giving an old coat new life

GivingAnOldCoatNewLifeFour years ago, I invested in a great fall coat. It was a wool-cashmere splurge that I got on sale at J.Crew.

Over the years I faithfully wore it into the ground. So much so, that by this fall the lining looked like spaghetti squash.


Rather than purchase a new coat of a similar quality that could have run close to $300+, I decided to buy some new lining and bring this guy back to life for $120.

I picked a bright fuchsia lining at the fabric store and brought it to my trusty dry cleaner/tailor extraordinaire for re-lining, dry cleaning, and pocket repair.

NewlyLinedCoatGoodbye boring, whisper-thin beige lining. Hello, sturdier (and warmer) bright pink.

It’s kinda like a mullet coat – in a good way. Business on the outside, margarita night on the inside.


After completing this project, I highly recommend re-lining an old, high-quality coat. But be sure to give the project to someone you trust to do a good job with the repairs.

And remember, you can always have a little fun with the color!

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  1. Caitlin Pierce

    I can’t believe how much the bold lining changed the feel of this coat, I love how vibrant it is now! I love that you decided to reinvest in this classic piece instead of buying new.

    1. Jess Lively

      Thanks! Now that it has the refresh, I think it has at least 3 more years to go. : )

  2. Paige

    I’m in the exact situation with my J.Crew coat. I love what you did. Would you mind passing on the info for the dry cleaner/tailor you used here in Chicago please?

  3. Bridget

    Jess, would you mind sharing your tailor’s name? I also live in Chicago, and I also have an old coat that needs to be re-lined 🙂

  4. jacqueline

    Good reminder for me that I’ve been meaning to do this with my trapeze wool coat. I especially need the pockets remade so that I stop losing things (goodbye holes!).

    1. Jess Lively

      That is good to mention to the tailor! I didn’t mention that to my tailor and they didn’t deal with the pocket that has a little hole.

  5. Rose

    This is AMAZING!! I’ve never thought about relining a coat-but the pink looks absolutely fantastic. Going to see which ones I own need it by winter!

    Blonde in this City

    1. Jess Lively

      Exactly! It’s a lot of fun to switch things up on the inside… it’s kinda like getting a new coat at the same time.

  6. Courtney Elizabeth

    Love this! My J. Crew Lady Day’s lining has seen better days – practically every time I put it on, I end up sticking my arm into a hole in the lining. This inspires me to finally give it a refresh!

    1. Jess Lively

      I totally used to do that with this coat, too. The pockets had holes too, so the keys would drop into the inside of the coat.

  7. Elissa

    I had no idea you could have lining replaces! Thanks for this!!!

    1. Jess Lively

      Yep! Just go to someone you trust to do the job. : )

      And be sure to get an appropriate lining fabric. I asked at the fabric store to make sure I picked wisely.

  8. Ashlee Thurlow

    Mullet coat! Ha! Love it Jess!

  9. Kimberly Anne

    Great idea! I have a DKNY trench that needs repairs…now I know what to do! I never even thought of just getting a new lining and pocket repair.

      1. Kimberly Anne

        It’s a light tan/cream trench so maybe a navy blue or even teal color. 🙂

  10. Yasmine

    LOVE this tip, Jess! Now I’m trying to think of a coat I could re-line…but I don’t think I have one. Sadness!
    PS: We now need to see a full-length shot of you and your coat, you know. =) It seems like such a fantastic fit and color on you!

    1. Jess Lively

      Thanks! It kinda makes me want to do the same with other coats in the future if they ever need it, too.

  11. Meagan

    I had the same issue with a beloved J Crew coat as well. I took it into the store and they replaced the lining for free with a sturdier fabric even though the coat was over 3 years old at that point. Might be worth a shot if you’re in a similar situation 🙂

    1. Jess Lively

      That’s great to know for those who have a J.Crew coat like this. Too bad they don’t offer a bright pink fabric option. ; )

    1. Jess Lively

      Thanks! I hope you get to try it sometime with a coat that might have seen better days. : )

  12. Ange

    What a great idea! I’m already thinking of coats I can add a pop of colour to 🙂

  13. Holy ISH that is a fantastic idea. My favorite coats and blazers always happen to be the ones with unexpected touches. I love to show off the lime green silk lining on the black business blazer I wear to work and sometimes out on the town. Great idea, lady! You picked a wonderful combination. J. Crew would be proud.

    1. Jess Lively

      : ) Thanks! I think J.Crew should consider bright pink lining more often, don’t you?

  14. Anna Todaro

    What a great idea! I have a gorgeous yellow winter coat that I love to pieces but the lining has been torn to shreds at this point. I had never thought about getting it re-lined, I’ll have to look into this now!

    1. Jess Lively

      For sure! If it’s from J.Crew, someone in this thread mentioned that they brought it back after 3 years and got a replacement lining for free. Otherwise, the pretty colored lining way to go is an option as well.

  15. Julia Garza

    Hey Jess! Would you mind if I used a couple of your photos for a post I’m writing for Craftsy (about refashioning winter coats)? The hole photo is too perfect. Proper credit will be given, of course!

      1. Julia Garza

        He’s good! Almost fully cooked! Just a few more weeks ; )

  16. Stephanie J. Gravenor

    Hey Jess –

    I remember seeing this post a while back, so thought I’d reach out. Think ripping through the lining on J.Crew beige coats must be a trend, because I have a similar problem… 🙂
    Where did you get the pink fabric? How did you know how much you needed to get? Were you debating between any other colors?
    I might just go to the dry cleaner you recommended – seems nice and convenient wtih quality work. 🙂

    1. Jess Lively

      Hi Stephanie! I got the pink fabric from Fishman’s Fabrics and I think I got 1.5 or 2 yards. And there were other lining fabrics there, but I knew I wanted a bright pink for my own coat, personally.

      The cleaners are Manor Cleaners on Broadway and Surf. She is super sweet and did a great job. The only comment I would suggest is to mention you don’t want the sleeve lining to show past the coat – mine does a little and it is the only part about it I don’t love.

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