By Jacqueline Zenn
If you buy one piece this fall, make a great jacket. The right one will work well with everything from jeans to a dressy satin skirt. There’s a whole lot to choose from â€” do you like slick military style or are you more into romantic ruffles and lace? Whatever you like, this is the season to invest in that impossible chic jacket that you will want to wear forever, and also to buy a few cheap, trendy little toppers.
This look comes back into fashion every few years for a good reason: it’s ultra-flattering. These jackets also lend a sleek, urbane touch to any ensemble. However, there is a slight caveat to cashing in on this trend. Avoid bright colors or combinations like red and navy, and anything with gold braid; you don’t want to look like a drum major. Neutrals like navy, gray, or the eternally stylish black are the best options here. Go for either gold or silver buttons, and remember that a brushed or burnished finish is generally easier to wear. H&M has several excellent variations on the military style, or this Cynthia Steffe number is a timeless version that could be dressed up or down.
Now these plush jackets are really pure, unabashed luxury. Take a classic single-breasted blazer (one, two, or three buttons â€” whatever looks best on you) and make it in a rich, jewel-toned velvet. It’s the ideal piece to wear with everything from a classic pencil skirt and slinky camisole for evening to a beat-up pair of jeans and a button-down for day. You can find velvet blazers at virtually every price this winter, so shop around for the best version. Marshall Fields and Lord and Taylor’s house brands both have offering excellent velvety jackets in a variety of colors, and you can’t go wrong with this Laundry one in deep violet (one of the hottest colors of the season).
Yes, this menswear staple is back for another in the fashion spotlight. Borrow from the boys for a work friendly jacket with a classic look, and you can wear it with jeans on the weekend too. No longer only available in dull neutrals like brown and gray, try a tweed in pink, green, purple, or even a mix of all three! (or maybe not). Regardless of your color choice, don’t be afraid to spice up your tweeds with rhinestone buttons, a fur collar like the red and blue DKNY jacket, or maybe a satin sash. Or go really preppy and wear this Chloe jacket with a pair of winter white pants to all those holiday parties.
Lace and Ruffles:
Victorian inspired looks are one of this winter’s biggest trends, and one of the easiest ways to tap into the style is with a lacy, ruffled jacket. Surprisingly easy to wear, toss one on over jeans and a cami, and you’re ready for a day or shopping or a night on the town. Swap the jeans for classic trousers, and you’ve got a dressier ensemble. These can be a little trickier to get right, so you may be better off investing in a pricier piece. Marc Jacobs and LAMB (surprisingly enough for a celebrity designer) both showed some beautiful versions, but Banana Republic also did a subtly ruffled tweed topper.
Another manifestation of fashion’s current love of all things Victorian, a brocade jacket is an always elegant holiday choice. Best done in jewel tones or burnished metallics, these will look smart for the office with some tweed pants, or go all-out luxe with a flowing satin skirt. You’ll want to check out all the options here, because you can find great brocade jackets everywhere from Target (by Isaac Mizrahi) to Balenciaga. Right in between is this Diane Von Furstenberg black and blue single-button version.
Now this is a difficult look to get right, but done correctly it is extremely flattering. The most important thing is getting the proportions right. The jacket should hit under the bustline (where an empire waist would be) and it must be able to close properly in the front. Even if you don’t intend to wear it closed, if it can’t, it’s too small and will look bad. That said; try one on over a pretty tank. Although this trend may be short-lived, it’s definitely going strong for the moment, so head to H&M and pick up a few, or if you’re willing to spend a bit more, this Nanette Lapore version is pretty cute for the holidays.
A great little jacket is the perfect layering piece, and the right one will go from day to night with ease. The key is choosing one that flatters you – the most â€œinâ€? item out there will look â€œoutâ€? if it doesn’t fit your shape and style. Your perfect jacket may take a little more time to find, but isn’t great fashion worth it?