✯ Day 286 of Vintage 365 ✯
Upon waking this morning it struck me that I'm ready for cold weather. For nights that get dark before rush hour, for seeing my breath as the bitingly crisp air greets me in the snowy morns, for mugs of cocoa so big, deep, and warm they could double as hot tubs.
It's easy to idealize springs, summer and fall, but winter - with it's endless snow banks, dangerously icy roads, and mandatory layers of clothing can be a lot trickier to wax poetically about. And yet, here in the midst of a lovely autumn, with the memory of a painfully hot summer still seared into my brain, I cannot help but get a little giddy about the positive elements of the winter that lays ahead of us.
One thing I need (desperately) though before we shake hands with Old Man Winter again, is a cold weather coat. I have toppers to see me through the three warmer seasons of the year, but two years ago my beloved winter coat went to the big closet in the sky - or at least it tried it. Not being able to find a suitable substitute, I pushed it for a couple more winters, but (and believe we when I say it pains me to do this) I know it simply must be retired.
A black, full length, incredibly vintage looking (though I believe it was made in the 80s, based on the font used in the tag and the sizing) princess coat that I bought for $100 (a huge sum to me at the time) at one of my favourite consignment stores when I was eighteen and living on my own in Calgary, this coat saw me through winters in two countries and three provinces. It's long past it's prime though, quite threadbare, has been mended more times than I can count, and is no longer to able to keep out the brutal Canadian chill as well as it should.
While I could pop over to the mall and pick up any old modern coat, that's not not how I roll. I know that I won't find the exact same coat I've worn for nearly a decade again, but - as it was, unquestionably, the best and most beautiful winter coat I've ever owned - I'd like to unearth something similar.
The coat needs to be long and (ideally) fitted, fend of the wrath of winter, contain as little wool as possible (as my skin is terribly allergic to wool), and look (if not actually be) wonderfully 1940s or 50s style. Oh, and it absolutely must not break the bank. If if wants to look like the stunning, incomparably glamorous number below, all the better.
Ok, in reality, gorgeous as it is, I think the 1950s coat above wouldn't quite pass muster on a freezing cold, wildly winding -30C January morning at the bus stop, but if I was in the market for a more swingy (instead of fitted) winter coat in a timeless hue, that would fit the bill rather nicely.
I've made peace with the fact that I won't be able to replace my beloved black princess coat with an exact duplicate, but as winter draws nearer with each jewel toned leaf that tumbles to the ground, I know that I need to step up the pace of my search and find another coat that I'll (hopefully) adore - and get as much wear out of - as much.
With the clock ticking down and snow probably not that terribly far away at this point (this being Canada after all!), I'm off to start trawling the online waters for a new vintage winter coat that will really ensure I'm properly ready to face the next season when it barges onto the scene.
(If you have any favourite sources for vintage outwear, by all means feel free to let me know in the comments.)