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

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

WARDROBE TREASURES: Featuring – Battered Army Surplus Parka

The U.S Army Surplus Arctic M65 Fishtail Parka in full Winter mode

The last Wardrobe Treasures post featured my 13 year old distressed wool blazer by Japanese label Gomme. This time it’s all about my 15 year old battered army surplus parka or, to give it its full name, the U.S Army Surplus Arctic M65 Fishtail Parka.  For a good few years in the early 2000s you couldn’t swing a cat in Hoxton without bumping into one of these babies.  But, as ubiquitous as it was, I have always loved it.  Here’s why:

#1. It’s WARM. (And waterproof, obvs.) #2. It’s versatile. Almost everything on this coat can be detached or adjusted. The fishtail, waist, DEEP pockets and hood can all be adjusted to give a different fit and look. And importantly, the hood and lining come off – making for a fabulous Spring/Autumn version. It’s also UNISEX. #3. It looks good.  Perhaps not with an evening gown but definitely with everything else, especially with the hood and lining detached.  In this post I’m wearing it with jeans, but I’ve frequently worn it over frocks –  just add heels!

Every wardrobe needs a parka in my opinion but whether you go for a Moncler or this one (you can still find them) is up to you.  All I’ll say is that it’s a testament to the awesomeness of this coat that everyone I know who ever had one still has it and uses it. Are you one of us? Drop me a comment and let me know!

Here’s to another 15 or so years…..

Addie x

Yes, this is the SAME coat…..

The U.S Army Surplus Arctic M65 Fishtail Parka in Spring/Autumn mode!

I am wearing:

Winter mode – Parka (US Army Surplus Arctic M65 Fishtail Parka)| Jeans and Sweater (H&M)| Bag (Marc Jacobs)| Beanie (COS)| Scarf (Acne Studios)| Boots (Billi Bi)

Spring/Autumn mode – Parka (as before)| T-shirt (GAP)| Blue jeans (Levis)| Trainers (Isabel Marant)| Bag (Victoria Beckham)| Sunglasses (&other stories)

Beyond Faux Fur: One Shaggy Coat That is Proudly Not Fur

 

“Cushion Chic”

I hesitated before buying this shaggy little H&M number. With broad shoulders and narrow hips, I don’t usually do short furry coats. Then there’s the colour: well, it’s not black or grey is it. Next, the fabric. On the plus side, it’s clearly not fur but I wasn’t keen on looking like I’d stuffed myself into an Ikea cushion either! Then I tried it on and, to my surprise, it looked rather fabulous. And I actually quite like the fact that it is unashamedly NOT fur. It’s comfortable too (not as bulky or as heavy as your typical faux fur number) and fantastically warm so no need for bulky sweaters or scarves. (Tip: Scarves just do not go with furry coats. Believe me, I’ve tried.)  The wallet-friendly H&M price point of course sealed the deal.* I’ll mostly be wearing it casually with jeans but I reckon it’ll be just as fab with a short skirt and heels for the evenings. What do you think?

Addie x

*Much to Uli’s disappointment! There was a similar Nikki Minaj X H&M version in store that day – it looked more like real fur, was a fiercer shade of pink with a gold unicorn on the back. Guess which one she preferred? (Well she is 6!) 🙂

 

 

Images: U.W. Ugbenne