questionable feature, dubious achievement

Architects have been known to use the term "feature" to mean something the client saw in a magazine or store and thinks would be perfect for the new house/addition/whatever. Hence the down-upholstered squishy window seat in the bathroom by the shower. Hence the pointed turret on the Arizona ranch. Hence the Tara pillars on the Victorian row house. The ultimate feature, however, goes beyond the mere improbable, beyond the useless in real life or the inappropriate, to the completely counterproductive.

Bearing that in mind, let's look at the latest feature to catch my eye, which jumped into my inbox this morning from those creative people at Lands End:

OK, a waxed cotton parka in a nice cheerful color, water repellent, hood, pockets, wind shield at neck, waist drawstring. Everything I'd want for a damp or squally spring day. Sleeve length is problematic, but we'll put that aside. Look, if you will, at the raindrop-shaped highlight. Here's a larger screenshot in case your nerd glasses are blurry:

A drop back tail! Be still, my heart! Lands End, this is a feature worthy of the name.

Let's think this through. While out for a stroll on a rainy day, I am seized with a desire to sit upon a park bench. Entering a nearby park, I spy a vacant bench, stride over to take possession, unsnap the flaps, sit down on its wet surface, contemplate or whatever one does when sitting on wet things, arise to go about my day, and there are two dripping flaps flopping against the rear expanse. But wait! I tell myself, I don't need to go about like this till the flaps drain off onto my legs! I can use the handy interior snaps! And so I proceed to - what? take off jacket, do up the snaps, wriggle damp self back into jacket which is now damp on the inside, mostly on the lower rear, thereby bringing about exactly that state of affairs which I had hoped to avoid. Then, of course, once snapped up the flaps still present a wet surface, only to a slightly different location of the anatomy. Or worse, I can stand in front of park bench, jiggle a little, and reach back to contort self into a position from which the flaps can be folded, stuffed up into the rear of the coat and snapped. I don't know what things are like in the parks in your neck of the woods, but around here the police take a dim view of such goings-on. Or rather, of what such goings-on would look like to a police officer who is perhaps not thrilled to be patrolling a park on a rainy day.

Or - and this has the most appeal - I can avoid dampish rear expanses and grumpy policemen altogether by not buying the thing.

I am saving a lot of money so far this year by not buying the useless or the pointless. Of course, it's only February.

What "dubious achievements" have you come across recently? Any contenders for Ultimate Feature?


  1. Remember that song called Things That Make You Go Hmmm...?

    Somebody at LE is thinking too hard, or not enough.

  2. Hi, tiffany rose, it sort of reminds me of the tail end of doggie raincoats, not a look to which I aspire.

  3. This is too funny! How useless indeed!

  4. hi, Rose, so I guess it's not on your spring "must list" either?

  5. I can see using in this when attending a child's soccer match and having to sit on wet seats, sometimes even a towel doesn't seem to soak up all the moisture. But personally I would just wear a longer coat or take one of those portable seat cushions with me. Sometimes you don't exactly choose the wet bench.

  6. hi, xoxo, yes, of all the special purpose things in my closet, "great for sitting on wet benches" is not a category I foresee stocking up on ...

  7. Southern Belle Ph.D.February 21, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    I may be way off base but I do not think that coat would cover my posterior and I wear a size 4 in skirts. When I sit down, longer tops/jackets seem to rise so I would never rely on this to prevent a state of wetness. Just me perhaps!

  8. Hi, Southern Belle PhD, I've noticed that too. This thing is such a fail on so many levels. Oh well.


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