Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My Little White Jacket

Have you taken a good look at the Pantone color palette for this fall?  What do you see….or, more precisely, what do you NOT see?

With the exception of Misted Yellow, Cypress and, perhaps, Aurora Red, most of the color palette draws from the cool colors of summer rather than the warm colors of autumn.  The last time I checked, radiant orchid did not appear in the fall color palette, and we autumn girls are only too well aware that the color orchid can play havoc with our skin tones (i.e., wash us out). 

Still……….there is a cool way to bring the cool tones of summer into our warm autumn wardrobes.  And here’s how….

The perfect way to transition your summer wardrobe to autumn is to add a great Little White Jacket (the “LWJ”).  Remember this one featured in my recent post on “How to Calculate the True Value of a Wardrobe Basic?” I got lots of feedback on this adorable denim J Brand jacket from Neiman Marcus.  Its relaxed, contoured fit makes it the perfect, seasonless go-to piece.  And…it’s made in the USA. 

This Banana Republic sateen jacket in smooth, stretch cotton has a more formal, yet still casual, feel to it.  The longer length and lapels give it a classic appeal that will work with everything from your favorite day-time skinny jeans to your chic, dinner-in-the-city pencil skirt.  And for you full-figured gals (lucky you!), that longer length is very forgiving and the low, two-button closure sits comfortably under an ample bosom. 

I really love the contoured lines of this ecru jacket from White House Black Market.  The stand-up collar adds a bit of edge to the elegant silhouette.  Light shoulder pads make it figure flattering, and the gold buttons add just the right bit of bling. 

Looking for something without a collar?  How about this chic, round-neck denim jacket (7 for All Mankind) from Neiman Marcus?  It’s a cotton/spandex blend and, best of all, it’s machine washable.  Don’t we love something we can just throw into the washer? 

How about something really sleek, but with a bit of texture?  This snakeskin textured blazer from Nordstrom TopShop has great bones.  No buttons, no lapels, no pockets, it’s all about the structure.  Not to worry, no actual snakes were harmed in the production of this jacket.  It’s purely synthetic (100% polyester).  I’m not a fan of pure poly (a little added to natural fabrics can work well), but I just love the cut of this jacket. 

Of course, a bit of deconstructed structure can be as comfortable as it is chic.  This knit jacket from White House Black Market with notched lapel and slight shoulder padding has day-to-evening sophistication written all over it.  The ¾ sleeves are the perfect way to show off a beautiful bracelet or statement watch (M-T Note:  Wrists are the thinnest part of a woman’s arms; showcase them.).  And the modified peplum flare at the bottom creates a flattering silhouette for every body type. 

I love dressing my full-figured clients, and there is not a doubt in my mind that they can look every bit as chic and elegant as their thinner sisters.  But.........much as I love the brilliant Michael Kors and his designs, I would never put a plus-sized woman in this jacket......

The banded round neck on this Michael Kors cotton jacket is flattering as it opens up the neck area drawing your attention upward to the model’s pretty, young face; however, after that, I’m hard pressed to find anything to recommend this to a plus-sized client.  The jacket is shapeless, unless you consider boxy to be a shape (I don’t!), the four zippered pockets create strong, horizontal lines that add width (Diagonal pockets would have been much more flattering.), the bottom cuts straight across (another strong, horizontal line) and the sleeves are too wide, creating excess bulk in the arms.  Get the picture? 
Well, here's a prettier picture I'd like to leave with you. 

Isn’t this lovely?   I just fell in love with it.  A bit too heavy for fall, perhaps, but perfect for winter, this white wool/cashmere blend jacket by Ted Baker London (available at Nordstrom) is so chic.  It exudes ladylike elegance with its peplum flare, beaded point collar and military buttons.  Could this bring back the sophisticated dinner suit for Ladies?  One can only dream.  (sigh!)
Finally, let me leave you with a suggestion (or two) on what to pair with your Little White Jacket to transition cool summer colors into fall. 


This post is a companion piece to “My Little White Tee.” 
And I’m sure you’ll also enjoy “10 Ways to Wear a White Shirt” by my dear friend and west-coast colleague, Jennifer, of “A Well Styled Life.” 


  1. Good idea I had not thought of wearing a white jacket with more autumnal colours. I am in the process of packing my summer clothes away as the weather has turned here in London.

    1. We have suddenly come in for a heat spell in the last two days. Hope it doesn't last. I'm looking forward to a cool, balmy fall. I so much enjoyed your Mother-of-the-Groom pix. You just looked divine!

      Cheers, M-T

  2. The white jacket is clever so you can wear a wider variety of colours. I bet black or gray would have similar results, no? And it would have less chance of getting dirty ;)

    1. Black and gray are both wonderful neutrals that work beautifully with cool and warm shades. And, yes, less chance of getting dirty; however, if you choose a white jacket in washable cotton, you can just throw it in the washer -- no muss, no fuss.

      Always love hearing from you, Grace. I will be stopping by for a visit. You have a recipe that looks just lovely.

      Cheers, M-T

  3. Hello my friend! Thank you for the mention!!
    These jackets are lovely...except that unfortunate boxy Michael Kors number. As you pointed out, so unflattering. What were they thinking?. I think a white jacket going into fall is so very chic!! I especially liked the ones with a soft silhouette. So feminine!! I'm finding more ways to enjoy white these days as our temperatures continue to hover in the 90's!
    Let's chat next week. Happy weekend.

  4. I knew you would have the same reaction to that "boxy" Michael Kors jacket. Although white is, strictly speaking, not in my autumn color palette, I do wear it w/warm shades, particularly near my face. As I always say, it's the color nearest your face that matters most.

    Looking forward to our chat. Have a great weekend.

    xoxo, M-T

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