Big heavy overcoats are just wasted on the young

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

The new coat was designed to keep the worst of the rain off the bottom half as well as the top, but it’s had the added complication of making me look like an older, much less threatening version of the Outlaw Josey Wales, were he to be making his way across the Quincentennial Bridge as opposed to the Grand Canyon.

The usual jackets kept the top half dry but we all remember those school days when, after walking to class, you spent the first half of the day sitting in rain-dampened trousers.

And there’s an age when that is no longer a good thing – both in terms of comfort and in accelerating the onset of rheumatoid arthritis on the back of regular and long-lasting soakings.

So the answer was a long trench coat which leaves the minimal amount exposed to the vagaries of the Irish weather.

A practical solution for an adult of seasoned vintage – but an anomaly walking to work over the Quincentennial Bridge where you’re faced by an onslaught of students heading to university….clad in tee-shirts and shorts.

Now in fairness, the tee-shirt brigade are thin on the ground, but the ones wearing shorts through the winter were phenomenal. And they didn’t even seem to be all that cold.

There’s a variation on this where they still wear the shorts, but they match it with a padded North Face jacket – a mix-and-match like the apocryphal story of the male newsreaders wearing a jacket, shirt and tie…and boxer shorts underneath the desk.

We’ve looked at this phenomenon before and blamed it on Paul Mescal after he singlehandedly rescued the O’Neill’s togs brand by wearing them on Normal People – when, that is, he wore anything at all.

But that ship has sailed and still the numbers wearing summer attire in the depths of winter – and the Irish version of spring – are thriving.

The problem is that, although technically you’re the one appropriately clad for the day that’s in it, they look at you as though you’ve come out of the house still wearing your duvet.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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