November 27, 2014

coat love: is there one perfect coat?

is there one perfect coat? No. I'll say it straight away. Coats are too beautiful, too wonderful, too delightfully special to narrow it down to the singular number one. Having said that, back in the day (you know, as recent as post-war Europe) most ladies and gents had one coat. One good piece of outer wear. A coat that wasn't bought in a store because mass manufacturing was still transitioning from military wear. The neighborhood tailor made your coat. Or you sewed it yourself. My mother learned how to tailor suits and coats and pleated trousers with cuffs, line them, sew in should pads, hooks, zippers, buttons. Some of her skills were passed on to me so I know how hard it is to make something look like clothing a professional crafted (my attention to detail span could be measured in milimeters ). Some of the pieces my mother tailored hang, safely cocooned in lavendar, in the closet still. The pencil skirt with matching jacket in a beautiful pale pinstripe grey she married in. A vintage gem just as modern now as it was then. Only problem is I cant wear it quite yet. Give me another minus 10 kg.
Being able to afford many wonderful coats and jackets is fab. One single coat made with care and love (yes, love because a tailor-made coat is made with pride which is born out of love) from a beautiful soft wool or a delicious thick tweed belongs to what I'd call a miracle. I mean really, going from six or seven meters of cloth to something structured, lined, fitted onto your body like a glove? To me, that is a miracle.
How to find a coat with staying power? Look into the future (that's easy in fashion) look to the collections coming out a year from now (pre-fall 2015 for example) check out the shapes, lines, lengths of your favorite designer, travel back to now - buy with that in mind. You don't want to spend a fortune on a style with potential pitfalls come next autumn when you pull your coat out of solitary confinement. When in doubt, always buy classic conservative.
Buy less, buy well.
photos from the Burberry pre-fall 2015 collection seen at
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