The Long, Slim Black Coat that Covers a Multitude of Sins
In the world of wardrobe woes, there’s nothing worse than feeling like you need to upgrade absolutely everything you own (while throwing a Toddlers and Tiaras-worthy temper tantrum in front of your closet). Let Mattie Kahn be your spirit guide: Her first year in the workforce has involved re-capping Girls, covering this crazy election, and figuring out the key pieces of her #adulting style. Welcome to Grown-Ass Dressing.
I work at a website that champions women and culture—though, ironically, because I cover this godforsaken election, I often find myself writing about Donald Trump. Because of my subject matter, every once in awhile, a last-minute invitation to a very serious and very important event pings into my inbox. Like the Kardashians (albeit less financially savvy), politics never sleeps.
When contemplating my RSVP, my thought process tends to go like this: I scrutinize the details, decide that, yes, I should be there, glance down at my outfit, and realize I am wearing a pair of silk jacquard shorts. They are, let me just say, incredibly chic. But still! There are limits on how you can dress to go bear witness to the circus that is our political system, and I try to draw the line at glorified knickers.
But what’s a girl to do? Probably, keep a backup pair of trousers at her desk. But while I lack that kind of foresight, I do own a coat that possesses magical transformative powers. I got it last year, and it’s a sleek, black, wool, step towards a “grown-up wardrobe.” The coat covers my calves and most of whatever I have on, which means it can turn even athleisure into a political party-appropriate ensemble. I can pair it with white sneakers and, frankly, pass for a distant Olsen relative. Sometimes, I just sling it over my shoulders to let a room know: I have places to be. I am a busy woman. I don’t even have time to put my arms in my sleeves. Sometimes, I scrape my hair into a bun and wear it like a gown. And once, I yanked it over a fashion-y sweatshirt to go interview Cecile Richards. And guess what happened next: In a blaze of incandescent glory, she schooled me on women’s reproductive healthcare and then said, “Wow, that's a great coat.”