11/08/2016 03:34 EST | Updated 11/08/2016 03:44 EST

How To Make An Old Coat New Again

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Young woman warming herself in autumn. Cold fall day with copy space

I recently read an article where the author mentioned that she buys a new coat every single fall/winter. Really? Doesn't that seem a little extreme? I tend to spend a little more on a great coat, which I treat as an investment piece. I opt for more classic shapes and high quality fabrics for the very reason that I don't want to have to buy a new coat every single year. The only glitch in this plan is that after a couple of years, I might get bored of pulling out the same old coat time after time. So, how do you make an old coat new again?


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How To Make An Old Coat New Again

Dry Clean. You'll be surprised at what a good dry cleaning can do and this should always be your first step.

De-Pill. Pilling will always make a garment look older and more worn, so before you embark on any upgrades make sure to de-pill it first.

New Buttons. This is kind of an obvious one. I recently bought a beautiful 100% wool military pea coat. The fit is ideal and the quality is fabulous, but the buttons most certainly are not. Black plastic buttons with an anchor on them just aren't me. I think this jacket would look best with vintage buttons and I've been on the hunt for them for several weeks now. Since buttons aren't very expensive and the coat is a classic, I can change them every year.

Shorten It. We never think of doing this, but why not shorten your coat? It's not a huge alteration and can completely transform your coat. What was once a three quarter or long coat can now be a jacket.

Update The Lining. I have this one coat where the lining ripped almost immediately. I continued to wear it throughout the fall and winter, but hated it every time I put it on. It finally occurred to me that I could replace the lining with a really beautiful one.

It's All In The Details (lots of options here)

  • a belt will change the shape of any coat. Look for a wide one that will balance out a thicker fabric. Leather will be a nice complement to any fabric or you can simply take a few inches off the bottom of your coat to make a matching belt.

  • a brooch is an easy upgrade. Most second hand and vintage stores have a plethora of brooches. It's a very small commitment with major impact and you can buy several styles to match all your moods.
  • shortening the sleeves is another great and inexpensive option. You might have to buy some amazing elbow length gloves to go with your new look, but I don't see the problem in that....

  • for an even more dramatic upgrade, try adding a cuff to the sleeves or even to the bottom of the coat. A luxurious velvet, or even a faux fur will make a huge impact and of course, a faux fur collar will always be a good idea.

  • if you are a fan of boho chic you can always add some ebroidery to the lapels or down the front. This detail will definately make an otherwise simple coat unique.

Of course you can go out and buy a new coat, but then again, a small revamp will leave more money for a new pair of shoes!

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