My first month studying abroad in Buenos Aires was rough. I lived in a strict Catholic Nun-run dormitory in a tiny room with a door that would constantly jam (I once had to climb up the fire escape and break in through my THIRD STORY WINDOW to get inside after-hours), all of the kids on my program made fun of my undeniably gringo Spanish accent, and I was incredibly homesick. It was during this period that I bought my Maria Cher wool coat on a retail-therapy shopping spree. At the time, it seemed a highly impractical impulse buy. It was pricy—even by Argentina’s standards—and so weather-inappropriate for the extra-humid summer days, but I knew I had to have it the second I saw it.
The coat is magical, kind of like the jeans from Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, except I don’t have to share it with Blake Lively. It’s like bacon: It goes great with everything. It seems unassuming at first, since it’s simply cut and a subdued gray, so I can even toss it on over workout gear (JK, I don’t work out, I just put it over my pajamas when I run across the street to the liquor store for a snack). But if you look closer, you notice the unique tailoring—the draped pockets, the way it falls longer, almost cape-like, in the back—and I always get compliments when I wear it to swanky work events with a cocktail dress and heels.
My coat never gets wrinkled or stained, even when I accidentally fall asleep in it or spill coffee on it, both of which happen more often than is probably appropriate to admit. I’ve worn it while backpacking in Bolivia, campaigning for Obama in North Carolina, on ski trips, to job interviews, and to fashion shows. I have more exciting coats, sure—but this one is the only item in my closet that I never get bored with or leave hanging (lol) for too long.
My coat kept me warm and made me feel safe and comfortable when I needed a true friend 6,000 miles away from home. Three years later, I still feel like I can handle anything when I’m wearing it—and look good while doing it, too.