The prosecution: Halina
Samantha will wear a big fleece to go for ice-cream in the summer. She makes us all look ridiculous
My best friend, Samantha, seems unable to dress for the weather. Even in the hot summer we had this year, she always walked around in a heavy coat. She has a vast collection – big designer puffer jackets, long vintage leather coats and sheepskin fleeces. I think they’re quite cool, but she wears them when they’re not necessary.
This year she put on a giant puffer when she was coming to meet me in the height of summer. Another time, she had on this huge fleece while we were getting ice-cream from a van.
Samantha’s jackets are just incongruous to her surroundings. She doesn’t have a “transitional” wardrobe. It’s winter jackets most of the year, then, when it’s really hot, she will forgo a jacket or wear one of these tiny cropped jumpers. There’s no in-between.
We’ve been friends for five years and I have noticed this quirk a bit more this past year. I tell Samantha that she needs to buy a denim jacket or some kind of spring wardrobe, but she’s adamant that her winter jackets are suitable for most of the year. Friends always comments on how weird this is.
When we were out as a group this year, we looked a bit ridiculous as Samantha was dressed for Baltic conditions when there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. In my opinion, unless you’re in the depths of winter, you don’t need a huge padded jacket or heavy fleece.
When Samantha and I met up this autumn, she was wearing thermals, which I thought a bit mad. We were having brunch and it was 17C. Samantha arrived in her giant padded puffer jacket. I said: “When does ski season start?” Samantha’s response was: “Well it will get cold later.”
Samantha should make a few changes to her wardrobe so that when we go out, she doesn’t look like something’s wrong with her. When you see someone wearing a coat that’s too heavy for the weather, you think they must be sick, or a tourist. People should dress for the season. It just makes sense.
The defence: Samantha
I’d rather be too hot than too cold, so I always go out in big coats. Halina should leave me be
People love to come for me for wearing jackets that are too heavy, but I don’t think it’s that big a deal. Who wants to be caught short in the British weather?
I have a selection of big fleeces and puffer jackets that I wear pretty much all year round and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. My favourite is my Moncler padded jacket, which was really expensive, and another beige fleece that was a charity shop find and is really warm. I must have seven or eight big winter coats that I alternate all year round.
It doesn’t make sense to buy what Halina calls “a transitional wardrobe”, because for the most part wearing a heavy coat when it’s a little too hot is only a minor inconvenience for a couple of hours. Usually it pays off later when the sun goes down or the weather becomes unpredictable. Or if it doesn’t, I’ll take the coat off when I arrive at wherever I need to go.
The way Halina talks, it’s as if I’m sitting in a restaurant with my hood up – which is not the case. Those coats aren’t an inconvenience to me, but the opposite. Even in summer I can’t leave the house without a heavy coat: I just feel naked. Buying some lighter jackets, like Halina suggests, is just a waste of money because I either wear one of my heavy coats on top, or nothing at all.
I suppose my love of heavy coats has become something of a running joke to my friends, but I don’t really care. I’ll arrive to brunch and there’ll be jokes. Halina will ask me whether I’m looking for a polar bear, or working a ski season. I just laugh and say: “Whatever, guys. I’m cosy.” The irony is that I’ve seen Halina in beer gardens shivering at the end of a night out, because she hasn’t properly prepared her own outerwear.
I’d rather be a little too hot than too cold for hours, so I’ll always leave the house with one of my big coats unless it’s a heatwave. I can’t see that changing, so my friends, including Halina, will just have to get used to it.
It’s not like I’m making them wear the jacket themselves, so why are they so bothered?
The jury of Guardian readers
Should Samantha buy some more lightweight jackets?
If Samantha wants to pay dry-cleaning bills and fork out for cloakrooms when she goes to a club that’s her prerogative! Halina and her other mates should chill out. Samantha’s coat selection sounds quite chic, and at the end of the day it’s harmless.
Samantha is an adult and capable of making her own decisions about what to wear and what she finds comfortable. Friends who “rip into” each other for their clothing choices are not the sort of friends I’d want to have.
Samantha should go to Italy, where some still wear fur coats in 25C heat. Halina needs to keep her nose out of others’ business. What Samantha wears is up to her. At least it’s better than the ridiculous habit of going out when it’s freezing without any outer garment.
Does Samantha frequently complain about being too hot? Does Samantha make Halina carry these coats around for her? Are these coats so big they invade Halina’s personal space? It doesn’t seem like it. It does seem like Samantha could do with friends who care less about it looking like there’s “something wrong with her”.
Not guilty. Halina sounds really overbearing. Samantha sounds like a stylish girl in need of some new mates. Who cares what she wears so long as she is happy?
Now you be the judge
In our online poll below, tell us: should Samantha rethink her attire?
Last week’s result
We asked whether Martha should tidy up her collection of reusable bags, as it annoys her granddaughter Roberta.
42% of you said yes – Martha is guilty
58% of you said no – Martha is not guilty