extravagance & wool

coati

We’re having an apocalyptic warm snap today (80 degrees?!), so I’m attempting balance with the newest, and possibly most spectacular, item checked off my vintage wishlist. I took these pictures over three weeks ago at the Springfield Steampunk Festival, so they’re both pre-haircut and pre-full autumn foliage. I’m sure you can handle it.

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My yearning for vintage princess coats is thoroughly documented. You could make a cut-rate reality show about it. Unfortunately, they’re among the rarest of the rares. Surviving ones are almost always tiny and almost always exorbitantly priced. And anything both large enough and cheap enough is, most often, not a princess coat. I wrote back in March:

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.

Yeah. Hashtag struggle. I found a gorgeous navy version earlier this year, and of course I adore it, but warm it is not. In a state where you’re bundled up six months of the year, you have to maintain the glamour somehow. So my hunt continued, narrowed further still.

And then faeriejess happened.

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There it was: grey wool, velvet accents, and my exact size. And also…a sum of money I am too ladylike to disclose. Welp. After three days of ruminating, I swallowed my pride and ponied up. I paid a quarter of the price upfront, with regular payments over the next few weeks. As of a month ago? She’s finally mine.

I was always sort of creeped out by vintage bloggers’ tendency to give their clothes animate pronouns. Now I think I understand it. Sometimes a piece is so lovely you can’t help personifying.

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I doubt I’ll ever pay so much for a piece of clothing again. I also doubt I’ll ever need to. This is the kind of coat you get buried in. It’s classic and sturdy and one of the warmest things I’ve ever owned. And it doesn’t hurt that at one of the haunted houses I visited this month, an actor broke character to tell me how much she loved it.

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7 Comments

  1. OMGosh ! I’ve been yearning for a princess coat like that for ages (and yes, I have been through the etsy and ebay searches !). Looks gorgeous on you ! Totally worth it !
    And I love the story about the haunted house actor ! lol ! One of my fondest OOTD memories is of a security guard at the entrance of an exhibition (you know the type, 6ft10, built like a brickhouse) telling me, after searching my handbag, that it was the most beautiful handbag he’d seen since the beginning of the exhibition. Lol !

  2. That is an amaaaaaazing coat. I took it upon myself to find a princess coat when we first moved to out East and after much scouring I was able to find one around $100, but it’s not nearly as exciting as yours! This year my quest was finding a 40s swing coat…

  3. I am SO EXCITED THAT YOU FINALLY FOUND ONE!!! I loved the navy blue one too, but this! This is perfection. Absolute perfection. It’s so gloriously YOU. And the fact that someone actually broke character just to compliment? That’s pretty amazing!

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