A Grand Rehabilitation

January 28, 2014

A Grand Rehabilitation

I have an old polo coat that I love. It weighs ten tons, is warm as all heck, and I wear it about once a year, when I’m traveling somewhere cold in the winter. It cost me about $30 on eBay (though I think it took another $25 to get it to me), and it was originally made around 1930 for Capper & Capper, a competitor to Brooks Brothers.

Sadly, while the camelhair exterior was holding up strong, the rayon lining was starting to be a bit worse for the wear. As most 80-year-olds do. I thought initially of taking it to my tailor and having him reline it, which probably would have cost a hundred or a hundred fifty dollars, but would have made it good for another fifty or so years of service. That was the plan, for a while.

Then I remembered that I had a closet full of silk scraps – odds and ends from our pocket square fabric that weren’t quite big enough to constitute a full square. I thought of how much I love patched out blue jeans, and wondered if this might be an opportunity for a creative solution.

Above: the result. Rather than replacing the lining, we patched it with fabric leftover from Put This On pocket squares. We were careful to preserve the tags, too – those old tags are one of the best parts of a vintage garment. The result is a very serious and hard-working coat on the exterior, with a beautiful secret inside.