Thursday, January 23, 2014

Retail Therapy

It's January, and it's really cold.   And then there's the snow, and the ice....and did I mention how cold it is? 

The thought of spending the next month or two swathed in my big, black, down-filled coat, scarf, hat, mittens, and boots was incredibly depressing, so I made a financially irresponsible, spontaneous decision.  I resorted to retail therapy in order to make me feel better.  This is certainly not the first time I've done this, but usually when I feel this urge coming on, I try to satisfy it with to a trip to one of my favourite thrift stores.  This time, I bought something new, from a high-end retail store....

modelling my new Betsey Johnson, down-filled coat - it's sooooo PINK!

I had twenty minutes to spare before my hair appointment last week, so I ducked into Kingsmills Department Store to check out the winter coat selection.  Within minutes, my attention was drawn to this hot pink down-filled piece of eye candy on the rack (it reminded me very much of Krista's hair!).  The label is Betsey Johnson, not a brand I would have expected to find in a store known for "quality and classic fashion sense" in its selection of women's wear.  The sales assistants are exceedingly polite, if somewhat on the conservative side, and when I picked up the coat, one of them noted that it was "certainly an unusual coat", and that "you would certainly stand out when you were wearing it".  The sight of its glowing fuschia awesomeness in the mirror made me a little giddy, and the fact it was half-price pretty much eliminated any hesitation on my part.
 The lining is kinda fabulous, and it's filled with a mix of down and feathers for warmth

Photo of Kingsmills from their Facebook page

Kingsmills has been a fixture in downtown London ever since Thomas Frazer Kingsmill opened his dry goods store in 1865.  I took my Mother there about a decade ago to purchase a winter coat, and I may have purchased two or three things myself there since.  I can appreciate its tastefully elegant displays of high end merchandise (it sells beautiful furniture), and old-fashioned details like a hand-operated elevator with an attendant, and a working pneumatic tube system to send paperwork and change throughout the store.   It is also one of the last family-owned businesses left in downtown London, and to our collective dismay, it was announced last fall that the owner of Kingsmills would be putting the store up for sale.  It's another nail in the coffin of our downtown, which has been struggling to attract new businesses, and customers, for as long as I've lived here.   I'm glad I was able to buy something I really liked from the store before it closes in July.

I got my hair cut and coloured after I purchased the coat, and the bright orange and purple swirl on my head lifted my mood considerably.  It's still really cold and snowy, but for the moment, I'm feeling "in the Pink"!


  1. that coat rocks! You need a coat that warm where you live, I don't, which is why my last winter coat cost $10 at the thrift shop. (it's from Jones of New York) I only need it 4-5 times a year, but I'm really happy I bought it, because I walk to work.

    Too sad about the old fashion department store closing. Maybe something wonderful will replace it

  2. FABULOUS coat! I am in love with that colour and woo, leopard lining! Simply amazing.

    That's so sad about the store - Victoria's downtown is still fairly vibrant, thank goodness, but it's still really sad to see those old businesses shutter their doors. Way to give them one last boost of support!

  3. Oh Shelley there's so much I love about this post!! Firstly, well done you for getting yourself an "it certainly is an unusual coat" to keep you toasty warm. Personally, half-arsed negative comments like that make me screech with laughter inside and I'm yet to invent a garment that has flashing fairy lights, just to be contrary ;) . I love the colour and the cut of the coat, I would wear it with absolutely EVERYTHING, which I'm sure you're doing everyday because just look at your happy, beaming face! The lining is gorgeous! As for the department store, I'm very happy to see it's in a strip mall, my favourite kind of shopping (hate modern malls!!!!) It sounds glorious inside what with all those details from the past, it's sad to hear it's going to be sold. Big warm (and sorry, I'm rather sweaty) hug, D xoxoxo

  4. Great coat! It looks amazing on you. I love your hair. You're definitely a cheerful, bright spot in this dreadful winter.

  5. oh yeah, there's nothing better to cheer up all that snowy months than wearing a Pink Coat of Fabulousness, and you rock it!!, so pretty and gorgeous!!!
    I've been in search of a bright color puffy coat and I was ready to give up until I've seen your glorious pinkness!!

  6. Nothing like shopping I say! It lifts the mood especially now in this dreadfull friggin weahter!
    Ah! I love that coat, pink! the utltimate treat hey!
    The lining is so awesome, that's Betty for you!

    I love how you wear your capri pants with the socks! that is so whimsy!
    I found whimsy gym shorts with sequins on the sides at H&M for $5 this week
    I might do a post with them -You just inspired me!

    Have a great weekend!

    Big hugs Shelley!


  7. I agree with Desiree - so much to like about this post! How could you not buy that coat? It's cold, you have to have a good coat, it's pink and fun. And then that lining!!!!!

    And your hair looks fabulous with that swirl (and you get to use that word)! And I'm imagining a store that still has elevator operators and pneumatic tubes. Awesome. Maybe we can get a blogger consortium to buy it and w can all run it. Do you have any savings?

    1. That's an excellent idea Val! We could make it the coolest store in the world....oh, right, there's the money part :(

  8. What a good idea! I've always loved Betsy Johnson. Trust her to line it with leopard print!! Totally good choice. Cheers, Rosemary from

  9. Fabulous coat and your hair too.

  10. Your hair is looking fabulous, Shelley! And hurray for a brightly coloured winter coat; warm, waterproof and practical can be stylish and fun, just add bright pink and leopard print!
    What a shame that the shop will cease trading soon... The lift and the tube system sound wonderful. It would make a great vintage/independent trader emporium, wouldn't it? You'll have to let us know what happens to the building later in the year. xxx

  11. O, darling, that coat is TO DIE FOR!!! SO adorable, and pure perfection for your nasty cold snow!
    Ah, indeed, somethings retail therapy is just the ticket!

  12. Love, love, LOVE! Perfect antidote to crummy temps. I have a silk quilted and down-filled Hilary Radley jacket in the same hue. It blasts all the blahs away when I wear it!

  13. Your hair is incredible!

  14. Great decisions. The gorgeous pink coat with leopard print lining and your hair, which is absolutely fabulous. Retail therapy at a store with an incredible history that will soon be closing is a good thing. I can see why you're feeling "in the Pink."

  15. Love the lining! I don't think I could pull off the pink coat like you do.

    We are having nothing but sun, sun, sun here in California. Wish it were cold.

  16. I love your blog

  17. You are so cute! Just found your blog.

  18. Shelley Shelly Shelly you my dear are looking kick ass in your new coat, I adore everything about it but especially the gal wearing it! Your hair looks fresh and I know how good that feels! Of course you could stay with us when you visit, it would be fun!!!