This is the story of Nadine and the Amazing Lemon Coloured Dreamcoat…

Headscarf and bracelet: Forever 21. Boots: Miz Mooz.

When I saw this coat, it was love at first sight! It was eight years ago and I was thumbing through the pages of InStyle magazine when I came across a multi-page spread advertising Banana Republic’s Spring ’04 collection. This zesty town coat was the first garment featured and oh, did I swoon!  The colour! The shape! The HOUNDSTOOTH!

Dress: Ambiance. Earrings: Forever 21. Tights: Foot Traffic Hat: Gifted

Banana Republic is slightly higher-end retailer with higher-end price points to match. These were my early career years when I made significantly less than the little money I make now. But such was my passion for the coat that I promptly paid a visit to the Republic to get up close and personal with the object of my desire.

When I got there it was even more beautiful than I had imagined! I looked at the price tag…$350!! Light years beyond my struggling artist coat budget! Dag, darn and drat! I decided to put the coat on, hoping against hope that once it was on my body it would look terrible, thus allowing me to walk away and forget all about this unaffordable madness!

Of course, it fit perfectly.

I briefly considered using a tactic I’d used when I was five – standing near the coat, looking forlorn in the hopes that some rich benefactor would take notice and buy it for me out of pity.  Except that had never worked. If I couldn’t score a pity gift as a cherubic 5-year-old, I had no hope as a decidedly less cute 28-year-old.  I put the coat back on rack and walked away with great difficultly.  I went home and resolved to save my pennies.

Headscarf: Forever 21. Tunic: Smart Set. Leggings: Dynamite. Pendant: via eBay.

Save I did. I saved all through that spring, summer and by September I had enough money to buy my dreamcoat. But fashion is fickle and though the leafs were turning yellow, Banana Republic’s coat collection had turned to black, burnt umbers and dark blues. The houndstooth coat had long sold out in Ottawa. I called stores in Toronto and Montreal, but the tale was the same. No coat for me.

I was terribly disappointed and sadder than I should have been considering this was a coat and not my kidney. I reminded myself that there would be other coats and sooner or later, one would come along that I loved just as much. Sure enough I have owned some great coats in the intervening years. But none that I’ve loved as much.

Tank: Gap. Jeans: Old Navy. Bracelet: Forever 21.

Earlier this year I was going through my closet. I noticed my old spring coat was looking a little the worse for wear, so I decided it was time that I retired it. I knew I still had tons of time before I would need a new one, so I created an eBay search in the hopes that something appealing would pop up before the milder weather kicked in.

The very next day I received an e-mail with a long list of coats that fit my criteria. And there at the very top of the list, in my size, in perfect condition, was a Banana Republic Yellow Houndstooth Coat!!!

For fifty dollars.

Needless to say, I snapped it up as fast as my fingers could click “Buy It Now.” It came in the mail a week later.  I carefully removed it from it’s shipping box, unfolded it and put it on. It was exactly as I remembered it!  Lemon-y houndstooth perfection and hands down the best coat I’ve ever had!


  1. jessicaruano says:

    Oh Nadine. What a beautiful story. I mean it. Some of my favourite clothing items have appeared to me at a fraction of the original price – sometimes completely free! Those finds are that much more gratifying.

    • nadinethornhill says:

      I completely agree! After waiting so long I feel like I’ve somehow *earned* the coat. :-)

  2. Love the coat!

  3. Jenn Keay says:

    I’m with Jessica on this one! I have seen the reveered coat on you…in is, in a word, divine…I too, love your story and resolve to try my hand at putting the word out into the universe to acquire my most coveted fashion desires!

    • nadinethornhill says:

      Thank you, Jenn! On a separate note I LOVE your profile picture – it’s stunning!

  4. Jes says:

    This gives me hope that I will find my precious Banana Republic leopard print trench coat. To eBay!

    • nadinethornhill says:

      If I’ve learned anything about bargain shopping over the years it’s that sooner or later, everything turns up on eBay.

  5. dapperdolly says:

    That’s why I love eBay, and hey you had an extra $300 after that!

    • nadinethornhill says:

      Well, the $300 got spent in the intervening 8 years, but I’m sure I used it to buy other things I’ve enjoyed so yes, it’s all worked out in the end.

  6. mllevagine says:

    this is the best story of reunion with an inanimate object I’ve ever read!! Thanks for sharing Ned, and that is a lovely coat indeed!!


  7. Awesome, possum to the power of ten [sorry, always the geek here]

    And that dress from Ambiance is super cute as well.

    On a side note, I got the same yellow Gap tank :)

  8. syrens says:

    That is a kick-ass outfit (I also like the boots), and what a great story about that coat! 😀


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