When it looks better in your mind than in reality

Everyone says a classic trench coat is a must have item. Lordy, even Oprah says so. Looky here. So it must be true.

I want it to be true.

And I have had a classic coat.


The one in the back.

Why “had” you ask? I gave it away to a colleague at work on the spur of the moment.

The colour does nothing for me – makes me look drab. The cut does nothing for me – makes me look frumpy and big.

I have had the coat for several years. I ummed and ahhed about buying one, because every time I tried one on I would look in the mirror and go, “Mmmm? Surely it is meant to look better than this? Or why would everyone rave about it?”

But I persevered and bought a classic double-breasted version. Quite an expensive one at the time – Morrissey, an Australian designer.

But it always looked better in my mind’s eye. And of course, it looked better on models in fashion magazines. I loved the look with jeans. On models. Loved the look with shift dresses. On others.

I also found it kind of superfluous in Australian weather. It is either too warm to wear a coat, or too cold for a trench coat.

And then the flapping around annoyed me. Doing it up only made look fatter; the double-breasted cut made me broad and chesty (and not in a good way). I felt I looked chesty like Nurse Gladys but in a coat reminiscent of the shopkeeper Arkwright.

And the sleeves were a tad too long. (If I wasn’t a barbarian {A French friend told me Australians are barbarians like the Americans – we put ice in our drinks and don’t get our clothes adjusted} I would have had the sleeves tailored but why go to that expense when you are not really sure about an item?)

Many a time I would get out the trench, try it on and put it back in my wardrobe. It just didn’t go with my clothes, nor with me. But with the fuss and cost in its purchase I just couldn’t not keep it. And everyone has to have a classic trench, don’t they? (What fuss? you ask. Well Mr Sans bought me a single-breasted trench as a surprise birthday present but I had my heart set on a classic double-breasted, the Morrissey one, so returned the gift and bought the “right” one.)

This week the days have started quite cool but the temperature got up to 26°. You need something to keep off the chill in the morning. I wore the trench. First time in a long, long time. Months. (Maybe wore it a couple of times in the last year.) By lunch, I’d had enough.

“Do you want this?”

“What now? Don’t you need something to wear home?”


New home found.

But don’t you fret, now down you frown cause I have several other trench-y coats. The one above on the top suits me so much more with its lighter, brighter colour. And everyone loves my black and white one.

Now I don’t have that trench coat making me feel like a fashion victim every time I open my wardrobe, reminding me that “classic” may not suit everyone and that I should have trusted myself first rather than feel the need to have an item.

And who’s Nurse Gladys and Arkwright? From Open All Hours.


Goodness, this has been a post with a lot of digressions, hasn’t it.

And I lot of words about a silly little coat. “Why go on, Lucinda? Just donate and declutter and be done with it! Goodness, trust you to go on and on about something.”

Yep, that’s the way I roll, peeps.

So do you have an item of clothing you think you should have or one that looks better on you in your imagination than in real life? What is it?


10 thoughts on “When it looks better in your mind than in reality

  1. I find trench coats problematic too. Can’t wear much under them unless you buy a very big size, not warm, often don’t even keep the rain off. They are also invariably too tight around the shoulders/arms. That being said, I just HAD to have a lovely avocado green one a few years ago. Worn once and still in the cupboard.

    • A coloured one is different. Doesn’t address the warmth factor but does address the drab and frumpy factor issue. I wear my black and white one (you can see it via the link about) with a sleeveless black shift dress. Together they are perfect for spring/autumn weather and they look good. The coat makes the dress less funereal

      Except for early morning commuters, a green trench would be perfect for day wear with current Sydney temps, and look gorgeous with a crisp white shirt and black pants. So advises, Vogue Lucinda.

  2. Things looking good…in jeans. On models. In fashion magazines…

    This made me smile, no small feat when I’m in a stinky, grumpy mood writing reports at – what is it now? – 11:15pm on a Saturday night.

    I think we’ve all fallen victim to wanting that jeans-magazines look. I would love to pull off a trench look but sadly…5′ 4″ and squat just doesn’t cut it!

    I hope the new trench owner enjoys and uses it well!

    • Poor you, report writing is the pits. I don’t think parents realise how much thought and time we actually put into writing them.

      Yeah, you’d have to get a petite trench. Probably cuter in a pea jacket.

  3. I don’t wear trench coats either – can’t find one with a flattering cut. Flowing “peasant” tops were a trend here a few years ago and I bought one with a boat neck. But my tiny chest didn’t fill it out enough and when I bent over, you could see straight down to my stomach. I tried to salvage it by wearing another top underneath, but that ruined the boat neck. Ugh.

    • Being behind the times I have just bought a flowing peasant top. Normally they make me look pregnant but I wear it with a buckle-y thing like a scarf ring yo pull it in. Might post a dodgy picture of it soon. And I wear a top underneath it too.

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