You know I’m not a big coat collector, though my behavior this season might make a liar of me – so many fantastic vintage examples have come my way. Couldn’t pass this one up. It was sold by the old bargain department store where so many mid-century women shopped – Woolworth’s – and carries their label.
For one, the blue and gold plaid is unusual, as well as the scalloped collar and pocket flaps – this is a style more often seen in the 1930’s and 1940’s. The swing cut and midi length are almost always signs of the early mid-century time, too.
The feature which surprised me most is the zip-out pile lining – so practical and progressive for that era (I thought!). Without the liner, the wool shell is medium weight and has a nice black lining of rayon or acetate – good for spring, fall and mild winters. The liner has complete sleeves that end in ribbed cuffs to make the coat truly warm for cold winters. Such a perfect outerwear garment to be sold to modern mid-century women who were practical and thrifty to a fault (having lived through the Depression and WWII) but also ready for style and plenty to come into their lives again, which it did with a vengeance in the 1950’s.
The icing on the cake is that this coat is in almost perfect condition. Yes, it was worn, but so well-looked-after that you’d hardly know it and those few little signs will be easy for me to repair. So sorry that it’s way too big for me, but just had to buy it and show it to you, while repeating the story it tells . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY