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One of the most important reviews you'll ever read - free of charge
Clothes Shopping Advice
Member Name: davydoug
Clothes Shopping Advice
Date: 27/08/08, updated on 12/02/12 (411 review reads)
Advantages: Life changing review
Disadvantages: Slightly over dramatic review
There are some discoveries/inventions in the world that leave you thinking 'how did people ever cope without this'. For example, cavemen were walking/crawling about happily eating their berries and raw meat feeling not overly warm when suddenly one of them went "Urgh! Bunga rumpagna, go rubuny rubuny et sparky boosh!" Which as most of you will know translates into modern day English as "Here Phil, I've just discovered fire, fancy coming round mine and Tracey's cave the night for a barbeque?" Or back in the day when people needed stuff moving, they used to just drag it about slowly, or pile it all on a donkey's back and tease the creature along with a carrot, until someone invented the wheel. Or the internet, I know it's only new but how did people manage without it? You get the idea anyway, what I'm about to share with you (free of charge) will completely change the way you think for the rest of your life.............................................. ..........regarding the purchase of a coat or jacket.
A Bit of History
Before I start to talk you through the 5 C's of Buying a Coat or Jacket (C/J for short) let me give you a brief insight as to how and when I was struck by this genius theory. It was 1998 and I was a student. I spent a good bit of my studenting times either travelling on a train, waiting for a train, or patiently (hmmm) waiting on a broken down train. God bless Northern Ireland Railways. So anyway, my mind tended to wander quite a bit on the commute, and on one occasion I started listing in my head the key requisite factors I needed to consider for the jacket I planned to buy later that day. They happened to all begin with the letter 'C' thus the 5 C's were born.
Ok, so if you are actually reading this review, and not just skimming through it and judging the size of it before you give it the obligatory 'very useful', you might want to take a couple of seconds to predict what you might think the 5 C's are. I've discussed the subject with friends and family on different occasions and they always think they have another 'C' to add, but so far no one has managed to convince me that there are any more than the 5 fundamental primary C's. I very much welcome any comments offering suggestions. Right, C number 1....
This is one a lot of people will guess straight away. Cost is something pretty much every person considers (except maybe the super-rich) before making any major clothing purchase. Normally people will have a fair idea what their budget is and shop in the suitable shops accordingly. I think it is worth mentioning though that something that's on sale and has a bargain knock down price is only a bargain if the person who buys it is actually going to wear it (I know this sounds massively patronising but this bit's not for you, you're not stupid, it's for all the other readers). If it sits in a wardrobe untouched it's just money wasted. So Cost alone is by no means a more important C than the other 4.
Another fairly obvious C is Colour. Sometimes people know exactly what colour of C/J they're after before they buy it. Other times it's the style of the C/J that's decided and the colour is negotiable. Either way, Colour is a major factor that has to be considered when making your purchase.
Cloth is really the material that the C/J is made out of, but 'material' quite clearly doesn't begin with the letter C and 'the 4 C's and 1 M of buying a coat or jacket' isn't as memorable a title. So anyway, Cloth... There are certain materials that some people won't wear, like vegan's won't wear leather, or the upper classes won't wear polyester, stuff like that. There are also different practical uses for different C/J's. For example you might be looking for a new winter coat, so a warm and possibly waterproof Cloth would we what you're after. There's really no disputing it, Cloth is definitely a Primary C.
Cut is an incredibly important C. It basically defines the shape and size of the C/J. You could see the most desirable jacket ever in a shop, within your budget, but if they don't have it in your size or if it's designed in a way that doesn't fit your body, it's not the perfect jacket for you and ultimately it won't be worn. Since everyone's shaped slightly differently this can often be the most difficult of the 5 C's to successfully put a tick in the box.
Possibly the most controversial C in the list, and that's why I've left it to last. Generally a compartment could also be known as a pocket, but for the benefit of this list, it's a compartment, alright?! Some people will argue that their perfect jacket does not need compartments. That's fair enough, but a definitive list to describe everyone's perfect C/J needs to cover compartments, as to a lot of us good pocket space really is a key requirement. I can only speak for myself, and to a certain extent my gender, and on the whole most men do not carry handbags, or manbags, whenever they go out so they can often end up putting a lot of stuff in their pockets. A good C/J for me will need room for a wallet, phone, keys, MP3 player, not to mention my hands too. I know this is less of a priority to some people but the fact remains, Compartments are a key requirement for the perfect C/J even if just for aesthetic value.
Primary or Secondary?
The 5 primary C's are quantifiable, not qualitative. What I mean, is you can measure them definitively. For example the cost is a certain amount, or the cloth is a certain substance or a mixture of a number of substances. These things cannot be argued or disputed, but secondary C's are open to individual interpretation by each of us and very much down to personal preference and opinion.
Whenever I've initially asked people to guess what the 5 C's might be there is one C that is mentioned time and time again, Comfort. Comfort cannot be universally measured or defined; it's entirely up to each and every individual to decide on a level of comfort a C/J provides. That makes it an excellent example of a Secondary C. All Secondary C's are either covered by one existing Primary C already, or a combination of Primary C's. Comfort is a combination of Cut and Cloth (and to some extent may be influenced by Compartments in certain cases). I've listed below a few examples of Secondary C's and put in brackets the Primary C's that cover each:
Creasability: Does it lose most of its creases just by being given a good shake (Cloth)
Cleanability: Does it wipe away kebab sauce stains with minimal effort (Cloth)
Checkability: Does it have so many checks on it that people looking at you vomit (Colour & Cloth)
Chavability: Does the C/J make you look like a chav - a negative (or does it help you fit in with your chavy friends - a positive) (Colour, Cut & Cloth)
Catch-on-ability: Does the C/J posses the ability to start a new trend (Colour, Cut, Cloth, Cost & Compartments)
Caravan-ability: Does wearing the C/J makes you look like you own a caravan (Colour, Cut, Cloth & Compartments)
So, let me just clarify that I understand individually these factors don't seem like I'm telling you anything new, but the key to successful application of the 5 C's is ensuring you fully consider all the C's together, not just two or three of them. Anyone can say you want to buy a coat within your budget in a colour you like. What I'm trying to get across is the fact that if you obey the 5 C rule strictly as a collective you will never make anything other than an excellent coat/jacket purchase again for the rest of your life.
That is the gift I have given you today. Some would say it's a priceless gift, and one that keeps on giving for the rest of your life.
Was that last line too much? Nah.
Summary: The formula for a succesful coat or jacket purchase