I really love the advice you give and I’m hoping you could help with a style dilemma I have. My dear loving mother gave me a red zippered front jacket from Macy’s for Christmas, pricey and made out of wool suiting, but it’s matronly. I don’t want to hurt her feelings and I like the color but I can’t seem to figure out how to style it in more a youthful way.
I’m on the short side (5’3), have a curvy, hour glass shape, and a colorful, casual style. I work in an artistic, fun field where everything is very laid-back so I mostly wear jeans or fitted pants with fun tops. I love colors and prints, currently I’m obsessed with stripes.
Thank you, Nikki!
Jean, 28/California, USA
Jean, I don’t know why you think the jacket is matronly, because I think that vibrant red is absolutely gorgeous! Wait, does that mean I’m matronly? Anyway, I think your mom meant well and didn’t buy the jacket to make you look ‘matronly’ on purpose. She was probably attracted by the bright color and thought it would look good on you. And I think it will!
The way I see it, this jacket is quite the versatile addition to your wardrobe. How? Read on!
Blazing at work
Ease this jacket into your work wardrobe with a simple combo: dark-rinse jeans (indigo, black or dark gray), a patterned or striped top or button-down shirt, and finish with simple flats or ankle boots. In this instance, the jacket serves as a blazer but not a typical, frumpy one. It’s short, swingy, and hits you in the right places, especially the hips. Wearing it open adds to its casual vibe.
Another option is to team it up with wool shorts or a tweed A-line skirt (for your curvy, petite figure), a basic knit top, sheer patterned tights and lace-up military boots for a grungy take.
Red-hot in the evening
I know you said that you’re mostly in jeans and fitted tops, but if you’re going somewhere fancy after work, nothing amps up the style level like a dress. Pair the jacket with a cute striped A-line frock or an earth-tone sheath dress, or a simple top with a skirt in a monochrome palette. Aside from stripes, you can also consider smaller, daintier patterns or even chevron stripes. In this scenario, the jacket is the perfect topper because it’s collarless and still structured, which complements the feminine A-line silhouette. Finish with a statement necklace plus flats or pumps, depending on how posh you feel. I say bring a pair of heels to work but keep your flats on during work hours. Then ditch the flats for the pumps when you’re ready for after-hours fun!
Warm and casual on the weekends
One of my absolute favorite pieces is the timeless Breton shirt. The classic blue-stripes-on-white showcases both tradition and simplicity, and your vibrant red wool jacket is just the thing to add spark to it for spring. Team your Breton tee and wool jacket with colored jeans in white, royal blue or green, or pair with slim-fit camo cargo pants or fleece leggings. Finish with calf-length boots, a beret and knit scarf for a very Parisienne vibe during your weekend errand runs.
This wool jacket is definitely a keeper, Jean, so kudos to your mom for giving it to you. I suggest that you keep on experimenting with other separates to really maximize and optimize its use. Even though it lacks any embellishments, the jacket’s red color already makes it a very bold piece. You can tone it down by adding patterns to your other separates or using earth tones to balance it out. Have fun!