The camel coat is a timeless piece. It’s an investment purchase, or a particularly satisfying vintage find (start your search in charity shops located within prestigious post codes, or through respected and knowledgeable vintage sellers). The camel coat is a staple that every woman (and man, for that matter) should have in her wardrobe; like oversize black shades, or the little black dress, it never goes out of style.
This particular camel coat was my Granny’s. Tucked away in my Mum’s loft for years and years, it’s only since The Turn* that I have considered wearing it. Luckily, it fits and – after a professional dry clean – is, almost unbelievably, as good as new. The coat is Woolmark stamped (the world’s leading wool textile organisation) and has the most beautiful lining; the rich, vibrant ochre hue reminds me of a Moroccan souk spice stall, while the 1978 stitched inside leaves me wondering what my Granny was doing, and where she was going, in 1978.
Mama Daydreamer told me that Granny had the fur cuffs added to the coat. In the 1950s, my grandad was the manager of a tea plantation in Sri Lanka and, despite having lots of beautiful furniture and clothes there, they returned to Scotland with only a few pieces, this coat included (I was THIS close to having a closet to rival Blair Waldorf) but, somehow, this only makes the coat more special. The cuffs give it a rather 60s-meets-70s look and I love the glamour the fur brings, but it would be equally as beautiful without them thanks to the precise cut and quality of the fabric.
As beautiful as this one is, coats do need to have a practical element to them – otherwise, what’s the use? Thankfully, Granny’s camel coat is a delight to wear; heavy enough to be warm and windproof, but soft and comfortable. I adore the coat, but what I love most is how it feels when I’m wearing it: closer to my granny (she passed away almost fifteen years ago). When people say that fashion is silly, or superficial, they’re wrong – fashion might be materialistic, but clothes are special and they often tell a story. Whether fashionable or not, it’s best not to judge a person by their cover. Or their coat.
*The Turn = turning 30. I know, I know – you thought I was 27.
Images: Kris Miller