Dernier Cri

Dernier Cri – Jacket of all Trades

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Shweta

The dynamic sisters Shweta and Ruchi Bhatia have one thing in common for sure; their love for fashion. Shweta, a self professed shopaholic also happens to be the Fashion & Beauty Editor at Femina Middle East while Ruchi works in finance.

Follow their journey and their blog at www.thefword.in

Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham

Put on, zip up, snuggle in and walk out with pizazz! For years the “jacket” has been the adult version of a security blanket. This includes even the most uncomfortable ones, which we buy when we are on a threadbare allowance, and the faux leather ones that make us feel like we’re being hugged by a polar bear (the friendly kind, of course) while still looking like Victoria Beckham.

For someone born and brought up in the desert, the idea of wearing jackets all the time was daunting when I first moved to England. I was perpetually cold because I found jackets too heavy and instead, chose to wear cardigans that would match. Needless to say, it was a bad idea! Jackets have been around since the Ice Age (can’t argue with that), and it really isn’t that difficult to find something that matches your style, your preference in comfort levels and the price point you are looking for.

While we have Coco Chanel to thank for putting women in pants, there was a certain Mr. Thomas Burberry in the late 1870s who was working on something fabulous that would become the iconic staple of any place that had cold temperatures.

The Burberry Trench Coat was first created during World War I, where it became a popular essential for soldiers and sportsmen. Over time, it was worn by movie stars, popular public figures, and emulated by various designers who flooded the markets with the rich woven wools along with waterproof versions to suit every basic need and any desire to be fashionable.

Burberry Trench Coat

Burberry Trench Coat


The 1920s fused “all that jazz” into the women’s jackets. They wore jackets with fur collars and thin lapels that were single buttoned and beltless. They often chose to line the coat cuffs with matching fur. The Victoria Beckham affordable versions were made without the fur and with contrasting silk or satin lining instead. Unlike the Burberry Trench Coat, which came in varying lengths, the coats in the times of Mr. Gatsby were full length down to the ankles, often to keep warm in the open aired Model T cars that were all the rage during the art deco era.

Coach

Coach


The Jacket started evolving with women’s empowerment. The 1930s saw powerful square shoulders, padded box shaped tweed jackets with wide lapels and various pockets, that were tighter around the waist and focused on increasing the horizontal of the shoulder! The jackets got shorter to match the high waist skirts that came back in vogue to make women look more ‘womanly’.

Alexander McQueen at Harvey Nichols, Dubai

Alexander McQueen at Harvey Nichols, Dubai


Our personal favorite is the Bomber jacket! Pun not intended; the bomber jacket almost rose like a savior out of World War II and was used by pilots who needed protection against the cold temperature in higher altitudes.

Philip Lim at Harvey Nichols, Dubai

Philip Lim at Harvey Nichols, Dubai


With the advancement in leather making and various waterproof fabrics, the bomber jacket moved from being combat gear to day-to-day civilian attire. The garment was embraced by the working class youth; the punk culture and the rock and roll lovers had finally found something that helped them find a place in the big (certainly not bad) world of fashion after years of long, tight and boxy clothes that were almost too formal for them to feel comfortable in.

Options, options everywhere! It’s amazing how there are so many high street brands to choose from.

From the very feminine duster jackets, that have helped horsemen/women protect their clothing from trail dust for the past few decades but now just making us look pretty, to the very utilitarian down jackets, to the bomber jacket! Yes, maybe it is worrying that the potential US presidential candidate Mr. Kanye West may have a special liking for them, but you can always make it your own.

Armani Exchange

Armani Exchange


If you are boy-shaped then go for a classic cropped jacket. They help add curves and are great on fitted silhouettes. Avoid doublebreasted jackets! For the petite figured, go for narrow sleeves and high armholes. Don’t wear voluminous shapes as no matter how great the jacket may be on it’s own, you will tend to look floppy.

The tall bodied need to go for colored cropped boxy jackets that narrow at the waist. Pairing with other solids helps beak up a tall figure. Avoid the roomy, loose hip length jackets. That kind of cut is overwhelming paired with a tall frame. If you are a plus size, go for a drapey shaped jacket, if that’s not too long. A slightly curved bottom can make your waist look narrower.

Betina at Harvey Nichols, Dubai

Betina at Harvey Nichols, Dubai


OUR STYLE TIP
Add some fun badges or brooches to your jackets depending on the occasion to add your personal touch! If all else fails, you always have your hoodie from university that will make you look great no matter what!


Do you have any fashion or style questions? Do you think you want some fashion advice or tips?

If so, feel free to contact me at shweta@saffronme.com and I will be more than happy to talk about them in my next column!

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