolrich’s SEO problems as I am shopping for a bra, so I jump on the bus and head over to their ‘flagship’ shop on Brewer Street.
So now it is 10am on a Friday morning, off Regent Street, closer to Piccadilly but probably technically in Soho, and the shop is not even open…despite a 10am opening hour posted on the door.
Now I am cold.
I pop in around the corner to Nordic Bakery, which has the most divine cinnamon buns and delicious coffee and I think I might stay here for a bit and forget all about CSr’s coat. Although, however divine it may be, I don’t think any layer of cinnamon, butter and sugar will satisfy CSr now that he wants, and needs, more substantial clothing…so I know that my time here is limited.
At 10:15 I return to Woolrich and have a look through their range of Arctic Parka coats. I’m a bit confused by the ‘US M’ on some coats and the ‘EU L‘ on others…as well as some that say ‘Made in China’, and others that say ‘Made in Canada’. Hmmm…where are all the Made in USA?!?!?
I take a closer look at the ‘greeny grey’ or the ‘greyish black’ that I have chosen and notice that 3 IDENTICAL coats are completely and utterly different shades of what colour… I’m not exactly sure. It’s difficult to see from my photo but there is no consistency and/or uniformity in the product whatsoever.
Can you tell?
I start to ask some questions and what I think is a polite inquisitive discussion is met with surly responses and lackadaisacal interest. Normally, I would walk out of a shop at this point but I want CSr to be warm this weekend. The manager is somewhat resistant to my inquiry but I persevere with my seemingly innocent questions and eventually pull the wool out of Woolrich on Brewer Street’s eyes.
So, if you are even considering buying one of Woolrich’s coats, you should know that the Italian company ‘bought the heritage’, which suggests that they bought a license to manufacture and distribute the brand, as they saw fit. The shop on Brewer Street is apparently independently owned but the Italians supply the goods. The Chinese and Canadian factories? …well, I don’t know anything about them but now you know there are different makes.
That label there that talks about the ‘American brand’ from, ‘EST. 1830‘, states that the brand draws on the ‘ORIGINS’ of American sportswear…blah blah blah… ie., nothing to do with the original American brand…REALLY…and next to it, ‘Made In Canada’.
So now, at this point, I am having serious second thoughts…but it is cold outside…and the shop is warm and…CSr does need a coat afterall.
…back home and Christmas has come early.
CSr loves the coat and is not AT ALL interested in my secret shopper investigations.
It looks and feels gorgeous on him and thank goodness there is no more spandex…at least during this cold spell. In fact, I don’t think I’ll even glance at THAT dad (That dad) now with my hubby looking so snug and rugged.
Lamb’s Wool, compliments of recipewise
- 1 litre of cider (or real ale)
- 600ml double (heavy) cream
- 50g ground almonds
- 4 small cooking apples, cored (Bramley apples)
- 4 egg yolks
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg (more for a garnish)
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 150g brown sugar (demerara)
- optional: toasted flaked almonds for a garnish
additional optional: walk around Brewer Street with or without a warm Arctic Parka coat and pop into Nordic Bakery for a hot coffee. Divine.