Discover more from Fashion Foreword
Trench Coat Therapy
Guest writer Nao Zaragoza from Wearers Festival writes a letter to her trench coat and tells the story of how it became her coat of armour.
I moved to London for the first time in 2016 and the first thing I did was to buy you in my nearest charity shop with a sense of urgency.
I am from Mexico and as a child, my only reference to London was from the Parent Trap film. I grew up thinking that all British people could speak French, practised fencing, had a butler at home (hahaha) but more than anything, that everyone wore a nice, smart, long, crispy trench coat in the streets.
It wasn’t hard to find you. Every charity shop in this country is loaded with trench coats that people of all sizes and styles decided to say goodbye to. Trench coats are eternal, sculptural, enigmatic, versatile. One feels at least 3 degrees more intelligent while wearing one. One feels purposeful.
Experiences are hugely determined by what we are wearing at the time and in this case, owning a trench coat felt more than adequate;, it felt like an inevitability. I thought you were the very first instrument that was going to help me settle into my new life.
I walked around the wet paths of Battersea Park feeling smart, wrapped in your crispy softness. Your hem flagging with the wind agitated with the promise of adventure and new beginnings.
Wearing you made me feel like I finally had my shit together. Like I could finally say goodbye to the Nao that I left in Mexico, the lost Nao, the Nao broken by grief and anger and trauma. Adios.
Somehow, I knew that things would be alright because this city had accepted to embrace me. I looked at the shop vitrines of Chelsea with my hands in your empty pockets and the knowledge that London would provide me, from now on, with everything I was ever going to need to become at peace with myself. I blended in and I knew I was, at least, at home.
Feeling inspired to write your own letter to your clothes? Wearers Festival invites you to write a love letter, a letter to a friend, or to an enemy, a letter to a garment you don’t own anymore but miss, a long-time-no-see-letter or a get-out-of-my-life-letter.
Subscribe to Fashion Foreword to receive the next issue of the newsletter straight to your inbox. We publish accessible, independent, and forward-thinking fashion criticism, sparking reflection on the role of fashion in our daily lives and the world at large.