Monday 5 December 2016

Paul Galvin: Meet Mr Fiftycoats

Paul Galvin

Published 11/12/2011 | 06:00

Paul Galvin vintage fashion , Bedlam Castlemarket. Pix Ronan Lang/Feature File

From Crombies and blazers to fur and military-style ones, the choice of coats is endless, says Paul Galvin, as he attempts to find the perfect one -- despite having 53 already

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It's question time, readers, so tune in. Del Boy Trotter loved his Crombie, and Joseph was never seen without his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, but what about you? Have you got a favourite coat?

I've got so many, I couldn't possibly pick one. Fortycoats had the right idea -- he loved all his coats equally so he wore them all at once.

I'm on the search for an overcoat at the moment to replace some of my favourite blazers for the winter.

Of all coats or jackets, blazers are my favourite. They're so versatile and elegant. You can wear them with shirts, T-shirts, shirts and jumpers, tracksuit tops even, suits and jeans. I love them on girls, too.

I bought a three-buttoned tweed one with leather patches on the shoulders and elbows from Topman last week and I'll still wear it this winter, as it's quite warm, but only over a jumper.

I normally wear only one-button blazers. These days, though, it's all about the overcoat for me. I do feel a bit like the aforementioned Fortycoats.

I've bought so many coats in my quest to find the perfect one for winter in the last few weeks that I have easily 40 in my wardrobe now.

There's a military-style zipped hoody, a quilted jacket by Shore Leave in Urban Outfitters, a parka, a quilted body warmer, and a blazer from The Kooples.

Even though I have about 15 blazers, I just couldn't resist it. It's made from 100pc cashmere and it comes with a cashmere price tag, but the texture is beautiful and it's tailored to Savile Row perfection.

It's more of a summer jacket, though, as the fit is Kooples slim and it's hard to layer underneath.

So that was five coats and a blazer in a matter of weeks, without mention of the fact that the Barbour International is still on my wish list. Still, I couldn't find that perfect overcoat.

From All Saints to Urban Outfitters, I cast my net until I eventually found what I think might be pretty close. Ever since seeing the LMFAO lads rocking fur gilets in 'Party Rock Anthem', I had been feeling like some fur, or some wool at least, ever since.

And I finally found some. In Harlequin on Castle Market. What a great store. A black trench coat with a big wool collar, made for the cold streets of New York City in winter -- it was just what I was after.

Streets of New York it may be, but when I saw it first I immediately thought of the movie 'Snatch'. Whoever styled that film did a great job. It's one of my all-time favourites.

Some of the gear Brad Pitt's character Mickey and his shams wear is class. So when I saw this coat in Harlequin, straight away I was reminded of the overcoat Mickey wears in the scene at the halting site, when the caravan is being bought.

It's such a funny scene and it really draws you in as a viewer. Next time you watch it, take a step back and check out Mickey's gear. He's wearing a great brown overcoat with an oversized fur collar, worn over an open tracksuit top, a shirt and a vest. Traveller chic, I call it, and I like it, too.

Anyway, my overcoat is black, made in Germany by Oberstoff. A bit risqué for these parts, maybe, but then fashion should be risqué in my humble opinion.

I'll wear it with a shirt buttoned up inside, as the neckline of the coat is not buttoned.

That's the thing about overcoats. They can be very versatile. You can wear just a tee underneath and button up for a very minimal look -- or wear it open over tees, polos, cotton shirts, denim, or even the right zipped tracksuit top.

Nylon can work well with overcoats. The latest blink-and-you'll-miss-it trend for girls is wearing oversized overcoats. I met a girl last week wearing one and she looked great.

In the name of research and in the middle name of curiosity, I did a quick count of all my coats and jackets in my wardrobe. I felt like a clerk at a polling station.

The research extended to two wardrobes and a clothes rail, and after three counts, I had my tally. This didn't include the coats I keep at my parents' house.

There were a lot. How many? Let's just say, if I had a nickname I'd be Fiftythreecoats.

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