Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Vintage Duster

I recently had the good fortune to purchase a vintage duster from an antique shop in Concord, Massachusetts.  The Fairchild Dictionary of Fashion lists one of its definitions of a duster as a "tan or brown light-weight full-length coat worn when riding in an automobile in early 20th c. to protect clothing from dust."  The material in my coat is a very well preserved linen.  These coats were typically worn with an automobile veil.  Alas, my coat did not have an accompanying veil, and I am pretty certain that, although I look forward to wearing the coat, I lack the courage to wear the veil.

 The coat is a perfect fit with the exception of the sleeve length and the overall length.  Shortening the sleeve will be both interesting and easy since it was constructed with the cuff hand-sewn to the sleeve.  So, it came off very easily and I will turn up the appropriate length on the sleeve and then re-attach the cuff.
As you can see, when the cuff is off, the pocket faces up, which won't work at all.  But, when you slide the cuff back on, it's done in such a way as to resemble a turned up cuff, so it is slid over the bottom of the sleeve and attached there (shown with the very tiny red arrow). 

 One of the many things I found interesting was that when you lift up the flap of this cuff pocket, it is not finished at all.  The fabric had simply been slashed and some hand stitches done to keep the fabric from raveling.  I have no idea what the purpose of this pocket would have been and would be very interested in any thoughts any of you may have. 
I can't wait to finish my alterations and wear my coat.  I'll post pictures!



  1. You lucky little duck. What a wonderful find!! Such a fun piece to add to your wardrobe. I'm looking forward to seeing it on you!!

  2. An absolutely fabulous discovery! And those cuffs - wow! Such a design would be fun to duplicate someplace. Good spot for a room key, or a tissue, or a credit card...

    I look forward to pictures of you wearing this interesting piece.