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I love my trench coats, I love the fun they brought with them and the odd and usually pleasant reactions I would get from wearing them.

Way back in the day when AbbyShot was just being born I was lucky enough to live nearby (pretty much across the street from my house). Cosplay was heard of but not hugely popular, and the ability to watch anime was limited to ebay for the most part. I bought the Stampede Duster, not just any Stampede Duster, I bought the Stampede Duster while it was being born. People normally associate trench coats as being dark and menacing, but I wore this bright red coat with a smile. A lot of people I know who wore trench coats at the time would be use to people at the local mall crossing the floor and picking up the pace whenever they went shopping.  I would have the opposite effect. I would get random people approach me and just ask “Where did you get that coat?” I would get smiles from strangers and even sometimes gifts!

The first gift I received was from a young girl working at A&W, she thought my coat was super fun and asked if I wanted a free drink, I laughed, thanked her, and gladly accepted the frosted glass of root beer. I had similar experiences that winter from going to Burger King or Mary Brown’s Chicken. It was fun that a simple piece of clothing would get so many people to interact in such a positive manner. People didn’t just see a bright red weirdo, they saw me as a person just trying to have fun, and they responded positively, even thanking me for just wanting to break the norm.  

I think my favourite comment was from a father who was Christmas shopping with his little kid and exclaimed, “Wow! It’s a new age Santa!” He then ran over and told me how much he liked the coat and asked me if it was actually a good coat and not just for show.  I think my response to him was “It’s a little too good” followed with a smirk, showing him the sweat off my brow.

The Stampede Duster was my first AbbyShot coat, and I fell in love with it. Since then I have been hooked and have added multiple coats and hoodies over the years, all which have made me equally as happy.

By: Christo Stassis


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