Beard takes her black blazers out of the boardroom
with the inclusion of an optional hooded dickey,
$695, at Madison Hall.
jacket is the last thing most of us want to think about
in the warmer months. But how often do we find ourselves
shivering in air conditioning or soaked by a sudden
transition into fall rewards the pursuit of a versatile
jacket, not just for personal climate control.
over the last few seasons are trending," said Red
Godfrey, Nordstrom fashion office vice president.
"The reason for buying has shifted from not only
being a functional decision but a true outfit
chief creative officer, LeAnn Nealz, says outerwear has
always been her favorite category in any season.
finishes an outfit," she said. "I always have
outerwear for different times of the year" — even
lightweight down for the beach in summer.
suggests simpler lines and less coverage — a
collarless jacket with cropped sleeves or ones that can
be cuffed or rolled up, said Ann Taylor fashion expert
is a major trend influencing jackets, points out Jim
Wetzel, an independent retailer who co-owns Madison Hall
and space519 in Chicago. "But it can be a slippery
slope into ending up inappropriately casual," he
said. "It’s all about contrasting: If the shape
is sporty, the fabric should be dressier and vice
fashion director Amanda Kraemer recommends checking the
proportions of other pieces in your closet before
shopping for jackets. "A cropped jacket is perfect
for pairing with midi- and maxi-length skirts and
dresses; an elongated option is good for wearing with
something more slim or cropped; oversized is great for
layering over a sweater."
a jacket or two over time, Godfrey advised. Mixing high
and low and shopping end-of-season and preseason deals
maximize your dollars.
are five styles, available at many price points, that
will see you through the transition to fall.
trench: "The soft layered look is one of the looks
of the season and is set to continue," Godfrey
said. "It can be layered over soft separates such
as an easy pant and tunic or thrown over your shoulders
with a T-shirt and jeans or a simple dress."
In sheer fabrics, kimono toppers reign on the
music-festival circuit. Now they’ve expanded their
borders with more structure and rustic textures.
"They comfortably fit over whatever you’re
wearing underneath," Godfrey said.
moto jacket: It’s become a wardrobe staple but reboots
each season with new colors and materials. "With
the ’70s trend on the rise, the newest versions are in
suede," Godfrey said. For summer into early fall,
Ann Taylor fashion expert Emily Evans says the brand’s
twill moto jacket has been a hit, pairing utilitarian
details with a feminine shape.
jacket: We, too, wanted to believe an umbrella would
suffice. Solace for being wet-wrong? A wide selection of
reinforcements, from geek-chic anoraks to lightweight
shells from performance brands. Wetzel likes hooded
raincoats from Stutterheim out of Sweden, which combine
tech details such as heat-sealed seams and dry-wick
interiors with sophisticated silhouettes. For affordable
versatility, a packable jacket from Uniqlo stuffs into a
pouch for travel.
blazer: White and other lighter neutrals typically take
over in summer. But a black blazer can pair with summer’s
nautical stripes now and with just about anything later.
Wetzel likes a shorter, boyish silhouette by Nili Lotan
or Veronica Beard, who has styles with a hooded French
terry dickey for a sporty update. A stretch-jersey
fabrication also can relax the look and feel — Uniqlo
has these — and extend wearability into all seasons