I think coats are romantic.
As a child, I fantasized about wearing coats. Growing up in Sydney, a wooly cardigan was all I needed to get through the Aussie winters. Every book I read and every film I watched, it seemed the characters wore a coat of some sort. Paddington Bear had his blue duffel coat, Veruca Salt wore a white fur coat to the Wonka factory and Joseph had his amazing technicolor coat. The moody image of James Dean, collar up, walking down a city street, the movie Doctor Zhivago, COAT HEAVEN. (I wanted both Julie Christies and Omar Sharifs) No other item of clothing seemed to have so many personalities. Coats screamed adventure to me! I dreamt of the selection I would have for specific occasions. A long, heavy double-breasted tweed for brisk walks in the country. A luxurious embellished opera coat for attending formal events. A trench coat for light rainy days.
At the age of 17, I left Australia for Europe. I  remember being in  Milan watching the ladies in their coats oozing effortless elegance. I was witnessing Max Mara toffee colored gorgeousness. I’m certain this early observation is why I’m partial to camel and cream-colored coats.
When I arrived in London, 
I purchased my first coat at a thrift shop, a heavy wool navy peacoat. Since then there have been many and in an array of styles. Some women have lots of shoes … I have closets full of coats. The coat is the only item of clothing that I spend silly money on, take care of and keep the longest.(some now for over 25 years) They are my dear old friends who have made winter my favorite season.♥
-Simone Silverman

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Walda
Laurenceau, 44

Do you remember your first coat?
The coat that stands out for me was the one
 I had in middle school. My uniform was a plaid blue skirt, white shirt with a  grey sweater. But, when I wore my coat I felt like it somehow pulled my traditional and very boring catholic school girl uniform together. The coat was a deep navy blue duffle with very dark wooden buttons and wide sleeves. I loved the hood with fur because it made me feel rich and fancy.

Favorite coat you have ever owned?
I have this amazing cream knitwear coat from Zara. I have had it for years. It’s such a versatile coat and has a scarf attached that can double up as a hood. It has a lot of space for movement, and I love that I can layer underneath it especially when I don’t want to wear a heavy coat. 



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Jocelyne Beaudoin, 60


Do you remember your first coat?
I grew up in Montreal, Canada. So the winters were long and cold. I remember two coats that I had as a child. The fancier was a princess cut, brown wool coat with brown velvet trim on the lapel and pockets. I wore this with brown leather gaiters. I’m sure I looked like a squirrel. The other coat was quilted vinyl in olive green with gold buttons. Very fashionable that season, however, it would stiffen in the cold so I could barely move my arms. If the wind came up it would turn me into a sail. Thank goodness fabrics have evolved since then. 

Favorite coat you have ever owned?
A black Agnes B maxi coat. It’s double-breasted. I still wear it! I have had it for over 30  years. I remember it being on sale so I could afford it at the time.

 



Linda Mason, 71

Do you remember your first coat?
When I was little my mother made my coats. (I would usually get a new one around Easter time)
I do remember my coat for my high school graduation. I was 16 and the coat was black with a belt and it had a huge afghan fur collar. I thought I was the bees knees when I wore it! Thinking back it must have made me look like a 50-year-old woman.

Favorite coat you have ever owned?
I have had many great coats.  My favorites…Jean Paul Gaultier fake grass 20s style coat from the 80s and a Stephen Sprouse bright orange oversized wool coat also from the 80’s that I still wear.

 

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Kate McGurgan Cameron, 52

Do you remember your first coat?
My first proper winter coat was my dads. It was a  dark blue cashmere coat. It was oversized and I took it to Italy with me.

Favorite coat you have ever owned?
My favorite coat ever was an Azzedine Alaia brown colored skating coat. It was to my knees and double-breasted. It was so gorgeous. I didn’t need to wear anything underneath because I never wanted to take it off. What a beautiful coat it was. My current fav is from  Marc Jacobs. It’s big and outrageous.I call it the bear.  

 


Photographs by Shana Trajanoska

 All Coats by J Crew
Available at www.jcrew.com