My Private cloakroom
Post London flat renovations, I have created a separate cloakroom for my coats. They are to be lovingly stored, hanging, on heavy, beautifully made, real, cedar wood hangers! Inside their private dust bag and their very own separate moth defeating, delicious smelling, organic, hand made lavender sachet. One each. Ok? Just to warn you, the cedar wood hangers were eye wateringly expensive, but they should not cost more than the coat itself.
Now though, it’s time for revealing, uncloaking and serious stock taking. What should go to the charity shop and what should stay in the wardrobe. (incidentally in aid of Save the Elephant, lady Sarah & friends, are planning a little London based, charity sale of top quality, second hand designer clothes. Think, Hermes, CHANEL, Prada and Miu Miu. Get in touch if you would like to come along, more on that later.)
Over the years my previous self, had acquired an odd assortment of cheap coats and impulse buys. They mostly came from ZARA, Top Shop and miss Selfridges. To cut to the chase, those purchases are now long gone. They cluttered my wardrobe and never kept me warm enough for London living. The Zara one developed a very strange malfunction in the hem area, soon after I bought it. Think very carefully before you purchase fast fashion coats. Charity shops may not want to take them off our hands any more. There are simply too many, poor quality, unwanted clothes out there.
A few years ago, I gave up on my fast fashion addiction and started ‘investing’ in CARVEN and Max Mara. Nowadays, irrespective of brand, I look for perfect fit, pure wool, cashmere or alpaca content. Acrylic and polyester don’t work for me, too much weight and insufficient warmth.
I’d love to find a vintage Chanel boucle, lined in silk, but alas, such a treasure has yet to cross my path.
A coat purchase should not be taken lightly and One likes to have all bases covered. Everyone will have a different definition of ‘basics’, climate and lifestyle being a determining factor. My London lifestyle demands three winter coats.
The everyday/work coat
An everyday coat for me, means smart and tailored. Since I like to cycle, it also needs to be non restrictive. I find max mara studio and carven have plenty of excellent options, in fluid wool that drapes well and won’t date by the time we bring them home.
The weekend “devil may care” coat
I also need a weekend parka or puffer style. In the past I bought a lovely yves Solomon parka which is very warm and beautifully made. These parkas were lined in rabbit fur, which I am afraid, I have now given up wearing. I used to justify it by saying, “well rabbit fur is ok -after all it is a food by product”- after researching it a little more, I am no longer able to justify it. So… that is no more. It’s Barbour for me now, quality and virtually timeless.
The evening number
Finally something dressier for those pre Christmas dos. This doesn’t get as much wear, but I never recovered from the humiliations of my youth – having to wear a military parka over a a silk ball gown. This may sound like a vogue fashion shoot, but I can assure you, it did not look good. These days, I love to own something extravagant looking in brocade. Or velvet? Or vintage? Accessorised with a giant glittery brooch or some Chanel camellias? These virtually never go out of fashion and can last for many seasons.
Once the basics are covered, we can start thinking about colour and extras. A pale pink coat can bring so much joy in these days of gloomy Brexit. I bought one last year, though sadly, it had to go. I simply could not deal with my mothers dogs, expressing their affection by trying to get their dirty paws on me. I love the carven powder blue one on the photo, and the oversize cut is perfect for everyday comfort. Just make sure it’s not overwhelming on your frame. I also think it looks best with chunky shoes to balance the proportions.
Something military style? The disciplinarian in me, loves to keep the builders in line and have the Borgias court marshalled. Or perhaps, a longer number with a bit of a swish, like a duster coat perhaps? I am leaning towards the duster coat.
The duster coat
These are now all the rage and I predict everyone will “need” one soon. Duster coats were originally invented to be worn on horse back to keep of the dust, rather than to wear while doin’ the housework.
They look better on the tall and willow- ish frame(doesn’t everything? Invest in your yoga classes people. Master the art of catwalking) We want to look elegant, rather than sporting the “hobbit in oversized dressing gown” look. So fit is paramount and possibly factor in some extra costs for alterations.
Armed with this information- what are your thoughts on winter coats?
Quote of the day from silkpathdiary “a new coat sets the tone for the season.” Camel coats, classic or cliché?
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