Monday, December 6, 2010

Dressing vintage in winter!

I read a lot of blogs and I know there are many people out there that dress vintage way better (and more often) than I do.  Mostly because I'm often too busy or too lazy to get all dressed up just to go grocery shopping or to the gym, I often do not wear much vintage every day.

So in the winter, I have found a trick to dressing vintage, even when I don't really feel like going through all the effort. Some of my favorite vintage items in my wardrobe are coats!

A great vintage coat can cover up a multitude of sins; even jeans and sweatshirts (but not Ugg boots!) And best of all, vintage coats are easy to find. From James Dean-esque windbreakers, to Pendleton jackets, to furs, every single time I go to a thrift store I see a rack of great coats. Do yourself a favor and pick one up- it'll probably be warmer than most new coats and no doubt it will last longer. And with the right accessories, you'll pull off that vintage look even if you didn't put on a girdle and stockings and rolled your hair.

Over the years I have probably acquired at least a dozen vintage coats. I'm a sucker for them, probably because they're easy to wear, and they don't have to fit perfectly to be comfortable, like a great dress or shoes.

This is my hands-down favorite. It's a 1950s winter-white wool swing coat with a white mink collar. I always choose this one when I'm going somewhere dressy. Even with jeans and sneakers underneath, there is no doubt that you are a vintage-lovin' person when you wear a coat like this! Throw on a great vintage rhinestone pin and maybe a mink-trimmed hat and it would even make Ugg boots look good.

This is my everyday jacket, a Woolrich plaid wool toggle jacket. I have had this coat for about 12 years and worn the heck out of it- it still looks brand new and is warm and cozy.  Woolrich was the maker of the iconic red plaid hunting suits men used to wear in the 1930s and 40s, and still makes great vintage-looking coats for men and women:

Everyone needs a raincoat; why not wear a vintage one? This is my favorite, a Misty Harbor, probably from the 60s. It's a great color- not that boring black or tan- and a very practical longer length. Plus, I love the tag line: "Wear in Good Health". Pair it with a vintage umbrella for extra style points, but leave the plastic bonnet at home! ;)

I often wear this 1950s cropped faux-Persian lamb jacket over jeans and a turtleneck. It's surprisingly warm and is a great olive-green color.

I'm sure at one point it had a collar - and was probably supposed to be worn with something like this:

But that's not really my style, and I would probably never wear a mink stole like this in public these days. I just don't need to invite that kind of controversy, even though these little guys have been dead for 70 years.

But accessories do make the outfit, and with the right hat, scarf, gloves and (my favorite!) a muff (real Persian lamb this time) any vintage coat becomes a showstopper. It helps if you're wearing vintage underneath, but with this kind of outerwear, folks might not even notice!

And don't forget the handbag! ;)


  1. Love the coats! And purses! I have a couple of vintage fur trimmed coats and I think I'm going to pull them out. I wore my fave coat until it was in tatters---I called it my "swing" coat and I'd wear it to the dance clubs for several years until it fell to pieces. Thank goodness there is a brand spanking new Goodwill in my neighborhood ;-)

  2. Lovely.
    That white one is gorgeous.
    I'm jealous.

  3. Gorgeous Dorset Rex basket weave purse! I love it!

  4. Yum, love the white coat. Is there anything better than a good swing coat? I think I'll wear my red swing jacket this morning in your honor!

  5. Oh definitely!! I still wear my dressy coat that looks quite like your white one, only it's black, with a brown fur (mink?) collar. Soooo warm. It's interlined with something, maybe flannel, can't tell because I can't see it, but it's really cozy. I got it at an auction on a hot summer day when nobody but me even wanted to LOOK at coats. Four bucks.

    And I just picked up a cute wool car coat (zippers at the bottom side seams) from my local charity thrift. Not such a good deal, it was five bucks.

  6. You make such a good point about being able to look vintage even if you don't feel like making an effort! i love the plaid coat!!

    I found you on vavoom vintage's blog link up list! I'm your newest follower!!


  7. I think you are totally right about the coats. Especially in winter when everyone else is wearing ski parkas, a vintage coat (with accessories!) gets noticed.

  8. A woman after my own heart!:)I've always loved vintage coats.That white one of yours is just gorgeous,i love the woolrich one as well,great colour.
    So true about coats being an easy vintage fix.I have 2 that are from the 50's -60's they are wool & mohair ,in lovely nuetral colours & both are beautifully warm & i can pretty much wear them over anything.

  9. What a nice vintage winter wardrobe you have! I love the Woolrich coat for a casual item...and the Lucite purse for the dressy item!