I just started putting away my winter clothes this past weekend. It’s been an unusually long, cold, and rainy spring. I regret to say that the weather changed last weekend to hot and soggy. That was not the change I had been hoping for.
How am I bearing up under the strain?
I’m trying. Trying to look more springy and not ruin any shoes.
To that noble end, this is what I wore one day last week.
In an effort to lighten the look, I am wearing cropped, tropical weight wool trousers and a cotton jacket.
I also realized that my rubber-soled “court shoes” were perfect for a wet day. The uppers are a very light leather, treated with some sort of finish that is water-resistant,* but the soles are completely impervious to wet sidewalks.
Come closer and take a look at what’s going on here. I’ve had this jacket — a modest, cotton jacket from Talbots — for more than a decade. When I first put it on last week, I was profoundly unimpressed by what I saw in the mirror. But with a little experimentation, I came up with something that I was actually enthusiastic to wear.
And then I looked upward and said to myself, What would Michelle Obama do?
Now, two specific pieces of advice. First, I tried on two belts (this one and this one) before trying the one I am wearing. The others were fine (an improvement over no belt), but this one was clearly better. Sometimes a little experimentation is needed. As an unexpected bonus, the grommets on the belt look like the ones on the strap of my bag.
Second, I only buttoned one button on the jacket — the one directly above my waist. Usually when I partially button a jacket, I button the second and/or third buttons from the top to give the jacket some ease through the waist. Here, however, I wanted to show the lace yoke of my top. Another option, when belting a jacket, is to not button it at all, but rather to cross one side over the other and let the belt do its best; that’s a more relaxed look.
This outfit (sans belt) wasn’t the worst ever — not even close — but it’s more interesting and more flattering with a belt. This discovery has breathed new life into a long-serving jacket.
Blouse: Marissa Webb (still available on The Outnet, as is my Shogun jacket); Jacket: Talbots: Belt: Fausto Puglisi from YOOX (Note: The belt is way too long, so I have just tucked the end of the strap into the belt at the side of my waist; perhaps I will ask Fatima if should could make a sliding grosgrain loop to hold the end.); Pants: JCrew; Shoes: Cole Haan Zero Grand; Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs
* Note: I don’t think they were billed as water-resistant, this is just my personal observation.