In my last post we looked at blazers. Today we’re going to look at other types of jackets that are popular now, and always. Depending on the cut, materials, and design elements, they each suit a different style personality. If you straddle multiple style types – as probably 99% of us do – you will likely be able to wear several of these versions. We’ll start with one that is hugely popular this year, the Chanel-type boucle cropped jacket.
This was the signature piece for Chanel. Fundamentally it is a Classic piece, as were most Chanel designs, but over the years she varied it, even sometimes veering into almost sweater territory.
They were often featured with Youthful or even High Spirited elements. Those might include fringed hems, shorter sleeves, contrasting trims, pearl trims, and or pearl or gold round buttons. It was generally made from a tweed-like boucle textile.
A genuine Chanel jacket might set you back somewhere between $4000-$8000. Even on the resale sites you’re looking at upwards of $2000. But as there is no copyright on fashion design, many other lower and higher-end designers have copied it. You can find legit similar styles starting from as low as $50 US.
Any one of these could be paired with jeans or tailored pants. Most of the ones shown below are worn with jeans. You may also see some of them with knee length or mini skirts.
“Chanel” This Year
Initially Chanel showed this type of jacket in neutral colors: navy, white, black. But over the years there were versions in many wonderful colors. And this year, since very bright colors are very much in fashion, you’ll find them in some wonderful and even eye-popping shades.
This first one here is new on Amazon and is non-rated. That sends up red flags for me, but I chose it because it is a very good representation of the overall feeling of what a typical Chanel-type jacket looks like. And in most sizes, the company here says that they allow free returns. It’s a viscose, poly, cotton blend.
J Crew just came out with this cropped “sweater” type one in two of the season’s bright colors, bright green, plus a brilliant yellow, as well as more typical navy, and white.
This is a pricier one from a company called Generation Love, but it would really jazz up any outfit – jeans, skirts, or especially the very popular ivory or white tailored trousers – for a dressier or more sophisticated look.
You can just about always count on Talbot’s to carry something similar year after year. But they tend to sell out fast. These currently show limited sizes left of both the pink/white one, and the green one shown here.
Bloomingdale’s carries a brand called Aqua that offers several in this style at very reasonable prices.
This very short cropped boucle jacket carries the feeling that Chanel was going for, initially. She usually paired them with matching skirts. This one has all the typical Chanel elements: contrasting trim, fringe, cropped, boucle textile, gold buttons. The only change is the blazer type lapel.
Denim Jackets For Every Style Type
We’re seeing an explosion of denim in some interesting new designs along with the old reliable ones. Also, the cliché that you can’t wear denim with denim (jackets or blouses with jeans) has been completely thrown out the window.
As for those “old reliables” the first one that comes to mind is the Levi’s-type waist-length denim jacket, or similar but longer “trucker” jacket. These are styled after menswear, so they bring a more “yang” quality to an outfit. They are fundamentally a Natural style. So, if you have a lot of the Natural-type style they could be a staple in your wardrobe.
But if you wear one over a feminine blouse or a summer casual dress they create a really nice yin/yang balance. IMHO I think they can actually emphasize the femininity of what they are worn with due to the contrast between the styles. (Also, as I mentioned in my book, She’s Got Good Jeans, they make it appear that you borrowed you guy’s jacket.)
Initially, they were mostly produced in medium and darker blue rinses, but now we see them, especially this spring, in lots of shades of pink, yellow and green, as well as lighter blues. We’ll start with this typical workhorse style.
Levi’s is the oldest brand to carry this, as they were the first to carry jeans in general. Since oversize pieces are still in style, and likely won’t go away anytime soon, this is another kind of hip and more edgy alternative.
Here’s a similar style in pink.
Zara never fails to add their unique and sophisticated twist to every trend. This bomber jacket version is a good example. The oversized nature gives it some Drama or High Spirited quality, but the simplicity adds an element of quiet Classicism. It would be perfect for a Natural, High Spirited Classic type. (Those are my own combination of style facets, and I love bomber jackets.)
But let’s say you identify more as a girly-girl type but like the general idea of wearing a denim jacket. This is one for you. It has a sweet peplum bottom and also comes in red and black.
The rounded hem and necklines and short sleeves of this one also suggest a more Youthful style. It also comes in bright pink, white and a bleached denim blue.
For Natural styled Lively Bright types who just love color, believe it or not, lilac is trending this year. On Amazon they list the brand as “Generic.” It has zero reviews. Frankly, I just posted it for the color. It also comes in an acid green. Order if you dare!
I wanted to include these last two to just demonstrate that denim can be downright sexy and sophisticated. Midi dresses and denim coats and toppers are a huge trend right now.
This one is kind of like a Natural’s version of a trench coat.
Leather Moto Jackets
Moto Jackets have inspired generations since James Dean rode into town on his motorcycle. They are tough, edgy, but have become an almost classic staple. Fundamentally, because of the zippers and leather, they are pretty Dramatic. But really, everyone seems to be wearing them in some version or another.
I wanted to start with this one from All Saints because it is a higher-end version. That’s so you can compare some of the lower-end versions and see that many work very well in comparison. You’ll also find them in faux leathers that are really hard to tell from the real thing. Just keep in mind that faux leather degrades over time and is not easily (if at all) repairable or recyclable.
Wear them with jeans, trousers, shorts or mid skirts for the most modern looks.
This one is the All Saints Vela Leather Biker Jacket and is $499 at Nordstrom.
This is Guess’ version in white faux leather. It’s a very fresh way to wear this type of jacket and takes it a bit away from Dramatic.
Macy’s carries this Michael Kors version. I want to also show you a very similar one from Quince, one of my favorite sites that I mentioned in the last post.
Here is the one from Quince, both in black and in this similar color. It gets very high ratings and they tend to sell out quickly.
Now, if you have a lot of Angelic style qualities plus Lively Bright or Subtle Blended coloring you might be thinking, “this is one trend that’s not for me.” So I wanted to share this lovely softer leather (lambskin) one from Ralph Lauren. It’s pricier, but beautiful.
Lastly, you’re going to be seeing a lot of silver and gold leather in fashion these days. It’s being shown in pants, lots of shoes and sandals, and skirts. But here is a way to wear it and really stand out. Keep in mind that when you combine the Drama of a moto jacket, all those zippers, and add a shiny textile, you are making a very strong Dramatic statement. But if it works for you, it just works.
We used to call these Safari jackets. Sometimes they are also called “cargo” or “field” jackets. They are usually made from heavier twill or denim, have lots of pockets, and often a drawstring waist to give them some shape. Banana Republic made their reputation with this type of jacket, and they sell those out quickly when they have them available.
They are basically a Natural garment due to the textile and the design details. They are not terribly sexy, not a “trend” but can be very useful. This is the jacket you just throw on to run errands, go out for coffee, or walk on the beach. They are utilitarian, hence the name utility jacket. And they tend to last a lifetime, at least in my experience.
This one is from Macy’s and is very similar to one I bought one about six years ago. Macy’s often has some sort of sale or another going on so I wouldn’t be surprised if the price is reduced.
This one also comes in light blue denim and olive drab.
Walmart has this in 13 different colors!
Short Trench coats
Lastly, I wanted to show a version of a perennial – the trench coat – that has now become a trend: the short trench. They almost serve similarly to the utility coats above, but with a little more panache. The addition of classic elements – the belt, double breasted buttons, and sharp lapel – turns them into more of a Classic style that looks much dressier. Worn with trousers or jeans they take the entire look up a notch.
This one is from BSDG on Amazon and also comes in navy, red, pink, tan, and “guava” – kind of peachy shade. It’s waterproof and all polyester.
Orchid is such a wonderful trending color right now. This one is from London Fog and is on sale at Macy’s now, also available in a more traditional “stone” shade.
Zara has one in faux suede. I find that the faux suede, unlike faux leather, does last, as it doesn’t rip and shred. The softer material makes this one a little more sophisticated looking, adding a slight touch of Romantic due to it’s soft drape.
This last one is a pretty traditional version but without a belt. It’s from Ralph Lauren and is currently on sale at Macy’s. It also comes in tan, but last I checked they had very few sizes left in that color.
So, I hope that gives you some clues and inspiration for adding a jacket to your wardrobe. I really do think they can make or break the whole outfit. I’m going to share some video soon of how I wear my own (as soon as I get two new ones back from my tailor, whose mortgage I seem to be paying off. He always looks very happy to see me.)
Note: This is an article I recently wrote for Sixty and Me about the new sheer fashions as they can be interpreted for women over 50 and 60.
I’ll be doing an interview with Suzanne Blons, the Beauty Shaman, soon about the new spring and summer style trends and will send that along as well.
Take good care. And let me know what you think about these jacket options!
[Some of the links on this page might earn me a (very) small commission at no extra cost to you. It’s what helps me keep writing this blog and my upcoming courses. Thanks!]