Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My Own Version of Trench Warfare - The Icon Trench and Investing in Quality!

Something you need to know about me: I have easily fallen into the trap in the past of quantity over quality.

More, more, more.  And cheap always looked good. 

But in the last 5 years, that has been a serious issue for me - cheap clothes are for the young, who can chase trends and move on, and on whom  cheaper materials and less flattering cuts are more forgiving.  I no longer fit into that category.  But I was hanging on!

I do have some clothes I would describe as expensive.  But I have not been a discriminating shopper and I have been wooed by the frivolous, the shiny.  I have shopped without a plan and I have bought some things on sale that I would never have bought if they were full price.  Furthermore,  I bought cheap versions of the basics and then when I did not wear them, blamed it on their banality.  (For an excellent post on the basics, please see AJC's thoughtful post here


Source

I wanted to buy less and have greater quality, but would balk at the prices.  I lacked a plan and spent too much on items that eventually were given away or donated to charity.  In other words - I was cheap.  And I was treating myself as though I was cheap as well.

I know intuitively that spending wisely is a good thing.  But my actions have not supported that.  I have bought 4 trench coats in the last 5 years!  None cost more than $40 (and no, they were not some amazing JC final sale item).  And none made me happy.  And so the cycle began again.

This fall, on my journey to the truly elegant WMM and a truly elegant 50s, I knew the cycle must stop.

For me, the first battle was the trench coat.
As you know - I was unsure about the J Crew icon trench versus the BR trench. But here's the thing:  one of the things that started me questioning my choice and moving towards the Banana Republic Trench last week wasn't because I loved it any better but because it suddenly went on sale for 40% off in a one day sale!  "Ye Gods!" I thought, "A nice trench coat, and CHEAP!!!

But I held back, since that was the same thought I had had about a Banana Republic necklace in April that I bought on a similar 40% off sale and which I have never worn as it isn't me.  It does not fit how I want to appear.  It was on sale all right.  But it cost me dearly.  I might just as easily have lit the $40 and tossed it away. 

This fall must be different.  I was resolved that I would get what I loved, regardless of the price.  Well, not any price, don't get me wrong! I actually visited the Burberry store in Boston en route to the J Crew and I could easily have dropped a cool thousand on a similar coat..."Settling" was no longer in my vocabulary.  I must love what I buy or not buy it at all.

I visited the BR first and liked their trench.  But then, I visited the JC and tried on the icon.  And I KNEW.....  While I had planned to buy it in September, I bought it on the spot, since it was $50 less than the CDN price and it was tax free.  In other words, had I ordered it in September, I would have paid close to $400 CDN.  Instead, I paid approximately $300 CDN.  Remember - I am cheap...

This is the coat which could conceivably "see me out" (not sure if you are familiar with that term, in the part of Canada I live in, when something is really great quality or you are 80 and buying your last car, you will hear people say "That car will see me out"...) or at least get me to 60!


On the deck this morning, pretending to be all hunched up for the cold, although it was already nearly 80 degrees!  Looks very odd with white legs and nude pumps!

Do you like the byzantine blue wool JC scarf!  Such a pretty colour!  I do not see it online yet.  Perhaps it is an in-store only item?  Cannot wait to wear this with my Cole Haan riding boots or with jeans... or with anything!  Worn open and wandering the streets of my town looking chic and elegant, my hair blowing in the breeze, I will be a 21st century Atlantic Canadian version of Audrey or Ali!  If I see another woman with a matching coat on the street, we will nod conspiratorially - we are wearing quality and we are feeling good!

So happy!  So classic!  Money well spent....

Underneath the coat, I am wearing the JC herringbone blazer in the neon pink, which is still available on sale here.  Underneath is a four year old Jones New York dress in a pink paisley and some nine west nude pumps.




This blazer was a good buy this year.  I have worn it many times.  I almost sent it back as it was PINK, but family convinced me it was a keeper!

Look at the nice Adirondack chairs behind me - they are waiting for me to start vacation this Friday....

So.... to sum it up.  In my first sortie into the trench warfare of shopping with a plan and buying only quality, I have come out triumphant.  Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks???  of course, there could be slides, and I must be ever-vigilant....

28 comments:

  1. Oh you are so right about cheap clothes, I used to buy them all the time and look great in them, but it just doesn't work when you're over 45.
    I love that phrase " see me out" I've never heard it but I'll adopt it.

    I think you look beautiful in that dress and jacket, those really are your colours.

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    1. Thanks Tabs! I was sure that that phrase must have begun in the old country - guess not! It is such an awesome phrase! Thanks for the compliment! I am trying to find a nice pink for winter - no luck thus far...

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  2. Oh and I would love two Adirondack chairs - do they fold up? They would need to go away in winter or they'd rot here.

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    1. Yes, they do fold up! They are the perfect chair in my estimation - one arm holds your drink (wine in my case, bourbon in yours!), the other holds a sandwich or other snack. You sit and read and you don't have to worry about holding on to the rest of your stuff!!! There are plans that you can get on line to build these - do you know anyone handy?

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    2. Oh no, my husband is hopeless, I think they are really dear here but I'd love two and if they fold away that would be perfect.

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  3. Great job on the trench and laughing about "see you out"!! That's not a phrase used in Ontario, people here really lack a sense of humour compared to the maritimes.
    It truly looks terrific on you, look at the fit. And yes to pink, it is your color.

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  4. Thanks Dani! Hope you got rain yesterday - it is pouring here today and we could really use it. Was 33 again and so hot. Today is only supposed to hit 24 - much more manageable!

    I really like that shade of pink. I bought a great book on the weekend, will likely post on it. Apparently, my ideal colours are royal blue, kelly green and a rosy pink. Nice colours to accessorize with basics!

    Have a great day! 2 more sleeps till my month of August vacation! I am so excited!

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  5. You look great and as one with experience the Icon tench will serve you well in your 50's. I had a Burberry in the 80's and it was just so massive. The new ones are nice , but not shelling it out for them. MONTH off-- why is USA so uncivilized in this regard?????enjoy!

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  6. The Icon looks fantastic on you, you have made a great choice! I did not like this year BR version, too thin, epaullettes and buttons, plus I think it would be too long on you. I have the opposite problem, I find Icon too short. And yes to pink, I have a feeling I will wear more of it especially after reading Dani's post on her color story yesterday.

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    1. This morning, the Jackie twinset in sweet pink "popped" back and popped right over to me! I thought it would be very versatile! I am just about done my colour story and am working on a post on it!

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  7. I love the Icon Trench on you, WMM! I think you will get a lot of use out of it for many years to come, too.

    The Byzantine Blue scarf is so beautiful with your coloring, and the pink jacket looks equally lovely on you.

    Congratulations on your triumph! Job well done! :)

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  8. Thanks FFM - coming from you, that means a lot! I have been pouring over your post of Monday and am actually going to print it out this afternoon! I am starting to feel like I am getting a really good handle on the fall now...

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  9. GREAT POST:)
    Your blog is so lovely..do you have twitter or fb??

    If you want some cute swedish decor inspiration...check out my blog:)

    Have a great day dear

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis.se
    (sweden)

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    1. Hi Maria - no FB and twitter - I am barely able to blog! Have technical difficulties constantly!

      Thanks for the kind thoughts! I will definitely check out your blog

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  10. I love the icon on you. And the pink!
    The real problem with the Burberry is that it will not only see you out, but also your generations yet to come. And they are targets if you check them or hang them up. Doolittle Lynn had fhe words "like hell it's yours" marked on the inside of his expensive Stetson, so maybe Loretta was right - brilliant mind, undereducated. Himself, who has a very distinctive and large build, was astounded when his BB was not where he'd hung it in a restaurant. I had to explain to him, gently, that thieves do not wander through restaurants trying things on and asking opinions. They grab and vanish.
    I know you will enjoy these triumphs.

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    1. WFF - too funny! My husband visited the BB store and said he felt at home. I hustled him right out of there!
      I love doo and Loretta lynn! So his coat did not see him out!

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  11. The Icon looks beautiful on you! A perfect fit - very chic. The scarf is also a lovely color for you. Enjoy both!

    I purchased the Icon last fall and get so much wear out of it. (conspirational nod :)
    L

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  12. Thanks L! I love the icon!

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  13. The icon is fabulous! I have it, too, and I always feel great when I wear it. It is one of J.Crew's rare super high quality, great fitting items. Congrats on your purchase!

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  14. The icon looks great on you and the scarf is perfect for a redhead. Isn't it wonderful to have a stylish trench ...now all you need is a ticket to Paris !

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    1. Oh Marsha! I HAVR that ticket! Have been saving for 4 years and my family will be there in 3 weeks - cannot wait! Unfortunately it will be too early for the icon!

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  15. Love the neon pink blazer on you!

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  16. Thanks Rose! With all the pink love, I am thinking the look book pink coat may be for me!

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    1. thanks Tammy - the trench is divine!!!

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  18. You have a great writing style. I'm enjoying your reads. And you look great in the trench :)

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