When I found the polo coat that eventually found its way to Zach, I was happy. I had wanted a classic polo coat since high school, when I first learned what one was. At the time, I was heavily obsessed with 1930s/40s dress up, and the polo coat had all the details to match. Its a testament to the classic styling of the coat that no matter how my tastes varied with time, my desire to have one never waned. I paid thrift store premium for the coat, and wore it a few times, but was never more than 98% happy with it, and not exactly sure why. Then it hit me.
The coat I had lusted after these twenty years wasn't just a polo coat, it was the Polo polo coat, as seen here. Ralph Lauren was in top for in the early 90s, when ads like this were running ( note the correct fit of the clothing. This was before designers were locked in a death race to make the smallest, tightest version of everything). The style was impeccable, the quality was great, and most of the stuff was being made domestically. Unfortunately for a guy like me, the prices reflected all this. But I was hooked. Only last year I had managed to acquire the equivalent double breasted navy blazer, and I'd waited twenty years for the coat. What was another Winter or two? I let Zach know I had a nice coat that might fit him, and he replied with the news that he had a polo coat too, one that might be better suited to me than it was to him.
So lo and behold, there it was! The actual coat I'd been thinking of all this time, an actual early 1990s USA made Polo polo coat. The one I'd found had a trimmer cut, in keeping with its likely early 1960s provenance; this one is fuller, with softer tailoring and a mid-calf length, details I find fitting on a coat like this.
Ralph's classic wide, knife sharp lapel, and big fat seams and edges,
Big mailbox pockets and wide turn back cuffs, with a 6x3 button stance that has clearly been rolled to the center button. 6x3::6x2, there we go again with nerdy numerical codes
We agreed to a trade and both walked away happy. We didn't discuss what either of us had paid for our half of the deal, because in the end it doesn't matter. Each of us found something we wanted for a price that was more than fair, and each of us was left with a tiny pang of elusive regret, but we both came away with something better.
Having friends who are hopelessly obsessed with thrift stores as you are helps you cast a net that is exponentially wider when you consider things for their trade value. Just make sure that none of your friends are exactly your size.