Fashion, as I’ve said in a previous blog, is ridiculous.  But, take note, apparently the new season trends are fluffy jumpers and kilts.  Oh, I like a bit of tartan in the winter!   Anyway, although I will return to comment on the kilt I have written rather a lot of blogs about skirts.  So this blog is all about coats.

This Autumn the on-trend coat is a pink one, and I’ve given you a link to quite a reasonably priced version of this season’s so-called must buy.   But I’ve never bought a new coat.  Well, perhaps in the past when I was much younger I may have bought a coat or two from the high street.  Now, though, it’s charity shops for coats and what bargains I’ve found!!

If you’re short of cash and your budget is tight, promise me something, don’t ever buy a new coat.  I have around 7 coats bought, I hasten to add, over several years, and have never spent more than £15.00 on any one of them.

It all started in the 1980s with a buy from a fusty old junk shop in the North Laines in Brighton.  There hanging on the rail was a black swagger coat made from that curly lambs wool which was so fashionable in the 30s and 40s.  Now, with our sensibilities changed towards fur, perhaps I wouldn’t have bought it but, buy it I did and it’s a classic.  I don’t wear this coat much these days but when I do I can see it’s beautifully cut and looks sensational – the price, I think was around £15.00, which was a lot in those days.

Then there are the two coats that I call my London coats.  These were bought more recently for £15.00 each.  One is a classic camel-hair coat bought in a charity shop in Seaford, another is a dark grey coat bought in Lewes, which features in Lorna’s film.  Both are long and each has a matching hat sourced from different charity shops for under a fiver.

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But perhaps I am more on-trend than I thought as I already have two pink coats!  A Next coat bought for £14.00 in pink tweed, with a lovely silky lining, which I often wear with a pink beret.  I usually wear this in Brighton.

And my most recent buy is another, almost retro, pinkish tweed coat bought for £12.99 in the Vintage section of a Brighton charity shop, which I also wear with the pink beret.   Here I am outside the V&A in London wearing the outfit.

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But neither of these coats is particularly warm, so, when it’s freezing cold, I wear a long Rocha padded cream coat that zips up from top to bottom.  This was bought about five years ago for only £3.00 – wow, you can get some amazing bargains from charity shops in my home town – I highly recommend them!

However, even though this £3.00 Rocha coat, with its beautiful deep faux fur collar and cuffs, is the warmest, toastiest coat I’ve ever had, it has a fatal flaw – it doesn’t have a hood.  As Hadley Freeman said last winter, hoods on coats should be a ‘non-negotiable essential on winter coats….’ Hear, hear, Hadley!  Hence, my last and seventh coat bought in Brighton at Oxfam three years ago for a fiver; a hooded Per Una green parka.  In the cold weather I wear this all the time and love it to bits.  I also have a fleece and two macs: one red and one light brown and don’t start me on my jackets – that’s another blog altogether!

With love

Penny

The frugal fashion shopper

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