Styling the new acquisition

Since I began the year with the goal of being somewhat more mindful of my shopping, it’s probably fitting that I should end it vindicated with an outstanding example of my failure to follow through. Some things find an immediate place in the wardrobe, but the best ones can take you to the next level. The moment I put this on, it was all over bar the haggling. This is me at my very best and my very worst - as Agent Smith would say, that’s the sound of inevitability.

I am very much in love with this number. It is classic, distinctive and slightly exotic. It is gorgeous leather, beautifully made and a fabulous fit. It packs some serious attitude and has the potential to be a real heavy hitter. It’s by no means a departure for me and in some respects it’s a consolidation: I think the reason I fell for it so hard is that a clean A-line with a round neck and a bit of structure is just about the most flattering thing I could possibly wear.

However, fashion being what it is, these things don’t often turn up, so there’s not much like this in my wardrobe, and it’s far harder to style than I was expecting. There’s something about it that falls so far outside the contemporary fashion vernacular that it’s almost an anachronism. Where exactly does this style come from, or more to the point, when? To put it another way, this piece is not fashion-forward in any way shape or form. If anything, it’s fashion-sideways.

The trick, then, is to integrate it into my style in a way that feels contemporary while honouring its syncretic provenance. Taking a leaf out of Old Chic’s book, I decided it was best to be true to myself rather than trying make it look Fashionable, while avoiding a slippery slope into SF/Gothic pastiche.

It turns out this is harder than it looks, in which case Boho Trinity could be a massive false positive. A better descriptor is probably Fetish Anna Wintour, and if you’ve been paying attention you might just remember why this is painfully close to home. Zipped up, it has a formal severity which I like very much, and it really comes into its own layered over voluminous midi skirts. Luckily, I have quite a few of these and not enough ways to wear them, so this seems like a winning formula.

What do you guys think? Am I missing a trick here, or is this a good enough jumping off point? Shown here with this year’s default hat - I’m due a trip to the salon and my hair is a fright.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • The Cat replied 3 years ago

    Wow, it's really great! I understand that you love it--it has great appeal to me too, though we have different styles. I think it looks timeless and can be styled in many different ways. My favourites here are the styling with the slim pants (#2) and the lilac skirt. (#4. By the way, I love that the skirt colour is echoed in your scarf.)

  • Diana replied 3 years ago

    #4 is amazing!

  • The Cat replied 3 years ago

    Of course, #1 is fab too. The jacket looks more relaxed when open (but it's nice to be able to zip it up, especially if you're outdoors and it's cold). I guess it can be styled with many different tops, and I immediately imagine that it would look gorgeous with a velvet or velour tee in a jewel tone.

  • lisa p replied 3 years ago

    I missed this the first time around, but holy crap is this a cool piece!  I don't see it the same way you do - because my reference points are nowhere near as global and sophisticated as yours - so my styling ideas would be completely different. I stand in awe of yours.  Love it and love it on you.

  • JAileen replied 3 years ago

    I really like the stripes with it in #6.

  • Mirjana replied 3 years ago

    Great , I like #1 .

  • Jenni NZ replied 3 years ago

    I like 1 and 2 best without the hat, I like the hair! Interesting to read the link about your old school, what an amazing looking place. In this part of the world we have no idea on that sort of history. The new coat is fantastic even although obviously light years from my- I don't know- bourgeois style? ( is that the right word for sort of boring and conventional even when my clothing choices are interesting to me?)
    Does Mr Edge look like Neo? I was kind of in love with Neo and Trinity together, maybe a bit like Han Solo and Princess Leia together. You know, like a whole galaxy away from my life.

  • LaPed replied 3 years ago

    Well, your hair looks good to me (I say as a person who is about a month overdue for a trim). The striped stockings in #6 are fun, and it looks remarkable with the colours in #4. All that shiny black gives those pastels a raison d'être. 

    I wasn't around for your school reunion post, or your tattoo post -- fun to click back through those links, thank you.

  • Katerina replied 3 years ago

    OMG! This must be one of the most beautiful jackets EVER! It is irresistible. I love it even more than in your previous post, PERFECTION.
    It suits you so well and your styling ideas are very interesting. My favorites are no 1, 2 and 3.

    I have enjoyed your post tremendously, so well written and fun.

  • Meredith replied 3 years ago

    I love it with the pants but all of the looks are great. There’s certainly a nice juxtaposition between the severity of the jacket and the romantic qualities of the full skirts. Can’t wait to see how your use of the piece develops.

  • UmmLila replied 3 years ago

    I clearly lack imagination, because when you posted about this the first time around, I saw it as basically a leather garment bag. Good finding, good wearing!

  • DonnaF replied 3 years ago

    I want to pet that leather! The round neck and A shape remind me of my Uniqlo coat below. They give it a vaguely sweet '70s look. Except in black leather. The juxtaposition makes it interesting.

  • Bijou replied 3 years ago

    The new acquisition looks amazing on you. I can see this coat on Anna Wintour, but like how you have made it your own. I am glad you bought this, it is a forever piece. Sometimes items find their way to the right person, Agent Smith was onto something.

  • Gaylene replied 3 years ago

    I love it!

    All your stylings are great, but 1 and 2 made me go “oh, YES!” I adore the starkness and severity as opposed to trying to lighten the look by pairing it with sweet and/or kooky. If it were mine, I’d be channeling its medieval, Eastern vibe. But then, I’ve always been an admirer of Tamar of Georgia...

  • Angie replied 3 years ago


    It was waiting to be yours, Liz. #4 is my favourite. 

  • Sal replied 3 years ago

    Perfect Approprio.  I I love 1 2 and 4.  I think it will become a well worn addition that you will wear forever.

  • Suz replied 3 years ago

    This. Is. Amazing. What gorgeous leather!! No wonder you fell in love. You'll have it forever and a day and find so many interesting things to do with it. I'll bet it will get a lot easier to style with practice, too. My favourite here is #4 because it is unexpected and fresh. But I also adore 1/2 -- it definitely works with slim pants. This feels like an Avengers jacket to me. Brilliant purchase! 

  • Janet replied 3 years ago

    Holy cow, that’s amazing. While it’s a little different from what we’ve typically seen on you, it works. The way you style it makes it you! I kind of love when an item like this is unexpected in the usual context of a person’s style, yet seamlessly integrates once it’s in the wardrobe. The stylings here make it appear that this is such a piece.

  • bonnie replied 3 years ago

    I think they all work and you look fab. 

  • replied 3 years ago

    Favorites are 1 and 2 which I think are of the same outfit? The coat is gorgeous and in this outfit the ruffle detail shows up more and adds definition.

    I like the juxtaposition with the webby looking top too. I think this outfit is kind of perfect, really, I wouldn't change a thing.

  • shevia replied 3 years ago

    I have to agree with Angie - this coat was made for you. The leather positively glows with quality that I can see even on my not optimal screen. I was captivated by your remark about being fashion sideways. I feel this may be uber-fashion actually, but am wondering which other moves fashion may make - fashion tight rope walking, fashion back flips, fashion takes a taxi. Ok, I'll stop.
    I can't comment on the specific outfits due to lack of light (in my house right now). My eyes have not dilated enough yet to take it all in. Thank you for sharing, your writing is at least as delightful as your outfits. 

  • rachylou replied 3 years ago

    This is an interesting coat. Frankly, it looks like a workhorse. Throw it on and go.

    But in terms of capital S styling it: I’m thinking it’s in the Chanel category. Chanel can be ultra cool. It can be punk. It can be polished. It can be sophisticated. And it can be old, Anachronistic. That’s a good word. I think one has to embrace that oldness to be today in a piece like this.

    Actually, I can see this jacket with Chanel chain jewelry and pumps...

  • approprio replied 3 years ago

    Oh wow! Thanks all! I'm going to try and shout out to all of you, but please forgive me if I miss you.

    Angie, Bijou, yeah, for a wild card it does kinda have my name on it doesn't it? Sometimes I just know. Sal, I think it's going to go the distance. But I can never really tell with these things until they've been around a while.

    MIrjana, Bonnie, Katerina, thanks for the thumbs-up! La Ped, Diana, JAileen, I think 4 is probably my favourite in the photos, but it needs more layers for the winter. 5 and 6 win on wearability for the weather right now. 1/2 might have to wait until spring. 3 isn't great, but I had to try it with the wide pants. I still have a way to go with styling. The Cat, thanks for the suggestions. lisap, I'd love to know how you'd wear this!

    DonnaF, you know, I've been trying a few of those as possible layering pieces, so maybe it's not such a surprise that I ended up with something that looks a lot like them. UmmLila, heh yeah. Like I said, no hanger appeal ;) 

    JenniNZ, Seriously, I've found myself coveting some of Rey's costumes too, which has to be the ultimate in buying for my fantasy life as a wandering Jedi. And Mr Edge may not look much like Neo, but he is most definitely The One. Suz, in my mind that would be more Emma Peel than Natasha Romanoff, but either will do. I haven't yet tried this with any of my shiny pants, but it's only a matter of time.

    , I thought the same. This is very much one of those wild cards that extends the range. That said, I'm wary of straying too far in the '80's romantic direction, if that makes any sense, so I'm trying to keep it sharp and sporting to begin with. Meredith, yes, I think it's going to take some practise!

    now shevia, that's an interesting thought! The tightrope, the back-flips, the taxi... I think what makes this for me is its ambiguity. It can be many things, or it can just be itself. 

    heh, rachylou, yeah I can see that! Throw this over pyjamas and I feel dressed for sure. I agree with your observations about its timeless quality. Bypass Chanel and this becomes the love child of a kaftan and a moto jacket, which is something else altogether! Gaylene, we're clearly thinking along the same lines. I'll try for some more Boho Trinity styling next week...

  • cindysmith replied 3 years ago

    I love what you're doing with it. The pants outfits are really awesome to my eye. As much as I like the pants outfits, I believe that it feels more "you" with the skirts. Well done!

  • RobinF replied 3 years ago

    This is gorgeous! I think your style is cool enough that anything you throw this on with will look great. Love it with the white boots and also with the stripes, I think this will go with a lot.

  • Style Fan replied 3 years ago

    The Avengers!  Yes, that is what this coat reminds me of!  Thank you, Suz.  I kept trying to think what it was about this coat that felt familiar.  So cool.
    1 and 2 are my favourites but they are all wonderful.  Anna W scares me. 

  • ladypainter replied 3 years ago

    Awesome jacket! Nice combos too. 
    I'm thinking maybe a midi tweed skirt with platform, lace-up biker boots--like what Renee Russo wore in the remake of The Thomas Crown Affair?

  • annagybe replied 3 years ago

    I think I’ve been on the forum too long as #3 & #5 are my favorite, especially with the white ankle boots. Are they Margiela?
    Anyways great grouping

  • approprio replied 3 years ago

    annagybe well spotted! Yes, they're Margiela and an amazing score at that. Another surprise workhorse. 

    ladypainter, I've only seen the McQueen/Dunaway version, but that does sound like a great outfit. You had me at the platform biker boots. 

  • Deborah replied 3 years ago

    I absolutely love this jacket and I would have trouble saying to no to it myself :)   I think you have struck the absolute right note here by styling it your way.  Of late, I have started to look at potential new wardrobe items that are a little outside of my wheelhouse and think 'how would I wear this'  - this change in thinking has been a game changer and has expanded my options a little.  

  • tulle replied 3 years ago

    This jacket rings LOTS of bells for me.  It's absolutely beautiful and stands out in a period of fashion that I find increasingly dreary, droopy, overwrought and underdesigned. And although there is no question that you are cool enough to make the more complicated, layered looks work, I fell hard for photo #2, in which you look so clear and confident wearing that simple 60s/70s silhouette.  It's interesting that this piece would work for so many women of different ages, sizes and shapes, don't you think?  It's just the sort of thing I've been looking for--and not finding--for a long time. I hope your find is the beginning of a trend!

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