I’ve written many posts on jackets and coats over the years, and I’m sure I will add more over time. After all, jackets are fab, and some styles have a high longevity quotient. Here’s a summary of the posts to date all in one place for easy access.
Fit & Proportion
As with most clothing these days, you need to assess items across three different fit categories: body con, tailored and oversized. Believe it or not, but body con jackets do exist! Body con coats do not make sense, so I’d stick to tailored or oversized fits for outerwear. Remember to shop across petite, regular and tall departments to achieve perfect fit, and be sure to do the sit-down tests before making a purchase.
Here are guidelines on how to fit a tailored jacket. Once you have a handle on the basics of tailored jackets, you will find it easier to assess body con and oversized jackets too. Boyfriend jackets are generally oversized, and here are guidelines on how to fit that silhouette. Trapeze jackets are a different animal and require their own set of fit guidelines.
Sometimes jackets will not button up without pulling across the bust and midsection, but will fit perfectly everywhere else. That’s not always a deal-breaker in my book. We wear jackets unbuttoned most of the time so leaving it unbuttoned to create a great fit is a reasonable solution. Of course, outerwear MUST fit correctly when buttoned up because you are braving the elements and need insulation. Here are guidelines on how to fit coats, puffer coats, and capes.
If you find woven jackets uncomfortable and constricting, opt for a style with stretch. These days you can find most styles of jacket — from classic blazers to denim — with ample stretch. If that still does not satisfy your needs for comfort, opt for knitted jackets in Ponte knits, jersey and fleece. They are particularly fab for a full bust. Sweater coats are another option, and here’s how to select a flattering style. An oversized woven coat, especially in a cocoon style, is another way to prevent that “straightjacket” feeling.
Silhouettes & Styling
Fur jackets, faux fur jackets and trapeze jackets are retro and therefore always in style. I consider a moto or biker jacket to be an iconic classic, and therefore also always in style. Jackets with strong shoulders seem to waft in and out of fashion. That said, I think we might be at the point where they have become a perennial fringe trend.
I believe that the right leather jacket is completely appropriate in some office settings. Striped jackets have become a mainstream look and here are tips on how to style them. Cropped jackets are available every year and look particularly great with skirts and dresses. Denim jackets worn over a skirt or dress look fabulous when they are snug and short. Bomber jackets are the new rage and my guess is that they are here to stay as a mainstream staple. And here are five ways to style a vest, which is essentially a sleeveless jacket.
Trench coats are another iconic classic. They do not need to be beige, Burberry and double-breasted. Trenches come in all sorts of styles, colours, fabrics and lengths, so choose a look that works best for you. I have three that I’ve had for years and still wear regularly. Single-breasted coats and trenches tend to be more versatile, look great worn open, and flatter a full bust. That said, these days, it’s fashionable to wear double-breasted coats, trenches and jackets open, but the method works better with beltless styles. And double-breasted button positioning tends to look more flattering, especially on a full bust, when the buttons are positioned more closely together.
Lots to digest! If there are further fit, proportion and styling challenges regarding jackets and outerwear, post them in the comments section and let’s get them sorted.