Sunday, November 22, 2009

wear the old coat and buy the new book

The long awaited tweed, tartan and wool season has finally arrived.
I adore the whole experience of winter clothes. I love the texture,
the color, the snuggliness, and the bug-in-a-ruggliness. They're just
far more interesting and fun to wear, than simple summer fare.

I miss the annual washing up of the kids' winter coats and trying them
on for size. So, in the spirit of the tradition, I was digging in the front
closet at the empty nest manor this week, the one that's under the
front staircase.

I found a fun cobalt blue wool coat, made in Peru, I bought back in the
'70s, completely forgotten, zipped up in a bag in the back. It's blanket
style, trimmed in fabulous floppy, extra long fringe, and the wool has
a wonderful waffle pattern. The collar can be buttoned up, in a scarf-
like fashion, or worn open and drapey.
.
Best of all, amazingly enough, it fits me after all these years. Talk
about doing wonders for my self esteem. And not a moth hole in sight.
No new coat needed for me this year. You know what that means?
More books!
You know what else? The cobalt blue compliments my family tartan
perfectly. My ancestors are smiling. Hey, is it my imagination, or am
I seeing all kinds of tartan everywhere this fall, after I posted on it in
September? I just saw a whole page of tartan products in the
December issue of Elle Decor's "Trend Alert". I told you I was
psychic. Or maybe they just love my sense of style? Keep your eye
out, now, for cobalt blue blanket coats. Don't forget, you saw them
first at Willow Manor.
.

Wear the old coat and buy the new book.

Austen Phelps


(Mr. Phelps certainly got this right.)

69 comments:

  1. willow that's an all 'round yum!! the cobalt blue is sweet, the tartan (and i'm not a tartan person at all) is rockin' and the model wearing all that stuff for you . . . welll well welll!!!! go girl!!!! steven

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  2. you are definitely a trend setter. And I certainly agree with the buy the new book part. Books are a necessity, new coats a luxury.

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  3. The first picture of the coat is rather ghostlike . . . but I like the way it comes into sharp blue focus in the last picture.

    I share your philosophy, but you didn't mention my favorite winter warming word: CASHMERE.

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  4. you would have LOVED the area weaver's guild annual sale this weekend....i went when they opened, thursday at 5....and had my pick from hundreds of scarves/shawls/hats.....etc...(like you, i love the cold weather for the clothes, the coats, the fiber fix!) so, we can celebrate the new season, you trendsetting elle gal in your tartan blues!

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  5. I'm glad I'm not the only person who feels that way about Winter. I love wearing my old leather bomber jacket and my turtlenecks, and every year starting around Samhain I start looking forward to the colder weather.

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  6. Cobalt blue is one of my favorite colors and it looks amazing with your dark hair and eyes.

    Maybe you can use what you won't spend on a new coat and make a little trip to Knoxville to McKay's, the used bookstore.

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  7. How could you have bought anything in the 70's?? You don't even look 40!!! :)

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  8. Otin, flattery will get you EVerywhere. :^)

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  9. Stevie, now that sounds like a PLAN!! :D

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  10. LOVE LOVE LOVE the coat! It's totally something I would go for... I obviously need a new coat so that I, too, may appreciate winter...

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  11. Girllll....you are stylin' in that coat! And tartan is so "in" this season. Love it!

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  12. Love that coat..and you are adorable in it:)

    Peace ~ Rene

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  13. I thought I was the only person that kept things for 20 or 30 years. I haven't bought a coat in ages. HH used to take our daughters to shop every January, after the coats went on sale. They loved it. He took turns getting them one. 4 girls, a new coat every 4 years.
    QMM

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  14. How terrific to re-find such a wonderful find!
    I am in love with cobalt blue!

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  15. I say that's a good decision, especially in this economic climate. Lovely color! Stay warm, Willow!

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  16. Wish my closets held such treasures from the past -- and that if they did, they would still fit! (Fat chance!)

    The coat's a beauty!

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  17. Cozy is the best. And layers are just so much more arty! Great coat Willow.

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  18. That story only could have been better if you found a $20 bill in the pocket!

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  19. Greetings Willow,

    I always knew you were my kind of gal. I would much rather wear ye old duds and splurge on a new book. Unfortunately, this year there are so many books on my want list.

    It was about time for another round of tartanmania. By the way, I love your family plaid.

    Marjorie

    P.S. Watched "I Know Where I'm Going" last night. Thanks for recommending it.

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  20. That's a motto I can live by as well "Wear the old coat and buy a new book." Have a great weekend.

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  21. Great post.

    Absolutely love the coat!

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  22. rxB, oh, gosh, I love it when I find a forgotten bill in a pocket or handbag!

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  23. These coats are very much back in favour and look pretty good.

    Judging by the prices in the catalogue I was looking in this afternoon (I'm trying to find things I can tell my relatives I'm not going to buy them), it's probably been a good investment!

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  24. It's perfect and looks brand new and in-style! Can't believe that quote...how perfect is that for you? ha!

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  25. perfect! the cobalt blue is gorgeous on you :)

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  26. Loved the post! Great color and coat and I love the idea of wearing and recreating the old! It is a bit like refinding a well known and cared for friend!
    Linda

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  27. Oh, Willow, that does look lovely adn snug indeed! "Snuggliness" and "bug-in-a-ruggliness"--what marvelous words. Love it!

    I quite agree with you about the joys of winter wear. It is simply more deliberate. I think I even blogged on that once on some older blog.

    Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! It's great when old finds too become almost like new all over again, ...after they've been stowed away for so long! :)

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  28. There we have it, the God of Books kindly showed you the way to more books! :-)

    I love that cobalt blue, may you enjoy it on many many great outings to bookstores this winter!

    I have been digging out my old old Gloverall "Made in England" bottle-green Duffle coat again, its three-quarter length is perfect, I can kneel down (to take pictures) without dragging the coat in the dirt (I learned from that first winter in Venice, where I ruined my long Dana Buchman coat!). I don't remember how often I have stuffed it in a plastic bag to give away to charity in spring, but never had the heart. It will be another winter with the walrus teeth then!

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  29. How wonderful that your retro blue coat has come back in style. Hard to imagine going anywhere near a winter coat right now, in the steamy African summer, though!

    I do love that quotation and totally approve :)

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  30. I'm with you on winter clothes V summer. I, too, love the textures and the colours - but I'm getting far too old to love the weather they (traditionally) herald! Ah me, we can't have everything!

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  31. yet another thing i like about this season...i get a whole mew wardrobe...because i forgot what i packed up at the end of the last...

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  32. My problem is, even if I had to buy a new coat, I'd still buy the books anyway.

    Of course finding $20 in a coat pocket would help.

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  33. Odd coincidence..threw my fab faux fur(leopard)into the washer yesterday, for the 7th year..it will never wear out..better not..always makes me happy that a chill is coming...

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  34. Blue is one of my recent favorite colors...that is an awesome coat!

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  35. Willow,
    Knowing that one can never get enough compliments prompts me to tell you the that coat looks so grand around your shoulders. Maybe you will wear it to a used book store and purchase two "OLD" books.
    rel

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  36. LOL at your title, because that's exactly what I do. Buy classic cuts and they never go out of style... well, they may for five years or so, then they're back again.

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  37. Merisi, I have two green coats from my trip to London years ago, that I also dug out. A wool Bauer coat with wonderful leather covered buttons and TARTAN lining and a waxed hunting style long Burbour jacket. I forgot how much I love them.

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  38. I was reading what Bee said, and it reminds me that a couple of years ago I saw a cashmere bathrobe in a shop. It was so soft and snuggly...the ultimate luxury, if only I had the $$ to buy it!

    That coat does look perfect with your family tartan! I love winter clothes too. For me, they're so much more interesting than summer clothes, and I too love the snuggly factor. Add in a great book to the snuggly clothes (or a really soft fuzzy throw), and I'm in heaven!

    Hugs,
    Lori

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  39. Beautiful blue! How wonderful that you get to buy books..... a necessity for snuggly evenings in front of the fire with a glass of fine sherry.

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  40. Fabulous coat and colour, and you look fabulous in it! :)

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  41. That blue is a gorgeous color.

    I think I have a tartan. According to my father, Abbott is a division of the McNab clan. Unfortunately, we can't trace back his ancestry more than a few generations. It gets lost somewhere around the civil war. What we think is that there was a family rift over the war that involved a name change and the several times grand father would never talk about his family so it's all lost.

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  42. Love the coat, love the color. Winter wear and true change of seasons is something I miss in Florida. I enjoy it vicariously thru blogs like yours.

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  43. Beautiful blue! I wish I had your enthusiasm for winter--it's snowing here as I type...& I like your coat/book equation!

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  44. Snow?! Oh, John, I am so envious. I can't complain, it's a beautiful balmy 51 degrees right now, but I am eagerly waiting for snow!

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  45. Blue is also my favorite color...and your coat is a great shade of blue. I read that blue is the most common favorite color. Maybe because it's so calming and it is so prevelant in nature. The sky & ocean are two of the most calming aspects of nature to me. I love the tartan plaid. I remember a picture of myself was in kindergarten wearing a dress of this plaid. I also washed coats and scarves on Friday, even though we are having a nice warm weekend here.

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  46. I love that colour/coat, and it looks smashing on you. I also love it when I find things that I had completely forgotten about.
    Enjoy!

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  47. Cobalt blue looks divine on you, Willow! It's also my favorite color. Whenever I see anything in cobalt blue at the store, I usually buy it. I also collect Blue Willow china. Inspiring post!

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  48. You look beautiful! In college I bought books before food (or anything else.)

    much love

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  49. Stacey, I still do, heehee!

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  50. Jewel colors like this blue were made for you...your skin glows wearing this coat. Oh, the books you will read!

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  51. Love that blue willow - and yes - wear the coat to visit your bookshop!

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  52. Great coat Willow and if you want to buy a poetry book you could always buy Liz Gallaghers (if you don't win it) or, I've just finished and really liked the raw emotion of 'The Missing' by Sian Hughes. Both are published by Salt http://www.saltpublishing.com/ I really think you'd like them, beautiful books beautifully made.
    Pip pip!
    Ps Salt regularly have great discounts/offers so watch out!

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  53. Why is it I love to wear blue, but can't stand seeing it in the house?

    Buy those books. Smart Lady.


    yvonne

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  54. good for you, ladywillow! on all points!!! fantastic re-find - fantastic look - fantastic wardrobe piece - fantastic savings - just simply fantastic!!!

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  55. if i could, i would rip that coat right off your sweet little shoulders...hmmm, is that too forward for our first meeting? ;)

    blogger thought we should meet so here i am and there you are in my coat, standing there sweet and sassy and yes i did see the elle decor tartan...what a gorgeous fashion statement and the fringes, i doubly adore...

    sigh, some are just lucky to have closets that hide things other than ugly old vacuum hoses and cowboy boots that stink...

    however did one become so lucky?

    nice to meet you♥

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  56. Isn't it fun when you've lived somewhere long enough you begin to rediscover treasures?! Enjoy your new books in the coziness of the upcoming months.

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  57. I was also an avid Seinfeld fan-- I know that was a previous post-- just had to get that in :-)
    and I'm with you -- spending all my money on books does not leave much for clothes-- how many black or taupe sweaters does one need?

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  58. You are adorable in that coat....I LOVE plaid so much..Helps things around here since I am going for a Maine Camp theme.....

    and YES! MORE BOOKS ! What is a home without books...just a house.

    More later,

    Best,
    Kary

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  59. I used to have a wonderful old tweed overcoat. Every time it got wet you could smell the wool, indeed you could probably smell the sheep. I have no idea what happened to it but I would gladly wear it again and go for the new book option.

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  60. I also far prefer winter clothes to summer, Willow. We are only in November and early experiencing a heat wave in Sydney. Temperature in the '40s. Clothes don't look good when you've melted. xx

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  61. You look lovely in that coat. It really compliments your coloring..I completely agree about winter clothes being so much more interesting than summer ones...I was overjoyed to pack the short sleeves and capri's away for another season:-)

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  62. I just love cobalt blue - in anything, even my eye shadow! You look absolutely splendid in your old/new coat, Willow! So head off to your bookstore, looking REALLY smart.

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  63. It's called Re-Vintaged oh gorgeous one!
    Millie ^_^

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  64. love the coat and the blue is very flattering on you!

    i bought a new coat this week but will probably return it. it's what i do -- shop for a pretty wool coat in a bright color (this one is a gorgeous deep maroon), get it home and think do i really need that coat? so then i return it and end up going back to my serviceable 8 year old parka. big sigh!

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  65. oh willow,
    i miss the cold weather dressing.

    what a nice surprise to find that blue coat!!!
    as soon as the temp is rumored to drop....i wear layers.
    they make fun of me at work....
    oh well.

    xxx happy thanksgiving weekend to you and your family.

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)