We all have things in our closets we hold on to for emotional purposes but that are out of style or don’t fit quite right. A hand-me-down from your family, a piece of clothing you bought eons ago… In my case it was my mom’s fur coat.
After sitting in my sister’s closet for 20 years, she had decided it was time to give up on it, and was about to give it to charity. I jumped at the opportunity and said I would take it, and challenged myself to salvage the coat my mom loved so much.
It stayed in a garment bag in my closet for a year while I was thinking up of a plan of action…This would have to be done well, a timeless piece that my (future) daughter would want to wear, even 25 years from now!
I decided on a straight-cut, collarless, mini length coat.
I know a furrier who specializes in recycled fur and when she saw my coat she was in awe! She said it was “Persian wool”, a very unique, very expensive fur…I didn’t think it was worth much, and very surprise by the news.
Here are a few tips to help you inFashionate your vintage items:
1. Go with a classic, timeless cut that you will want to wear year after year.
2. Give it time; think your idea through and through. Look at magazines, find inspiration online, and make sure your fabric works with your project.
3. Seek the help of a pro! I went to a lady who specializes in fur, because I couldn’t risk any mistakes. Sometimes a little extra money will make the difference.
4. Know a gem when you see it! Back in the day, they used to embroider by hand, use better fabrics, even if the style is outdated, you can always salvage a precious fabric.
After multiple fittings, and meticulous instructions on my part, I finally got the coat of my dreams. As you all know I am a coat designer and have about a million coats I adore, but this one means so much more to me. I think about my mom every time I slip it on, and I’m so proud of the result. I like to think of it as our own little collaboration.
PHOTOS BY SARAH MONGEAU-BIRKETT
MY MOMS Fur coat and blue ring