My old winter coat was a joke. I bought it on sale at a discount department store five years ago for around $70, and it has never really done what a winter coat is supposed to do. The wind whipped through it. The shell soaked up snow. The thin feather insulation constantly poked out.
Up until a few months ago, I’d never had the extra padding in my writer’s budget to dream of extra padding in my coat, let alone to purchase a new one. But then I had some unusual luck selling words. So when I came down with a cold one particularly chilly December morning, I boiled a cup of tea, blew my nose, wrapped myself in a blanket, and decided enough is enough. I’m 52 years old. If I’m lucky, I have another 30 years or more on this periodically frigid rock. Amortized over the course of what’s left of me, a well-made, long-lasting winter coat made both economic and health sense, I told myself.
I did a little research. Time and again, the Canada Goose Kensington came up as the 2018 editors’ choice for the best winter jacket for women. Yes, that Canada Goose—one of the most expensive coats out there, costing more than twice my first weekly salary in New York. There’s even a Tumblr called Canada Douche. Normally I scoff at the absurd excesses of luxury goods. But a Canada Goose jacket was not, I reasoned, a $250 Supreme sweatshirt that hipsters line up behind police-guarded barricades to purchase or a Birkin bag that starts at the price of a Nissan Versa. This was a quality winter coat made by a no-frills company whose first jackets, back in 1957, were meant for Canadian government employees who worked outside in extreme temperatures. It remains the outerwear of choice for researchers working in the Antarctic.