Monday, August 20, 2012

In My Closet: A Love Affair with Jackets

Growing up my sister and I got a new jacket each year. At the time, I didn't realize what a luxury this was nor did I realize it would be the start of a love affair.
Modern Deb Double Breasted Princess Cut Jacket
I remember my first below the knee coat. It would be the first coat that I didn't grow out of or wear out. Of course it was a vintage-inspired style. It was the 80s so the line of the coat was Hollywood glamour, late 1940s/1950s. It was a fitted, single-breast, gathered in the back silhouette in a light camel brown. It even had a faux fur collar. I had it in my closet through my teens. My next coat would last as long but not hold the same affection. It would be a black wool herringbone with a boxy silhouette. It would be one of my first purchases outside the children's department. I made a better choice the next year, choosing a winter white wool evening coat that I'd wear to the Winterball.
I simplified my jacket wardrobe when I moved to Texas. Going with a simple black trench coat and a black with brown suede London Fog car coat. In Michigan, I supplemented these choices with a long black Down jacket and a single breasted black wool coat. Coats had become a necessary evil, not something I put a lot of thought into. An off white Boucle jacket from Guess with faux fur collar that skimmed my hips would change this.
It was love at first sight with this jacket. I resisted its pull, walking out of the store in Chicago without purchasing it. I'd, however, drag my friend back with me the next afternoon. She'd encourage me to try it on, which I did, and the rest is history.
Another jacket -- another Guess jacket -- would reignite my love affair with jackets and start me acquiring a new jacket each year. My second Guess jacket was impractical. I chose a fire engine red. With the exception of my other Guess jacket which I wore only for dates and special occasions, I hadn't really been complimented on my outerwear choices. My fire engine red coat would change all this; a man walking down Valencia changed direction and dashed across the street to tell me how smart I looked. He made my day. His boyfriend, when the light changed, would later join us and also compliment me. That was 2009.
In 2010, a fitted black cotton with leather Skingraft coat (a wedding gift from my husband) would take center stage. While off the rack no one could tell thinking it custom made. In 2011, pregnant, I doubted I would find a statement coat. I found two: a red velvet swing coat with Peter Pan collar and a brown herringbone trench coat. Both were vintage. Both together cost less than $150 (my yearly coat budget).
Now I don't need a jacket. I have the two swing coats from last year as well as my playa coat (a vintage black wool coat with fur collar). It's off season; the perfect time to buy a vintage winter coat. So what did I do? For the past week I've been having a love affair with a 1950s Princess cut coat. One that's trimmed in black fur. The fur isn't the main draw. The color is; it's brilliant teal. Practical? No. Eye catching and statement making? Yes.
Do you have a love affair with jackets?
Ciao Bella!
Credits: All images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.
In My Closet is a monthly series, published on the third Monday of each month. Posts from April 2011 to December 2011 are available at A Timeless Affair - Life with a Vintage Touch.