Inspired by a few fabber postings, especially one by Julesgr, (waving at my “height” twin) …. and one by Janet I decided that I need to review my current jacket collection, and do it BEFORE I start fall/winter shopping for a change.

Would love to hear any suggestions, ideas, etc. you all may have, if you have the time and patience to read through this LONG posting.

I almost always need petite sizing in jackets, because I’m 5”1” and short waisted. That limits me a lot in what brands I consider. All these jackets excetp two of the denim ones are petites. I tend to avoid long styles because they are so difficult to fit and not super flattering on my pear shaped body. I’m not planning to add any classic blazer styles because they look too “office-y” for my retired lifestyle, and I have a few already. I’m leaning toward more structured styles (classic motos) and not flowy ones (motos with big floppy collars) because I think a very structured look is more flattering on a super short body (just my personal taste). However knit jackets are good because they are easier to fit and can function a bit more like a sweater which is good in my book. (I’m planning to review my knit sweaters like open cardigans at another time)

What I’ve learned
I like variety, because I have three distinct seasons and just for fun. (I rarely wear a jacket in summer because it’s usually too hot). I’m ok with having some I wear a lot and some I wear only occasionally. I love the structure that jackets add to an outfit, and the additional “visual volume” they add to the upper body. I’m pear shaped so beefing up upper body volume is a good thing for balance IMHO.

After reviewing all the items listed below, I’ve noticed two patterns in my purchasing over a period of 5 – 10 years.

1. I’ve done well over the years with classic styles. I wear them less now than I used to but the ones I have work well.
2. Jackets bought at thrift stores in the last few years have been iffy, but I’ve figured out why and it’s a big aha moment. I focused on fit, fabric, color, price, and quality, without being clear about whether it was a style that made me feel good. I paid close attention to my intellectual analysis (including thrift goggles), but didn’t check in on what my emotions were saying. Hah. Story of my life, across all aspects. I need to do that style refresher thing again….off to Angies posting. I need to make a conscious effort to ask myself how I FEEL in a jacket (or any other item) before I leave the store, and again when I get it home. I often feel differently depending on the location.

1. Faux leather jackets (P): in black, duplicated in light tan. Bought in 2017, on sale for under $50 US each. A+; great fit, classic but also modern, great price, nice quality faux leather. I wear these as outdoor jackets in transition seasons and indoor ones in winter. Great for layering under a lightweight coat. I don’t like much else in this brand (Alfani by Macys) but they do faux leather jackets really well, with some new styles every season. I’m looking forward to seeing what they have this fall.
2. Classic Blazers (P): Two non-stretch blazers in cotton blend twill/gabardine. The tan is Halogen and the black is JNY. These were part of my work wardrobe, purchased 5-8 years ago. They both fit really well and the fabric is good quality. I don’t wear them often but am keeping them.
3. Black Stretch Blazers (P). 6 -10 times a year I need an all-black long sleeved/long length concertwear outfit (although it can be a top and not a jackets) and these are part of that collection. The stretch fabric is a necessity because I’m a flautist so I need room to move my shoulders and upper body. I tend to keep them a long time, occasionally adding new pieces as the mood strikes me. 1) Macys/Charter Club Velvet – great fit, use it for concerts around the holidays 2) Eileen Fisher – I also wear this one for travel. (No Photos)
4. Checked jacket (P), Rafaella, bought in 2017. I wear in spring/summer. Perfect a few times a year, classic enough to keep.
5. Nic & Zoe Tweed Jacket (P) – don’t wear a lot but it’s perfect for a “business casual” outfit that does not include a classic blazer.
6. Black/White tweed moto sweater from Banana Republic (p). I was thinking this was too small, but I’ve lost some weight and now the fit seems very good. I’d like to find something more interesting to wear under it.
7. Denim - I have classic denim jackets in dark wash (P) light wash and white. They all fit well and I wear them and like them. The white and light wash ones are a very cropped regular size, with too-long sleeves but I always cuff them so no problem. (No photos)
8. I will include my light blue faux suede moto jacket although it’s too heavy for indoor wear. Surprise find (more like shock) at H&M in May of 2018. Removed the waist belts – too fussy and noisy! Don’t wear a lot but it’s fabulous when I do. (No photo)

On the Fence
1. B/G striped knit blazer, bought in Jan ‘18 at a consignment store. I really like this but have not found a way to style it that feels good. It needs “casualization” and perhaps some color but I can’t think of a color I want to wear with it. Shown with an Anthro b/w tee. This type of pattern mixing feels promising so thinking about looking for a long-sleeved top with a similar vibe.
2. Red twill safari jacket (P). Talbots. Bought at a thrift store in Dec of ‘18, never worn. I had to shorten the sleeves a little. I also found a beautiful substantial-weight cashmere turtleneck at the same time, in exactly the same color. (Who knew that Costco once upon a time sold cashmere!!?) I want to give it a chance this fall. I like the idea of wearing it with my lavender lightweight merino turtleneck and darkish jeans, but I don’t feel like dragging the lavender sweater out of storage today. Maybe look for a light tan turtleneck sweater to wear with it and dark wash jeans for a more classic color combination. Could also wear the red turtleneck I bought with it. A turtleneck seems a good idea with this jacket - other types of tops will not be very visible.
Too New to Know
1. Macys/Style&Co Cognac faux leather jacket (P)…bought last April and didn’t seem like a spring color so haven’t worn yet. I plan to build a warm brown capsule this fall and this will be part of it. I’m also thinking of looking for a dark cobalt (not ink) top to wear with it and dark wash jeans.

Time to let Go
1. Purple velvet jacket. Bought at same thrift store as the red twill one, in Dec ’18. Also Talbots Petite with a great fit. I was in a velvet-for-the-holidays mood. I replaced the purple plastic buttons with some nicer pewter ones. The style is either vaguely Edwardian, military, or “craft-fair”…all great styles but NOT ME. Never worn. I’m planning to donate it, after putting back the original buttons so I can keep the pewter ones, unless I can get my head around a way to wear it. I think I focused on fit, fabric, color, and quality, without being clear about whether it was a style that made me feel good.

Overall Conclusions:
I have a pretty good selection of classic jackets. What I need more of is tops to wear under them. I’d like to find tops that are “very” modern classic or even a little trendy. Classic blouses are probably too “formal” as much as I love them.

My Shopping List
1. Long sleeved tops or lightweight sweaters with graphic-tee patterns or artistic prints in black/white to go with the Black/Grey striped jacket
2. What other colors would work in general? Light blue. Not into bright colors generally, prefer neutrals, and no navy – it just never looks right to me with most of the colors I wear.
3. More fitted long sl top/sweater in a leopard print
4. Dark cobalt top for the cognac jacket. (the one exception to the no-navy rule)
5. Tan turtleneck (classic is ok) for the red twill jacket.
6. Would like to get a solid black faux leather or knit/woven moto jacket. Would prefer gold hardware but not wedded to it.
7. Wild cards of course….would love to find something in a darkish chocolate brown
8. I’m planning on looking at brown/cognac footwear…could work with many of these jackets….

Photos: for most of these I wore light wash jeans, black booties, and either a lightweight red sweater or a new H&M sweatshirt. The sweatshirt is a little too big to fit cleanly under these jackets but I wanted to try the overall vibe, and I like it a lot. Not feeling much like wearing red these days but keeping this sweater in case I change my mind.

1. Tan Faux Leather
2. Tan blazer
3. B/W checks
4. N&Z Tweed
5. B/W tweed moto jacket
6. Black/Grey Knit Striped Blazer – shown with b/w print Anthro top.
7. Red Safari
8. Purple velvet


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