Overcoat overload

LogoOur beautiful fall weather is rapidly disappearing and winter is on the horizon. It’s time to begin bringing out winter coats and boots. As I thought about doing that, I decided that this week would be a good time to purge my wardrobe of some of the jackets and coats that have been taking up closet space and not being worn. I decided to take a similar approach to my scarf edit of a few weeks ago.  

I started by rounding up all my coats and jackets from various closets around the house and hanging them in one place, the guest room closet. There were 25 of them. Yes, 25! Even with four distinct seasons, no woman needs 25 coats! 


The next step was the easiest. Pulling out the coats and jackets that I wear regularly, I moved the fall and winter ones to the hall closet and those that I only use in the warmer seasons to the hanging rack in the basement storage room. I also pulled out the jean jackets that I wear from time to time throughout the year and moved them to a different closet.

Next came the much more difficult task of deciding what to do with the 13 items that remained. I’m not as disciplined as I’d like to be when it comes to getting rid of things which is why I ended up with 25 coats and jackets in the first place!

Two items were put aside to keep for sentimental reasons. The first, a vintage reversible wool cape, originally belonged to my mother. Forty-four years ago, on a blustery October day much like today, I wore it over my wedding dress. Thirty years later, my daughter wore it over hers on a stormy mid December day. Though I’ve only worn it a handful of times, it has become a family heirloom and I won’t be parting with it. Since capes are very much on trend this fall, I moved it to the front closet where I might remember to wear it this year.

Scan copy 11

The second item that I’m keeping for strictly sentimental reasons is a patchwork jacket that I made for myself from recycled jeans a long time ago. I made a similar one for my very dear friend, Joan. When she lost her valiant battle with breast cancer in 2006, Joan’s husband returned it to me and the two jackets have been hanging side by side in our storage room ever since. Mine has been returned to that spot and they will stay there, a reminder of an enduring friendship that was cut short far too soon. 


That left me with 11 coats and jackets to decide what to do with, but I hadn’t got rid of any yet! The next step was to try each one on, stand in front of the mirror, and ask myself, “Does this fit well?” “Is the colour right for me?” “Do I love it?” and probably most important, “How likely am I to ever wear this again?” At that point, the donate pile began to grow quickly!

Soon I was down to just three jackets hanging in the closet; three beautiful leather jackets that originally belonged to my very generous sister-in-law, Sue. She often shares with me when she cleans out her own closets. I’ve had the jackets for quite awhile and don’t expect to wear them again, but I hesitate to drop them off at the thrift store with the rest of my donate items because I know that that they’ll be sold for far less than they’re worth. I thought about trying to sell them on one of the buy and sell sites that I belong to on Facebook, but I don’t really want to profit from them, especially when I didn’t buy them in the first place. Then I had an idea. After consulting with Sue, who gave her enthusiastic approval, I’ve decided to sell the jackets and donate the proceeds to neuroendocrine cancer (NETS) research. The recent CNETS HOOFING IT Across Canada fundraiser that I took part in fell a little short of our $100 000 goal, so every bit that we patients can add will help! 


6 thoughts on “Overcoat overload

  1. We live in Canada, need a coat 3 seasons and what do most people see you in? A coat! So many places we go all people see is your coat. Visitation at a funeral, shopping, going for a walk, the library so I always want my coat to be clean and in good repair. I have many, some for working in the yard some for walking on chilly days and some for really cold days. A nice coat for say a funeral, a fun plaid for shopping. Hubby thinks I have to many but then he thinks I have too many shoes, silly man

    • I’m in Canada too, Brenda, and you’re right, we certainly do need more coats than those who live in warmer climates. I just don’t need the ones that are taking up space and not getting used. And then there are shoes! Perhaps that’s a topic for another day!

    • Prices are a bit higher than that in the thrift store here. Pants, tops, and sweaters usually sell for $3 apiece and I think coats and jackets are up to $5 now. They’ll occasionally put a higher price on something special, but they also hold “brown bag” sales quite frequently where you can buy everything you can stuff in a grocery bag for $5.

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