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THE JOY OF VINTAGE COATS


Not just for memories, vintage coats can be paired with your current fashion.


Fantastic detailing on this Roberto Cavalli trench
Some of the fantastic detailing on this Roberto Cavalli trench

There's a special place in my closet where I keep my vintage coats. I don't visit there often, but when I do I remember why I never give them away. Each coat evokes a strong memory.


It was a grey, winter day in Paris. Mr Swinging and I were wandering the Marais, a historic, trendy quartier filled with museums, art galleries, patisseries, and shops. We turned a corner and came upon a shaded courtyard. Blue, azure tiles led to Piscine, a boutique selling high-end designer labels.


Roberto Cavalli trench coat, buttoned & belted

Paris. Designer clothing. You have to at least look! As I casually sifted through the racks of outerwear, this Roberto Cavalli zebra belted coat stopped me in my tracks. I don't know why, but I checked over each shoulder before furtively slipping the structured trench on, knowing it was utter madness to even consider taking it home. But then I looked in the mirror.

There's only one way to wear it – buttoned and belted

I know — it's bold, it's slightly outrageous, but even today as soon as I put it on my mood brightens and I am back in that moment, exploring the Marais. The trench is meant to be buttoned up and belted, just as I would wear it at Nemrod, a favourite Parisian cafe, sipping a glass of champagne.


Underneath it is an another smashing catsuit — a wine-coloured one-piece from Zara worn above a pair of favorite skinny Levi's. A catsuit is great for layering, especially with a coat like this, but you wouldn't want to wear this feline ensemble on its own.


Vintage cop-copine belted coat
Vintage cop-copine belted coat

Also from my closet is this military-style jacket from cop-copine, a French brand. The Parisian saleswoman showed me how to cinch the belt, just so, to accentuate the waist.


Like the Roberto Cavalli trench, there's only one way to wear the cop-copine structured jacket – buttoned and belted.


Back detail of the cop-copine jacket
Back detail of the cop-copine jacket

If over the years you no longer fit into your vintage jackets, you might consider taking out the lining, especially around the arm holes. That simple adjustment can create more space and you just might be able to wear it again.


If only for the memories.