When World War II ended in the mid-forties, many countries in Eastern Europe had dictatorships imposed upon them by the Soviets. The ideological conflict between the communist East and the democratic West led to the conception of a metaphorical Iron Curtain that separated these political rivals. The Romanian revolution for independence happened before I was born, but my parents have told me several stories about life back in the “old country.” Not surprisingly, many of these stories began with a recollection of how frigidly cold the winters were. Bone-chilling winters may seem like little more than an inconvenience for those of us who have electrically heated dormitories and apartments; however during the communist rule, the cold was anything but trivial. With outdoor grocery line-ups lasting hours and daily power shut-downs, winter was hardly the most anticipated season. With such conditions, you can be sure that the people living in the Soviet Union had quite the sartorial savvy when it came to winter wear.
Nowadays many of us rely immensely on the warmth and comfort provided by brands like Canada Goose and Parajumpers, whose jackets are said to be strong enough to withstand even Arctic conditions. However, before the popularization of these down-filled jackets, the best way to keep warm was with an ankle-grazing wool coat. These coats were incredibly popular among militants and ordinary citizens alike in the Soviet Union, but this week’s Fashionista proves how well these coats complement even modern wardrobes.
In contrast to their puffy counterparts, wool coats provide warmth while maintaining an elegantly tailored shape. While many Fashionistas tend to opt for a waist-cinching, knee-grazing cut, the maxi length and loose silhouette that this Fashionista chose makes the coat much more dramatic and unique. The hue and length of the coat also contribute an incredible versatility — making it equally fit for a day of classes or a night out on the town. Although a true wool coat will cost a pretty penny, this is one sartorial splurge that you will not regret making. To keep with the traditional wool coat, opt for this this black military-inspired option by DKNY or this camel-colored option by Fleurette. I also adore the rich, Bordeaux hue of this coat from Free People. Not only does it showcase one of the most on-trend colors for winter, but its menswear inspired silhouette gives this classic piece a modern twist.
In addition to her refreshingly chic maxi coat, this Fashionista also won me over with a masterful use of color blocking in her gloves, bag and jeans. These elements work to keep her overall look very graphic and current, contrasting the more conservative nature of the long coat. Lastly, this Fashionista proves how important details can be by incorporating just the right amount of playful quirkiness into her ensemble with an apple-shaped brooch.
Going to great lengths to keep warm has never been so simple — or so literal. Instead of sacrificing style for function, opt for a lengthy wool coat this season.