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Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Spring is the new Winter

There’s a big reason why Greenland hasn’t produced a Karl Lagerfeld.  
 It’s also the reason your style blogger has been trudging to work in the same dark, winters’ garb for what feels like a millenia. Freezing cold weather and getting dolled up to the nines don’t mix, especially when you are of the, ahem, more mature end of the age spectrum and wearing so many layers you can no longer bend your arms and legs. Despite the danger of wandering into the seniors' fashion wasteland of ‘cosy knits’, Looking Our Best finally threw her woolly hat at the whole style thing last week and wore her Christmas jumper to the office. But with Easter just days away, the prospect of guzzling chocolate eggs whilst wearing a reindeer patterned gansay feels just plain wrong.
The Audrey coat, new from Jigsaw

As the snow falls outside, LOB is wont to drift into a reverie….  While still a nipper growing up in the 60s, this would traditionally be the time of year to cast off the winter coat for something lighter in weight and colour. Church on Easter Sunday was very much a dressy-up affair back then. Although family style didn't quite go to the extreme of an Easter bonnet, a pastel coloured mac, or as LOB’s late mama often referred to it - a duster coat - was the stylish mid-decade cover-up over that first lightweight dress. Duster coats were very loose fitting, A-line or swing shaped, with pockets,  three-quarter length sleeves, and either edge to edge, or simple button fastening.  Big sister would be a la mode in a creaky plastic mac, with op art accessories. There was also a trend for two tone macs (most likely in Terylene) with an iridescence that shaded to different colours in the light. The opposite spring alternative to these was the more defined shape of the double breasted trench coat with belt, referred to in LOB’s distant school days by the generic term ‘gabardine’ (in reference to the fabric).

Old style habits die hard, so despite the prospect of a white Easter, this week’s post contemplates a revival of the lighter weight spring coat.

Top of the bunch is Jigsaw’s white 'Audrey' design, very much in keeping with the aforementioned duster coat of the 50s and 60s, with round collar, glossy buttons and simple shape.   Also from this label is the London Trench,
The London Trench look from Jigsaw
a much simpler version of the classic mac in bonded cotton.  Mail order company Boden  have several variations on the Spring coat, such as Florentine, a cotton/linen mix style with lace bodice detail and slightly gathered waist, available in white and navy.  Toast has also channeled the classic duster coat style in their over-sized shower resistant Lana raincoat with chambray lining and bracelet length sleeves. Reiss describe their Spring coat
Blush pink mac from Reiss
as ‘Tudor fit’ which thankfully doesn’t mean Henry V111 style shoulders but is actually a blush pink affair in cotton with nipped waist and asymmetric fastening. 

Still on a regal theme, the ‘Imperial’ trench coat from Hobbs  
 is more figure flattering than the bulkier traditional trench, plus it comes in a feelgood sorbet red. These styles all look great, but  
even though the clocks are going forward this weekend, LOB is wondering if us grown-ups really have to switch to a mac?  
Especially now Spring is the new Winter ….

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