Friday, February 29, 2008

wanting what I have, the cashmere coat version

After questioning some of my shopping patterns recently (and Une Femme extended this thinking with a very productive analogy in her post yesterday), I decided to focus on the succesful purchases I've made rather than excoriate myself for the mistakes. I've spent more money on coats in the last two years than on anything else, and I don't regret a penny. I found this 100% cashmere coat, 50% off, at Banana Republic January 2007, several months after I'd bought a full-length wool coat by Mackage that I really loved. But I knew that the opportunities to afford cashmere wouldn't come my way often and a charcoal coat in a classic cut will not outlast its stylishness. The Frye boots that I'm wearing with it were not on sale when I saw them, but I knew immediately they would be perfect, again even though I had other black boots that I liked. I don't regret paying full price for these either: they're very current right now yet are not overly trendy and I anticipate getting at least four years out of them, if not more.
The gloves are a leopard-print chocolate brown leather, again full-price (around $50) that I wear almost every day (since having my beautiful deep red leather gloves, bought at a crazy sale price and worn with love for two years, taken out of the car my husband left unlocked for ten minutes to run in and fetch me). The red alpaca shawl, worn as a scarf, I made myself in the Icarus pattern by Miriam Felton for less than $20. I don't like to overdo the handknit look but I love having a beautiful scarf in kid mohair, or silk, or alpaca, or cashmere -- these make a great accent of colour and provide personality to an outfit, imho.
As does the hat, of course. This one is a grey wool felt fedora by Banana Republic, bought in the after Christmas sales, resisted at full price. Wearing hats used to feel too costumey to me when I was younger, but in the last year or two I've just decided to take them on. It's about not going gently into the matronly, but taking advantage of my perspective on life to have fun with clothes if I want to.
Anyway, now that I've reassured myself that I can and do make more successful wardrobe choices than I do mistakes, I'm going to mull over the elements that make the successes as I do another survey of the spring offerings downtown.


  1. Great look! And a great idea to focus on what works rather than what doesn't. I love the texture of the red scarf against the smooth hat and coat.

  2. The gf is currently very much in love with several Mackage coats. And one must certainly buy cashmere whenever the opportunity arises.

  3. Thanks, DP.
    and Thomas,your GF has good taste -- Mackage has some great detailwork in all their coats. I have a little black leather one that has great pink lining with gold pleated satin trim -- on the inside! And all at pretty decent price points for the quality. And it's a Canadian company.

  4. Quite the kickin' outfit, as my students would say. I've recently begun a similar practice of trying to buy clothing that I love--not just things that will do.

    The boots, however, the lovely Frye boots that I covet, received short shrift in these photos. I know you posted about them before, but I feel one can never have too many boot photos for inspiration!


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