Monday, 23 November 2009

Spending my allowance - and a new coat

A couple of weeks' ago, I collected my new coat. I had this made for me by a tailoring service. This sounds very extravagant, and it was certainly expensive. It is early days, but my initial view is that this was a worthwhile investment. (The style is a fairly classic, hopefully understated military one; sharp shoulders, double-breasted, and the coat reaches to mid-calf level. The colour, which is not understated, is a very bright blue.) And because it was made for me it fits me really well, including properly long enough sleeves, which does make quite a difference.

Being solidly wool, it also feels very heavy, rather like being wrapped in a blanket, which is very comforting. (I mentioned this to a friend, who said, and knows from her work, that weighted blankets are often used in psychiatric treatment. I can see this would help.)

All the traditional style books I have read suggest that it is worthwhile having a really good quality coat, and Mme Dariaux, whose book I have reviewed here, recommends a very good quality and brightly coloured coat. My last coat was deep red, with a fake fur collar, and I wore it happily and more or less constantly for about seven years; it is still wearable, but showing its age rather, and had to be mended last year because of a very worn sleeve.

Having spent so much of my allowance on a coat, I will be looking after it properly, with a view to wearing it for many years to come. This means hanging it up on a good hanger as soon as I take it off, and brushing it carefully. At the moment, I am going so far as to put it back in the breathable garment carrier that the dressmakers gave me, after each wearing, but we will see how long that habit lasts!

I will also not be buying any other new clothes for a while, so will have to make the most of the clothes I bought last year and early this year, or sometime before then. I acquired a good stock of shirts last year, and having read India Knight's tip about the use of spray starch in 'The Thrift Book' am hoping to bring some life back into them.

In terms of colour coding, I have a lot of black and purple in my wardrobe at the moment, so various options for reasonably coordinating outfits. (Mme Dariaux's tip, which I have read elsewhere, is to match winter outfits with your winter coat. I can't quite manage that at the moment, but am hoping that the colours I have coordinate reasonably well.)

In the short time that I have owned my coat, two strangers in shops have admired it enthusiastically, so I am encouraged in my belief that I have done the right thing.

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