My Giant Norma Kamali Coat: A Way Of Life

Have you ever missed out on comparing life notes with a kind-of twin? I just did. I was on West 57th street and wrapped in my cozy black arctic-ready Norma Kamali sleeping bag coat that makes me look like stacked truck tires. More important it creates my own private warming climate even in sub- zero temperatures. The coat is more than fashion, it’s a way of life. It disdains beauty for warmth. Oddly I’ve only seen one other person wearing it.

The meeting with my kind-of twin almost occurred in front of a white leather sofa in Lee’s Art Supply window. I was suddenly standing face to face with another warm bulky black sleeping bag coat belted high on someone who looked like a chunky, brown haired, lip-gloss wearing, comrade-in-sensible-clothing. Her black rubber-like coat had a luxurious sheen that marked it as new. I stopped short causing a rear collision. Alas I don’t think she saw me or my coat. I didn’t accost her–mostly because the man I was walking with hates it when I talk to strangers (one of my favorite  Manhattan street sports) I wonder what might have transpired had I given her a thumbs up and a hello.

Here are a few questions and answers we might have shared.

Susan: When did you buy your arctic treasure?

Comrade-In-Sleeping-Bag-Coat:  I was going to Maine in January 2011 and I’ve never regretted spending hundreds of dollars. What about you? When did you buy yours?

Susan: I bought mine in 1981 and have been buying other kinds of coats for years to replace this gem–to no avail. Nothing is as warm.  I don’t care what it looks like. (She eyes my coat, its proud luster undulled by thirty years of New York air. I would never tell her that one pocket has a hole and coins have fallen through it that bang my ankles when I walk fast. Or that two tiny holes near the pocket are patched with black tape.)

Comrade-In-sleeping-Bag-Coat: Great! I look forward to scores of years in my coat—and thanks for the info. I won’t even try to find any replacement coats.

Susan: Smart!

Comrade-In-Coat: I wish we could tell everybody how to make Manhattan winters feel like Miami in springtime—don’t you?

Susan: Yes and I have an idea about how to do it. Wish me luck.







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