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November 23, 2014

Modernizing Vintage: Lord & Taylor Car Coat


I wanted to start this new series of posts because I’ve been coming across a lot of really great vintage pieces lately and I wanted to focus on the idea that new isn’t always better. Quality construction is something that is hard to come by these days, and when you do find it the price will usually have a zero or two more than you would like. It didn’t use to be that way and the simple fact that so many garments from 40, 50, and even 60 years ago still exist in wearable condition is a strong testament to that.


Tailored menswear hasn’t changed a whole lot in the last century, so taking a vintage find and incorporating it into your wardrobe can usually be done with just a few (or sometimes no) alterations.


I picked up this car coat made for The Man’s Shop at Lord & Taylor for $25 at a thrift shop coat sale and it is in immaculate condition with no visible wear and only one small scuff on one of the cuff buttons. 


I was drawn to it not only for the quality, which is immediately apparent, but also because the silhouette is in line with what you might find on the racks at a department store now. It looks to be mid- to late-60’s, but the labels inside suggest a production date in the early 70’s.


A classic coat like this is perfect for business attire, a casual day out, and everything in between. Pairing dark denim with a sweater and tie is a good all around look for a cold fall day. Since both the coat and denim are neutral, I wanted to make sure there was some color going on, so I chose a teal sweater and a purple tie. I like to pair analogous colors because they allow for contrast while still being pleasing to the eye. For more on color pairing, check out this post.


When a coat or cardigan has wood or leather-covered buttons, black in this case, you can tie things together by matching the color in your shoes and accessories. When the piece in question is vintage, pairing more contemporary looking items helps to keep the vintage from looking dated (which is a very important distinction to make). This coat is just another example that, while trends may come and go, classic style is truly timeless.

Vintage car coat by The Man's Shop at Lord & Taylor; Sweater and
watch by Nautica; Shirt by Barney's New York; Denim and bag by
AllSaints; Boots by John Varvatos; Tie by Penguin; Scarf by Tallia;
Sunglasses by Marc by Marc Jacobs

How do you feel about incorporation vintage pieces into your wardrobe? What are some of your favorite vintage finds?

Stay stylish,
- JJ 

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