J is for Jackets


One of my favourite jackets


Jackets are one of the most useful and versatile garments you may have in your wardrobe.   A more formal jacket will make an outfit more formal or professional by adding a collar.   A casual jacket can dress down more formal attire.


Change your look with a jacket

Jackets can act as the Third Piece, plus add that layer to cover all your assets that you may not always want to flaunt.

The jacket I’m wearing here is one of my favourites.  I love it because it’s creative in its construction – a boiled wool combined with a smooth fabric with sheen.  I love the asymmetrical closure and the collar detail.  Finding a jacket that wasn’t too formal but had interesting detail was on my ‘list’ for two years before I found it.  But I knew as soon as I saw it, this jacket was the missing piece from my wardrobe.

There are lots of different styles of jackets.   From casual jackets like a bomber, through to classic, via relaxed and comfortable drape jackets and the feminine peplum.

jacket glossary
  • A higher buttoning or closing jacket is better for those with a smaller bust.
  • Draped lapels tend to overwhelm petite’s.
  • Unstructured jackets suit those who are more relaxed in their style and O shapes.
  • A wider collar will balance wide hips.

Jackets also express information about your personality.  As you can see in the picture below that a jacket can express your personality.  The fabrication, construction and detail all combine to create a message.

jackets personality

And there are lots of different collar details to consider, which both express personality style, and also can work with or against your body shape and features.

collar glossary
For example:
  • A peaked lapel draws the eye upwards and is great for petites.
  • A clover leaf lapel is curved and looks great with people who have more curved facial features such as a curved jaw, full lips, large round eyes.
  • An asymmetric collar looks great on someone who is creative, or someone who has asymmetric facial features, or uneven shoulders.
  • A scalloped collar is feminine in it’s personality style.
  • A mandarin collar is great for I shapes and those with a small bust.
  • A high notched lapel is classic in its styling and universally easy to wear.

Do you have a favourite jacket?


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  • Love this post – it really breaks down why my eye likes certain styles of jackets, because they suit my shape! I absolutely cannot live without jackets! Being an A-shape with a generous bust and slight shoulders, some sort of shaped structure over my upper half is really needed. I personally believe that a few jackets, both business-like and casual, HAVE to be part of the wardrobe essentials. You can even dress-down a business jacket by rolling up the cuffs. I don’t think the general public has an idea how much a jacket make any outfit look tidy and presentable, with such ease.

    And thank goodness for 3/4 length jacket sleeves…. an essential for someone with short arms, a small waist and tiny wrists (but big thighs). The “horizontal line” is in exactly the right spot. Besides, can’t stand material flopping near my hands – too restricting. Since I’ve discovered them, I can now wear jackets to my heart’s content!

    Keep doing more posts on the awesomeness of jackets, Imogen:-)

  • For some reason, Queensland boutiques don’t buy in a lot of jackets or coats to choose from. I think I will have to fly to Melbourne to buy one. It has been a chilly season and I am trying to make do with a few light knits. Where do you go shopping for jackets?

  • Excellent post, as always.

    I’d have one specific question regarding dressing up/down though. I have many cardigans – cotton, colourful, not v structured, they are pretty but casual. If I was to wear any of these with something elegant, such as a top and a skirt (both made of satin), the cardigan would not dress the top and skirt down, it would simply look out of place and the outfit wouldn’t look v harmonious. I have similar trouble with a highly elegant jacket and a simple cotton T-shirt/dress underneath. The jump from causal/comfy to dressy seems just too great. I’ve always had trouble regarding this, I do like ‘elegant’ : my style/personality is undoubtedly dramatic but somehow I am also drawn to anything beautiful and feminine. The impression I would usually like to create is stylish and classy. But I generally need to tone down most outfits, as wearing something that is perfect for the theatre is too dressy for every-day life in my line of work.

    In short, the biggest problem I’ve had concerning dressing up and down is which materials really go together. Any tips most welcome, thanks so much in advance.

  • I love the versatility of jackets, and could definitely do with a few more in my wardrobe. I like simple, slightly fitted styles best and usually wear them open and with scrunched sleeves. Oh, yes, and I do like them in a stunning colour, too.

    • Basal = there are lots of jacket options with those who have a straight shape – read up the posts on H shape and I shape (depending which of those you are).

  • My jacket collection is getting almost as big as my shoe collection these days!

    My favourite has got to be my hot pink blazer, certainly grabs attention when I’m out, so always best to combine it with a few large glasses of wine 🙂

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