I used to wear coats like a normal person. I had tried "the drape" a few times before, but my inherited slopey shoulders were not having it, and nothing is more embarrassing than clothes falling off your body when you're trying to look cool. Or when you're trying to do pretty much anything, come to think of it.
Then, last season, I attended my first New York Fashion Week show. As I self-consciously approached Lincoln Center on a cold February day, I looked around at all the shivering street-style stars and realized my rookie mistake: I had worn my coat correctly. By which I mean: the way coats were designed to be worn. I slowly withdrew my limbs and strategically re-adjusted my jacket to cup my shoulders just so, and onward I marched.
I continued this tense balancing act towards the front doors and past the photographers who couldn't care less about me (though I still checked the internet for pictures later—no dice). As I joined the ranks of fashion editors and socialites, however, I felt a slight shift in my imposter syndrome. Hey, if Miroslava Duma and I are both wearing our coats the same way, are we really all that different?
My point is this: by submitting to this unspoken code of street style, something I have continued to do ever since, I feel noticeably more confident within this bizarre world—as long as I don't have to extend my arms (apologies to the fallen friend I couldn't help up—you understand).
I've now taken to coat slinging whenever I'm trying to look more important than I actually am. Do I look absolutely ridiculous shivering in 20 degree weather when the solution is quite literally on my back? You betcha. But it has the same positive effect on your self-esteem as doing power poses before an interview (which totally works, by the way). So next time you see someone, ahem, wearing a jacket, just remember who's getting shot by the Sartorialist. Not them. Well, not me either, but I just haven't been in the right place at the right time yet.
See the case against: Here.