I went to Paris with the intention of buying a trench coat but the weather was unseasonably warm and so I forgot about it until the final few days we were there. At that point, with Charlie’s help, the search was on: we looked in department stores, in an underground mall, in specialty stores, in “the passages”, and in neighborhood boutiques. No success. So while 90 per cent of the women in Paris were wearing trench coats of different colors, lengths and cuts, I couldn’t find one.
The standard of all trench coats is Burberry: leather buckles, bound buttonholes, engraved pearl buttons, silk lining. Aaaaah.
The back is equally elegant.
Now that I’m back in the good old US I’m determined to have a trench coat. My parameters are:
a light color in the greige family
seam detailing that tapers the bodice
belt with a buckle
less than $100.
And so the search began on the internet and I knew immediately (after trying to locate one in France) that without a specific brand and model, this search would be haphazard and fruitless .
I looked in our brand new, well-stocked TJ Maxx and a second TJ Maxx, Burlington Coat Factory, Jones of New York, Ann Taylor, Marshalls, Ross, and Banana Republic. Fruitless. I found trench coats, even trench coats in a good color. The one problem that united them: they’re too short. I want the coat to at least come to my knees. Every one I tried on was at least 4 inches above my knees. I’m 5 feet 5 inches which in my family is NOT TALL.
In the 2nd round off shopping (really the 5th round if you count before Paris, Paris and internet.) I tried L.L. Bean, Nordstrom, Lord and Taylor, Macy’s, and Talbots .
L.L. Bean had a nice coat on sale for $99 but only had large and extra large in stock in the store. I would need to order it from the website. When I went to the website the coat was $129. Hmmm.
L L Bean Trench Coat
Macy carried lots of choices. I tried Jones New York (too short). Calvin Klein had a nice shoulder detail but back had a split rather than a pleat (the pleat would keep me dryer in the rain).
London Fog at Macy’s had a nice back pleat but no shoulder flap detail.
I finally ordered a London Fog Trench coat from Overstock.com (details below).
London Fog Tench Coat that I ordered.
This has a similar back shoulder detail to the Calvin Klein above, a button down flap and the back vent is pleated. I like the buckles at the wrist.
London Fog Women’s Double-breasted Trench Coat
Option: Toffee S
It seems to be a classic coat at a nice price. It won’t be long before I’m in the trench.
Do you look all over the place for one item? Are you relieved to finally make a decision?
This might be a great place to use souvenirs from our trip to France. I had two maps which are pictured below. The bottom one looked a little too much like blodshot eyes so I chose the top one.
Cut the map of France into a circle a bit larger than the clock face.
Mark where the numbers go on the side of the the clock face making special note of the 12.
Iron the map by laying down a piece of cloth on your ironing board (just in case anything transfers), then the map and then a piece of cotton cloth. Iron the map just until it lies flat. If you iron too long it will become brittle.
Scuff up the clock by sanding it lightly
and put down a thin layer of spray adhesive on both the clock and the back of the map.
Stick the map to the clock and let it set up for about 5 minutes before trimming the edges with a razor blade.
Using a rag rub the face of the map to assure no air bubbles especially around the edges.
Lay the edge of the razor blade at a 45 degree angle to the surface and slide around the edge.
Use a sharp blade!
I found some number stencils to help with the time telling and transferred them to the surface with a stencil brush and latex paint filling in the spaces with a detail brush. There are any number of alternatives for numbering: stick-on numbers, draw them, use marks instead of actual numbers, Roman numerals, etc. I only placed numbers at the cardinal points (12, 3, 6, and 9). Perhaps I should have used N, W, S, E instead. Wish I’d have thought of it.
Cover the whole thing with 2 layers of Modge Podge, one before numbering and one after.
Replace the hands and time mechanism.
Have you got things you don’t want to throw away but aren’t quite right for your decor? Can you modify them?
After we Charlie and son cleaned up the back yard of the foliage that Hurricane Irene blew to the ground, bare patches abounded in the once green lawn.
Although Charlie was of a mind to just let it grow back on its own, I knew that weeds would overtake most of the area. And earlier in the year we had used some Scott’s Patchmaster to plant some grass in place of the brick planter we removed.
So with most of the bag of still remaining from the first project, I found it in the shed and suggested Charlie scratch the brown areas with the garden rake and lay down some PatchMaster.
And like the great guy he is, my wish was his command.
It’s supposed to rain for the next 2 days which should really settle this seed into place. Maybe in the spring the lawn will be miraculously green and weedfree.
Have you got something that needs a little patch? How’s your patching coming along?
While I was researching Paris to prepare for our trip I ran across a store called E. Dehillerin at the corner of 18 and 20 rue Coquillière and 51 rue Jean- Jacques Rousseau in the 1st Arrondissement. In business since 1820, this store carries EVERYTHING you’d ever need in the kitchen.
During her years in Paris, Julia Child found her cooking utensils here. I can imagine that she loved the quality and availability of Dehillerin’s service.
If there is a copper pot, pan or mold Dehillerin has it. Wine coolers, fish poachers, saucepan sets, double boilers, paella pans — you name it.
Down in the basement of the store are still more pots and pans in copper and stainless steel and aluminum.
There are heavy specialty pans for and huge stock pots for in sizes for the home cook and the professional chef.
Back on the ground floor is a floor to ceiling display of wire whips. It’s so fun to think about the possibilities.
The staff will answer any questions you may have and go to great heights to assure your satisfaction.
Most things were either too large or too heavy to lug back to the US but we did find something for our friend the pastry chef.
E. Dehillerin has a website from where items may be ordered and shipped. If you are searching for that impossible-to-find item, this could be your last stop.
Are you the cook that must have all the gadgets? Or are a few basic utensils all you need in the kitchen?
Sidebar: Rue Coquillière in Les Halles is the street where shellfish venders (coquilles are scallops) traditionally had their stands when Les Halles was the wholesale market center of the city.