Several weeks ago, I wrote with glee that I had found one of my holy grail vintage items: a nipped-waist New Look suit. I checked it off my “collector goals” list, and since then I’ve been hunting hardcore for the next item down: an authentic ’40s-’50s princess coat.
Guys. You have no idea how few and far between genuine princess coats are. Look up “princess coat large” on Etsy. That’s right – four pages of results, as compared to the usual hundreds. To add insult, most of them aren’t even princess coats. Here is what a princess coat is: a nipped-waist coat with a full skirt. Here is what a princess coat isn’t: a swing coat, a pea coat, an opera coat, a wrap coat, or a trench coat. And yet they make up, oh, 75% of the “princess coats” for sale online. Of the authentic ones, anything really beautiful will invariably be a) hundreds of dollars and b) tiny.
So I’ve been sitting here banging my face against the wall, because this should not be that difficult! It’s not a complicated design. I’m not after authentic Russian mink or hand-stitched couture. Just a coat that, perish the thought, fits over my dresses. I’ve put up with the dreaded petticoat squish for far too long. Not attractive. Not in the least.
And then Calendar Girl Vintage walked into my life…
And at last it is mine. A 1940s princess coat in my exact size, complete with crisp shoulders, wasp waist, and the twirliest skirt you can imagine. For under $150. I still can’t believe it’s real! I am the WWII stewardess of my wildest dreams. This is the kind of coat you pass down to your grandchildren.
I premiered my new coat on Easter Sunday, at my first-ever Latin Mass. Not being Catholic, I felt vaguely blasphemous, but girl’s gotta have Latin. And ecclesiastical Latin is delightful. So crisp and simple – a nice change from Ovid, whose favorite pastime is changing verb endings because “lol why not”.
Coat: vintage, via Calendar Girl Vintage
Hat: vintage, via Gem’s Vintage Gems
Dress: vintage, via brick-and-mortar store
Gloves: vintage, thrifted
Shoes: from Kristina