The essential trench

It has been a week since I wrote my last exam and already I have returned to my old ways. My summer job won’t really begin for another week and the idleness of each passing day has proven conducive to indulging in guilty pleasures. The other day I picked up a copy of the April issue of Flare magazine lying around the house. I only meant to peruse it, skim it, glance at a few pretty pictures. But I was eventually lured into actually reading it.

I came to a profound realization: I must have a customized Burberry trench coat! This is a matter of necessity, not frivolity as many may think. I’m serious. With all the troubles in this world, what better way could one resolve them than with a trench? If we all had trench coats, not only would we be fashionable, but we would acquire enhanced insight into the grave issues that plague our society.

I looked beyond the fact that a very similar article had already been written months earlier by Plum Sykes in Vogue and took the article for what it was worth. Thank goodness I did this, lest I should overlook these morsels of knowledge being extolled. I mean, a customized trench coat is more than just an addition to a person’s wardrobe, it is life-changing, as the author made clear; she even went so far as to call it her NBF (for those unfamiliar with such terminology, New Best Friend—how cute).

There are so many decisions to be made that it parallels the kind of decision-making diplomats are faced with. What colour should it be? What pattern should be on the inside? There are so many variations of the signature Burberry pattern. Would she have a winter lining? To monogram or not to monogram? It’s all very daunting.

In the same magazine I read an article reassuring me that rash and unnecessarily expensive purchases are forgivable. The author was able to rationalize the purchase of a $1,000 pantsuit that after several alterations, was still never worn, and I could totally see her point. Honestly, what good could a mere grand do for starving children in the developing world?

At an institution of higher education like Queen’s, I feel greatly deprived. We never hear about customized trench coats, and there haven’t been any lectures on justifying idiotic and regrettable purchases. Economics and politics, biology and mathematics, music and drama—these won’t make us “leaders and citizens for a global society.” If we don’t know names like Manolo and Marc, the competition will have a one-up on us once we get out there.

However, there is still hope for us. On campus I have seen Juicy-clad individuals, because $200 jumpsuits are essential, almost as essential as $300 Uggs and the requisite $400 Tiffany and Co. heart chain necklace with the matching $250 bracelet. And then, of course, there are the myriad Louis Vuitton handbags, most notably, the white, colourfully monogrammed model. Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, would be proud. I mean, really, if you can’t stand out in the darkened Dunning lecture theatre of 450 people, what’s the point of going to class?

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