The right casual jacket sets a mood, an image, and an expectation that can make an entire year somehow better. It's about this time of year when I get weary of summer. I start looking ahead to cooler days of the fall, the start of football training camp and regular season. Hockey in the future.
When I was a kid, I associated this time of year with getting a new fall jacket. My mom would take me to Crestwood or Hampton Village, and I'd hunt around for the perfect fall jacket.
One year, my pursuits landed a muslin jacket with a hood. The year was 1977, and this jacket was perfect. Though I lived in St. Louis in the Midwest, it might have been from Malibu, California, or Kennebunkport, Maine. When I put it on, I immediately felt more alive and in control. I felt like the world took me a bit more seriously.
I'm looking for that jacket, again. Not THAT one, but one that has the same effect. At 43, I'm too old to wear what the kids wear, but I'm too young to dress like an old man at the country club. So I've set off on an internet adventure to find the perfect jacket for a guy my age. It will take us into the woods for a weekend by the river, into the city for an NLCS game at a great sports bar, and into work on a casual Friday.
When I find it, I'll let you know. I promise it to be a jacket you'll fall in love with.