Monday, November 26, 2012

Fashion Blog: Investment Piece... My favourite 14 Year Old Camel Coat

Good investment pieces are like old friends, you cherish them and you're always pleased to see them. I've had this camel overcoat for 14 years. I've worn it religiously each winter, it's dry-cleaned twice during the season and then again at the end of the biting winter months ready for next year.

Whilst I am careful not to snag or scrunch this coat up, to care for the cashmere and wool mix (cashmere bruises easily), I do wear it regularly. Two or three times as week, on and off trains, planes and automobiles. It picks up the usual travel pollution (dark black soot type marks around the hem). The dry cleaning process with my usual, exceptionally good, dry cleaner renders this coat as good as the day I bought it.

The other way I keep this coat good as new is to hang it on a smooth wooden hanger after each wear and brush the wool finish with a clothes brush to remove lint. I never use a sticky roller to remove fluff from a fine fabric such as wool or cashmere, it visibly ages the fabric leaving it looking worn. Save the sticky roller for smooth cottons and denims.

Shown with a T By Alexander Wang Silk Dress
Thinking back to when I bought this coat… I wanted a classic, yet modern well-cut overcoat. The other criteria was it has to be a good wool fabric, be fully lined and single breasted. Also, it had to be an inch or two longer than the dresses it could be worn with that were already part of my personal collection. The answer came in this cashmere and wool mix, single breasted, silk lined Crombie style coat from New York Industrie, quite expensive 14 years ago at £350.

A true investment piece, to date cost per wear has been around £25 per year, plus the cost of dry cleaning. It hasn't lost it's luxe appeal to me over the years, I still feel like a million dollars when I slip it on.


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