The gifted vintage off-white cashmere belted coat made the downsizing cut.

Vintage fur felt sculptured cloche with felt band and bow by Warcelle Agrellet/Paris purchased at Fabulous Fanny’s, NY.

Vintage blue gloves and earrings and vintage silk patterned scarf – estate sales, my favorite and frequently worn black ruched jeans, and black suede heeled boots which have been in my closet for 20 years.  The upholstered armless chair with fringe was discovered at an estate sale over 20 years ago.

Photos by Rachel

On a recent Friday evening my friend Susan Wick HERE had an art show in her home, which is filled with her installations and glorious pieces.  She generously asked me if I wanted to sell some of my vintage at her show and I agreed, knowing that it would provide an opportunity to downsize my collection.

I decided to sell winter coats, which eliminated the need for a changing area.  So down to the basement I went to try on coats and choose what I no longer desired or didn’t fit perfectly. Even though I abide by the 25 year rule of garment retention, I’m aware that I will be almost 95 years old or not here at all, according to that theory’s time frame.  With that in mind, I came up with 17 coats and threw in a few jackets that caught my eye and met the ‘out the door’ criteria.  Camille decided she wanted to attend, so off we went with a rack, a full length mirror, the coats, and no expectations.

We had a wonderful time, and the flurry around the coats surprised us.  We sold eight pieces which had been well loved in the past, but had been sitting in a closet for years, waiting for new life.  I felt unburdened and motivated to downsize the remaining beauties and not return them to the rack in the coat area.  New strategies will emerge over time!

In the process of the frenzied flurry, Camille claimed two coats of her own!  Once a piece of my collection leaves, it’s gone forever. She’s been wearing the vintage mongolian cashmere navy  number almost daily and loving it, receiving many compliments. I shared with her that this is her legacy and more treasures await for the choosing.

Magically, I made the perfect amount of money during the coat sale to purchase a piece of Susan’s art that I had been longing for, which now hangs in my home.  Every time I walk by I’m mindful that downsizing is nourishing the resolute and slowly emerging new life that is beginning to bloom in the area of my heart.  No sorrow too vast to ease.

On another note, I’m taking my first flamenco dance class this week, inspired by the beautiful Veshoevius of The Taxonomy Of My Wardrobe HERE.  If not now, when?  Dancing makes me feel alive and energized, and this will be a way to structure something new that I hope to love into my life.  No wound too deep to heal.

The SC is dancing over to Patti’s amazing Visible Monday HERE where a growing number of bloggers party together every week.

41 Responses to “Transforming Winter Coats Into Art”

  1. SizzleandZoom

    I’m glad that this cashmere coat made the coat. It’s gorgeous and with the blue accents and your blue eyes it looks sensational. I’m glad your sale was a success.

  2. Joni

    How wonderful for you to take dance lessons!! A happy kind of exercise which I will definitely consider doing myself one day. I can just imagine how much fun you’re going to have.

  3. Desiree

    What an amazing weight off your shoulders to make a decision about downsizing and sticking to it! Coats are a great idea – so easy to slip on and off in the winter months and it’s wonderful to hear your’s caused a frenzy:). You look so utterly glorious SC, the white cashmere with the blue touches is so lively on you:). Oh my and the hat!! xo

  4. Veshoevius

    That coat is absolutely beautiful so I can see why you kept it! Your downsizing success sounds inspirational – I am planning a similiar excercise myself as we plan to move house next year.
    I took a look at the link you sent my and from what I saw I believe you will be in very good hands for your flamenco dance classes – can’t wait to hear how it goes! You are never too old to dance – I remember being in Spain seeing a very old ladies in her 90s get up and dance her little bit of flamenco at a party – she had to be helped out of her seat but once she was up there was no stopping her!

  5. SACRAMENTO

    You are pure art to me, dear Judith.
    Have a lovely wee, dear friend.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  6. Vix

    Art for coats, what a fantastic result! I love the coat you’re wearing, I can only imagine how fabulous the rest of your collection is! x

  7. Rose

    What a good idea to take winter coats to the art show. As you say, without needing a changing room, the whole thing works much better. I might have 17 coats I could let go of, but I’m not sure. I do like more and more and more. But I can also see the sense in letting things go to other homes and into other’s lives. That can be very rewarding too.

    I’m so glad that you are making progress along your journey. Hugs and kisses to you as you move forward.

    Much love from England,
    Rosemary of http://www.foreveronthecatwalkoflife.blogspot.com

  8. Style Higher™

    Judith, your words are so beautiful. And your outfit today is so special. I love the soft blue and that coat and that hat, all of it is just perfect. You are such a beauty inside and out, I am at a loss for words. xo

  9. Patti @ NotDeadYet Style

    I love this, Judith – that your beautiful coats found new homes and you have a stunning piece of art for *your* home. And your ivory cashmere coat looks so classically beautiful on you,; glad it made the cut : >

  10. Sylvia @ 40PlusStyle

    Beautiful Judith as always. And how fun that you are taking flamenco classes! I had a few 20 years ago when I was in Spain and could dance the complete sevillanas back then (with a partner). It’s a lot of fun but tough! You will have lots of fun, I’m sure….

  11. Carol Markel

    You look stunning in the off-white coat and I love the blue with it. But that hat! Thanks for reminding me of Fabulous Fannies. Although they are known for their glasses, they also have great hats and bags. And I really love that painting that you purchased.

  12. Carol Markel

    PS
    Good thing you have a big house. My one-room apartment is seriously cramping my style.

  13. pastcaring

    I am pleased you kept the coat you are wearing, Judith, it is so elegant and beautiful, especially with the blue accents and your wonderful hat. An inspired idea, to trade your coats for art, and I love the painting you chose – it’s significant, I think, that beautiful full-blooming flower right where her heart is. xxxx

  14. pastcaring

    That’s funny. I was convinced I saw my comment come up on screen, but I popped back to add something I forgot to write, and it’s not here! Quirks in the machine!
    Anyhow – what I said was, I am glad you decided to keep that coat, as it is so elegant and beautiful, especially with the blue accents and that stunning hat.
    Coats traded for art, I like that! The painting you chose is beautiful, and significant too, I think. Look at that big bright blooming flower, right where her heart is.
    Good luck with the flamenco, I can envisage you being so good at it, Judith, poised and elegant and expressive, yet with passion and a steely power! Oh YEAH! xxxx

  15. pastcaring

    Oh there is it – how funny, both comments appeared together!
    Sorry for the repetition! xxxx

  16. Judith Boyd

    I love the repetition Curtise. So sweet!

  17. pao

    What a great story Judith, and it’s true too! I love everything about it. I love that you transformed your coats into that beautiful work of art. And to top it all off, your taking flamenco dance lessons. You’ll be great at it, I’m sure. Plus think of the great ensembles you’ll be wearing as you move that dance!

  18. That's Not My Age

    That’s a lovely coat and I like it with the turquoise vintage gloves. Great to swap coats that you no longer wear for art that you love. Enjoy the dancing!

  19. Jan Graham-McMillen

    So much to congratulate you on! Beautiful hat and coat, congratulations for having the discipline to weed the wardrobe, and make the most of your dancing! I want to be just like you when I grow up!

  20. Emalina

    You look divinely glamorous in that hat and coat, such beautiful designs and they suit you perfectly. The pale vintage blue gloves add a subtle and gorgeous accent of colour to the mix, and I’m most impressed by your clothes sale just wish I’d been there to buy some of your cast offs!

    How lovely that you’re taking up flamenco. I learnt the dance in my teens and Veshoevius’s inspirational post has had me dying to take up classes again too…

  21. Marla

    That coat is divine, and I love it with those icy blue gloves and scarf.

  22. Playing With Scarves

    Ola Que Tal?
    You are so funny… I love reading your posts. They / you are truly energyzing!
    This cashmere coat you are wearing is to die for and so is your adorable hat. What a perfect pair!
    As I can’t wear coats here in Florida, I think I will soon move to Colorado;-) There is a lady there I’d like to meet…. She has a phenomenal collection of hats and she seems warmer than any cashmere coat.
    Enjoy your flamenco lessons. Olé.
    xoxo
    Anne (Playing with Scarves)
    PS. Love this painting too

  23. Anne-Marie Bruun

    It sounds like a lovely day with vintage sale. And of course, buying art for the money – really good idea and I really like the picture. And your hat – beautiful. Your colors are beautiful and gentle. Looks good

  24. ariane

    Hi Judith!

    The white coat is perfect, the hat is divine and i love the color of the gloves
    It’s pretty cool that you made enough money with the sell of the coats and be able to buy a piece of work – Money well spent i say!

    Ariane xxx

  25. no fear of fashion

    I absolutely agree with the others that this coat is perfect. Glad you didn’t sell it. But the hat is also very very nice.
    I am always having trouble with hats. My hair is thin and I have not got a lot of it. So with a lot of work it sort of looks allright. But if I put a hat on it, my hair goes flat and stupid.
    Otherwise I would probably wear them more. At least you inspire me to do so.

  26. no fear of fashion

    By the way, I agree that a home should have art. I am going to put my living room with all my art bits on my blog. You do that sometimes as well. Something different from outfits.

  27. Megan Mae

    Your coat is so elegant. Congrats on making the sales and the resulting art! I feel so blessed to have come away with a piece of art from the last gallery I went to. I’m still waiting for the show to end, but it’s so exciting. How awesome to be able to pass beloved clothing onto new homes and bring inspirational new art into your home!

  28. Paula

    I’m actually shopping for a coat right now and cant find one half as gorgeous as the one you have! this year so many are just jackets and I am looking for full length–and colorful, of course.
    I love to dance and had read Veshoevius’s article and could relate! I’m just doing Zumba right now and I love it (I have been a dance snob up until now). Dancing is a great way to feel beautiful and strong.

  29. Shybiker

    Very stylish. The gloves are to-die-for.

  30. Shelley

    Downsizing your wardrobe can feel tremendously liberating! I am glad you kept that amazing winter white one – the shape is gorgeous. That must be one of the hats you bought in NY in October – I love the shape!

    I am so excited for you to be taking flamenco classes. I took them for three years and while I was certainly not very good, I did enjoy it immensely, especially when I was able to channel my inner fierce flamenca. Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

  31. Rakel

    beautiful!

  32. SACRAMENTO

    Hahhahahhaha I know. Only one works, but they 3 of them are so close to my heart.
    Much love always, my dear friend.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  33. Jean

    Inspiring as always, dear Judith. You are consistently elegant and lovely. I know Camille looks amazing in her selections as well. Your life continues to be rich, filled with art and creativity. I’m loving the addition of the dance class!!

  34. Ulla-Marie

    You are outrageously stylish!

  35. Rosemary

    What a classic – and classy – outfit! The coat is absolutely fabulous. The blue gloves and scarf are beautiful. I love that you have chosen so many pieces that are worth keeping for 25 years.

  36. Crystal Hammon

    One of my passions–vintage coats. I love the color AND the style.
    By the way, for the longest time, I felt I was alone, a virtual freak of the blogging age, as a 50 plus girl with a vintage fashion blog. Now I know I’m not! Found you through the Huffington Post article. And now am subscribing.

  37. Bonnie

    Just saw this link on another blog and thought of you http://pem.org/exhibitions/146-hats_an_anthology_by_stephen_jones

  38. Amber of Butane Anvil

    The angled brim of your gorgeous cloche above stunningly fresh ivory and ice-blue creates a sustained and joyful ringing music! The collar and belt of your cashmere coat speak of sacred geometry. The release of gorgeous sheltering and warming garments into the wild and their transformation into art is lovely beyond words.

  39. Judith Boyd

    Thank you so much for the link!

  40. Bella Q

    Wrapped in memories, and shared. I love looking at friends wear vintage I have found/rescued, then re-released in the wild. I bet you will enjoy Camille’s enjoyment of your vintage pieces as well. I love the idea that the right amount of change happened for you to acquire that exquisite work of art. Bravo!

  41. stacy

    Love this outfit! And the pop of blue! Beautiful.

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