Wardrobe 101

Style Staple #4: A Great Jacket

Happy day, reader dear!

Welcome back! If this is your first visit, Welcome! We are smack dab in the middle of a series of posts about Style Staples. You know, those things you add to otherwise ordinary pieces (Building Basics) that take them from “Nakedness covered? Check.” to “Voila! Outfit!” AKA: I-meant-to-do-this. AKA: Intentionality

Jumping back to the subject at hand. Style Staples are those pieces that help you turn the Building Basics in your closet into a look with intention. They add personality to the ordinary pieces found in most closets. When I work with a client, we identify the client’s style recipe and start digging in the closet for all the Building Basics we can find. Then we hunt for Style Staples to make those Basics into outfits that have personality. The client’s personality! You can find previous Style Staples posts #1: A Long Necklace, #2: A Short Colored Necklace, and #3: A Colored Shoe at these links.

Style Staple #4 is one of my personal favorites! A Great Jacket can completely transform a look. When I say a Great Jacket, that could be anything from a tailored blazer, to a trench coat, a leather jacket, or a denim jacket. Great means it needs to fit you beautifully and be a personality piece for you. That doesn’t mean it needs to be flashy. But it should really reflect a part of your personality. It should also flatter your coloring! As an example, my jean jacket is a Style Staple for me. I love my denim jacket. I even wrote it a poem. Yes, that’s crazy, but throwing on a jean jacket can make the difference between work and play. Here’s what I mean…

Same dress, two very different looks. The long white jacket gives the dress a presentation worthy, professional look, buttoned or not. The jean jacket makes it everyday. Flat sandals would have taken this dress and jean jacket even further down the casual road! Now if I could just find another white jacket just like that one. It finally died. I wept.

There’s no reason to save a jacket for dresses and skirts. A blazer or suit-style jacket is an easy way to add polish to jeans and a top. Here we have white jeans and a tee. Nice, but nothing that says business, especially with the sandals!

But look what happens when I put on my navy suit jacket… Business casual! (You can even forgive the sandals.)

In 5 Ways to Style a White Tee and Jeans, two casual jackets made an appearance. If the weather had been cooler, I would have included more! Two belted casual jackets, with two very different feels…

Safari versus Spy?

Imagine the same jeans and tee with a leather jacket. That would be a completely different vibe! But sometimes it’s not even necessary to change the jacket…

Something as simple as rolling or pushing up the sleeves can make a difference. Look how cuffing the shirt sleeves outside the jacket creates a more relaxed feel.

Now that fall is on its way (at least here in the northern hemisphere) it’s the perfect time to experiment with your Great Jacket, Style Staple #4!

If you’re still not convinced, a jacket is an easy third piece that finishes an outfit. It can help create a flattering column of color to lengthen and slenderize your silhouette. It doesn’t have to be heavy or structured. There are amazing knit and ponte jackets out there that feel like a sweater, but look more polished than your average cardie. If you are heading into spring and summer (Hi, southern hemisphere friends!), a jacket can take your shorts from shorts to suit, and create proportion magic. A jacket is a great way to cover those upper arms if you are sensitive about them… Not all jackets have long sleeves! You can find them in bracelet length, 3/4, and elbow length. (Or you can have them shortened to suit.) If collars bother you (They do me!) then look for collarless jackets, like the navy one here.

How about you? Do you wear a jacket to change your look? Or is a jacket only an outerwear piece for you? Does this season feel like it’s time to try something new? Maybe something out of your normal sartorial box? Trying new things is good for us, and stretches our style muscles! Let me know what you are thinking about for jackets this coming season in the comments below… I do so love hearing from you!

Stylishly yours,

PS: If you are interested in Style Camp, a month of style exploration and learning with a small group of like-minded women, visit my Facebook page for more information, and PM me if you’d like to join our Style Explorer team!

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