14 January 2010

Start of my Ladies Coat Project

LL Bean ladies camel wool car coat

I've been envious enough of my husband's cycling jacket to be on the hunt for one of my own. I finally found what I was looking for in the after Christmas sales. Oh the irony that the perfect cycling coat is currently being called a "car coat"!

The coat is:LL Bean car coat camel wool on clearance
  1. wool (blend)
  2. light camel colored to contrast with asphalt
  3. Thinsulate lined
  4. possessing seam details I can highlight in 3M reflective tape
  5. shorter in length, as my current coat occludes my seatpost tail light
  6. otherwise unremarkable, and thus unlikely to draw attention to itself
  7. inexpensive (yes, that factory outlet clearance sticker says $36.98)
I've been wearing the coat since the New Year and it feels strangely warmer than my JCrew Thinsulate coat. It may be because the LL Bean version is much lighter, so the same warmth seems remarkable.

In social lighting the coat does not read as anything remarkable:

modified cycling coat LL Bean car coat camel wool 3M Scotchlite reflective tape

Here the coat is flashed, you can see the one band of reflective tape and see all those seams where I can add more!

modified cycling coat LL Bean car coat camel wool 3M Scotchlite reflective tape flashed

I look forward to getting everywhere bike and still quickly looking almost "normal" (whatever that really is).


Cully_J said...

You did a terrific job altering and repairing the coat. Also, you got an excellent deal on it. It's rather unfortunate that we live in a throw away society, but it's fortunate that the you found the coat. Or, maybe the coat found you?

The reflective strip that you sewed to the back inspires me to do the same to some of my clothes.

MamaVee said...

you know that is awesome.

I think I need to do something similar someday. My current coat is navy and long. Warm as hell and I love it, but I end up wearing a yield sigh buckled around my waist.

Filigree said...

My goodness, you snagged yourself a bargain there! The cream colour + reflective tape combo should be perfect for cycling at night. A beautiful, classic coat.

JPTwins said...

I was rereadign the post about your husband's jacket -- did you ever figure out the rear-reflectivity issue? can we see some pictures?

this looks like a great coat! I've been looking at this one, but it's significantly more than $36.98:


Charlotte said...

Hey JPTwins,
He's just been rocking the double reflective stripes, no drop down yield sign. It's been enough and now that he has a lollipop light I'm concerned about blocking it. I will put a narrow lower stripe on soon and get photos for you.

cycler said...

Very nice!
Did you make your own reflective piping with tape, or did you find a good source of reflective piping?
It looks like it doesn't have vents- is that a problem at all?

Charlotte said...

Cycler -
Bought this reflective piping on eBay, it was a good value but I don't remember exactly any more. That's the beauty of stash!

There are no vents, but I'm considering this a winter coat so that's fine by me. It's only got three buttons so I could theoretically vent that way - it's been theoretical so far!

Shannon said...

Great post, I just stumbled upon your blog tonight- I am considering very similar modifications to a jacket- yours looks great!

You can get reflective piping from Seattle Fabrics - http://www.seattlefabrics.com/ribbon_and_tapes.html

cycler said...

I meant vents like rear slits in the back to relieve stress in the fabric when seated, not for heat/ air management. My mom is the seamstress in the family, so I might be using the term wrong, but I thought the slits up the back of a skirt or a coat were called vents?

I've been having problems with my coat getting caught on the bag loops on my brooks- I don't remember having this problem before- I think that I rode a lot more in a waist length coat last year..

Nakki said...

Where do you get your reflective stripe? I've been taking apart safety vests for the strips but don't know where to purchase them. Thanks!

Charlotte said...

Nakki, I bought all of my reflective tape on eBay, I hadn't considered scavenging off safety vests but that's a great idea too!

lorrwill said...

Thank goodness for clever people like you who figure things out and share them!

I need something just like this only for walking to and from the train. I got sick of all the near misses ) in the cross walk and realized that I need a lot more reflective material than an arm band and reflectors on my pack.

And there is the "looking normal" catch. You sorted it all out. THANK YOU FOR THIS BRILLIANT POST!!!