A man phoned me yesterday from the menswear store to tell me my overcoat was in. My extra-long, charcoal, wool (20% cashmere) number I plan on wearing the rest of my life. This was the second such call. A few weeks ago, the coat (which I'd had to order, since coats on racks are too short for my liking) fit way too big. Beautifully long, but too wide in ever other way.
In an earlier entry, I confessed that I like the overcoat Jerry Seinfeld wore in his famous tv show (of which I remain a big fan). Since then I found another model: Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive, shot about the same time as the Seinfeld run. In that movie, it's called a topcoat, as in "Officer, [Harrison Ford shouts, trying to escape the pursuing T.L. through a crowd] a man in a topcoat, back there, waving a gun!"
This morning I delayed over tea until the menswear store opened at 10. I got there at 10:02. The store had been open since 9.
"Gerry!" said the well-dressed man. "I'll get the coat."
I tried it on. Dammit but the coat is still too wide (but beautifully long still). This time, the man said, they won't have to order a new one. They'll tailor this one. He made some marks.
I wasn't sure--the damn thing was so wide through the sleeves and body. I was on the edge of calling off the overcoat buy.
But the well-dressed man said the magic words: "Our tailor's Portuguese. He's 60 years old. He's wonderful."