Ah yes, my hideous, tent-like gold raincoat (even I don't dare model it for you). Purchased last fall at the second-hand store as a "work around the farm" windbreaker/raincoat. In the same excursion I purchased the following:
1 pair of woolen "old man" pants for fall/winter outside work
1 set of suspenders to keep said pants up
1 golden rain coat
1 beige/oatmeal (yeck) down-filled vest for around the house
1 plaid work shirt
I bought this stuff at the onset of winter in the recognition that while I have (admittedly) a lot of performance apparel-type stuff, I don't really have a lot of muck-about stuff (particular winter warmth) gear. I bought a lot of these things at the second-hand store after considering purchasing many of their new & fancy versions (ie - gore-tex this and thats). I decided that the best things to have for mucking about were things that I wouldn't mind parting with. This was the same philosophy that guided me in my first year of treeplanting, I didn't know what gear would work for me, so I brought a lot of second-hand/used clothing that could get trashed (and it did!!!). This decision, as I reflect upon it now, was kind of a precursor to this journey of no-purchasing (or minimal purchasing I suppose, its become).
So back to this whole, "stuff I could part with" concept. When I first bought all these items they were the kind of ugly, drab things that you find in the second-hand store (not the wonderful gems that have people gasping). I thought I could live without them because they weren't outstandingly beautiful or particularly fashionable (ok, not fashionable at all). But, now I barely go a day without wearing one or all of them. They are infinitely useful and are (as you may guess) more relevant to my everyday life that my designer what-nots. My back-up down vest for example is part of my daily uniform. Its beige, I burned/melted a hole in the front upon which i sewed a "Scottish Power" patch. I'm not Scottish, its just what we had around the house. I wear my back-up more than my fancy white brand name vest.
The white one, after all, is my town vest. My beige one is used for cooking, feeding chickens, running outside, working in the greenhouse and the occasional trip over to the in-laws or the village pub/corner store. My other favourite vest these days (apparently I have a thing for vests) is my black & purple circa 1995 fleece vest from high school because the beige one is getting a little too warm for some of the spring-like weather we've been having here, but for the morning chicken-feeding and/or work in the greenhouse or barn...its perfect! one of the best reasons for my affinity to the vest is that they keep your core toasty without all the bulk and they have zip pockets to keep all my crap in (usually my iPhone & lip balm). Also, when washing the dishes or cooking you don't end up with your sleeves in everything (like you do with a sweater), if you're wearing a vest. I guess the old adage, "don't judge a book by its cover" (although I totally do), applies to my less-then-enthusiastic attitude about my new essential garments.