This Big Fake Bear Coat

Greetings readers. Yes, I've finally been able to get my act together and start posting more regularly again. While the weather has definitely played a part in my absence of late, equally, I would be remiss if I didn't attribute at least a portion of my slow pick up to the rather difficult task of re-entry into "real life" after three months off of work and a large swath of that time spent out at Standing Rock.  The longer you spend wearing functional clothing whose sole purpose is to keep you alive, the more you get used to seeing yourself unadorned. Quite frankly, I recommend it. The feeling that you can do away with a least a third of your daily routine is awesome.

I'm still at the point where I will put on my makeup, look at myself in the mirror, then wipe half of it off because it all looks so cartoonish after months of little to nothing on my face. Likewise my hair, which by all accounts is just a click away from completely feral at the best of times, looked absolutely ridiculous to me when I put it in hot rollers before taking some of these photos. It all looked so overworked, and I ended up brushing it out to what I perceived as a less fussy permutation with a few handfuls of hair oil.

That's not to say that I've given up on my love of fashion. As I said in my last post, there is nothing written that says the revolution can't be glamorous. It's just that the goal posts have shifted a bit. I've been systematically doing away with that which I have not worn in a long time, or will likely not wear any time soon. I've come to grips with the fact that my lifestyle is just not going to ever require a lot of (or any) sequins or glitter-encrusted pieces, and have jettisoned all but a few favourites…just in case.

In that vein, I find myself relying more and more on my thrifting trips with my mom and sister when I go home for a visit. They are fun, always fruitful, inexpensive, sustainable, and you will always end up with something that nobody else has. Like this coat.

This is a thrifted vintage faux fur car coat that I am guessing is about circa the 1950s, if the label is anything to go by. I found it at the local Goodwill in my hometown in Wisconsin. While I lovingly refer to it as my "bear" coat, I think it is actually supposed to be a "mink". This coat is super warm and cozy, and I really like the way it looks when you pair it with very dressed-down pieces, like this flannel cardigan that I wear with everything these days.

This coat impressed me so much that I dragged it with me all the way to Standing Rock, where it waited patiently for me at the back of the wagonagon (a type of native longhouse) for weeks. It actually came in handy as an extra layer on top of my bed. Not quite buffalo hide comfy, but pretty good nonetheless. Heck, the thing even lived through a fire that we had in the middle of the night, and after a brief airing-out, was as good as new. Or as good as vintagey-thrifted new, which to me, is just as good, if not better.

thrifted faux fur coat, similar / Billabong "Liv it Up" cardigan / thrifted Vigoss denim leggings, similar / Tamari over the knee boots (old), similar



  1. Looks like such a warm coat!


  2. I've enjoyed your posts about Standing Rock and yet am pleased to have you back on familar ground doing your fashion thang. I'm with you on the joys of thrifting which can be a treasure trove of all sorts of unique pieces to cherish the second time around, the bear coat being the perfect example.
    Your make up looks very natural and I'm wishing I could be bothered to create beautiful eyebrows like yours.
    Have a lovely day x

  3. You look great, and your hair is getting so long!

    1. It's a pretty healthy dose of neglect. I'm planning on trying to get it under control sometime next week. We shall see.

  4. Dear Kristin, As a fellow activist, I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed your posts about Standing Rock and the movement. It's refreshing to read about style and the deconstruction of the culture of consumption in the same blog. KEEP IT UP :) Solidarity from a big fan! Alba

  5. Great casual look! I don't know how I completely missed your Standing Rock posts, but am going to go back now and read them.

  6. looking beautiful -Paul


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