#inthecloset is a feature in which someone chooses an item of clothing of particular significance to them and tells us about it and why it stands out to them among everything else in their wardrobe. The idea being to gain an insight into someone’s life through what they choose to wear. That and to look at some nice clothes.
There were a few things I could have chosen for this feature. My initial necklace, which I’ve worn every day since my 13th birthday when my parents gave it to me, or the navy blue jumper that I stole from my dad and wear for far too many days in a row like a security blanket when I’ve got an essay deadline – would both have been viable options. But, being a coat person, I felt that really there was only one option, and that was the sheepskin coat that was my mother’s 21st birthday present and that I adopted when I was 16.
The coat has been with me through a lot. It was my go-to between the ages of 16-18 when I was trying to explore my edginess (only to find I don’t really have any) and it played a pivotal role in keeping me warm when all I ever wore was sheer and leather skirts. It comforted me in times when university felt a bit overwhelming (when first term was over and suddenly work and exams were a very real and yet somewhat unknown quantity), as it made me think of my mum, at the same stage of life, wearing the same coat and feeling those same sentiments of uncertainty.
The coat came with me on Jailbreak, where my friendships with my two best friends were solidified in a way that only being stranded in a small town in Austria can achieve. It came in very useful on that trip, doubling up as a blanket in the freezing February cold and being big enough that all three of us could actually just about fit underneath it. And this winter, I wore it on a boat trip around some Swedish islands in the coldest rain I’ve ever been in on what would become one of my favourite, most cherished days.
I always get a little bit sad when summer starts poking its head out from behind the clouds, because it means that my beloved sheepskin has to be put back in the wardrobe for another few months. I own nearly 20 coats (I know), but this one will always be my favourite. Not least because it keeps me the warmest, which is, at the end of the day, the most important thing a coat should do.
I dread the day my mum asks for it back.
Hannah B is the Editor of ART & FASHION at PTL. When not thinking about fashion, she can probably be found writing about feminism or tending to her fringe. Whilst deep down she’d like to be Audrey Hepburn when she grows up, she’s realised with age that this is a rather complicated aspiration. As such, she’ll probably try and pursue something in publishing upon leaving the cosy world of education.
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