See, fashion post! Yes! We are back on track, blog fans.
It's been properly cold in London the last few days, which has been simultaneously awesome and...not so awesome. Since I am currently without a working shower (don't even ask) and look to be without one for a good week or two, getting out of my nice warm bed in the mornings will be a lot harder (pouring boiling water over my head over the sink isn't quite the same as boiling myself). Then there's the chilly walk to the tube, followed by the cramped and stuffy tube itself. Yup, dressing for a winter in the Big Smoke is a bit of a challenge.
Yep, gang, it's time to shop for...the winter coat!
It strikes fear into the heart of every girl in the same way that the swimsuit does - it's the thing that you don't really want to buy, but have to. It's as much of a chore as buying jeans, as it requires discipline, time, careful planning, and lots of note-taking. And no impulse buying.
I remember going winter coat shopping two years ago, with the perfect practical buy shopper: my mother. We trekked round and round the shops, trying on all manner of coats, regardless of whether I liked them, to gauge cut, feel, colour, fabric, buttons, collar, hem, belted or non-belted...see how difficult it is? What you need is something practical, but that always looks good, whatever the occasion or weather.
Rather like this one...
(Image from here)
I've been looking for an excuse to post a picture of Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock on the blog for ages, and here's the perfect opportunity. Sherlock Holmes, despite being far too cool for that sort of thing, has always been defined by his fashion (in the same way that Peggy Olson is noted for but isn't defined by hers - read an amazing article by Hadley Freeman about the unsung fashion heroes of tv, and her piece on Peggy's wardrobe, her importance and how bored she (Hadley) is of reading about Joan took the words out of my mouth). Gone is the deerstalker hat, and now we have a classic sophisticated gent. Long coat, perfect for maintaining the aura of mystery, yet short and swingy enough to sprint after villains in. And let's not forget the neatly knotted, ever-so-slightly boy-like scarf.
Now here's a man who knows how to wear a long coat.
(Image from here)
And so very this season with the camel shade. Hmmmm.
Shame Matt Smith doesn't wear a long coat. Any excuse.
Anyway...back to the task at hand. But these two are a pretty good representation of the way the coat trend is going this season. You can go for a classic black (or charcoal - it goes with more, it's as draining and doesn't show fluff so easily), tailored and architectural like a YSL, or the sophisticated, chic and 70s-style. Must be worn with long flowing locks. Yep, a la Chloe. I really am a one-track record.
But that's the thing with coats - trends really aren't what they are about, unless you're rich enough to have a wardrobe full of them. They're one of the things that demands one big, practical spend on something that you'll live in all winter. Something that will look just as good over your weekend jeans-and-poloneck outfit as it will over the Christmas party dresses. I'm seriously tempted by a cherry-red one from Oasis, but I know I'm going to be plumping for classic black. I've got my eye on a beauty from Zara - black, coming just below the knee with a flared 'skirt', double buttons and lightly puffed shoulders, with a pointed collar. But for now, I think I'll be sticking with two choice finds from Spitalfields' crop of vintage stalls to keep me snug.
Isn't it just beautiful? Sure it's massively too big for me - clearly belonged to some hulking biker with a big beard, but I just don't care. It's the painted design on the back that does it for me, as well as the studs at the collar. Wearing it, I feel absolutely terrified. Clearly need to work on my Desperately Seeking Susan attitude.
Or, I can work on my Chloe Sevigny in Mr Nice (not the dodgy accent, the drug-dealer's wife bit) with this.
Because every hipster kid (I wear brogues. I am a hipster kid now, apparently) in London needs themself a fur jacket from a vintage market. This one is actually fake fur (I do have a real fur one, since you ask, that I got for a tenner because of a huge rip) so I can avoid having fake blood thrown on me. Still waiting for a disgustingly cold day to get this one out. It requires serious guts.