By Janet Kelly
PUNXSUTAWNEY PHIL saw his shadow two weeks ago, and if you believe that tricky little groundhog, we still have roughly four more weeks of winter—probably a few more. Which is why these past few days of 50-degree weather have us longing for spring. We’re not putting away our winter coats anytime soon but are definitely thinking denim—jackets, jeans, too, and skirts (more on those two later). As for jackets, it’s time to reconsider your choices. Don’t toss the one (s) you have, but do look at what’s currently on our radar for how designers are bringing new direction to an old standby.
Veronica Beard starts with the classic jean jacket and tweaks it with an Isak Dinesen/Meryl Streep/Out of Africa vibe starring a mandarin collar, box-pleat flap pockets and a nipped waist with belt loops. Too stunning to keep in your closet ’til the weather warms, consider this chic denim jacket your ideal transitional layer. It’s $498.
When you want a more serious look and feel, Massimo Dutti’s double-breasted denim blazer ($279) steps up to the occasion and then some with its linen-and-wool lined jacket. Suit it up with matching trousers ($149) that are fitted at the waist and puddle at the hem. Note that for its price point, this Zara sibling goes above and beyond in attending to details.
Girls just wanna have fun, right? Go for it with Free People’s Western-inspired jacket in an oversized, slouchy fit with a whole lot of fringe detail. Layer it over a hoodie. It’s $148.
Cozy and casual but still chic, this short quilted jacket is made from light-colored vintage denim with dropped armholes, wide sleeves, shawl collar, an adjustable belt and snap-button closure at the waist. It sells for $340 from Paris-based label ba&sh. (The initials stand for its founders, Barbara Boccara and Sharon Krief.)
Ganni juggles the elements of a classic denim jacket to give it new appeal with structured shoulders, a fitted waist, pointed spread collar and crisp white stitching It’s $285 at Matches Fashion.
With an appreciative nod to the versatility of denim, Cinq à Sept’s cropped, collarless jacket ($465) with braided detailing along the neck moves the needle from a piece of casual clothing to one that would feel at home at a swanky dinner or a high-powered work meeting. It also happens to look smashing in white. It’s available at Saks Fifth Avenue, where it sells for $495.
Alicia Silverstone (aka Cher Horowitz in 1995 film Clueless) wore her signature yellow plaid suit in an ad during last Sunday night’s Super Bowl, but who can forget her plea to a thief demanding that she lie face down on the pavement: “Oh, no, you don’t understand. This is an Alaïa.” So is this wrap denim jacket, which looks like the traditional from the front. The back is where the design house shows off—with wraparound panels. It sells for a stratospheric $1,800 at Nordstrom. But if money is no object, you, too, can have an Alaïa.
Made from no-stretch denim that breaks in over time, Gap’s utility jacket is similar to the look of the Alaïa with its hip length, button front and tie belt. But it’s a waaay more wallet-friendly $115, reduced from $128.
Cut from recycled denim in a vintage wash, Alex Mill’s Work Jacket is a relaxed take on the more fitted silhouette. It looks to us like the kind of no-fuss piece you can slip on over cargo pants, a midi-skirt, really most anything, and head right out the door knowing you look put together. It’s $225.
On the days you want to project your tough grownup-girl self, show some attitude with All Saints acid-washed military jacket in a sturdy denim fabric with practical roomy pockets. It sells for $269 at Bloomingdale’s.
Like much of J. McLaughlin’s clothing, this denim blazer speaks to my inner preppie with its slightly faded color, white buttons, three-quarter sleeves and flip-up-or-not collar. Personally, I’d skip those gingham pants. The jacket sells for $268.
MyLittleBird often includes links to products we write about. Our editorial choices are made independently; nonetheless, a purchase made through such a link can sometimes result in MyLittleBird receiving a commission on the sale, whether through a retailer, an online store or Amazon.com.