Thursday, 30 October 2014

A Great Coat ... Maybe Even A Great Gatsby Coat.

      "Life Starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall"
-F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

I've been thinking about F. Scott Fitzgerald these days, and how much I love his books. Especially The Great Gatsby. Especially his poetic descriptions of opulent rooms, and hot summer nights, and the clothes... the glittering, rippling dresses on the women and, of course, Gatsby's shirts. Sigh. 

And that line about fall, that I love. Where Jordan is speaking to Daisy, for whom life was simply a string of endless, languid summer days that one had to fill, somehow. Poor struggling Jordan, saying that people like her, who were not rich and insulated from real life like Daisy, had to get on with things... when summer ended, as it must. 

And, of course, reading about the end of summer and the beginning of crisp fall days makes me think about finding a great winter coat. 

Of course.

But there are so many from which to choose. Where to begin?

There are gorgeous long, flowing coats. Like this black one from H&M Studio or the white Ralph Lauren. Both in the October issue of Bazaar.


And sharply-tailored, ladylike, knee-length coats. Like this beautiful grey one by Fabiana Filippi.

Or this lovely, red Elie Tahari coat. 

And, of course, those "oh-so-chic" short coats which seem to be everywhere. 


Peacoats, or pea jackets as we used to call them, are back this fall... in a big way. Don't you love this blue one featured in With the flared jeans, and the turtleneck, it's so very 70's, and so very of the moment. The editors at Netaporter always get the look of the season just right, as far as I'm concerned.

I mean, seriously, how does one choose? Should you go for dramatic black or winter white, understated grey or traditional navy? Long, or short, or in between? 

Or maybe a primary colour? Red or yellow? 

I'd love to own this buttery yellow Gucci coat. It's delicious looking. But alas, Gucci is way out of my price range. 


So maybe this red peacoat at Zara's could go home with me instead? More my price range. No, it's probably just a teensy bit on the short side for me. 

But you know what? In all honesty... I don't really need a new winter coat. All that roaring twenties talk must have gone to my head.... rampant materialism and all that. I have several good coats in my closet. Some are even great coats. 

Like this Max Mara knee-length coat that I bought a few years ago. It's charcoal alpaca wool, and the fibres are so long, it feels almost like fur. I wore it as my "good coat" when I was still working, for those days when I had to go to meetings and needed to wear a suit or skirt. I still love it. With my cropped, stretchy pants, loafers and a turtleneck... it looks more casual these days. Still ladylike, though. 


 Or this little gem. That I almost gave away a few years ago. And then forgot about... until I saw all the shots of peacoats in the magazines and on-line and in the stores. 

My camel, wool and cashmere pea jacket (I feel kind of silly calling them peacoats.) I bought it at an end of year sale at Holt Renfrew...oh... ten years ago, it must be. I wore it for a couple of years and then, when coat styles went all slim and fitted, the boxy cut began to feel wrong. So I put it away. But I didn't give it away... mostly because I love camel coats. I could have taken it to a consignment shop, but it was such a steal; it didn't owe me anything. 

Now it has been reborn. Or it will be after I get it dry cleaned. And with my black Vince turtleneck and black leggings and boots... it looks quite spiffy... if I do say so myself. And as for all those primary colours that were so tempting. Well, there are always bright scarves.


I have a couple more winter coats hanging in the closet. A lovely deep brown Max Mara "car coat" with a stand up collar that still looks great. Oh... and my burgundy-brown-ish, down-filled coat that I bought last winter when it seemed as if spring would never arrive and I was soooooo bloody tired of being cold! I'll wait a few months to haul it out. Hopefully.

So, I think that's me sorted. 

I could never have justified buying a new winter coat of any stripe, or colour, this year. Long, short or in between. I have to get fed up with the ones I already own, decide that I will never wear them again, and cull a couple of them first. And it looks as if that isn't going to happen, at least this year.'s so much fun to pull pictures out of magazines and then shop my own closet. 

And as for Jay Gatsby. Well, so much for the lure of money and opulence and glitter. Look how he ended up. Face down in his own pool... and all those beautiful shirts, gone to waste. 

Still it is a seriously beautiful book. Despite the ending. When I started writing this post, I went looking for my copy of The Great Gatsby... and you know, I could not find it anywhere. Maybe I'll take some of the money I saved by not buying a new winter coat and go buy a new copy.

What are you doing this fall about a great winter coat?

Linking up this week with  Thursday Blog Hop at Over 50, Feeling 40, and Passion 4 Fashion Link up at Rachel the Hat and Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style


  1. Here in LA, we rarely have call for winter coats, which is quite a shame actually with so many beautiful options out there. But on chilly mornings, I love a peacoat, and the one I picked up during one of the J.Crew sales last year should serve me well in this climate for years to come. I love that camel coat of yours. LOVE.

    1. Thanks. Although I love coats, even winter coats, I wouldn't mind a shorter season of having to wear them. Come February I will be right royally sick of all my heavy coats!

  2. Seconding Sue's love for that camel coat!
    This was going to be the fall I splurged on a camel MaxMara, if I could find the right shade for my complexion. But the reality of impending retirement (within the next year or so) has me questioning that purchase, especially since I then went through a similar process to yours and realized I still really like my classic grey tailored knee-length cashmere coat (100% cashmere! Banana Republic Heritage on sale post-Christmas 7 years ago). I've got a couple of trenchcoats (one Burberry, metallic silver-grey), a couple of long winter coats for more extreme weather when we get it (not what you'd call extreme, I know). I did buy a new peacoat, J. Crew, on sale, navy, because my Aritzia peacoat is looking a bit tired (can't quite give it up, though, and will probably wear it on the island, keep the JCrew for the city). I debated (am still debating?) getting the JCrew peacoat in the heathered turquoise given all the temptation/emphasis on coloured coats, but in the end, I think I'll do the same as you and continue to rely on scarves to bring colour to my neutral coats. Can't go wrong with classics in neutrals . . . as you demonstrate here very well!

    1. Thanks. I just love camel in a coat or heavy sweater. But a heathered turquoise peacoat does sound appealing. And now that Ottawa has a J Crew and even a J Crew outlet as of this month...maybe I will be able to channel both you and Une Femme in my style choices.

  3. You have fabulous, timeless coats--keepers! I was thinking it was time for me to get a new/different coat this year--even said as much to hubs over the weekend. But then I started looking at the ones I have and thought, "why?". I really like the ones I have. I think I like them because they are vintage and swingy/roomy which is soooo important in Michigan so I can layer up under them and not feel like the Michelin man when I walk out the door. BTW, if you know anyone in the market for a near perfect vintage Land's End pea coat (100%wool, made in the USA vintage), I have one that will be in my Etsy store soon. : )

    1. Thanks. I know what you mean about not wanting to look like the Michelin man. That's why I avoided down coats for so long...until last year's polar vortex convinced me.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Oh I love your camel coat! It's so fresh and classic looking! Very sharp!

    1. Thanks. It's drycleaned now and all ready for the colder weather.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  5. I love the coats and pretty scarf mix.


All comments, ideas, commiserations, questions, complaints... are most welcome.