I’ve never owned a wax jacket before. Puffa – yes, down parka – sure, leather – of course, faux fur – it has been known, but never waxed. Don’t get me wrong I’ve always secretly wanted one, but in my view a certain look and style was needed to pull them off, and it was a look I didn’t believe I had.
You see, I might have grown up amongst the countryside but I’ve never really been a country girl.
Ever since I was little I’ve liked the prettier things in life – the things that sparkle and shine, with heels and frills and in colours like pink and gold. My mum will tell you that even getting me into a pair of tights some mornings was tough and if I could have gone to school in my fairy princess costume every day I absolutely would have. Still today, the only time you’ll see me in wellies is at a festival and even then it’s only if I really need to wear them, the minute the sun peeks back out I’m in my jazzy trainers or embellished sandals without a second thought. I don’t really like getting muddy unless previously arranged (give a girl some warning so she knows to wear something ugly), I’ve never been one for outdoorsy pursuits, nor have I ever been very good at rocking that undone messy hair look. And most importantly I’ve never quite understood the act of wearing clothes purely for their practical or comfortable properties. I don’t intend to come across as judgemental saying this, in fact I admire those who can do all of the above but it’s just not me. When it comes to style icons, give me Carrie Bradshaw (who walks dogs in her stilettos) over Jessica Biel (who gets married in a Birkenstock) any day.
Yet a few weekends ago something changed. A few hundred train miles and one whiff of the Yorkshire dales countryside later and there I was waxing (sorry!) lyrical about the practicalities and comfort of my new country coat, and totally and unashamedly eating my words.
Wax Jacket – Joules (c/o) | Top – Vero Moda | Skirt – Zara | Tights – Henry Holland | Scarf – Barbour (c/o) | Hat – Dorothy Perkins | Boots – Deichmann (c/o) | Earrings – Accessorize
And these photos are the evidence. For not only am I in the country girls outerwear of choice but I’m also wearing a pair of Chelsea boots, a roll neck, a green fedora and a tartan scarf. I couldn’t be more country if I tried.
So what happened? Why the sudden change of heart? Well I could tell you it’s because I’m getting older and my years of nesting have begun (I’m told it’s all comfy casuals and flat shoes from here on in), I could tell you it’s because I’m just a fashion chameleon and I love to dress up to suit my surroundings (when one is in the country one must dress for the country) or I could tell you it’s because I’m just an indecisive dresser who wouldn’t know her own style if it was staring her in the face.
While most of the above is probably true, the real reason is much more simple. It’s the coat. The coat happened.
Much like Carrie’s Vivienne Westwood dress transformed the entire theme of her wedding, this gorgeous Joules wax jacket single handedly managed to transform my entire style as I knew it. The minute I laid the pretty patterned lining on my back, slipped my arms through the soft lined sleeves, belted up the middle and pressed down the cute fox adorned buttons, everything I thought I knew about my fashion style was called into question (ok not everything, I still threw on a bright skirt and a pair of star print tights to reclaim a little of the familiar). Suddenly it felt like I’d always been a country girl inside but just never had the means to show it. The coat allowed all of the other elements, a pair of Chelsea boots, a fedora, a roll neck, which might have previously seemed out of place in my wardrobe of pink and pretty, to completely make sense. As if all that I’d been missing was the glue to hold the entire look together. This coat was the glue.
There are very few items of clothing which have the ability to do this, and I thoroughly believe that when one comes along it must not be ignored. For as amazing as it is to have a signature style, there’s also something rather wonderful about finding an item which pushes your style out of it’s comfort zone and allows you to be someone else entirely for a while. Because even though Carrie ended up actually tying the knot in her signature label-less vintage number, there’s no denying that she looked IN-CRED-IBLE in that Vivienne Westwood dress, am I wrong?
I of course reveled in my new found country girl status for the whole afternoon of our country adventure, throwing leaves in slow motion, stomping through woodland and jumping in fields as the sun set. But of course as darkness fell I retreated indoors and put on a super sparkly skirt and a pair of sky high heels for dinner just to make sure I hadn’t lost the plot entirely.
I’m happy to report that the coats confidence boosting, persona changing properties are not limited to a country setting either. I’ve worn this number numerous times back in London town and it still has the ability to make me feel like a whole new woman.