I get a whole conflagration of junk mail from department stores and various fashion brands. It’s a wonder there aren’t flames constantly shooting out the orifices of my laptop. I used to tolerate it as “education” for my day-jobs in fashion retail: information on competitors, information for clients, and information to earn the trust of clients – all valuable. Now these emails serve to remind me of how poor I am, how remarkably disinterested I am in the superficial/narcissistic side of fashion, and how completely idiotic retail marketing can be.
On Tuesday I got one of my multiple-a-day emails from Neiman Marcus, which I usually don’t mind, as their buyers have really been impressing me as of late. This one was going to take me to one of their online styling editorials: “WAYS TO WEAR: the jacket.” Hmmmmmm. Now that’s a tough one. The elusive jacket. How does one wear a jacket? When one finds one’s self a wee bit chilly, perhaps chillier than a sweater can repair, one may reach into one’s wardrobe, pull out a jacket to put on, and protect one’s fragile self from icy air.
Come on, dumbass, when it’s cold, you put a jacket on. If you’re warm, you take it off. Does that really need instructions? Have we become so dippy-brained that seeing an email like this is not offensive to our intellect? There is a fine line between dressing well and carrying yourself well out of pride and respect for others around you and complete and total NARCISSISM. This sort of email plays into the narcissism side. “Let me show you how to wear these jackets we sell so YOU can think YOU look better than EVERYONE else.” That is what NM is really trying to say. And it’s likely that you’ve bought into it. Sad.
|Trina Turk Talia Printed Pants $218|
While I get in my LAST punch about this promotion by telling you the model in it looks like she has fewer brains than a French cruller and the Trina Turk pants they pair with a double breasted military-esque coat might be some of the most ungodly, hideous threads I have ever seen (whoops that was two barbs), I will excuse my negativity by saying there is a lot of nasty stuff going on in the world right now. It is difficult to see the women of Tunisia looking at possibly taking a step backwards in their right to equality and not balk at “WAYS TO WEAR: the jacket.” At the same time, without the levity provided by occasionally sinking into the superficial, I think we might all explode with sadness.
In the spirit of dressing well for pride and propriety’s sake (rather than narcissism’s), let’s explore the joys of jackets. I don’t particularly like the Smythe jackets from the Neiman Marcus promo, but in general, I am an outerwear hoarder. I would like to believe that the primary cause of this tendency is that I am always cold and not that I have a psychological issue. My jackets get a lot of indoor wear. If you’re rolling in cash and closet space, by all means, get a jacket to suit your every whim. If you are normal, on the other hand, it’s nice to get a mid-weight jacket for fall. Ideally, this is something heavier weight than a cardigan, but not so thick that you couldn’t layer another coat over it in the peak of arctic freeze. Think North Face fleece. And to maximize the wear (I’m thinking through multiple years), pick a neutral color, no print: taupe, dark camel, grey, brown, or black, (perhaps military green or navy). The first three, of course, are preferable because they could be worn with black or brown.
I am now going to resist the urge to suggest a bunch of thousand dollar Helmut Lang and Allsaints Spitalfields leather jackets (see, most of us have a hard time with practical).
|Patched Surplus Jacket from Anthropologie $138|
I’m not completely sold on the patchwork idea of this jacket, but I like the neutral colors. I also like that the sleeves roll up and button (practical!). Trenches are nice because you can always take that belt and tie it behind you, giving you a waist and a breeze. I could also envision buying this a bit on the larger size so I could wear a hoodie underneath it to dress it down and keep a little warmer. The belt could also be replaced with a ribbon for variety or color.
|Suit Jacket from Mango $79.99|
This is a great basic suit jacket for any wardrobe. Nothing outside the box about this one. Dress it up, dress it down, layer it under or over. I’m not sure what else to say.
Moto jackets can have a tendency to look rough and rugged, but the brass findings along with the nice camel shade of this jacket really soften the look. The darts in the back will give it nice tailored lines, and I also like that it doesn’t appear to be cropped. Cropped jackets go in and out of style and can often be a nuisance if you really are wanting some warmth out of them.
|Jacket with Metallic Buttons from Zara $129|
I also don’t mind this navy jacket that could double a blazer, from Zara. The buttons and collar give it a nod to the military feel and it's simple enough not to interfere with anything. It could easily be dressed up with a silk scarf.
Now THIS. You MUST buy this.
|Lipslide Jacket from Miss Sixty $173|
You can’t believe I’m serious…. People will confuse you for a birthday cake.