Dating to circa the late 1910s, this vibrant purple wool and velvet coat is over 100 years old, and still quite fabulous! The coat features wide lapels trimmed with black braid, black silk-covered decorative buttons, and brighter purple panné velvet accents. The wide belt may have been attached to the body of the coat at one time, but now is fully removable, and fastens with small metal snaps (the large buttons on the belt are decorative). Three additional, functional buttons close the coat in front. These are made of a molded, matte black, heavy plastic that feels like Bakelite. When un-belted, the coat has a loose, tubular shape, with darts from the top of the shoulders to the bust, in front. Vertical seaming gently shapes the back of the coat, from the gathered, slightly puffed shoulders to the hem. The sleeves are bracelet-length on my tall mannequin, but would have been full-length on the original wearer. The mid-weight wool has a right hand twill weave, diagonal-striped texture. The color is a balanced shade of purple, just between a warm and cool.
The coat is fully lined with silk satin fabric, which shows some wear at the center back hem and the bottom edges of the sleeve lining hems. The lining also has some light grime at the underarms and scattered elsewhere—not seen when worn. The velvet trim on the lapels has some marks, also (see close-up photos). Although I always dry-clean my vintage inventory, this antique item was too risky to have cleaned, with the lining already fragile at the hems. It does not have any odors that I could observe, when I steamed it. The wool is quite sturdy and the heavy silk lining is not shattering, showing wear only at the hem areas. I would describe the coat as in good, remarkably wearable condition. It presents quite well, since the flaws are mostly hidden when it is on. The coat was intended to have a loose fit, and it is smallest at the fitted shoulders. I would describe it as an extra small, particularly because of these narrow shoulders (see measurements for details). This WWI-era, late 1910s-teens ladies’ coat is a wonderful piece of antique clothing, in a striking and beautiful color!
Size: XS (smallest at shoulders)
Bust: 38” flat to fit max. 35” loosely
Waist: 38” flat
Hip: 42” flat, to fit max. 38” loosely
Length: 46” from shoulder to hem in front
Shoulder to shoulder: 12.75”
Belt: 32” long by 4” wide
Label: W.T. Duker Co. - Dry Goods - Ready to Wear Goods & Rugs (opened in Quincy IL in 1901)