It has taken me several years to understand that, although I love and still buy too many winter clothes, nobody actually gets to see them. Apart from me of course, briefly, at home, while I am getting dressed (or my husband I suppose, for those 10 seconds I make him look at me and tell me what he thinks…which, by the way, is always “fine”….not sure he is completely present when I ask!!)
The thing is, I love winter clothing, the fabrics are so much better then the summer ones. Not only, I look so much better in them! But I don’t work, that means my usual outings, consists in: going to the supermarket, a little voluntary work (very glamorous! I am in the entrance of a hospital, where the door is basically always open!!), taxi driver for my sons, some exercise (where I obviously try to look nice too, but I certainly don’t get to use my lovely clothes). This is it, really. There is the occasional evening out, theatre & cinema (where, again, nobody sees how I am dressed as it is rather dark!), very seldom a dinner out.
I know, I am a firm believer one should dress for herself because it makes one feel good anyway. But, if I then hide everything under the same coat, well, that’s what I am going to see, isn’t it?! I know, I am still wearing that fantastic outfit under it, but I can’t see it either!!!
The answer is, unfortunately, having lots of coats & co. Which is easier said than done, they don’t exactly have the same price of a jumper!! Well, not unless it’s a cashmere one I suppose. Still, if you are quite classic and like clean simple cuts and good fabrics, you may be able to build a decent array of them, over the years of course.
I own a coat that is 22 years old and I still wear it. I had it cut shorter (used to be ankle length) and now I am wearing it quite often. It is a grey classic cut, simple collar and great fabric (do check the buttons, good ones make a huge difference to the overall aspect). Some others I have stored away for a few years and then brought back out again, it certainly felt like I had something new. Sometimes I just change their look depending on which huge scarf I put on them (I own several “blanket size” scarves),
or adding my Grandmother’s fur collar on top. I had it relined and added this really cute string, made of brown velvet, the collar is brown fox, which is perfect to close it and just wear it over anything, even a jumper.
I also have added a belt to one of them, a burgundy coat, the same colour of the coat, but a different fabric or in leather.
I own a shearling coat, this one is only 19 years old, which comes out every few years, it’s quite classic, black with frog alamari (at least this is what the dictionary says the way it closes is called in english, sounds odd to me). I even started wearing one of my husband’s coats, quite large as you may guess, but it has a belt in the same fabric, and anyway, I like it without as well (he obviously doesn’t use it anymore, no way otherwise I would have got to steal it!). I needed a black coat. Poor me.
I have bought a fantastic coat this year: navy bouclé, classic, close to the body cut, collar with lapels. It’s gorgeous. I was looking for a fake fur jacket/coat, I thought I would like one, I have been looking for a few years now. But I never buy one, perhaps I am just not the right person for it? Not sure, I only know I always end up buying something else, maybe that should tell me something!! That or I could only wear a real fur coat! ( a vintage one of course).
I own a few feather jackets too. When it gets cold, nothing beats that! I have a short red one with a fantastic huge collar. That one has been resting for the last 2/3 years, it’s quite an important looking piece, so I got a bit fed up with it. I have a dark green one, very simple hooded short one. It’s kind of a “quick, mainly to use over gym clothes” jacket. But there was a time when I actually wore it over long flared skirts and it looked really good. A couple of years ago I got a knee length puffer coat, black. It took quite a search to find the right one. I never want to spend too much on this sort of outerwear, I don’t think it’s worth it. I didn’t want to look like a “Michelin man” (Italian saying) either. Third, I hate too much shiny synthetic fabric. I finally found a cute one in Zara, black, matt and a nice cut, tight enough around the shoulders, going down wider. This makes me look human and still a little feminine. It has a huge hood, which makes it look quite chic. Two big splits at the side, so, the “Michelin look” is broken!
Last, I have a parka, an old cheap one. I think I should certainly replace that next year.
None of the coats I own are extremely expensive and most of them are quite old. I would rather have everything new, but who can aspire to that?! I too prefer the latest purchase, but, having lots of different options is making me feel like I am getting changed and I am not always wearing the same outfit.
So, start building !