The Zhivago Coat: a Proud Moment in Thrifting

My apologies for the terrible quality of these photos, but hopefully you get the idea.  I found this coat about 13 or 14 years ago while thrifting, and I can still remember what a thrill that was!  This is a fun 70’s knockoff of the iconic Yves Saint Laurent Russian Collection from 1976, and I love it.  It is feminine, warm, hooded, and embroidered —-it ticks a lot of boxes for me.

Sketch from the YSL Russian Collection 1976


At the time, it cost a whole $15 and I  almost passed it up because it was a bit pricey for a thrift find.  But I just loved it and wanted it even though it was expensive.  Then, horrors!  The card machine was down and only cash was accepted.  I only had a $10 bill on me.  Luckily the friend I was thrifting with kindly spotted me a fiver so I could get this coat.  So glad they did, because I still really love this coat and count finding it as one of my proudest moments in thrifting.  I always feel just a tiny bit like Lara from Doctor Zhivago when I wear it. 🙂


Ice Palace from the movie "Doctor Zhivago"



Brighter Days Coat

I’ve mentioned my love for coats and my ridiculous collection of them.  Here is another gem I found on ebay:

It’s a gorgeous chartreuse wool/alpaca blend that is bright and super-soft.  I had a heck of a time trying to capture the color, my camera and the light just didn’t quite get it but it is wonderful and zingy.  It’s from Julie Haus, a designer based out of NYC.  Here’s her website:  I feel very lucky to have scooped up one of her coats for under $40.  It has a great retro look, and the details are scrumptious.  This may be very Anne Shirley of me, but puffed sleeves speak to me, and these are subtle enough to actually work.  And the buttons!  I could just eat them!

One of my favorite details is the fact that the lining is as bright as the outside.  What a lovely little uplifting thing it is to see the bright fuschia.  Merry and bright! 🙂

 The only thing I plan to change about the coat centers around the self-fabric belt it came with.  The coat has a nice swingy A-line shape to it, and I find that tying the belt makes me look dumpy.  Plus, I’m tall and kind of long-waisted, and the belt loops are set a bit too high for me.  I thought about taking it to get them lowered, but I’ve since decided I prefer the swingy-ness of leaving it loose.  I’ve got to dig out my seam ripper and CAREFULLY remove the belt loops.  Meantime, I’ve just been wearing it without the belt.  (Although the belt actually makes a kind of groovy mini-turban, so it may get some use on it’s own!)

Coats! Coats! Coats!

I love coats. Lucky thing, since it’s getting cold. Coats will probably become a regular category/post topic.  I own an absurd amount of coats, especially considering that I am just one person. But I can’t help it—I come across a delicious vintage or nearly new coat at the thrift store or for cheap on Ebay, and I just melt. Take this beauty:

I won it on Ebay for $16.99.  Even with shipping from Canada, it still didn’t top $30 total.  The leather is buttery soft, the fit is unreal —it looks almost custom, it’s so good, and it works whether I wear it as a jacket or as a layer under a cape or wrap.  Plus, I rather like that it is brown rather than black —I feel like I see this sort of fitted, moto-style leather jacket way more often in black.  This brown gives it a pleasingly Amelia Earhartish vibe that I dig.  Don’t get me wrong, if, say, a black leather Rick Owens jacket, like this baby here:

were to turn up in my closet tomorrow, I wouldn’t say no, believe you me. But since I am without an extra $2700 lying around, I’m going to continue feeling styley and lovely and Amelia in my online auction find!

Vintage Dress Love

A neighbor of mine had the most amazing collection of vintage clothing when I was growing up.  (Also an intensely creepy antique doll collection,but that’s another story!)  Some of the highlights included a mouth-wateringly lovely Gibson Girl era garnet colored silk  velvet dress, and several unreal flapper dresses.  Getting to touch (and even wear) some of those pieces planted a seed in my 12 year old self that lives on to this day.  The details, the craftsmanship, and even the fabrics can be so delicious.

Over the years, I have assembled a very modest collection of my own.  This dress isn’t in mint condition and has never fit me, but I adore it.  The color, the filmy-ness, and the drape of the fabric are all things I find totally dreamy.  Look at the wee pleating and detail to the bodice.  Even the fact that the shaping innards of the dress are sort of crushed doesn’t kill how pretty I find this.  Swoon!