Thursday, September 13, 2007

Classics Edition: Coat Fiend

When it comes to indulgent shopping, I tend to collect shoes and coats. I justify my spending in the latter category with the following rationale: Wintertime means spending much of one's time in a coat, day in, day out, for months on end. If I practically have to live in one, I might as well buy a coat I absolutely love, and it's worth it for me to invest in a variety of toppers to pair with anything and everything in my winter wardrobe. An added benefit is that I can just throw on a great coat on those days when I can't be bothered to figure out what to wear, and it instantly dresses me up. Even if you're not as coat-obsessed as I am, I still think your fall/winter wardrobe needs, at minimum, three coats. A brief, illustrated guide:

1. The basic trench: A light topper that will see you through the cold November rain (sorry, for the GN'R reference -- it was too easy and I couldn't help myself). Examples:

This one by Soia & Kyo has oversized buttons, a flap collar, and a fun belt. $242 @ Revolve.

This one by L'ecole des Femmes has a great shape and comes with a detachable hood. $385 @ Revolve.

Button detail.

2. The jacket. A wool jacket is more casual than a full-length coat and is perfect for chill days. I am a fan of most things Nicholas K, and the Barrett sweater is no exception. $282 @ Standard Style.

3. One serious coat. If you can afford to invest in one, this sophisticated BI LA LI Chevron striped coat would make an excellent choice. It's exclusive to Net-a-Porter and runs $955. Collar buttoned:

Or collar-down:

Photo credit: 1-3) 4) 5-6)


  1. Amazing jacket selections; all are incredibly chic and versatile.

  2. How do you afford this stuff on a student's budget? Most of the items on this site are wishlist items.

  3. Some of my most stylish friends are those whose spend the least amount of money on their clothes, while I see countless others who walk out of the most exclusive boutiques and still manage to look boring or downright hideous. The purpose of this site is to allow anyone, no matter what your budget, to "window shop" from a desk --- especially if you're really into fashion but don't have the time or energy to explore every nook and cranny in the retail world. If you like what you see on this site but can't swallow the sometimes astronomical prices, there are still ways to utilize it to hone in on what you want. By perusing examples of what's going on in fashion (or at least, whatever happens to catch my eye in fashion!), a person can get an idea of what trends, styles, or design details to look for. Many of these looks will be reinterpreted by mass merchants in less costly materials, so similar designs will be available to consumers at a variety of price points. The most successful will trickle down from the sales floor of Barneys to a Forever 21. Rumor has it that Zara can manage to roll out the much more affordable, designer-inspired pieces they are known for within two weeks of their appearance on fashion runways. In the end, it's all up to the individual and his/her personal sense of style, as well as sheer ingenuity, that creates style -- not how much disposable income you have. As a friend of mine likes to put it, style simply can't be bought.

    On my blog, I like to highlight eye-catching pieces and unique details. I often prefer showing the work of lesser-known designers to the major runway names because the work of these smaller design houses is often done by hand and each piece takes countless hours and a lot of skill, which merits the high price tag. I have respect for the fact that they certainly don't do it for the money. They don't generate nearly as much income as a major brand that can sell anything they slap their name on for an absurd price, just because they can get away with it. I've met or corresponded with some of the up-and-coming designers whose work I feature and I can honestly say it's inspiring to see how excited they are about their craft. While there are customers who appreciate their designs and can afford to buy them, the vast majority of us can only be inspired and seek out alternatives, or save up for that one investment piece. I don't even have kids and I already have what I consider "heirloom pieces" to pass on!

    I do think I'll start a section for students or people who are on a tight budget, featuring steals and deals. Look for it in the coming weeks. Thanks for commenting -- you gave me a new idea!

  4. Looking forward to the steals and deals section to come, though i think InStyle has the name.

    One alternative to the seriously expensive serious coat is the J Crew line. I bought one in High-School and though I have had to have it re-lined, it has held up beautifully.

    -love meredyth