I try to always walk into a thrift store with a mental list of things I need and a list of things I definitely don’t need. Coats have been number one on that list for a while because, really, I have an embarrassing number of coats. In fact, my last thrifted find was about a coat.
I suppose fate has a way of intervening. While I was idly flipping through the heavy winter gear section on a recent trip with my friend Rachael, this vintage coat with a beautiful chevron pattern jumped out at me.
It was too big on me, which is slightly less noticeable thanks to the belt, had a few small rips and tears, and was missing a button. But I just couldn’t pass on the gray and white pattern with tiny, tiny flecks of red.
I googled the tag (“Montello”) as soon as I got home and found that it was associated with the Mackintosh brand. The name Mackintosh might ring a bell if you’re into fashion, or just into staying dry in the rain. Charles Macintosh (no “k”, unlike the company name) developed the first waterproof fabric 200 years ago in Scotland and became known for his classic raincoats.
As best I can tell, Montello is a brand owned by New England Mackintosh that made wool coats starting in the late ’70s and ’80s. You can find a huge variety of their coats on places like eBay and Poshmark in a wide variety of colors and textures. In fact, while I was doing some research, I found a listing for this exact coat if anyone wants to be coat twins!
This vintage coat has one more surprise in store…
… this bold, red satin lining. Which doesn’t get nearly the amount of attention it deserves since I’m usually not inclined to wear it unless it’s pretty darn cold out, too cold to be leaving it unbuttoned.
Speaking of making something your own, these Ariat leather boots are one of the few things in my wardrobe that I splurged on. I bought them at Cavender’s, a huge boot chain with stores all over Texas, right before we moved from Austin to L.A. I love how the leather has worn in such a unique way– you can’t beat character like that.
All tangents aside, this is one of the best vintage pieces I’ve ever found. It still needs a little bit of TLC– it’s missing a button (easy fix!) and has a small hole on the sleeve and a few small tears in the lining. But, for me, that’s part of the fun of thrifting, getting to restore a piece to the way it once was and giving it a second chance to shine.
What’s the best thing you’ve thrifted recently?