Through The Coat Cupboard

Jane and Beryl both have something of a pash when it comes to coats.  Beryl insists on 
having a new coat to wear to church at Christmas, as if it were 1955. Their embarrassingly 
large coat collections include many charity shop finds because, let't face it, a coat can be 
major spend in even the most ordinary high street store, and can run into hundreds in more upmarket boutiques.  But there is no excuse not to be well-dressed in one's outerwear as
you can see below…

This outfit was inspired by Victoria Beckham who turned up at an airport wearing a camel coat and leopard print shoes, which are the only variety of leopard Beryl does not own. This coat is not camel but a delicious shade of mink, much kinder and less ageing than camel. Camel looks great on young things but can a bit  fuddy-duddy on the WOACA(Woman Of A Certain Age) This coat which is not lined is incredibly snuggly, but not heavy or cumbersome. It cost £180 from Top Shop this season and tops off evening and daywear alike. 

Jane may well be laughing like a drain as this coat was the princely sum of £70 from La Redoute about 10 years ago and has been going strong (as a grizzly) ever since. Once this coat is out, then Jane's friends know that winter is really here. It is warm and therefore marvellous for events in draughty village halls, and in fact has also been worn on the golf course - which raised some eyebrows - and on the ski slopes - the reaction there was equally gratifying.  

Sometime's Beryl buys things that Jane clearly thinks are dodgy, but Beryl is standing firm with this 1980's Wallis Exclusive coat that cost £25 form The Red Cross. It is the most glorious shade of claret red, and hides everything on fat days.

On a day when she was in a coat-buying frenzy and on which she bought more than one, Jane found this in the British Heart Foundation and snapped it up for £15. It is by Artigiano and fits the fashion-forward trend for monochrome checks. As it is pure wool, it is incredibly lightweight which is a joy when shopping. 

This black wool coat had been in storage since the 1940's and emerged as good as new, complete with the sensation of having opened a time capsule. It came from Beulah's Attic in Shipton Bellinger, Wilts.

Beryl is this coat's biggest fan, although Jane is often dubious. However, she has worn it on quite a few occasions as good inter-seasonal kit. The colours are great on a dull day and a rest from all the black which coats inspire. It came from  Top Shop a few seasons ago and cost £60. Jane and Beryl find that the character coat is often very successful on the WOACA. Ruth Watson, who is 65, and presents Country House Rescue,  frequently wears a colourful coat over black trousers with a co-ordinating statement necklace and looks amazing. 

This burgundy and black floral coat came from Betty Jackson Studio and is a very 1940's shape and the perfect proportions for 4ft 11 inches Beryl.  Beryl wears it here with a fake fur collar, which cost more than the coat, the coat costing £25 in The Gallery dress agency in Penzance. The collar is a good ruse, as it can glamorise any outfit and sometimes is worn with a knit. Margaret Thatcher always wore pearls because she claimed they illuminated the face, the collar does the same job, and is the only thing Beryl has ever had in common with the former PM.

And finally, Jane and Beryl had to share with you this fine example of coatage from their fashion archives. This is a black corded coat from 1953 which Jane's mother wore on her honeymoon in Jersey, almost straight out of its tissue paper. Occasionally, such finds are just a joyous example of exquisite tailoring of the past. 


  1. Loving the Blog Gals,
    I agree a "statement" coat is essential in any stylish lady's wardrobe and must be purchased with thought and love. After all one can get away with wearing "not a lot" underneath! Although one does have to be careful not to follow one of my Mothers favourite quotes "All fur coat and no knickers"!
    I myself have a beautiful knee length Camel with Ocelot fur collar and cuffs which I purchased some 30+ years. It is still much admired and appears "Dateless"
    Fur is also a "Hit" with me and I own 2 gorgeous coats which belonged to Mum and I always feel a million dollars wearing them!

  2. Hey Jude, Thanks for your comment. Vintage clothes have a glamour for me that is often hard to find on the high street. Fashion is often seen as the province of the young, but a woman of any age and budget can be well dressed and glamorous. Trust me. I saw Joan Collins in the baggage hall of Heathrow (no pun intended) in Gucci loafers and big dark glasses, still every inch a Hollywood star and somewhere in her 70's. The glamour is in her attitude.





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