Coat shopping was an event at our house. Mom took us to Jordan Marsh or Filenes on fall Saturdays that always seemed to have newly crisp and clean air, a hint of what was to come. We tried on eons of coats; some plain, some fancy, some with large leather buttons or brass military ones. If Mom got confused, there always seemed to be a nice attractive mature saleslady with glasses on a chain around her neck, pencil in her chignon and thick charge book nearby. She helped our arms get in and out of all kinds of sleeves, buttoned us, and led us to the illuminated three way mirror. We could get just one coat each so it had to have room to grow and be sturdy enough to last into the next year. Salesladies understood that coat shopping was serious business too.
In first grade, Mom found our winter coats at a boutique in a quaint nearby village. Fortunately, there were two as my sister and I always had to match. They were green tweed coats with plain rounded crew necks. But that was ok because each had an attached scarf with fringe. How much fun we had tossing those scarves over our shoulders. The saleslady really enjoyed seeing how delighted Mom was to have found TWO identical coats in the same size with charming attached scarves. They both cocked their heads, arms casually akimbo, and smiled as they watched my sister and I in the three-way posing and twirling, scarves flying. To extend Mom's pride (she still talks about those coats), my sister and I did them justice: we wore the hats that my grandmother knit to go with them.
I've concluded that unless I want to spend over $1,000 or possible up to $2,000, I may not find my high quality, warm, detailed, lined 100% wool coat. But ...there just has to be something, somewhere. Perhaps I WILL keep searching and peeking under hems for that great silky lining. I'm not sure I'll find one with a whimsical attached scarf to toss though. I would however, settle for a helpful sales clerk.