I was sitting in my favourite café, nursing a cappuccino and battling writer’s block, when a flash of leopard print caught my eye. A woman walked in wearing a fantastic leopard faux fur coat (neatly nailing two A/W 14 trends in one, I might add). This coat was subtle and elegant – which in itself was notable for animal print – without a trace of any Bet Lynch fluffiness or bulkiness. It was smooth and sleek, with a sparse leopard spot, a silk lining and princess sleeves. An understated showstopper, if you like.
Statement coats are once again a focal point this autumn/winter, and a piece like this would be a welcome addition to any stylish woman’s wardrobe. The styling options abound: draped over a fine knit black polo neck and trousers (or skinnies) for the weekend, or providing the finishing touch to a sharp white shirt, black skirt and heels for work. The key (as with all animal print and most faux fur) is to keep the rest of the outfit simple and uncluttered.
It turns out that the woman in question had bought the coat about 15 years ago in a vintage shop in L.A. for the princely sum of $10 !!! Although I have pointed out in previous posts that fashion moves ever faster, sometimes you can find pieces that are truly timeless. Animal print returns again and again. As does faux fur. The key of course is the quality of the cut and fabric.
As a newcomer to Brighton, I am astounded by the number of vintage and second hand clothes shops the city has to offer. Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to find as lovely a coat – I live in hope.
Two local favourites:
Hybrid Boutique for quirky vintage pieces (follow the lovely Natalie at @hybrid_ boutique for details of pop-ups and events)
The Dressing Room, 75 Trafalgar Street, Brighton BN1 (@dressingroomBN1)