Last winter I succumbed to the capitalist winds that inevitably inform my purchases and bought the Amazon Coat. As I wrote then, the jacket was at once my greatest pride and my greatest shame, and nearly a year later, it remains as such. At the time of purchase, I had a perfectly functioning winter coat hanging in my closet, and yet I wanted this one because it was good quality and a good deal. But when everybody—and I mean everybody—started wearing the same coat, it became a thing. It felt like I was wearing a “kick me, I’m a mindless consumer” sign taped to my back. Worst of all? I felt like a (quote) basic bitch (end quote).
Now, as the leaves change and my mom starts texting me things like “Want to go to Pilates w me when ur in for Thanksgiving?” a chill runs down my spine knowing that soon I will have to face the dreaded question: Can I really, truly and confidently wear the Amazon Coat again this year without feeling like a walking piece of pop art?
The whole idea of the Amazon Coat raises difficult questions for me. Am I just a rat running on the never-ending wheel of modern capitalism? A quote—that I’m definitely misremembering—from Karl Marx’s Capital comes to mind: The more we consume, the more we want. Whether Marx actually said that or I just made it up (I think it’s the latter), I still buy into it. Because if Amazon has proved one thing, it’s that our need for things will never be sated.
As temperatures chill, I’ve been surprised to spot other women so confidently donning their Amazon Coats. I see them on the subway. At brunch. On Instagram. On friends. Heidi in accounting, ever so chic, wore her black one a couple weeks ago. “We can still wear it?” I asked.
“I’m wearing it, yeah,” she shrugged, as if it weren’t a massive existential crisis.