Photo via Masha Sedgwick.
I’ve been meaning to tackle this post for awhile now. Mostly because I thought the changing seasons would make people more likely to read it, but also because I freaking love outerwear. A good jacket is a lot like a good pair of shoes; it can instantly take your tee shirt and jeans from basic to a full on look. For that reason, I have quite a few pieces on this list. You might decide you don’t need all 11, and that is totally fine. These types of wardrobe essentials lists can be customized to fit each person’s personal style, and their day-to-day lives. With that being said, here are my 11 outerwear essentials:
The Denim Jacket
Photo via Outfits Hunter.
The denim jacket is a great transitional wardrobe piece; it’s not exactly warm but denim is heavy enough to shield you from the nippy winds of early October. Let’s face it: you can wear this piece with pretty much anything in your wardrobe (I think it looks particularly nice layered over a feminine sundress). Although I will warn that contrasting washes are important when going for a Canadian tuxedo look, so make sure your jacket is a light wash if your jeans are dark, or vice versa. I currently own a medium wash from the men’s section of Levi’s, though I just ordered another one in a lighter wash from the Shopbop sale and am hoping that it offers a more fitted
Update: it arrived while I was in the process of writing this, and it runs really wide in the shoulders, I’d recommend sizing down if you order one.
(P.S. Check out this old post where I recommended 3 ways to style a denim jacket)
Photo via Pinterest.
The anorak is another great transitional piece that offers a little bit more of a slouchy vibe. They make great casual weekend wear, and can be layered with a hoodie relatively easily (a la Olivia Palermo in the above photo). I personally think it looks great layered over a simple tee shirt dress with some chucks. I’ve actually been on the lookout for the perfect anorak for awhile now, because I don’t love the ones with excessive pull ties, but I’m starting to narrow in on a few options. I swear.
The Bomber Jacket
Photo via Who What Wear.
A good bomber jacket lends a sporty military vibe to your outfit, while also letting you play with volume/proportions. I love a good bulky jacket, so I’m all for this look, but it might not be for everyone. Again, these pair well with everything from workout gear to an elevated off duty look. I prefer the classic styles in army green, and nothing embroidered or embellished. That way it will be sure to last you season after season.
The Leather Jacket
Photo via Wachabuy.
Whether you use it to add some edge to a feminine dress, or throw it over your sweats, the leather jacket is an instant outfit maker. I scored my first leather jacket back in college, it was by Steve Madden and on super sale for $80. I wore that thing to DEATH. Literally, it died. I no longer own a leather jacket, but I am hoping to save up some money for one from The Arrivals in the future. They are a killer outerwear brand and I am totally in love with their leather pieces. Less expensive options can be found at Nordstrom (BLANKNYC comes to mind), and the go-to high end brand is definitely Acne.
The Trench Coat
Photo via Crystalin Marie.
Think of trench coats as the sophisticated cousin of the light jacket family. They help you look instantly put together, and are a great piece to have in your work wardrobe. They also work really well with Breton stripes (as seen here) for the weekends, and are particularly useful for remaining mysterious when dropping off secret documents at a pre-determined rendezvous. Heh heh.
(P.S. Here’s another throw back post where I put together 3 ways to wear a trench coat)
The Classic Blazer
Photo via Just The Design.
Speaking of work wardrobes, do I even need to explain this one? Not only is it a staple at the office, but a classic blazer is a great way from taking your tee shirt and jeans from “I didn’t feel like thinking when getting dressed this morning” to “I am naturally this chic and put together at all times”. I don’t know about you, but any piece that can do that is a favorite of mine. Because who doesn’t want to wear a tee shirt and jeans all the time?
(P.S. Another throw back post for you here: 3 ways to style the classic blazer)
The Boyfriend Blazer
Photo via Man Repeller.
I had to include the classic blazers older brother, mostly because this particular Stella McCartney number haunts my dreams and I will not rest until it is mine one day. If you aren’t into menswear, then by all means, exclude this item from your list. But I love a good menswear inspired jacket, especially when it is super tailored and crisp. This photo might be my favorite outfits ever photographed. Sigh.
The Rain Coat
Photo via Masha Sedgwick.
Depending on whether or not some of your other coats (anorak, trench, etc) are rain resistant, you may also want to pick up a rain coat. Weather does exist after all, and there’s really nothing worse than getting caught in the rain and then being damp all day. I really like the raincoats from Stutterheim, but there are plenty of other options. If you can’t find one that’s your style, then an umbrella with a good diameter will also do the trick.
The Puffer Jacket
Photo via FIGTNY.
When it’s really cold out, like actually winter, you’re going to want a down jacket. Puffers are both casual and super warm, and there’s nothing more appropriate to throw on over your sweats to go shovel the driveway. They also allow you to play with volume with your outfit, which is something I’m always a fan of. Got big clunky snow boots on? Balance it out with a big puffy jacket.
The Structured Winter Coat
Photo via Beige Renegade.
The second option for a heavy jacket is a tailored overcoat. Based on your preference, you could opt for a peacoat or something longer. Either way, it’s a more formal option that is great for the office, date nights, or just looking a little more put together compared to the puffer jacket. Personally, I love longer overcoats that are super tailored or have a cocoon style. I try to avoid this word because I think it’s extremely overused in the fashion industry, but they just look so chic.
The Fur Coat
Photo via Le Fashion.
Last, but certainly not least, is the fur coat. Whether you prefer them real or faux, the fur coat is a great hybrid of the formality of the structured overcoat and the volume of a puffer. And it gives the additional element of texture. What more could you ask for? Obviously this is not a 100% necessity, but it is definitely an item that is on my list. You can stick to a simple neutral color, or go all out with a pattern or statement color, it depends on your personal style and how much you want it to be a statement piece.
And that’s the list! What do you think? Do you agree with them? Disagree with a few? Did I miss one that’s on your list? Let me know in the comments!
Looking to score some sweet deals on your wardrobe essentials? Check out this post for a complete list of where to buy discounted designer clothes online!