Hot on the heels of the joy of Christmas are, of course, the SALES! Admittedly there are sales all year round now but, for me, there is still something special about the so called January sales. My idea of a bargain is not necessarily something cheap. It’s something I love but with a reduced price tag that brings it into the “worth it” bracket. My favourite stomping ground is Harvey Nicks in Edinburgh where I’ve snapped up Prada boots, a Joseph dress and a Sportmax coat to name but a few. Investment purchases definitely – but worth every penny.
So this week we’re talking coats with Cath and Helen who get the Style Stuff stamp of approval and more than a little envy for their coat prowess. Both are lifelong lovers of coats for their ability to hide a multitude of sins and pull an outfit together all at the same time.
Like most obsessions – they started young. Cath recalls a brown fur coat with a white fur collar and cuffs she wore as an eight year old. It might not be today’s choice but, believe me, she was the toast of St Patricks in Consett back then. Helen couldn’t believe her luck when her brother gave her the best hand me down ever – his cool parka.
Inspired by Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail Cath’s signature look includes grey, navy and camel wool coats. Asked about her All Saints purchase above she says … “Whilst I adore All Saints I totally get that I’m not their target market and sometimes feel a little embarrassed when I’m shopping alongside girls my daughter’s age. This usually results in a very quick purchase as I’m not comfortable loitering. Such was the case with my 3rd wool coat of the season. The camel knee length loose fitting vision was on a mannequin and had my name all over it, but I was circling and coveting from a safe distance. Cue very good sales girl. She instantly sniffed out my buying potential and asked me if I wanted to try it on. The coat was on my back for all of 10 seconds before I said I would have it! She told me it was the quickest sale she’d ever made. And the price – well let’s just say it will need to be worn for several seasons to get value for money from it.”
Helen has no qualms about making an investment purchase. Her grey Alexander McQueen coat (above) still looks fabulous after 13 years and she declares couldn’t live without this beautiful camel number from Joseph.
But she’s got a great eye for a high street purchase too. Her Zara cape and Oasis biker jacket both punch above their weight in the trend stakes but didn’t break the bank.
A conversation with Cath about coats soon turns to blazers – she’s something of an expert after all. She still mourns the loss of a Rod Stewart style stripy blazer from her college days. Think Baby Jane era. Essential to her “together but not too try hard” look she finds a good blazer hard to resist. Hence a total of seven in her wardrobe right now including two from Ralph Lauren and a, much loved, 10 year old silk favourite from Cos.
Ditto macs. Yet she wonders how, with six to her name, she’s never wearing one when it’s raining!
So, if you’re considering a coat in the Sales remember this top tip from the Style Stuff experts …
An investment coat will be the hardest working item in your wardrobe – buy the best you can afford!
But if it’s this year’s trend you’re after – the high street is a fabulous hunting ground.
Teddy coats might be all the rage right now but in 10 years time? Not so much. Do what I did and get yourself to Zara
Though sometimes a one season wonder turns out to be anything but. Take Cath’s 10 year old Topshop faux fur. Dress it up – dress it down – what’s not to like!
And if it makes you want to twirl – it has to be a yes!