As of late, I’ve created a form, structure and voice that I’m proud of, but I still find it really difficult to put pen to paper, or rather, keycaps to switches. The structure — an irrelevant-to-the-product, wordy preamble, followed by a few brief sentences on the pros and cons of the product, ending with the ‘how-to-buy’ and sizing tips — is, while philosophically true to where my head is at, really challenging to get right.
I feel like I owe it to my readers to provide a service with my writing. Through the reviews, I hope to introduce new brands, emphasize value-for-money, publish timely content, provide comic relief, while having the articles feel unfinished in some way. That means that there are things that I just can’t write about, no matter how much I want to.
But, like the Bal coat from 18 East, writing shouldn’t be that serious. I should be able to write about whatever I please, just as I should be able to wear a massive overcoat in sunny San Diego. No joke, ok maybe some, this coat has simultaneously liberated me of the overly-structured review format and shifted my (and soon, San Diego’s) outerwear Overton.
The Bal coat is remarkably easy to wear. Its raglan shoulder construction, oversized silhouette, neutral color scheme and massive collar mean that it looks great thrown over any outfit. Woven in county Donegal, the Molloy & Sons tweed used here is as tweed as tweed gets, yet doesn’t wear warm enough to induce perspiration — ah, the wonders of unlined wool!
Because it is so easy to wear, I’ve worn the coat so much in my (short) ownership of it that the (initially) mildly scratchy basketwoven tweed has now worn soft. Or maybe it’s because I’ve developed callouses from all that abrasion. Who knows? Doesn’t matter!
Even with warmer days ahead, I still see myself wearing the Bal Coat in the wee hours as my version of the rich guy robe. Ever since I could remember, I’ve aspired to, on a cold Sunday morning in my rich guy robe, sit by my marble fireplace on my Eames Lounge Chair and read the Wall Street Journal. And to end my day similarly, but with a cigar and a dram of Ardbeg’s Lord of the Isles instead of the pseudoscientific, imperialist, anti-regulation publication that I’d likely enjoy when I’m that rich. This coat is not a robe, nor is it made out of cashmere, but it gets me as close to that feeling as I’ve ever gotten.
I can’t call this an ‘official’ review. The Bal coat came to me flawed and incomplete, with a yet-to-be fulfilled resolution from the brand. You also cannot actually buy this coat since it’s sold out, and I doubt that the coat will ever come back in this exact form. But, it has quickly become my single most-worn garment, and I just had to write about it.