It all started with a linen jacket.
Years ago I bought a cheap but very comfortable linen sportcoat at The GAP. It wasn’t fancy, but I liked it. I got to wear it maybe a dozen times or so that I recall. Then something nasty and sticky and red — maybe barbecue sauce, maybe ketchup, maybe the blood of inspiration trickling from my forehead — stained the front right flap.
Despite efforts to have the stain removed by professional cleaners, the jacket never came clean. I suspect the first cleaner might have treated the stain improperly and ended up setting it rather than removing it.
Since then I have often lamented my ruined linen jacket. A few days ago, I became determined to replace it before the Shore Leave convention.
When my wife heard that I planned to go to Macy’s on a shopping expedition to find a new linen jacket, she recommended that our friend (and next-door neighbor) Brenda go with me. Brenda works for a company that makes costumes and suits for Broadway shows. She is a professional shopper, costume-maker, and dresser of people. I felt fortunate to have her along to guide my search.
We met this evening at 5pm in the Manhattan branch of Macy’s. We got home at around 10pm after a second excursion to the Queens Mall branch of the store.
I found my new linen jacket. Sort of. It’s 70% wool, 20% silk, and 10% linen. But it feels right, and it looks right. It was such a great jacket, I actually bought two, so that I would keep one as a spare.
Of course, thanks to Brenda’s expert counsel, I also returned home with a new Ralph Lauren black suit; a DKNY black sportcoat with a subtle black-on-black pinstripe that catches the light beautifully; and two new dress shirts with French cuffs that will necessitate a future purchase of cufflinks (something to help my wife round out her shopping list come Yule.)
I guess I should count myself fortunate that we managed to avoid buying me any new shoes.