Ya know what? Christophe Decarnin can kiss my fashionista butt.
As we all now by now, this Balmain jacket is All The Rage.
And as we all also know, it's expensive as hell. (More expensive than hell -- I dunno about you, but I'm sure I could achieve eternal damnation for lots less than 11 large.) And we also know that Style Spy has a thing for jackets of the quasi-military/musical sort.
She also has the best shopping kung-fu, even in a vintage store, because last weekend I got my grubby little paws on this:
Eh-yep. From my favorite vintage dealer, Connie Ray, over at the Austin Antique Mall. (I love the Antique Mall. I love it for its many and varied treasures. I also love it because they almost always have a candy bowl filled with those teeny Tootsie Rolls on the counter where you check out. Style Spy does loooooove her a Tootsie Roll.)
I'm crazy about this silly thing, I think it is fantastic.
It's a tailcoat! How fab is that?! It is an authentic band jacket (made by a company called Sol Frank) and it's in brilliant shape. Also, it came with this:
It's a dickey for the jacket and when it's all buttoned on it looks like this:
Which is not really the look we're after, but I get a tremendous giggle out of the fact that it's there at all. It's just one reason this jacket is better than the Balmain. Another reason? This:
This is the tag on the inside of the jacket. According to the tag, this jacket was part of the band uniform for a school called "Bellville," and was made for a young lady named Connie Prokoff. It says here that Connie was 5'2", weighed 120 pounds, has a 26" waist and a 28" inseam. Which is a lot of information to get about someone from her jacket, huh? But I am utterly and completely charmed by it. What instrument do we think Connie played? Petite as she was, I'm going to guess flute. See, this is the great thing about vintage clothes -- they have a soul, and a history.
The last reason this jacket is better than Balmain is that it did not cost anywhere even close to $11K. This is a very good thing in a jacket, in my opinion.
Now. Being as I already have a great band jacket, I'm feeling a little guilty about adding this one to the wardrobe. So I've decided to share the wealth and put it on offer to any of my readers who are
It's a fairly small jacket (like I said, Miss Prokoff was petite) -- it fits American size 4 me pretty perfectly. It isn't made to close up in the front unless you wear the ruffled dickey with it, so take that into account. If anyone has any questions about it, feel free to leave them in the comments here or contact me at shine at austin dot rr dot com.
I'll tell ya, between this and my lace t-shirt DIY, I'm starting to feel like I could take over at Balmain...
Images: Streetpeeper.com, Style Spy