I found this red leather trench with fox fur collar while shopping in the old neighborhoods of Pittsburgh this past weekend. The coat was a total steal at $80, but at first I wasn't sure. Nothing against the coat, it's in perfect condition, but fur-collared leather trenches are my stylist Elise's "thing". You know, that friend who has such a distinctive look that they rock like no other, and you associate that piece with them forever? That's Elise and coats like this. She totally owns it.
Buuuuut this coat is perfect and gorgeous, so what's a stylish gal to do?
I went to see Elise, and she loved the coat just as much as I did. We chatted excitedly about how I'd found it, how much it is actually worth, and generally how amazing it is. Though she lusted after it, she helped me appreciate it more and insisted that I could also do the fur and leather look.
I wasn't convinced. I'm really tall, but am slender and worried that this beast of a coat would wear me instead of me wearing it. I decided to live with the coat in my closet for a while, to marinate on it and see if I got more comfortable. I let it quietly (loudly) dominate and eclipse all my other, more demure coats. Every other piece in my wardrobe was just a mumbling slip of a thing, or too bulky, or nondescript in comparison. As many of my friends know, I don't hate to be the center of attention (ahem), and I began to think that this coat and I could get along for that reason. I lasted all of two days before I pulled the coat out and slipped it on. I was chatting with the contractor at my new house when I did so, and his eyebrows went up and a smile broke across his face as soon as I slipped it on.
I took it as a sign! The man in cargo pants and a stained Hanes loves my coat, it's destiny!
The reaction was all the validation I needed, apparently; I stepped out into the brisk end-of-November air and decided I was going to own that coat. And I did.
I consider myself a pretty adventurous dresser, but even I have thresholds for styles I am comfortable with or not. I am grateful d to have knowledgeable and impeccable friends like Elise to encourage me to push my own boundaries and try new things. If Washington got a little more adventurous with their choices, we wouldn't have the Ann Taylor/JCrew/Banana Republic uniform problem that we do. Come on team, step out and put on your red leather trench!
Live a little, and raise some eyebrows!