Monday, 20 October 2014

The Staple: Sugar-Coated Iceberg

Apologies in advance for the Lightning Seeds reference - I'm sure you'll get over it though (aside: CHRIST, that song is nearly 20 years old.) It's a terrible reference to coats, and thank the Lord, one that avoids talking about a change of seasons. #copywriterproblems

Anyway, I seem to have developed an obsession with coats of late; partly because, well, why the fuck not, and partly because of my summer-fuelled eBay addiction. It started off (like all good addictions) with a bit of fun, and has of late turned into a proper compulsion; I'm constantly searching for some really good menswear pieces from brands like Cacharel, Wooyoungmi, Carven, APC (of course) and vintage Helmut Lang and B Store. And there's plenty to be had, at a pretty reasonable price. A month or so ago, I managed to pick up an old B Store raglan-sleeve coat for £15, which was a bit of a steal.

Anyway, I digress. After a late-night booze-fuelled trawl of the Neil Barrett stream on eBay (tip: NEVER do this), I decided that bidding a not inconsiderable, but just about bearable amount on a short, DB camel peacoat was a superb idea. Also, I'm newly employed, so obvs had to treat myself. And I'm SO glad I did - this piece was a runway piece from AW13, and appaz retailed for in excess of $1200 originally, so it was a total bargain. And it is EXQUISITELY made; all stiff wool lapels and beautifully-lined interior. It's also bloody warm which is nice on the freezing overground platforms of east London. There's something rather pleasant about a coat like this: it is clearly beautifully-tailored and constructed, and you feel that every time you put it on. For significantly less the price of a wool & leather-look jacket from Topman, I've got a proper, made in Italy, piece of craftsmanship. Long live my eBay addiction, right (currently bidding on an Aquascutum cashmere parka - OMGZ, right?)

My other coat acquisition comes from Stone Island - the other end of Italian outerwear. This was, I am incredibly lucky to say, a gift for working with the brand and their fab PR agency 4M over many years at Notion (they got their fair share of coverage), and I was invited to pick something out in-store (yes, clearly missing some parts of being a magazine-hack). Cobalt blue has always been one of my favourite colours, and in this classic windbreaker shape, it's a lovely bit of bright on the overground. It's featherweight, beautifully-tailored (with narrow arms) and makes me walk with a weird kind of lad-swagger. I'm obvs such a terrace hooligan IRL, though I'm not sure it sits well with listening to Annie on repeat on my iPhone. I'm actually after a nice pair of Adidas Gazelles to complete the look, after seeing some look fabulous at the Richard Nicoll SS15 show in June (OMG ALERT: 4 days of LCM in Jan!)

Anyway, I have much-digressed. The great thing about these two coats is that they are both fantastically-made, fit brilliantly, and cost about the same as a run-of-the-mill high street winter jacket (OK the Stoney was a gift, but you can pick them up for about that much on eeBs). It just proves that with a little research and a well-timed drink/bid, there's stuff out there that will really elevate your wardrobe from the masses. And make you feel great at the same time. Cos that's one of the most important things about buying great statement pieces, right? Especially when you wrap yourself into a winter coat? You want to feel great.

(With apologies for the photos: I'm a Wordsmith, not a photographer, so these cheesy shots in my hall mirror, nicked from Instagram, will have to do. Plenty more baking, mirror shots and embarrassing moments there if you need a laugh.)

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