A coat that’s not just for Christmas

D6B3FA10-4400-42F9-8227-5D625E1CAC6DIt’s the most wonderful time of year! And you know what that means? Last-minute shopping for things we will never wear again apparently! The charity Hubbub has found that many of the outfits purchased this Christmas season may be worn fewer than three times. Three times!!

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According to this Guardian article, “the charity is highlighting the findings as another example of the environmental and financial impact of fast or throwaway fashion, amid growing concerns that the industry is wasting valuable resources and contributing to the climate crisis.”

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Perfect timing, then, to see what the world of vintage, pre-loved and second-hand has on offer! And whereas partywear is the ultimate in throwaway festive frippery, outerwear is a the loyal stalwart of the winter season. Think of how many wears you get out of a real go-to winter coat – and just how much it defines your style over the colder months too. It’s the main item in your wardrobe on display whenever you leave the house – way more visible than any of those throwaway party pieces!

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I’ve had a beautiful 60s coat in my mind’s eye for such a long time. It’s one of my most searched terms on Pinterest! And I could spend hours looking at vintage patterns on Etsy. I just find the whole silhouette to be so feminine yet totally effortless. However it hasn’t been in fashion for a while now. With more oversized, less fitted coat styles being seen as more modern, it’s not something I could easily find on the high street…

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Above: My version of the Sixties swing coat compared to some of the original designs below

Step up e-bay! I’m not actually the world’s biggest fan of the site to be honest as I’m not that great with the bidding process. But I pop over there from time to time as it’s such a trove of vintage treasures! I’ve gone over to search for “women’s 60s coat” every now and then just in case I found THE ONE… and low and behold this time I did! Given how long I’d been looking for this, it was just the opposite of a spontaneous purchase. And the waiting game paid off.

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First off, we have to talk about that beautiful bright red shade! It’s just so festive without the obviousness of a Christmas jumper or anything too glitzy (not that I don’t love either of those!). Plus you can wear it anywhere from the ice rink to the Christmas market without catching a chill. And it won’t look past its sell-by-date as we head into the New Year.

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It was the details of this piece that really got me though, especially the beautiful curved seam lines at the centre front and the belted waist at the back. Pure Sixties chic. It checked all the boxes: French 60s design, pure wool fabric, that colour, the price. This is the kind of buzz that could replace a fast fashion fix!

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That’s the thing about vintage shopping. You never know what you might find. But you do know it will be a one-of-a-kind piece you’ve selected with care because it perfectly represents you and your style – so you’ll never want to part with it. As The Guardian article continues “Vintage and pre-loved clothing has never been so on trend and it’s only going to get bigger as people realise the massive environmental impact of the fashion industry.” I couldn’t have put it better myself. Merry Christmas everyone!

Alice xx

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