Sunday, November 13, 2011

Memories, Coats and an Exhibit

This past weekend, I stopped by my parents place for a quick visit over Remembrance Day, as I won't be seeing them until after our vacation.  We watched the Remembrance Day service on TV from the War Memorial in Ottawa (the same Monument which the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited this past July) and reminisced about our trip to Normandy, France back in 1998.....I always think of the D-Day beaches and the Canadian/American cemeteries in Normandy around Remembrance Day.  Once you visit there or any place where there have been wars, it stays with you...and you realize that freedom should never be taken for granted.  

As winter is upon us here, I am back to wearing wool coats. 

First, my everyday winter coat:

The above blue coat is from Victoria's Secret online, I bought it during Winter 2009.  The coat is not available online anymore, but this coat is similar:

Next, my altered coats.  This is my black and camel wool coat, which was previously my Mom's coat from the 1970s.  The label has worn off so I am not sure what brand it is, however it is probably safe to say she bought it at The Bay or Eaton's (when it was still in business).  The coat was very long, even too long for me, so I had the hemline shortened:

Same coat here (#1):


Now here is where I was caught on sizing.  Hubs ordered this coat for me last year for Christmas, so I asked him to order a UK size 14 (US size 10) to be on the safe side.  When it arrived, it looked lovely....and HUGE.....especially the skirt, which was extra flouncy.  I should have ordered a UK size 12 or even a UK size 10 so that the box pleat would fall nicely and the coat would be more fitted....but I didn't know the coat would be so huge at my normal size!!

My seamstress did a good job, she took in the coat at the waist which solved some of the flounciness problem without tampering too much with the box pleated skirt.  The coat looks better in person, the box pleat is lovely.  In the photos it still looks a bit big, but overall I am satisfied with it.  Lesson learned!

Finally, I paired the coats with my now favorite J Brand skinny jeans and my Frye Jenny boots:

Same boots here:

I found these boots at a boutique store here in town in late Spring 2010 and managed to talk the clerk down to $150 off the original $400 CDN sale they were end of season boots and discontinued.  A happy find!

Yesterday, Hubs and I went to a Titanic Exhibit which showcased several items found with the Titanic wreckage:

                    Our boarding pass to enter the exhibit (sitting on my latest library read, Paris to Die For)

The exhibit was very good and hauntingly eerie.  Among the finds were: a champagne bottle with liquid still in it, one hundred year old perfume vials still emitting scent, china used in second class, the base where the bronze cherub statue stood on at the Grand Staircase, a towel (which looks like a modern day towel), an old-fashioned shaving brush, pins, some playing cards and postcards (how did those not disintegrate?) and many other items surprisingly intact.  Hubs has been to the Titanic Museum in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and he thought this exhibit was just as good. 

After the exhibit, we visited our favorite independent wine store and picked up a few bottles to add to our collection (a Pinot Noir from Oregon and a South African sparkling wine) ...tonight Pan Am will end my weekend.  

How was your weekend?


  1. Those are great boots and what a deal! I have never tried to barter on retail goods.

    We saw that Titanic exhibition when it was in town it was quite eerie looking at tall those artifacts. Just remembering the magnitude of that disaster is haunting.

  2. You have a beautiful selection of coats. My favourite is the red ASOS- it must look very stylish. Your boots are great and quite classic and what a buy.

    I went to the beach and finished my book which is excellent, Let the Great World Spin, by Colum MCCann. Now I am going to search for more of McCann's writing.

    My best
    Helen Tilston

  3. Great coats. I love the cobalt one best. I can imagine you in it with your great red hair.

    I think you scored on those Frye boots. What a steal!

    Next time we go to France, I want to visit Normandy. Last time we visited Paris, we went to the Pere Lachaise cemetery. There is quite a moving remembrance section for veterans and those who perished in concentration camps during WWII. It definitely stays with me.

  4. I love your red Asos coat. Very swish :) I was a bit of a WWII history buff, and so want to make a trip to Normandy one day. I grew up in HK, and remember the annual Veterans/Remembrance Day ceremonies. Canadian soldiers stood fast when HK fell, and were imprisoned, then the Aussies liberated the island. People the world over have not forgotten.

  5. love you coats, especially the last one. It's nice that you've had it altered to fit so well.
    I used to live in Halifax and passed the Titanic burial ground somehow didn't seem real, I can't imagine going to the would be eerie.
    Happy Pan Am watching! Isn't it a fun show!

  6. Hostess - Thanks! I've never really bartered much either, but I did linger over the boots long enough....and paused when deciding....and felt brave enough to barter. It was a lucky day!

    Helen - Thank you, the coat is such a lovely red berry colour. I must look up that book, I'm always on the hunt for good reads!

    Adrienne - Thanks! I would love to see Normandy again, as well as Vimy Ridge. So much history there. You would like Normandy for sure. The cemeteries and grounds are so well kept and the people there are very respectful. The museum at Caen is something to see too.

    CC - Thanks! And it does swish around! ha ha I'm a history buff too, so is Hubs. You will definitely enjoy a trip to Normandy, it isn't too far from Paris.

    Laura - Thank you! I was happy to find a good seamstress to handle the tailoring. I would like to see the Museum and cemetery in Halifax one day. I love Pan Am, off to watch it right now! (I usually let it tape for a bit on the PVR first...)

  7. Oh one year a red winter coat will be mine, they are so cheery.
    I would have liked to have seen that exhibition, I find remains from the Titanic so poignant.

  8. I really like the ASOS...I have a vintage red wool swing coat I wear a lot during the winter and I love it.

    Where was the exhibit you went to? We did the Titantic exhibit in Gatlinbug/Pigeon Forge, TN a couple of years ago. I was amazed by how many artifacts have been rescued or restored for these exhibits. Did you ticket/boarding pass have a name and what class you would have been in? At the end we found out if we would've survived or not. They did the same type of thing at the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. Really makes the visit more real...and more sad. xxBliss

  9. Lovely coats. I especially love the berry one and it looks great on you. The boots are great looking too.
    I would love to see the Titanic exhibit.
    Your new blog header is wonderful.

  10. Great coats! My favorite is the red... very chic. And I love the two toned lapel on the second one xo

  11. What a great collection of coats! I especially like the berry ASOS coat, very chic! I have yet to see an exhibit of artifacts from the Titanic but if there ever is one in Toronto, I would definitely go see it.

  12. Tabs - A red coat would look divine on you!

    Stepping - The Exhibit is currently showing in Regina, SK at the Science Centre (Sask is north of North Dakota). My boarding pass was for Mrs. Peter Joseph in 3rd Class and she survived, together with her two children. Hubs's pass was for a Catholic Priest who stayed in 2nd Class, he chose to stay on the boat and pray with the passengers...unfortunately he perished. So many stories...

    Annie - Thanks dear! Glad you liked them.

    Jennifer - Thank you! I rescued the coat from Mom's closet before she did her own closet purge!

    Louise - Thank you! Ok I am definitely taking the red coat to NYC now! Oh you must go if the exhibit makes its way to Toronto, hopefully it will as Hostess attended the exhibit earlier and my cousin saw it in Winnipeg last year.