It was bought in 1992 at Saks in Boston, deeply on sale. This is when Marc Jacobs designed for the company; Ellis died in 1986.
Probably made it to the sale rack because, though marked a 6, it would swamp anyone truly that size. Think I paid $200-something, at 70% off.
I wore it lightly for some years. When I moved, the Toronto vintage store Thrill of the Find, which accepts the very occasional consignment piece, took it to sell.
Flash forward 16 months, and I thought, That coat... especially when I flipped price tags for a new one. I figured it had gone to a good home.
When visiting Toronto at the end of the summer, I dropped by to see Mireille, the owner, and asked about it. "I was putting that on the floor this week", she said, "it's the season." I tried it on; she marveled at its quality and said, "It's yours!"
Here it is; it's weathered the last nearly 20 years with fewer nicks than I have! Fortunately, Jacobs rejected padded shoulders; I'd try it on in a shop today.
... and the blouson hem fastened by working horn buttons, an expensive detail.
The current company, Perry Ellis International Inc. (who own Jantzen, and Laundry by Shelli Segal, among other brands) have mislaid both the wit and quality that made women save their pennies to be "Very Perry".
Come back to the Passage next week–another old coat, another story!
Sometimes the "great vintage find" is your own!