We buy all our coats in Wisconsin. At thrift stores and yard sales. In the dead of summer.
Why, you ask? Cuz everyone is selling their perfectly good coats. And here's my theory as to why... because they wear their coats every single day for months and months and they get sick of them and most likely buy a new one every year. So, we are the beneficiaries of those coveted coats every time we go thrifting back there.
My favorite thrifted coat stories of all time-
*** Many years ago we were visiting my brother Gary and his family in Appleton and spent the day yard saling. We arrived at this one sale and Randy saw the jacket of his dreams. A dark brown suede bomber jacket with fur lining. (probably retailed at $150.00 or more) It fit perfectly and was priced at $25.00. I rarely ever pay what they want... so I encouraged Randy to go up to the lady and offer her $20.00 for the jacket. So he did. She about had a cow! "Oh my gosh, NO, it's TWENTY-FIVE CENTS!" So I told Randy to offer her twenty cents. JUST KIDDING! We quickly gave her 25 cents and got out of there before she came to her senses!
*** Same day. Randy finds the leather jacket of his dreams. And I mean, real leather. That soft quality leather that we could never afford. The guy wanted $5.00, we offered him $4.00 and while he is taking our money this gal is telling him that his wife is going to have a cow when she finds out he sold his leather jacket. Needless to say, we ran lickety-split just as his wife was coming out of the house. We did not want to be witness to the melee that was surely to come.
*** Same day. We check out a Catholic Church rummage sale. We're talking a basement sale. Need I say more... church basement sales are the best. So, I see the coat of my dreams. A down-filled jacket. The down-liner zips out and becomes a rain trench coat. And it's below the knees. They wanted a dollar. A dollar! My only hesitation was that it's going to take up a ton of room in our already overstuffed van. This is back when our kids were young and traveled with all their toys and dress-up clothes. We would now be bringing back three big, bulky coats. Well, this is the part that still makes me laugh to this day. My brother tells me that everything is marked half-off the next day (Sat.). So I sleep on it and the next day my brother goes back to the sale and gets it for 50 cents. It was meant to be. Hey, I'll make room for a 50 cent coat.
As a side note...
#1- In Wisconsin they often have a cow rather than a fit.
#2- Randy & I wore those jackets for many, many years. You see, we rarely wear our winter coats here, so we rarely get sick of them. Randy recently walked out the door wearing that brown suede jacket and I was reminded of that warm summer day many years ago when we bought three amazing coats all for under $5.00!