Showing posts with label jackets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jackets. Show all posts

The Rule of Three: Leather Jacket Edition

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

OK, let's get back to the clothes because you're here to talk about jeans, not my trip to Disneyland.

I am a compulsive shopper, in case you didn't realize. I've been a compulsive shopper since I was a teenager and got my glorious first job and with it, my first paycheque. There was a shoe store near my work and on break, my friend and I would walk over and shop. I think that job probably cost me money.

Because I KNOW I'm prone to making compulsive purchases (seriously, remember my neon stripe wedges from last year?) I try and follow what I call my "rule of three." Before I consider purchasing an item, I have to think up three outfits on the spot in which that item would work. I do this to make sure I'm not buying something just to buy something AND make sure that what I'm getting will actually work with the stuff I already own. Because there's no point in buying something you're not going to wear.

Therefore, I thought it would be a fun feature to do a "rule of three" post, showing three outfits using the very same item. I'm starting with a leather jacket but if you have any pieces you want to send my way, I'd be happy to throw some outfits together.

Now, first is the jacket itself. Start with some good bones -- everyone should have a good leather or faux leather jacket that has a feminine cut -- no boxiness. I like biker collars and moto is really cool too. And, while I might own a few jackets in bright colors, always start with a neutral. Black or tan are the most versatile colors, which mean you'll get the most use out of 'em. I have a red leather jacket that is adorable... and that I rarely ever wear.

Super Casual

Wearing a leather jacket with jeans and flats is practically a uniform for me. It's easy to change up the shirt and accessories, but the jacket finishes off the outfit and gives it a mucho coolness factor. This is something I'd wear running kids to school, grocery shopping and having lunch with friends. (Another reason I like neutral or tan leather -- it matches EVERYTHING).

Date Night

I think we can all agree that leather jackets are basically too cool for school, which is why I wear one on practically every date night my husband and I go on. I like to dress up a little for dinner and a movie, so pairing a jacket with a graphic tank and black jeans is awesome. (Note: I like my leather pants, but a leather jacket with leather pants might make you look like a biker which is all well and good until you're kidnapped into a biker gang and then they find out you bought your jacket from Dorothy Perkins and things get awkward).

Boots for date night are my favorite. They're dressier than flats, but also don't cause faceplanting like heels might. Hey, I love heels, but if I can get away with looking dressy without 'em, I will.

Dressed Up

Don't forget that a leather jacket is killer with dresses and skirts -- trust me. I especially super love them with girly patterns and colors, like pinks, grays and florals. If you're not into pencil dresses, this would look equally as adorable with an A-line skirt, too. Add some tights and closed-toe shoes because it's still March no matter what the swimsuit display at Forever 21 says, and you're good to go.

If you have any other pieces that you love but are super clueless on how to wear, send 'em to my email, which is over there on the right-hand side.

Seriously, if you don't have a leather jacket in your closet, you need to buy one. So versatile it's ridiculous. If you're still in the market for one, obviously Dorothy Perkins is a great place to start and they ship to the United States. Other jacket brands I love:
Steve Madden
Calvin Klein (great options for plus sizes)
F21 for tight budgets
American Rag

Happy (non compulsive) Shopping!

Reader Question: Frigid Fashion

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Mari sent over this question and I thought it required a full blog as opposed to a quick answer. Let's all thank her and enjoy.

"I'm experiencing sub zero temps and wicked wind chill factors of -30 with the recent weather. I want to maintain my adorable look, but I'm worried I may have to sacrifice fashion for frumpy in order to be safe. Help!"

YOU GUYS on the East Coast/Canada, I'm feeling for you. I talk to my family members up there every day or two and after going without power over Christmas and now dealing with a POLAR VORTEX up there, I am kiiind of patting myself on the back for not living there anymore. Don't get me wrong, I love my hometown and Canadians are the nicest ever, but I don't miss the winters at all. They conjure images of trying to get to school my my nose hairs froze together. It wasn't pretty.

I still live in a pretty cold climate, but the difference is the sun. Utah gets tons of winter sun, so it's usually more mild and not so soul crushing. Still, you have to know how to dress warmly either way.

Can I just say how annoying it is to see a "winter" spread in a magazine or on a blog (this one made me lol) and their ideas are in no way realistic. It's like what people in California would imagine winter was like -- slightly nippy and swathed in pumpkin spice lattes. The rest of know that they're silly, so let's talk ways about staying warm without losing all sense of fashion.

 Use Color

Yes, you have to cover your cute clothes up with a ton of warm layers, but if your coat is a bright color, you can fight off some of the sads that come with crappy winter slushy snow. I love a bright red jacket -- I have a red wool pea jacket that always makes me happy when I pull it out.

Belt that Sucka

One of the worst parts about warm coats is the fact that they can be totally shapeless and then you're just this marshmallow of nylon making your way through the awful, awful month of February (oh how I dread it). Adding a belt -- or buying a jacket that comes with a belt -- can help remind everyone that there's actually a woman inside there. Also, this with some jeans and warm boots is instantly adorable.

Layer Like Crazy

Another issue with cold weather is the fact that you're usually going from outside to inside pretty quickly, so you'll need to be able to ditch a few layers. I love down vests for this purpose: I layer them over a tank and a hoodie and then wear a thinner jacket over top. I'm warm enough outside and then I can ditch the jacket and vest inside if I need to.I also love vests for wearing over workout gear because we all know that the only thing worse than exercising is being cold on the way to said exercise.
Either way, layering is your friend in the winter. Stock up on thinner hoodies, sweaters and long sleeved tees and then use them as base pieces for warmer layers.

Actual Warm Accessories

Now is the time to put away those lightweight scarves and bring out the big guns. I hoard wool scarves because they're awesome to wear with leather jackets on days when the sun comes out to play. You're also going to need some good gloves (I like leather, but I also keep a pair of wool mittens in my car for emergencies) and a hat. Looking for accessories with patterns and colors brings a little bit of light to your outfit while still being functional. And if it's not functional you can just get out right now.

You can also layer up accessories. Extra socks and gloves are par for the course around here.

Cute, Weatherproof Boots

Yeah, your run-of-the-mill boots might be cute, but if they're leather or patent, they're going to suck in the snow. You need to invest in a pair of weatherproof boots -- extra points if they would look adorable with skinnies and a bomber jacket, like these would. Yes, they'll cost more than the $30 pair you picked up at Target, but they'll also keep your feet dry and that's worth the extra money. Because wet feet make everyone angry. EVERYONE.

Go for Pockets

When picking winter coats, I always choose one with tons of pockets for a few reasons. The first is that I don't usually wear a purse with a huge jacket. It looks weird and it's a pain and a hazard if you slip and fall. Not that it ever happens to me. Anyway, I stash everything in my pockets and then add a couple of those Hot Hands packets. I buy a ton at the start of winter and we use them all by the time March rolls around.

If you do choose to wear a purse or bag, look for something you can wear crossbody so you can go hands free.

I know I'm the judgiest when it comes to well, everything. But if growing up in Canada taught me anything, it was:
a) That you hold the door open for others or you might as well surrender your citizenship card like, right now.
b) The winter is no joke.
Therefore, being safe trumps being fashionable when it's colder than the surface of Mars. Color and belts and pretty scarves are well and good, but you need to stay warm above all.

Mari, hopefully that helps out. And I hope that it thaws out a bit there. Until then, button up, wear some gloves and cover your dang ankles.

The 5 Jackets You Need for Fall/Winter

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

OK, so I'm having a love/hate relationship with the snow on my lawn right now. I hate that it came out of nowhere the minute after Halloween, but I love that my kids have spent every waking moment sledding on the hill behind our house while I stay inside and watch Love, Actually and cry.

Dat movie!

I also love layering, so that's one of the major pluses for colder weather. I love jackets and am always buying them, but it occurred to me that not everyone has an extensive jacket collection. And by "not everyone" I mean "no one."

Still, if you want to layer up during the colder weather without looking like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, it's a good idea to have different jackets for different purposes. I'll detail my must-haves, but know that I also have like, snowmobiling coats and whatnot that have no place here. They are for snowmobiling and that's it.

The rest though, you must.

1. A Leather or Moto Jacket

These are by far my favorite type of jacket. I love how you can throw them over anything and there's an instant cool factor. I also love that they aren't a bajillion degrees so they're OK to wear shopping, even if they aren't super warm for like, a blizzard. I wear mine with skinnies and boots, but they're super cute over dresses and tights too.

I tend to splurge on classic colors, like brown, cream and black. Then I buy less-expensive colors, like red, maroon and yellow. The basic colors will always be in style and the brighter shades are just for funsies.

2. A Military-Style Jacket

I wasn't all that sold on military jackets being a staple until my husband bought me one last year. Now it's in constant rotation because it goes with everrrrything I own. Look for a girly shape -- mine has cute drawstrings to cinch in the waist and I wear it with flats and skinnies. I also love wearing it with ankle boots and I try to keep 'em low. Too high and you'll actually look like you're in the military.

3. A Pea Coat

There's nothing worse than wearing a fancy dress and then covering it up with an ugly parka. OK FINE racism is worse. But not having a formal coat is like, a close second or third at least. Seriously though, there's a reason that pea coats have been in style for a century. They're classic. I have two in red and black and one of them was given to me -- I kid you not -- 11 years ago when I was a teenager living at home. Moral of the story: A good-quality wool pea coat looks amazing with dresses, skirts and boots and will last you forever.

Just take care when you choose the length. You want it to cinch in at your natural waist. If you have short legs, go for a shorter coat so it doesn't cut you off.

4. A Warm Parka Type

I'm not dumb -- I live on a mountain. And while I value fashion, I also value warmth. So when it's freezing out, I pull out the big guns -- my parka. When you choose a parka, I think it's important to look for feminine details like a nice shape, faux fur -- whatever it takes so you don't look like the abominable snowman. I like a fur-trimmed parka with cuffs because driving my kid to preschool whilst cold is a nightmare. I also wear mittens because I'm 5.

5. A Sporty Lightweight Jacket

I'm constantly running around town in workout clothes, either because I'm on my way to workout or because stretchy pants just sounded like a good idea that way. That's why I also look for a sporty jacket that I can wear with workout gear. I just bought a new one the weekend before last (the first one pictured -- only in red and black) and I'm wearing it now because I'm taking my spawn to the pool after lunch and I don't want to get dressed. Look for something lightweight enough that it'll take you from fall and then into spring again.

OK, all of these are just making me want to layer up and go crunch through some leaves with boots on like a child. Are there any jackets I'm forgetting?

Jacket Week Day 4: Outdoor Casual

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Yay! We've almost made it through jacket week. And we're on my favourite day, the casual/fun outdoor jackets. I have to confess, I own a mother lode of jackets. They are totally my favourite way to make an otherwise totally normal outfit of say, jeans and a white t, totally cute. So I have the back corner of my closet completely reserved for jackets. Which is yet another reason I don't like summer. I can't wait for fall, so I can delve in and start bringing them out. Of course, I'm pregnant so none of them will button, but it'll have to do.

Anyhow, when looking for jackets to just throw on, really look at fit and detail. They're going to go a loooong way. I have a few favourite kinds. I love a leather biker jacket, military jackets, and of course the age-old jean jacket. I own each (Although I have my eye on a new leather jacket that I am slowly talking my husband into buying me.)
Oookay, let's start with a denim jacket. Everyone has one, right? Of course, not everyone has a good one. I remember the first denim jacket I owned was purchased by my dad sometime in high school, and I wore it with the sleeves rolled up all through grade 10. With jeans. Shudder. See? I didn't always know fashion. That didn't kick in until I turned 16 and discovered dating. So, you can thank my grade 11 secret boyfriend for this website today.
ANYWAYS, the problem is, there are good denim jackets, and then there are really, really bad denim jackets that are reminiscent of Degrassi High and Depeche Mode, etc, etc. Observe.

Sigh. I am underwhelmed. This is a bad denim jacket. Why? Check the shape. It's square. Are you a square? I really, really hope not because that would be really, really unfortunate. This jacket will look bulky and awkward.
(Old Navy, of course) Hopefully you can see the difference. If you still want an old school denim jacket, this is the way to go. It has a longer silhouette, and see the actual denim it's made out of? It's thinner, meaning it will lay closer on your body. Adorable. BUT, if I can talk you into trying something different altogether, how about this?

YAY! A denim blazer instead! I promise you, this is going to be so much more flattering than the old school jacket. It has all the great characteristics of a blazer that we talked about earlier this week, but with the versatility of denim. I love this so much more.

Now, a note about denim jackets. DO NOT WEAR THEM WITH JEANS. Every so often I come across an article in my Glamour that says that you can. You cannot. I don't care what shade or what shape, you WILL end up looking like a cowboy. Unless that is your goal, in which case be my guest.

Alright. My next fave is the military style jacket. I love these because although not new, they feel fresher than a regular blazer, and look crazy cute with some jeans and (*cough* over the jeans *cough*) boots. K SO I LIKE BOOTS OVER JEANS!!! DEAL WITH IT.
Love this one from Its slightly asymmetrical, and it's details are so cute. And the piping? Love.
Another find. This is pretty true to the military genre. The double breasted buttons and wide collar are exactly right. Not to mention the color is pretty adorable for summer or spring. I own this almost exactly in army green and it is SWEET.

Lastly, leather jackets. DROOL. Leather jackets are pretty much the anti-mom jean. K, yeah, you expect to see a mom with one of those plain collared leather jackets from like, Chadwick's (I'm not knocking it, I am just saying I don't hear Chadwick's and think EDGY!!!) paired with her chunky ankle boots feeling all hip. But it's a farce! If you're going to do leather, do leather, k? Respect the cow.
Scuba collar, booyah! Love this, it's a tailored version of a biker jacket. It's a nice baby step to looking like a Harley mama. And it kicks a normal leather jackets butt. Can I also explain to you how much I love a scuba/ motorcycle collar. Its the way a leather jacket should be. None of this plain jane nonsense.
One more step, this cropped motorcycle jacket. Pair it with a blousier, more feminine top and you have this wicked hard/soft thing going on that is totally gorgeous. This one is from Bebe and oh how covet. I will be looking for this come fall weather.

Anyhow, HAVE FUN with this stuff. A jacket is an awesome way to change up a look. You don't ACTUALLY have to be a biker to wear leather, nor be in the military to pull of the army green. Play around with it and then find your signature go-to look for days when you don't want to look like the edgiest thing you deal with is a butter knife.

Jacket Week Day 3: Outdoor Jackets; Functional

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I know we are a ways off from winter weather just yet, BUT it's jacket week and this is totally worth addressing. Living in a winter wonderland, I see SO MANY bad jackets. You are grown up. You should not be wearing jackets that look like they have matching snow pants like your children. Please try something just a little more sophisticated.

Now that it's almost fall, it's a good time to remind you that every woman should have a basic trench coat. EVERYONE. Even you. They are so nice for fall, and they go with everything. Any time you don't know what to wear, throw on a trench coat and you've pretty much got it dead on. It's a great idea to invest in a basic one, and a trendy on that you love. One should be in a neutral, while the other can be a "new" neutral: red, plum, green, I even have a buttery yellow one that is adorable in the spring.

Here's a classic from Nordstrom. It's length is a little shorter than usual. which makes it updated and less Dick Tracy.

New style from Guess. BELTS ARE GOOD!

As the weather gets colder, I know we are tempted to go and dig out our warmest jacket from 1985.
Please don't.

There are so many more modern options than a huge bulky ski jacket. Please. PLEASE! try them.

Now my be all and end all in winter jackets is a pea coat. Rewind back to 2001, I was merely 17 and it was Christmas and I BEGGED and BEGGED my mother for a pea coat. She obliged, and I was the only kid at my school with one. But I knew that ski jackets were not my only choice. See? Even back them I was looking for other options. Anyhow, I still have that very pea coat today, which is a testament to it's quality and longevity. How often can you say you own a piece that has stayed consistently in style for 7 years? Not to mention, it is the warmest jacket ever. I have since added a few more to my wardrobe, in red, and I still wear them every winter. Traditional pea coats will be double breasted, but they are updated every season and totally worth checking out. They look good on everyone and they don't add unwanted puffiness.
Victoria's Secret. Not gonna lie, I'm probably going to buy this one.
Winter is such a good time to break out some red. It's so pretty.

If you're not completely sold on the pea coat idea, though I don't know WHY, I also love my fur-hooded jacket. Not real fur of course, it's a really urban update on a regular winter jacket. The hood is detachable, and even alone the jacket is super sleek. Great for just casual running around.

Finally, if you are so deeply set in your ski jacket ways, please please take a look at the new style ones out now. They can actually be very cute and not scary and puffy. Try the jacket on. Puffy does not automatically equal warmth. Sometimes it just equals heft. Heft is scary.
See the styling on this? Interesting clasps, longer length to hit down on your hips, it's actually pretty adorable.

I know we've been conditioned to think we need one, good sturdy jacket to last us all winter long. Why should jackets be any different from our regular clothes. You need some that are more formal, some that are more casual. I cringe when I see a girl in a dress with a puffy ski jacket over top. Silliness. A trench or pea coat would be better suited.

So let's put some thought into our outerwear, shall we? I know it can be cold. But cold is not an excuse to look like the stay puff marshmallow man.

Jacket Week Day 2: Casual Jackets

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

K, when I say casual, I mean something you might wear shopping, running errands, etc, etc. I love a jacket. I could wax poetic about the jacket for hours, but it would make for a very boring blog. They are super versatile, and great for doing some major undercover camouflage work when it comes to tummies. And awesome for layering without bulking.

The fun thing about casual jackets is that you can totally experiment with color and pattern, because they aren't stuffy office jackets.

Love this in green. See that nice band around the waist? That'll nip you in.

Can I tell you that not everyone knows that I am pregnant yet? And since I am still in an awkward tummy stage, I totally wore my blazer with a bow to church and tied to bow right over my belly? Genuis!

Love this color soooo much. Wear this with dark jeans, perhaps even boots over top? Ooh!!

Now, this jacket in theory is very cute. Red and cropped. Problem is, the only way to wear this is with a tight shirt underneath, and if you have a tummy at all, it'll definitely call attention on it. Better to wait and wear something like this when you ARE pregnant, when you actually do want to show off your big belly.

Love the pattern of this, and it's actually a sweatshirt type material, which makes it super comfortable. I wish they made everything in sweatshirt material.

I love the shape of this jacket, and the kind of private school styling. Look for interesting details, like a patch or big buttons. They are SUPPOSED to be fun.

Casual jackets are awesome, and you should have at least 3 in your wardrobe. Throw them on next time you want to look put together but still fun, styled but totally laid back. It looks effortless, not like you just spend ten minutes reading about them on the internet at all!

Jacket Week! Day 1: Work Jackets

Sunday, August 17, 2008

K, so this week is jacket week, due to the questions I get all the time about jackets. We're going to focus on four different types: work wear, casual, outdoor functional and outdoor fun. See how CONVENIENT that is? And we'll still have time to finish out the week with ugly clothes. YAY.

So, work jackets I love. Know why? Because they aren't just for "work" anymore. I know this because I used to work in an office. And I had the most fantastic work wardrobe. Like honestly, I salivate a little at all the cute outfits I used to wear. If I ever consider going back to work outside the home, the only thing that convinces me are the clothes. Now, I work from home, and more often than not, my "business casual" wardrobe revolves around yoga pants. Oh, if my colleagues could only see me now.

Anyhow, so I had this great wardrobe, and then I quit working in an office to telecommute, and then what do I do with all of it? I reassigned it, of course. My work wardrobe became my exceedingly cute girl's night out wardrobe, church wardrobe, etc. I just broke up the pieces, paired it with trendier stuff, and voila! Hotness.

I prefer a bit of a shrunken blazer to a traditional "jacket". The difference? Take your hand and place it directly on your hip bone. DO IT! Did you? K? Remember this while shopping. A shrunken blazer will not fall below that bone. The nice thing about them is that you can pair it with a longer, flowier top to balance out the structure of the jacket. (PS, according to spellcheck, 'flowier' is not a word. Psshhhhhh obviously spellchecker as never been on a quest to find a GNO outfit utilizing his office wardrobe, am I right?)

Take this super cute jacket here. It's all structure-y and heavy. Take the belt off, and pair it with this:

OR! If you're feeling wild, this
(All from Forever21)

Then add dark wash jeans, pointy heels, and you will be the hottest chick at your next GNO/date night/PTA meeting. Kidding about the PTA meeting. When I was a kid, one of my friend's moms used to wear leopard print to the school functions and people had ideas about her. And rightly so.

If you do happen to enjoy a longer blazer, I totally recommend you keep it super simple underneath, with a plain tank. Just because the blazer is going to be enough on it's own.

Girlfriend has this right. (Victoria's Secret)

And if your jackets are a little more mens-wearish and don't lend themselves to flowy tops very much, never fear.

Swap the stuffy shirt for some much needed cleave (and by cleave, I mean boobs.) And call it a day.

K, a couple of don'ts when it comes to work/office type blazers.
-Make sure they have some kind of seaming from under the bust vertically to the pockets or hem. This means it is structured, which in turn means you look skinny.

-Jackets should always be worn with DARK jeans. Otherwise you'll totally look like some redneck who shows up to his wedding with a jacket on, but still his stonewashed denim because HE'S READY TO PARTY!

So dust off your work wardrobe and give it some new life. Unless you happen to have last been in the workplace in 1985, in which case, you should probably just donate it to a secretary with a HEART OF GOLD! And buy something new.


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