I think I said in a previous post that I used to work in Roman Road market in London on a Saturday and opposite our stall was a sheepskin stall that used to sell loads of coats every week. Weirdly enough the guy that used to run the stall actually started working with me on my first full time job in South Woodford but that’s another story.
Yes, sheepskin in the mid 70s was the coat to have. You could go for the plain and simple design but if you had the money, the ones with the fur trims were just so much nicer. Either type was expensive though and you would often see affluent couples both wearing matching sheepskin coats as a kind of status symbol.
Sheepskins were popular with men and women alike and who could blame them?
The winters were cold throughout the 70s and these coats were not only stylish and glamorous they were warm and cosy as well. They could have a black interior fur trim as seen on the picture, or be lined with rougher looking natural wool and tan coloured exterior. You could also buy cheap imitation sheepskin coats from the major department stores and clothing catalogues. They looked good in the pictures but when your coat arrived in the post, it could be a big disappointment.
Later in the decade, the image of the sheepskin coat took a bit of a nosedive. Second hand car dealers, market traders and football managers went for sheepskin coats in a big way and this had a detrimental effect upon other people wearing them because they became seen as “flashy” The TV show Minder started in 1979 and reflected this perfectly with Arthur Daley wearing a sheepskin and smoking his big cigar.
But it is easy to see why the coats were popular with these groups of people. Sheepskin coats are so fantastically warm and comfortable, they are ideal if you need to spend a lot of time outside and still need to look a bit stylish. A waterproof anorak and a scarf just doesn’t have the same appeal.