The classic Burberry trench coat has been on my wish list for years now, but has somehow managed to elude me thus far. It may be just as well though, because the classic, no-frills model, it seems, isn’t what I’m coveting right now.
On this miserably wet day in Toronto, while all couped up indoors, I find myself daydreaming about frolicking in the rain in this gorgeous trench from the Burberry Prorsum Fall 2012 collection. It is, quite possibly, the trench coat of my dreams: there’s tweed, there’s a peplum, and there’s even a skinny bow belt. Simply perfection.
Sadly, this baby will have to stay in my daydreams. It retails for US$3,595 over at Luisa Via Roma.
Images via Luisa Via Roma
The kids are getting ready to go back to school, the leaves will soon be changing colours, and I’m already dreaming of leather jackets and riding boots – sure signs that fall is on its way! And rather than fight it this year, I’m going to embrace it because autumn is, hands down, my favourite sartorial season.
My love for fall dressing is in large part due to my outerwear addiction, which I’m more than happy to share with you. The search for the perfect fall coat obviously entails a trip to Sherway Gardens, the upscale fashion and lifestyle centre in Toronto’s west end. With over 200 stores on its directory, there are plenty of stylish outerwear options from which to choose (clockwise from top left):
1. The Trench – Burberry (Available at Holt Renfrew)
Every woman needs a trench coat in her closet, and none is more iconic than Burberry’s classic take. Whether you’re on the hunt for single- or double-breasted, epaulets or no epaulets, tan or black, Holt Renfrew stocks a selection of styles from the UK-based design house. Our pick for the season is a double-breasted version with leather accents that’s classic with an edge ($1,695).
2. The Motorcycle Jacket – Jacob
Whether it’s done in cotton, wool or leather, I’ve never been able to resist a great motorcycle jacket. Jacob’s white textured cotton offering, priced at a very affordable $99, is downright irresistible. Not a practical colour, you say? With a price tag like that, this fabulous little moto jacket is completely worth the risk. (Just carry a Tide pen with you!)
3. The Blazer – Club Monaco
There’s always room for one more blazer in my rotation, especially when it’s as sharp looking as this one from Club Monaco’s September collection. Colour blocking trend or not, the combination of the light brown plaid and contrast navy sleeves is simply perfect. Dress it up for the office or keep it casual for the weekend – you’ll get a lot of mileage out of this jacket (US$249).
4. The Varsity Jacket – Roots
Whether or not you’re currently in school is completely beside the point. Varsity jackets have never been cooler, and if you aren’t lucky enough to have a vintage piece you can fish out of your (or dad’s?) closet, then Roots is your very best bet. There’s a range of styles and colours available, but our hands-down favourite is the Sorority Jacket in grey ($358).
With such chic outerwear options, it’s rather impossible to pick just one, isn’t it? That’s where Sherway Gardens’ Fall Into Style Contest comes in. Until September 17, enter to win the grand prize of a $1,000 shopping spree at Sherway Gardens or 1 of 20 $100 Cadillac Fairview shop! card® gift cards over on Sherway Gardens’ Facebook page*. And don’t forget to share your winnings with the lovely blogger who told you all about the contest. Hint, hint.
Good luck and happy outerwear shopping!
* Open to Ontario residents only.
Image Credits: Burberry, Club Monaco, Jacob, Roots
Sponsored by Sherway Gardens
It’s that time of year again, when the temperatures drop, the time falls back, and outerwear addicts like me start to get that itch to buy a new coat. Given the shameful fact that I’ve managed to build up quite the jacket collection over the last few years, any potential new additions I’m tempted by are hard to justify, even by a shopaholic like me. Even so, every year, without fail, a coat will steal my heart and refuse to give it back until I bring it home. This Fall, it’s this adjustable wool-blend coat by McQ.
With detachable tail and sleeves, this inventive piece can be worn 4 different ways: as a modern take on Willy Wonka’s coat of choice, as a cropped jacket or long vest over a tuxedo-inspired ensemble, or as a smart-looking vest for the office. This 4-in-1 coat may not be a bargain at $780, but it’s definitely on my wish list come sale season, which is right around the corner. It shall be mine!
Available on Net-a-porter for $780 and at The White Space at The Bay for $860.
Image Credits: Net-a-porter
I have an ongoing love affair with the Canadian brand Smythe that would probably be more accurately characterized as an addiction. With more versions of designers Christie Smythe and Andrea Lenczner’s classic equestrian jacket in my closet than I care to admit, I tell myself every season that I don’t need another but inevitably succumb to the temptation of the latest colour combination. That cycle is about to repeat, too, because the lookbook for Smythe’s Fall 2011 collection was just released.
I can already see myself falling victim yet again to the allure of that incredibly well-cut equestrian jacket that steals my heart season after season, this time in the colour haze with caramel leather elbow patches (pictured above). That’s not the only Smythe piece on my Fall/Winter wish list either. There’s also the charming fair isle coat with fur-trimmed hood that made my jaw drop at the Holt Renfrew runway show at LG Fashion Week. And that smart-looking piped black blazer with sharp shoulders, too. The list goes on and on; the addiction continues…
What’s on your Smythe wish list? See my Fall 2011 picks below and the full collection here.
Images courtesy of Smythe
On March 16, 2011, I attended the Penicullus Bellum Fall 2011 collection preview at The Spoke Club in Toronto. It being my first exposure to co-designers Patricia O’Connor and Claire Warwick’s line, I was intrigued by the name (has such a mysterious air to it, doesn’t it?) and the “avante garde” label in their press material, but had little in the way of expectations going in. So when I stepped into the backstage area before the show, I was delighted to find racks of outerwear in the most luxurious of fabrics and unique of designs – I am, after all, an outerwear addict.
As each coat was pulled off the rack and styled on a model, I found myself blown away by the intricate, hand-done fur and leather detailing and high-quality craftsmanship. After the show, I asked the designers whether they find it difficult to differentiate themselves among their fellow Canadian outerwear designers. O’Connor and Warwick humbly shared with me that an equally impressed party had declared that donning a design of theirs was akin to wearing a gown as an evening coat. I didn’t try a piece on myself that day, but I don’t doubt that statement in the least – that’s how beautiful their creations are.
Of course, such luxury doesn’t come cheap; Penicullus Bellum pieces retail for CDN$800-$1,300. But with the price points of such established Canadian outerwear players as Mackage, Smythe and Rudsak hitting not far below that range in many cases, you may as well spend a few more bucks to really up the fierce factor and get a truly unique piece you might possibly not see on anyone else all winter. In the sea of Mackage and Canada Goose that makes up the Canadian outerwear landscape (I’ve got one of each, so I’m not judging!), how refreshing would that be? I’m certainly intrigued.
Penicullus Bellum’s Fall 2011 collection will be available for custom order through their website, as well as through Canadian online boutique Ukamaku.
Continue reading →
I was doing some browsing at The Room at the Bay this week when I made a very unfortunate decision. I generally try to avoid looking at things I can’t afford (for fear I might – in a moment of weakness – sell my kidney), but I made an exception that day and stopped in the Balmain section. Being the outerwear addict that I am, I immediately spotted The Most Magnificent Coat I Have Ever Laid Eyes On. It had no price tag on it; in hindsight this should have scared me away, but in my awed state had the complete opposite effect on me. I was in lust. That’s when I made my second unfortunate decision of the day: to try it on. And guess what? It fit like a freakin’ glove. I was in coat heaven.
And I would still be there in coat heaven with my beautiful Balmain coat…if not for the minor issue of price. Turns out the going rate for the coat of my dreams is a few thousand over my budget. Never before have I felt so heartbroken over a piece of clothing. This is why I don’t linger around designer RTW above my pay grade. Hurts my feelings. Then of course, just as the wound is starting to heal today, I come across a photo of Emmanuelle Alt (newly appointed editor-in-chief of French Vogue) in my coat. She’s already got one of the top jobs in the fashion world – does she really need my coat too?
Image Credits: Streetpeeper, Net-a-porter
lookbook image made me swoon; I wish for my entire Fall wardrobe to be based on this photograph. The colour palette, the textures, the layering…I’m almost wishing for cooler weather. Almost
I could never pull off an entire fur coat (ethical issues notwithstanding), but the fur collar on this Joseph wool menswear coat
is just the right amount of glam for me. Sadly, the price of $1,840 is the wrong amount for my pocketbook…by quite a bit. *sigh*
Fall 2009 is when I officially became obsessed with Smythe Les Vestes and picked up 4 jackets and a vest spanning 3 different collections in one season (see here, here, here and here). I knew when the Fall 2010 lookbook arrived in my inbox that my pocketbook would be in danger, and I was right. Sharp shoulders and equestrian references galore make for a collection that this Backseat Styler can’t possibly resist.
I’ve posted my favourites from the lookbook. I love the shoulder details of look #1, the cranberry shade of red of look #10, and the classic Smythe silhouette of look #23, but the piece that really made my heart go pitter-patter was the fierce coat in look #24. And what of my New Year’s resolution
to refrain from purchasing any more Smythe jackets? I’m sure there’s a loophole somewhere.
The other day I dropped by Zara for my weekly truck day visit when, in the midst of paying for a fabulous Balmain-inspired tank, an unfamiliar sales associate asked me, “Did you end up buying that dress?” I was a bit confused for a few seconds until I realized that she was indeed talking to me and that she meant the lace dress I tried on (and bought) 2 weeks ago. I commented to her that I must be there too much if she recognized me, but she kindly joked back that it meant she was there too much. Which is all fine and dandy to me, except that she’s paid to be there, while I’m shelling out every time I visit. Hrmph.
That conversation, coupled with a survey of my recent purchases, led me to make an alarming conclusion: I had become a fast fashion victim. Roped in by Zara’s reasonably-priced, runway-inspired designs and the promise of new merchandise on a bi-weekly basis, I’d surrendered the debit card at Zara more times these past few months than I care to share. What I also noticed though, was that not all of my fast fashion buys ultimately made it into my closet. With new pieces arriving constantly, the blazer of the week was competing with the slightly different one I’d purchased the week before, and so last week’s would go back. But then next week’s would be even better than this week’s, so then another swap. An endless cycle, you see? Here’s an example:
At the beginning of February, I posted about this short, black trench. I wished it was longer, but loved the puffed shoulders, so I bought it. I was happy.
At the end of February, I found that Zara had granted me my wish and stocked my local store with a longer trench with even more fabulous puffed shoulders, and so back went the short black coat. I was rather pleased with my new trench…until I realized that everyone and their mother was buying it. This is the problem with fast fashion you see – accessibility and affordability…it’s a double-edged sword. But I loved the coat and was intent on keeping it, until…
…I came across this fantastically minimalist, collarless trench this week. It was long, it still had defined shoulders, and it was from Zara’s Studio line, which is carried in limited quantities at select locations. Sold! And so this new trench came home with me, and the grey puff-shouldered trench is going back to the store today. I’m quite delighted by the new coat – I’ve even replaced its plain belt with my own Banana Republic canvas, gold-buckled belt, and it looks fabulous. (As an aside, J, S and P – if you’re reading, this is the very belt you tried to persuade me not to buy in Buffalo even though it was on sale for a mere $10 because it was way too big. I told you I’d find a use for it!) What remains to be seen, however, is whether this trench survives the cut when next week’s merchandise arrives. I kid, of course.
As I embark on trench swap #2, I’m also celebrating the acquisition of my new double-breasted navy blazer. The one I’d previously declared to be the perfect navy blazer turned out to be Balmain and way out of my price range…hence the perfection I suppose. Instead, this Zara jacket will fill the closet void for thousands of dollars cheaper. It does fit a tad big though, so I’m secretly hoping next week’s Zara shipment will bring with it an even better version. This time, I kid not.
And so the never-ending cycle of fast fashion insanity continues…
P.S. You might think I’m certifiable based on this post. I assure you, I am.
This gorgeous dark grey Moschino silk blend trench coat with epaulets and a smart bow at the neck is an absolute steal at $477, which is 80% off the original retail of $2,385. Only sizes 4 and 6 available, so I’m out of luck, but you don’t have to be. Click on over to the Outnet to snag this deal before it sells out!