If you haven’t got round to getting a parka then I’m here to tell you that you can do so without fear of being a try-hard, or of outlaying some serious money only for it to go out of fashion.
Parkas, like cosy boots (UGG, Celt boot or whatever) aren’t going away. My husband and his friend Alan note a date in the unofficial socio-cultural calendar called “Tit Monday”, which is the day of the year when it is warm enough for girls to leave their coats, sweaters or whatever at home or on their desk chairs and venture out unencumbered by such outerwear, thus ensuring an embarrassment of tits on the the street and in the park at lunchtime.
I note a similar landmark day in the calendar, called “Parka Saturday”, which is the first weekend of the year when it is cold and grim enough, (not just warm and wet, like the whole of October), to merit a Parka, not just a raincoat. Parkas are no longer a proper fashion item, just a staple. Like a navy blazer or a black dress.
This parka I’m wearing here isn’t very special. I bought it in a panic one absolutely freezing January about two years ago off asos.com. It was surprisingly expensive, but it has stood me in good stead. I’m pleased I didn’t chuck it out all those times I was thinking about chucking it out. If I was I was re-buying this item I might consider spending some even more serious money on something I considered very beautiful – as you’re only ever going to buy one parka let’s face it. I really like this one from Claudie Pierlot, which is £600.
Or a more modest outlay would be for this one from Superdry. Superdry is my Moncler.
This one from Jack Wills is also pretty nice and not crazily overpriced at £149.
The most important thing about a parka is to indulge your inner Tiny Fragile Freezing Princess. The TFFP is the girl who goes about swathed in cashmere and coats and beanies and cosy jumpers, always pulling her sleeves down over her hands and her black, faintly-emo, painted fingernails.
The TFFP is so tired, feeling so fragile. So chilly, maybe a cold coming on, she says, as she picks a box of echinacea or maybe a weeny bottle of Rescue Remedy out of her giant, overstuffed tote. So fragile… she needs to protect herself with her long hair and chunky snoods and giant duvet parka from all the people who just stare at her and want a piece of her. She has her hair permanently tucked inside her roll neck or her coat. You know the kind of girl I mean. To truly be a TFFP is to be a dickhead, but a TFFP lurks inside all of us. And a parka is an essential accessory.
Now moving on to the UGG biker 2.0. I went about all last year in the UGG Grandle, which is one of UGG’s answers to a biker boot.
I have freakishly skinny calves, which sounds like a good thing, but they are not in proportion to my thighs, so my legs start wide at the top and then whittle down to nothing. My legs are not shapely, is what I’m saying. It also means I can’t find boot that doesn’t make me look like I’ve got my foot inside a flower pot. OH BOO HOO I hear you all saying, but it just means that these UGG boots are the only ones I can really wear as they roughly fit round my unappealing, stick-like shins.
I’ve spotted too many people in Grandles recently so I treated myself to their updated biker, the Simmens, £140 (pictured above) and below.
Not quite the boot of the TFFP – but then I’m not that much of a dickhead.
Would honestly never have considered Superdry but it seems they have a lovely range of coats and not at all expensive. Thanks for the tip!
The Olsen sisters are the ultimate TFFPs. I have a parka which I call my ‘protest coat’ as it makes me look like I am going on a march against something. It’s also not waterproof at all which is bloody annoying. Hence I never wear it.
yes exactly. the olsen sisters. classic TFFPs
Just bought gorgeous parka from Toast. Been eyeing it up for a couple of years and only regret is it’s been to bloody warm to wear it.
I don’t own a Parka! I have loads of waterproofs, good ones for general use and cheap ones for the garden, biker jackets… I’ve always thought being small a Parka would swamp me, probably because I buy everything big, I’d be lost, or Kenny.
With you on the boots, I have small calves, I LOVE boots! I ride so have lots and lots of boots, from my DM’s to Jones Shoemaker, The Shoe Tailor, but they all shout our “Wide” as if it’s a really must have thing. I haven’t managed to find my perfect boot, narrow leg, wide fitting EE, knee high, small heel..
I’ve eyed up parkas in the past but quite a few are waxed cotton (at Boden at least) which sounds very similar to my Barbour. Are they basically a Barbour with a furry hood?
I’ve never seen a waxed parka…
Susa Coleman says
You are my answer to keeping warm in the ‘great white north’ otherwise known as Canada. Love your writing, your posts are my morning laugh!
god I think you need special equipment to keep north in Canada don’t you??
Hello Esther, what’s your wet weather coat strategy? Is there such a thing as a nice waterproof? It will probably rain for the next five months in the West Country and I’ve got a really boring old Seasalt coat that whilst waterproof does make me look like I’d have an Ordnance Survey in my pocket and that’s just depressing on a day when it’s already pissing down. Thanks. p.s. would need a massive hood. xx
I’m afraid for proper rain, Seasalt is pretty much it. In light or patchy rain you can get away with a leather jacket and an umbrella or trilby. But if we’re talking driving rain, I’m afraid style sort of goes out of the window.I rather like this from Barbour, as close to stylish I think waterproof stuff gets… alas no hood: http://www.barbour.com/uk/all-collections/womens/waterproof-jackets/barbour-straiton-waterproof-jacket/p/LWB0355BK1110
Thank you Esther, I like the trilby idea and that Barbour is a good find. Perhaps there’s money to be made in designing a waterproof coat that doesn’t make the heart sink. If I ever find anything more exciting I’ll let you know.
do, please – I need all the eyes and ears on the internet ground I can get x
Hampshire mummy says
Can you get away with wearing a parka if you are a size 12-14 and thus far too large to be a TFFP? Or do you risk moving into greedy Eskimo territory ??
nope. parkas can make even the chummiest of chums feel like a TFFP
I have a waxed Barbour parka which I love and I believe it’s supposed to be waterproof although i have not tested it in a heavy downpour as yet…..
I love your ugg boots and after seeing this post I have ordered myself a pair along with some leather look leggings – you are my style guru!
The TFFP has anaemia. By the way, in Australia, where we invented the ugg boot, we don’t wear them outside. Strictly an inside slipper wearing shoe. Very declasse to wear them outdoors.
You are aware though that this UGG boot I’m talking about is designed to be worn outside? It is waterproof with a rubber sole. It’s déclassé to wear the original squidgy UGG outside in England, too. We’re not complete animals you know
i do like those Ugg boots. I’m still wearing my Hudson boots from last year and I’m so pleased with the way they’ve lasted. They’re not waterproof but are very sturdy and make a pleasing solid clomp when you walk. And they’re very comfy.