Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Coat to Make You Smile

     Let's just be perfectly honest: winter is cold and dreary. This isn't to say that I don't appreciate a magical snowfall, or drinking hot cocoa with a good book, but when it comes to doing what has to be done (namely getting out of my bed to brave the cold and walk to class, usually rushing), let's just say that I would rather skip from fall to spring. I love fall weather, with the delightful crispness in the air and the leaves crunching underfoot or displaying their gorgeous fall colors while still on the trees; but as soon as it becomes bitingly cold, I don't want it anymore. The one redeeming factor about freezing temperatures is the beautiful style that can go with it. Enter scarves and tights and socks and hats; and enter my winter coat.

     I love my coat so much; I made it last year at the end of the Christmas season, right before the spring semester began. I knew at this point that I would be moving to my University and need a very warm coat for traipsing all over campus. I had had the wool for an entire year (having received it as a Christmas gift the year before) when I finally made it. I used this pattern, which isn't really meant for heavy fabrics, but the silhouette was so perfect that I decided to disregard that little tidbit (and it worked).
     I lined it in red satin, which was actually very much a 'Make Do and Mend' thing to do. I re-purposed it from the skirt of my first Civil War ball gown, knowing that I would never wear it as such again. It seemed such a waste to let all of that lovely satin sit unused, and I had no money or fabric otherwise. Really, it was quite satisfying to be so thrifty about it. I love eliminating waste, so this was a challenge accepted for me. The fabric was not long enough to be the lining, and so I had to piece it together. I was actually quite pleased with how the seams looked, it gives the coat rather more personality.

     I added the button just before I left home in August, which was a necessary adjustment. The coat is far too prone to fly open for my liking, and the button insures that I will keep my coat on. It is very heavy, what with a thick layer of wool and satin interlined with muslin, and it keeps out the cold better than any other coat I have (except for the front opening which still has a mind of its own). I love wearing my coat, it instantly makes any drab outfit feel glamorous; though I admit that there are times when I wonder if it is too much. I honestly need to just stop worrying about what people think. The truth is that some people will think it is too much, some will think it's lovely, and most probably won't care. I have realized lately that it is almost narcissistic to think that everyone (or even most people) care about what I am wearing. I do not wear the clothes that I wear to stand out, I wear them because I want to; and if my focus shifts from that then the whole point of wearing vintage is defeated, and I might as well go back to jeans and t-shirts. The truth is that people usually don't even know that what you are wearing is vintage inspired, because most people are not as obsessed as I am, and I do mean 'obsessed'.
     Well, all this goes to say that if it is dreary and cold out, nothing can make the day so tolerable as a pretty swing coat. It makes you happy, and keeps you warm!
Lots of love!

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