Charity / Fashion


The devil is in the detail, according to Gok Wan anyway. The self-styled, self-proclaimed guru of all that is feminine (if you’re thinking that my tone is mildly derogatory, you’re wrong. I think he’s marvellous) is always heard saying that the difference between designer and high-street is in the detail applied to a garment. The trick is getting high street to look expensive.

I am starting to consider the possibility that I have over-egged the designer quality of the garments that are to follow. In truth, I just liked their chunky buckles. The details are in no way extravagant, or delicate, but they are different. Chunky metal-ware seems to have made an appearance on all sorts of garments recently, from bags to shoes to coats.

It is the coats that I really want to talk about though:

Herringbone River Island coat, size 8, £5.29, Barnardos, Castlegate, Aberdeen

Herringbone River Island coat, size 8, £5.29, Barnardos, Castlegate, Aberdeen

Heavy metal embellishments do add a certain air of quality I feel, and everyone knows that I’m a sucker for Herringbone. This is another one of those items where I’m struggling to remember my logic in not trying it on and therefore buying it, as it would almost certainly have looked amazing on. ‘Amazing’ may be an overstatement. Thinking on it further, perhaps my common sense kicked in and reluctantly advised me that adding another coat to my collection (currently totalling 1 billion) is unnecessary.

Buckled shearling Internacionale coat, size 8, £12.50, Shelter Scotland, Union Street, Aberdeen

Buckled shearling Internacionale coat, size 8, £12.50, Shelter Scotland, Union Street, Aberdeen

I loved this one too but I remember why I didn’t buy it clear as day:

  1. I already own a brown, shearling faux leather (or suede in this case) jacket and despite the differences in the way it fastens, I cannot justify another one.
  2. It is originally from Internacionale so is not of the quality that I usually prefer to purchase, especially if I’m buying it second hand. However, this did look virtually unworn.
  3. I don’t trust myself to be a size 8 in a coat. Far too often have I suffered the fate of trying a coat on in the shop, clad in only a t-shirt. You’re under the strip lights that seem to turn the whole store into a sauna, with the heated blowers at the front door only adding to the furnace within – “That fits perfectly!” you exclaim, and it does, whilst trapped in the inferno that is New Look in January wearing only a strap top. But step outside into the real world, where you need a woolly jumper and a scarf on as well as the coat and you’re entering a whole different ball game. It’s too tight across the shoulders rendering ones limbs mostly useless. It strangles at the neck and you start to feel an aching sympathy for the aristocracy of Elizabethan Britain.

Again the heavy metal buckles give this coat a more expensive look that belies it’s bottom-of-the-high-street-food-chain status. Those details are what you need to look for to get the most bang for your buck, and when you’re shopping in charity shops too, you know you’re getting the best value that you can for the least amount of money.


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