Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Not Your Common Pea Coat & Colorful Life

The thermometer is slowly going up here in Seattle. It shows 38F  today and supposedly will be in 40s by  tomorrow. Yey! Aren't you guys happy for us, Seattleties? I do hope so! I am Russian (even worse - Siberian) and I am soooo happy for all of us here. Let me tell you, in the past few years I completely forgot (lucky me!) how to dress for cold. I mean, I do remember it theoretically. Wake me up in the middle of the night - and you'll hear a coherent lesson about what to wear in freezing weather, it is our specialty as Russians (especially Siberian or Northern folks). So my brain still remembers. But (and that's a big but!) my body did forget! It completely forgot what layers mean, what kind of layers, how many layers... and how does it feel to come inside after a short walk in freezing temperatures and watch with amazement how your body just crashes becoming something jelly-like very fast.

Part I. Pea Coat

So this post has two parts. Part One is my not especially successful attempt to create layers for a cold weather walk in one of our favorite seaside villages here around Puget Sound (did you know, by the way, that my beloved, dearest Puget Sound which I love almost addictively as I would romantically love a person, is practically a fjord?).  I'd love to introduce you to my new coat (I gave you a quick preview of it in this post) which is yes, a pea coat! which I have never ever had in my whole 40 years. I had my doubts, I admit it. The first and most important doubt was... pea coats are everywhere these days! It is hard for me to love something which is so trendy. It always has been. As a literature and language major, it was even hard to read the endless must-read lists in my student years. Everyone reads Akunuin? I am happy for them (and for the author indeed). But I don't. I probably will give Akunin a try when the fashion trend is over (sorry).

Why this pea coat then? First of all, I did not see anything which would fit me better. I tried!! I went to Macy's (which was more like Messy's last weekend) since they had their winter coats on sale. But no. They just did not fit me right. I wasn't crazy about the length of the pea coat which I saw at Nordstrom - too short, I thought. But hey, why not just try it on? You can always say "no" if you're not happy, right? So I thought and gave it a try. I was really surprised with the way it fitted me and... the way Justin reacted. He definitely liked the coat on me, I will tell you that. Other than you, my dear readers, who else will look at me in this coat? That's right - Justin will.  I give the coat credit - it is of a VERY high quality and really fits my body shape. I am sure the length and the pleats on the back help! And oh, these brass buttons... aren't they just adorable? And all the other amazing details... All in all, it was the best coat on me. And with all the shoe exchange I had earlier that day, it only coast us about $90 in cash (the original price was $315, on sale for $209, available in regular and plus sizes here). I also learned that pea coats are a known garment since the 1720s - honestly, what fashionable item in our wardrobe can boast that they are older than that? Hardly any.

The label on the sleeve states "Fine Lambswool" and is so firmly attached to the garment that I kinda get the point... :)

Part II. Colors

Part Two of my post is dedicated to colors. Despite my previous statement that basically red (the loudest of loud colors) has been present in my life since I was almost a baby (26 is a baby age... but I haven't mentioned in that post that I actually made with my very own hands a very bright tiger stripes red print skirt when I was 16 or 17 - that's like I wasn't even born yet, right?), I did not used to wear very colorful clothes until when I was well in my 30s. When I read some twenty something year-old's blogs about how they feel that colors and prints are loud and distasteful (make them feel like a clown or something like that), I totally understand - I was just like it in my 20s too. Colors? What can be worse when you are trying to be lady-like, elegant and always very tasteful... boring, maybe, but Tasteful? Now I welcome colors in my life. Maybe it's my age - I am OK with that presumption. Maybe it's the climate (mostly grey 9 months of the year) - I am OK with that too. But mostly, I think it is just the feeling that you are totally free doing whatever you want with your own life and with yourself - who is the judge? Only me. So I welcome all sorts of "distastefulness" including bright colors and bold prints, my bright red hair, my purple shoes (my ode to them is here), my form-hugging pencil skirts and deep V-neck shirts, my colorful tights, my bright mixed colors nails and more... You don't have to like it! You can still be very tasteful and neutral - if that works for you now (I know it still does for me too... sometimes). But I welcome colors!

The jewelry here is a traditional Russian craft called Finift (финифть or Enamel) with Filigree (филигрань или скань). The combination of these two famous and very intricate crafts are used for these beautiful hand made and hand painted earrings and a necklace which I found years ago on eBay.


The Xmas tree and decoration are from our little neighborhood - the tree lighting is a long standing tradition here when the locals set up a tree right up on the fishing pier in the beginning of December. I think it started in 1940s or 1950s and still happens every year here! Amazing, yes? :) 

Pea Coat by Kristen Blake via Nordstrom (available in regular and plus sizes here). Ponte Knit Skirt by Lane Bryant in "Avocado" (still available online here or just look at your local LB stores - I found one on sale for only $15!). Turtleneck by Chico's. Cardigan by Old Navy (still on sale in two colors here). Tights by Hue. Shoes by Dansko. Jewelry - Russian craft (finift). Purse by B Makowsky

Location: Gig Harbor

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