My first month in Dubai has left a dent in my bank account. Trawling mall after mall has become my main pastime, and I’ve picked up quite a few new items for my already-packed wardrobe. Only the other evening I was admiring the window displays of the new autumn/winter collections, when I stopped dead in my tracks. There she was. A thing of absolute beauty: bold black and grey stripes, cinched at the back, a full pleated skirt and enormous fluffy cuffs. I had found her. My new winter coat.
As I admired it for a good 10 minutes, my ecstasy took a turn for the worse and I felt a knot in my stomach. Having just relocated to Dubai, I realised I’d have no need for a winter coat this year. In fact, I’d have no need for any winter items. No matching gloves and hats; no hand-embroidered jumpers; no earmuffs; no fur-trimmed boots. This realisation left me almost in tears, and I had to be ushered away from the beloved coat, straight to the nearest Cold Stone Creamery for an ice-cream pick-me-up. Clearly I hadn’t thought this relocation to Dubai through.
The purchase of my annual winter coat has been something of a pastime for me ever since I was a little girl. September traditionally marks the time for winter wardrobe shopping, and the ritual has been something I look forward to all year.
What is it about winter clothes –coats in particular – that mean so much to me? Of course, hailing from Aberdeen in Scotland, where sunny weather is a thing of legends, a coat is more of a survival item than a fashion statement. Yet I also remember my younger self visiting my grandmother and gazing at her wardrobe of vintage coats. I would try on each one with the enthusiasm of a child in a candy store and would prance around the house with them draped over my shoulders.
I think, for me, a winter coat is like a security blanket. It reminds me of my childhood and shopping trips with my mum (or with her credit card, at least). But now, moving to Dubai, I’m all grown up. I’ve finished university, moved out of my family home and entered the world of work. So it’s time to let go of the coat and look forward to a fabulous future in the emirates (and a swimsuit or two). Or perhaps I’ll just buy the coat and invest in an annual pass for Ski Dubai…