By Michelle Crowe
Slim Keith epitomized California cool, but from the looks of this Louise Dahl-Wolfe photo, could have survived Chicago seasons.
Ah, Spring. For Chicagoans it’s more a state of mind than an actual season.
As we zig and zag from the depths of meteorological misery brought about by April snow to the highs of a sunny lunch at an outdoor café, we show ourselves to be as hearty and practical as we are stylish.
Kiara Kabukuru in the best pink coat ever, designed by Gianni Versace and photographed by Arthur Elgort for Vogue, August 1996.
The best way to get through April, May and even June is to have a wardrobe of coats that are not black. Black coats already spill out of every closet and no one can bear to put those black coats on even one more time.
In October they will be welcomed back like old friends, but right now we’d just as soon burn them as wear them.
Mellow yellow and perfect for any Chicago spring in the past 100 years.
Instead, we snap up double-faced wool toppers in candy colors whenever we find one. Then, when snowflakes fill the air on an April day we’re not caught shivering in a lightweight trench. Instead, we’re snug – and possibly just the tiniest bit smug – in our warm yet cheerful outerwear.
On the days when the sun shines and a warm breeze blows, there is no better choice than that trusty trench.
Pierre Cardin, 1962.
Here at Classic Chicago magazine, we’ve declared our love of the trench coat many times. That won’t stop us from doing it again as this is a big season for this forever favorite. The trench was a key piece on runways at Celine, Loewe, Christian Dior and Valentino.
Street style at Milan Fashion Week in early 2015.
Be on the lookout for a new trench to complement your much-loved older coat. Of course you already knew that. Chicagoans never need to be reminded to shop for coats. It’s as natural for us as breathing and how we manage to look smashing and stay warm no matter what Mother Nature and the Lake Effect bring our way.