Transeasonal outerwear: Oversized Utility Jacket

I love Spring. But choosing the right outerwear during this awkward season can be tricky. In London, the weather can vary so widely – sometimes in the same day – it’s easy to get it wrong. Which means you are either under-dressed and freezing or having to cart around an unnecessary jacket or coat. Layering is a great way of tackling this transeasonal dilemma but sometimes you simply want to throw something on and go.* Trench coats, macs, blazers, leather and denim jackets are obvious mainstays of a transeasonal wardrobe. My addition to this list? A carefully chosen utility jacket.

*Besides, there’s more to layering than simply throwing clothes upon clothes. Look out for my tips on “how to layer like a pro” coming soon.

Personally, I’ll wear a parka over anything. It not only adds a cool and casual edge to any outfit, it’s also practical. For the transeason look we are going for here, the style of utility jacket  – parka, boxy or safari – doesn’t really matter. Proportion is key. It’s got to be oversized (otherwise just go up a couple of sizes from your usual size) but lightweight. My beloved battered old US army surplus parka – in warm weather mode – gets a lot of wear this time of year. But, I’ve also fallen in love with this canvas safari jacket by MM6 which I recently thrifted from TK Maxx.  Just like my parka, it’s oversized with pockets deep enough to fit a brolly, hat and other awkward weather essentials. You don’t strictly  need a bag to be honest.  

Styling wise, the best thing about this look is that literally anything goes. A decent oversized utility jacket will go with just about any outfit and with any body shape and height.  I’m blogging my jacket here over skinny cut-off jeans but any style of jeans will work just as well. And, it’s equally as fabulous over a dress or tailored trousers. I’ll try and blog the different looks as I wear them! Colour wise I’d stick to the typical utility and workwear palettes of khaki, green and tan.  Hold out until you find something good and even be prepared to invest a little, it’s worth it.  (Tip: If you don’t come across any oversized versions simply go up a couple of sizes up from your usual dress size!)

Addie xx

I am wearing:

Oversized Safari Jacket (MM6)| Jeans (COS)| Boots (Pied A Terre) | Bag (Sandro)

Photos: UW Ugbenne

Leather trousers, a (long) T-shirt and a blazer.

One of my favourite ways to wear leather trousers is with a plain T-shirt – it’s simple, casually chic and fail-safe. This basic formula can also be easily tweaked to achieve different looks. Here I’ve played around with the proportions a little, pairing a long T-shirt (untucked) with a shorter blazer and finishing off with statement flat boots.  You could of course swap the blazer for an over-sized cardigan, denim jacket or cotton shirt.

A long tee is also the perfect camouflage if you are having one of “those” days!

Feeling particularly punk rock? Ditch the plain T-shirt for a decent retro or graphic version, shorten the length and swap the boots for trainers. Take care not to appear too “try hard” though, so if in any doubt, just stick with the basic look. To transition the basic look into the evening, simply add a “French tuck” (tucked in a little just at the front) or go for a shorter T-shirt and add heels. To accessorize the evening look go bold with a statement necklace or bracelet (or both). 

Coming soon – is there any good way to wear leather ON leather?  Thanks for reading peeps, until next time. Addie x

I am wearing:

Faux leather trousers (H&M)| T-shirt (Primark)| Blazer (Gomme)| Boots (Isabel Marant)| Bag (Givenchy)

Shop this look (or similar):

Leather trousers (similar): &other stories

Blazer (not similar but a fab floral alternative): John Lewis

Boots (not similar but a black and heeled alternative):  Kurt Geiger

Joggers and ugly trainers. Sports-luxe or 90’s cringe?

I am old enough to remember shell suits and Juicy Couture velvet track suits. So, it’s fair to say that I was a little bit skeptical as work-out gear-based fashion (aka “athleisure”) started to gain traction a few years ago. Same goes for the recently re-surfaced ugly trainers trend. 

Athleisure? It’s sports-luxe darling. 

So what’s changed my mind? Well, the progression from lycra to a more style-focused look has definitely helped. And I was already a stickler for comfort and function in everything I wear anyway. The quality and variety of styles on offer has also been surprisingly good (not a shell suit in sight) with all the major high street brands stocking a decent range to suit all budgets. These striped retro track pants are by British label Être Cécile. Famed for cheeky franglais-slogans and punchy prints on classic t-shirts, sweats and denim, I especially like their retro track wear. 

But I’m not completely there yet with ugly kicks.* 

I’ve found ugly trainers a harder sell. Partly because it’s such an obvious trend, so the risk of ending up with something with a short shelf life is high. They don’t come cheap either. At the high-end, Balenciaga’s Triple S trainers range – arguably the most sought after – starts from around £615. Praise the fashion gods yet again for the British High Street. If, like me, you are not yet totally convinced but wouldn’t mind a little dabble in the trend anyway there is very decent fare on offer by most High Street brands. This excellent version by Primark which, dare I say it, I might even prefer to the Triple S thanks to it’s minimalist take on the look – and at a fraction of the cost (under £40) – is ideal for tapping into the trend as I wait for the Triple S to land in the sales. (Given their instant cult status, this won’t be happening any time soon. Sigh.)

So all in all, I’d say not quite 90s cringe.  Like this look and want to shop it? Scroll down. Coming up soon: “How to style your ugly trainers”! 🙂

Thanks for reading.

Addie x

*Insert – clockwise from l-r: Acne Studios; Zara; Mango; Balenciaga

I am wearing:

Track pants (Être Cécile)| Trainers (Primark)| Jumper (H&M)| Scarf (Acne Studios)| Sunglasses (Celine)

Shop this look (or similar):

Joggers: Être Cécile Casual track pants  (or similar: Whistles Eylse side stripe trouser)

Trainers:  Sold out. (Shop similar*:Zara Sneakers With Contrasting Seams;  Topshop Chicago Lace-up Trainers)

Oversized Jumper: Sold out.  (Shop similar: Cos Oversized Wook-knit Jumper; Acne Studios  Oversized Sweater)

Scarf: Acne Studios: Canada Fringed Scarf Grey Melange.

*Topshop and Zara both have a decent range with prices from £40 – £85. These two are closest to the ones I’m wearing but you can of course opt for something else!

 

Cosy (and very smug) in my H&M Oversized Puffer Jacket

Introducing my best buy of the season! With its oversized proportions and architectural silhouette you might think this stylish puffer jacket is Comme des Garcons? Martin Margiela? ACNE Studios? Well, you’d be wrong. It’s H&M and the best part? It costs less than £40. It’s THIS season (so I’m not just blogging it to be smug😌) and also comes in red and khaki. It’s out of stock online unfortunately but still available in many stores (on sale for £31.99 reduced from £39.99) so it’s not too late to bag one for yourself. I would suggest doing this if you can, even if you already have a puffer coat. The proportions and minimalist finish make this jacket a bit special* – a chic and more polished alternative to your every day puffer – and a definite forever buy.

Here I’ve styled it with an oversized sweatshirt and boots but you can also go super casual with a jumper and trainers. Here are other fun facts about this fab jacket:

#1. The hood can be flattened and turned into a wide collar for a different look.
#2. You can have fun with the silhouette thanks to the proportions which you can exaggerate by leaving the bottom half press studs undone.
#3. It’s light, super warm and water proof.
#4. It’s £31.99!

Convinced yet? Thanks so much for reading!

Addie x

*There’s also a coat version but it just doesn’t pack the same punch as the jacket.

I am wearing:

Coat (H&M)|

Photos: U.W. Ugbenne