Broke and Bespoke

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Loden Coat and a Thrifting Misstep

There’s been a lot of verbiage dedicated to the virtues of Loden as a warm winter fabric lately in the menswear blogosphere. As a gesture to the renaissance it must be enjoying at the moment, I thought I’d take a few minutes and post a some pics of my Loden coat. 

I picked this up at a thrift shop about two years ago for $10, but haven’t worn it yet. It’s beautifully made, incredibly warm, and fits very nicely over a sweater. It’s a tad snug over a jacket. The condition of the fabric is great for a coat of its age, and the construction details are very nice as well. Nice wool and quilted satin lining, etc. 

The reason I haven’t worn it is simple, there’s a stain I missed when I bought the jacket, and that is the misstep referred to in the title of the post. Always look closely for stains when thrifting. For this particular jacket, if you look closely at the picture in the bottom right you will see the faint traces of a smiley face drawn in black marker. As frequent readers of this tumblr know, I often invent complex histories for garments I’ve thrifted, especially so when there is some human element that can still be discerned once the garment reaches my hands: a name card or old matchbook left in a pocket, a ticket stub to American Gigolo’s original release, and so on.

For this jacket, since the condition of it was so fine, and it appears to have been a rather high-end (and likely quite pricey) coat at some point, I assumed the previous owner ditched it after the smiley face his child drew on his favorite Loden coat—picked up on a relaxing holiday in Austria, long before said child was born—failed to come out after a dry cleaning. Though the marker stains are admittedly hard to see in the picture here, they are more pronounced in real life. Certainly not to the extent where many (if any) people would notice, but the fact that it’s there bothers me too much to have worn the coat yet. I have debated whether or not to send it to a specialty cleaner, but am clearly still on the fence about it.

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