Monday, November 29, 2010

Back to the Future -- What I Wore

Although the snow is all gone now, and I'm not sad about that at all, I'm happy enough to recall the fleeting beauty it confers on all manner of everyday sights. Here, for example, it highlights the rugged yet delicate edges of an oyster shell,
the conversation between woodgrain and shell-whorls,
while it trains the eye to see the many seductive colours, textures, and lines in what might quickly be dismissed as simply white.

As well, the cold weather gave me a chance to get out the winter coats. While I just posted about my charcoal cashmere BR coat, I was also very happy last week to wear something a bit more dramatic. And although it's over three years old now, the coat garnered me numerous colourful compliments, several of which involved narrative comparisons: apparently, it reminds people of Little Women and also evokes steampunk.

So if you don't mind, I'm going to do something I've never done on this blog before, and that is to repost what I once said about this coat along with the pictures I offered then. I have to say that while I obviously loved the coat then, I'm even happier with it now when, three years later, it confirms a certain continuity I hope to have established in my personal style. Three years, of course, is a relatively short trial and I do have coats of considerably more longevity, but these days, when the What's In/What's Out columns change at bewildering speeds, I'm thrilled the honeymoon is lasting this long and confident this dramatic coat and I will grow old together.

Before I leave you with this post from December 2007, I'll just recount my Son-in-Law's comment one very windy Christmas Eve, when he looked back from the boat to see me coming down the low-tide-extremely-steep boat ramp with this coat's skirt billowing behind me: "That coat's awesome -- you look like a gun-slinging Ninja or something!" (Note: he quickly qualified that Ninjas would never sling guns, but that the coat seemed to demand the mixed metaphor.)

In my teens, I was impatient when my mother would say that a good coat was important, that it made a first impression. For me, a coat was something to keep me warm and dry 'til I took it off at school or, eventually, work, and I preferred to use my clothing budget for the more fun stuff (not coincidentally, the items that could affordably be replaced more often while the coat had to serve for several years).
But it's been a few decades now since I've come around to mom's way of thinking and the last few years, especially, I've been appreciating the comfort and confidence that a good coat can provide. Here's my latest acquisition, the Creenstone coat I debated about several weeks ago
You can see the fullness of the skirt as it blows in the wind here.
I love these buttons up the sleeves, the zipper details, the shaping . . . all that and I'm warm and dry!
I wore the coat to take Mom to the Festival of Lights at the VanDusen gardens -- wonder if she noticed that I'd paid attention to her early lessons!


  1. Your coat is so much fun. I rather expect you to start singing Dickensian carols. Seriously, if we can't have fun at this age when is it supposed to happen? And I'm also a fan of your woodgrain.

  2. That coat suits you...and I think adding that bright scarf is just the right touch.
    Gun slinging spontaneous was that?

  3. THAT is what you call a statement coat! And so flattering with those lines! Just gorgeous!

  4. A romantic sweep of a coat- it looks like something out of a costume department (in a good way) and I think your curls and handknit scarf suit it. One has to get the details right with such a piece, and you have!

  5. It is dramatic, and I am glad you still love the coat. Your son's mixed metaphor made me laugh!

  6. LPC: Exactly. I do think we're entitled -- and really can one have too much Dickens?
    Hostess: And the red alpaca is soooo soft around my neck.
    F>50: All of Creenstone's coats have these amazing lines with zipper and snap details. And the fabric is so practical for warmth and wind/water resistance.
    Duchesse: Thanks! I do measure when I'm up for such drama and, more importantly, when Pater is. Sometimes I realize he'd probably prefer I just slip on my peacoat and we can be a bit more unobtrusive;-)
    Susan T: My SIL does have a way with words, and he often makes me laugh. I'm pretty sure a gunslinging Ninja is a good thing. . .

  7. I do like the buttons up the sleeves and the fullness of the "skirt". I am impressed that those around you comment on its profile...

  8. I see you in that coat in a Renoir or Degas or some French masters painting. All you need is a father or a flower in your cap and you are the perfect picture of French beauty.

  9. What an amazing coat! The red scarf and gloves set it off perfectly - plus your lovely hair.

  10. It is a great coat, I always love a slightly flared lower half to create a more interesting (girly)shape, rather than my caterpiller duvet sausage that I wear!
    We have your snow, lots and lots of it!

  11. You made a good bargain buying that coat. The color is good and I like the volume it has, as well as the length of it. Well done!

  12. Terri: I'm detecting much ambivalence . . . it's not for everyone, I know.
    LBR: It does evoke an earlier century, doesn't it!
    Alison: Ah, but there's nothing like the duvet sausage in really cold weather, is there? Hope you're staying warm . . .
    Tiff: Funny, but with all the winter scarves I have, I do keep reaching for this one.
    Metscan: Thanks! Considering how discerning your eye is, I'll take this as a real compliment.

  13. A winter coat you can stride in while looking stylish - what a concept!

    I love that it shows off your waist. Excellent choice, Madame.


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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