It’s time to talk about Winter coats. Even though the sun is shining and we seem to be having a lovely Indian summer, it seems that if you haven’t committed yourself by the end of September the best have gone. I think it’s important to look at coats as investment purchases that will last a few years. Cheap fabric shows and coats with a high proportion of man made fibre tend to look stiff and feel scratchy. Let’s face it, a Winter coat is worn a lot. Even if you have a few to choose from you’re probably going to be wearing them daily from the end of this month until May – that’s 7 months. What I’m giving you here is justification for buying something really good! Now the highly fashionable choice this season is pale blue but I’m going to remind you of the pastel pink coat that occupied its slot last year. By March not only were they ubiquitous but people were utterly sick of wearing (and dry cleaning) them. It’s great to have a stand out coat if it’s an accent in your wardrobe and you aren’t going to be wearing it every day but otherwise it’s better to stick with classic chic.
Anyway as I’ve been having a clear out of my dressing room I’ve been thinking hard about the gaps. I have a few knee length coats so realised what I really need is something shorter that would work with the Parisian chic feel that I want to pare my wardrobe down to. And then serendipity struck. Gray and Osbourn got in touch to invite me to review one of their coats. I instantly narrowed it down to either this Parisian looking perfect Pea Coat by Helene Berman
or this beautiful on trend pale blue one also by Helene Berman (proof that I’ve been deliberating hard over the pale blue issue):
I decided against the pale blue for all of the reasons I’ve mentioned and because I’ve been looking for a pea coat for years. It’s difficult to find a good one because if the fabric isn’t right (i.e.it’s too stiff/cheap), it ends up looking more like a donkey jacket. I very nearly bought one in the J Crew sale last winter but it had gold buttons rather than silver. So, as you’ve probably guessed, it was a no brainer for me to ask if I could try it. It arrived quickly, I took it out of the box, it was soft and this is how it looked on me (I kept the rest of my outfit very simple so that I didn’t distract you from the coat)!
There was a slight chill in the air so I wore it for my morning dog walk:
It has everything the perfect pea coat needs, it’s a wool and cashmere blend, it has the all important deep collars and is beautifully tailored with a pleated back and half belt to add definition. It’s also made in Britain.
I did tell Gray & Osbourn that I’d give you an honest review so if I have any criticism I’d say it comes up slightly large – you’d probably want to size down and the acetate lining isn’t as sumptuous as the rest of the fabric; satin would be better but would undoubtedly add to the cost. Would I buy it? Yes I would, it’s an iconic, timeless coat that would last for years and always add a touch of glamour to a casual autumn outfit. In fact it doesn’t just need to be a casual outfit. It was chilly again this morning, the first time I’ve actually needed a jacket, so I thought I’d slip it on again for work:
Gray and Osbourn wasn’t a brand that was on my radar before but I’ve now had a good look through their website. At first glance I saw quite a few of the brands that my mum used to wear but then drilling down, I found some really lovely pieces of classic chic:
Joseph Ribkoff coat (Not a great image but recently brilliantly styled and reviewed by Frances of School Run Style)
Esprit jeans which I am about to order because I’ve been looking for a straight dark indigo pair with no fading
a great flippy skirt also from Esprit
and this lovely dress from Oui that would be great for the sixties trend (and which I am sorely tempted by – I already have the shoes)!
It really is worth having a look through their website if you’re trying to find something high quality with a great cut as there are some lovely things. It’s rather like shopping in a boutique – you keep coming across little surprises. It would be easier if they ranged them so that the immaculately cut classic pieces had their own core section and the more elaborate patterned styles that they probably buy for their older customer were presented separately (just a suggestion G&O). So thank you Gray and Osbourn, it’s great to have resolved my quest for the perfect pea coat. And after all the time I’ve spent thinking about coats I’m intrigued – are you buying new this year? Are you going down the pale blue route? Have you fallen for the new M&S campaign with the brights (read the reviews on those coats before you order by the way – they aren’t very good) or are you going for classic chic like this one?