One of the best habits you can start when you shop is to buy pieces you know you’ll wear for years to come. When it comes to outerwear, this is especially important because these pieces tend to be more expensive and there’s no use in cycling through them as new trends pop up. I err on the side of Parisian women when I shop, ignoring trends and choosing timeless pieces that will stay in my wardrobe for years. Outerwear, specifically, holds a special place in my heart. There’s no better way to spice up a less exciting outfit than to throw a fun jacket or coat over top. If you’re doing it right, you’re look will be a more elevated, sophisticated version of what you’d originally put together.
There’s nothing wrong with basic pieces, though. In fact, I’d argue that the less busy your outerwear is, the easier it will be to pair it with more of your clothes. And when I say “less busy”, I don’t mean the plainest denim jacket you can find. You just need to find the silhouettes and colors that work best for your closet (remember, we don’t buy clothes that require you to buy others and instead work with the clothes you already have!). Doing this will help you narrow down the possibilities to your best options. There are, however, a few key styles that I believe can work with any wardrobe, regardless of its contents.
Camel Trench Coat
Ahhh. The quintessential “french girl” coat. There’s a reason this style is so beloved; it’s extremely versatile and can be worn by anyone, no matter their personal style. They look great worn over literally everything you would wear a coat over: floral dresses, midi skirts, cropped sweaters, jeans, etc. One of the best things about this coat’s popularity is its abundance. You can find these coats everywhere during the fall and winter season, and at different price points! You don’t have to go broke over a camel coat.
One of the greatest things about blazers is their sheer variety. They come in all patterns, colors, and even materials, making them the perfect addition to any wardrobe. When styling a blazer, it’s easy to tailor your look to the mood you’re feeling. If you’re trying to keep it casual, you can throw a blazer over a sweater and denim, throw on a pair of boots, and you’re on your way. For a more formal look, a blazer can work well over a dress or skirt with strappy heels or heeled boots. And, of course, it will be the perfect addition to any business casual look you put together.
I said previously that a good jacket to have doesn’t have to be the most plain denim jacket you can find. Denim jackets are one of those items of clothing that you can have fun with, while still keeping it simple or matching with your wardrobe. A dark blue, almost navy, denim jacket with contrast stitching can add some flair to your most basic outfits. You could also have some fun with a dark wash long line denim coat (even better if it has a quilted interior). Throw some sherpa on the collar and you’ve got a great winter jacket!
Some people stay away from leather jackets because they don’t want their fashion sense to appear dark, edgy, or be likened to the 1950s greaser look. It also seems people think there’s only one style of leather jacket, a cropped style with busy metal hardware. Leather jackets can actually be very different from this common style with other popular designs being the bomber jacket, the trench coat, and the boxy oversized jacket. Whatever your personal style may be, you can easily work a leather jacket into the mix.
Cropped Button-up Sweater/Cardigan
While this isn’t a jacket, it is a solid piece of outerwear, and it makes for a comfortable layering piece. Like the rest of the jackets I’ve described, this piece is so versatile. You can find these sweaters in practically any color and many have embroidered patterns. They can be layered under any of the aforementioned jackets, or on warmer days, worn on their own. These sweaters can be paired with jeans, skirts, trousers, and even dresses!
In a society that values quantity over quality, it can be difficult to shop smart for your outerwear. But, if you identify what works best for your style and existing wardrobe, you’re sure to find pieces you love that will stay with you for years to come.
*All pictures found on the instagram account @pia_mbd