Song of Staples, Part I

Realizing, as I did last week, that some of the things that I consider staples have not been commonly accepted as wardrobe basics (“Ten Things Every Woman Must Have in Her Closet!”), I thought I would start building the case for them.
If I do my job well — and I am a trained advocate — perhaps my list will replace the traditional list at some point. Sort of like the modern list of wedding anniversary gifts replacing the traditional gift of cotton (huh?) with china (hmm).
We begin today with Utility Jackets in Fatigue Green.
At the start of the pandemic, I had three.

Also JCrew; this one really feels like outerwear
Sachin & Babi

That seemed excessive to me, so I gave one away.
And then I bought two more.
Strange times, my friends, Strange Times.
Who are you to judge me in these Strange Times? We are supposed to be showing lovingkindness in the face of one another’s harmless idiocy

Is this revelation less damaging if I tell you that this jacket only cost $40 on The RealReal?
Put that way, it doesn’t sound bad at all

It’s nuts, Directrice; you know it, I know it, they know it
What can I say? I like fatigue green utility jackets. I think they have almost limitless utility.

They look great with a white linen or cotton dress or a black knit dress in the summer. See how fresh my old jacket looks with a tiered, linen sundress.
They are perfect with a white blouse and khakis, blue denim or white jeans. Though if I were wearing white jeans, I might change the white blouse.
They come in a range of greens — and can run toward light or dark brown tones.
Most importantly, they are the perfect complement to a weirdy green top or dress.
A fresh time for the Directrice: 2015

Superfan I am.
Superfan, indeed

Walk with me, Directorate
Let’s take a quick walk around this one.
The belt is a must. Without it, the waist on this is something like 40 inches. Despite all that fabric — which is a mid-weight cotton, it cinches gracefully.

The pockets sold me. Observe their elegant origami-like folds; know that those folds are like gussets and will expand the pockets to unprecedented volumes.
So much space for cargo

These pockets are big enough to allow me to hoard toilet paper on my body. Or, to carry a mask and a back-up mask, a retractable 50′ measuring tape, my phone, Directrice “business” cards, and sunglasses in one pocket and two glazed doughnuts in the other. Everything I need to have a great day.
I would like the scientists to offer their best guess on volume here

A lingering uncertainty; I hope it doesn’t harden into doubt
The only thing I am not certain about is the buttons. Are they too much? Too much metal? Too much contrast? Would horn or black be better? Share your views.

I forgot. Depending on how this almost entirely off-camera jacket (to the right) chooses to self-identify on the census, there could be five army green utility jackets in my apartment. But I think this one — which I’ve owned since 2006 — is brown. It’s another favorite and I don’t know if you’ve ever even seen it.
Saving this one for my thousandth post . . . in 2025

17 thoughts on “Song of Staples, Part I”

  1. Don’t change the buttons! You have many options to choose from and I think this one should revel in its unconventional glory.

  2. D, I think the military terms the color OD green, “olive drab.” You wear it well.

    Fun symbolism fact: this color is associated with Ketu, the invisible south node of the moon, in Vedic astrology.

    Fun synchronicity: there’s a south node lunar eclipse happening on May 25th or 26th, depending on where you live.

  3. Additional: The shiny buttons totally wouldn’t work on a real fatigue jacket, because they’re an easy target.

    • I almost fell off my chair, Christine Q! Directrice, the jacket does make you look like a decorated officer. Hope and CQ are right, please please avoid combat. Who would give us sartorial inspiration if you are lost?!

  4. I just bought an olive green jacket with lots of pockets and was trying to figure out what to wear with it so this is a very timely post for me! (I don’t know why this was so challenging for me.) Thanks!

  5. That is a spectacular jacket because it is on its own in the midst of many generic ones. I would change the buttons to a fake tortoise shell just because silver is not my thing BUT they are perfect for you. I don’t know if I can wait until 2025 for the unveiling of the teaser jacket.

  6. I have only one army green utility jacket but am always longing after others that come into view. Thank you for giving me permission to give myself permission to own more than one!! I dig the silver buttons but could see tortoiseshell working too. And those pockets are great!

  7. Directrice, I kinda totally love the whole look with the loud-button jacket and the white jeans. Keep the buttons, just remember what your clever reader Christine Q mentioned about becoming a target and don’t wear that jacket into combat, should we come to it. (I hope we don’t).

    I clearly am now justified in sussing out another lightweight summer-spring jacket. Thank you for the permission.

  8. The drapey pockets are lovely! And the buttons ARE everything. It’s like a shirt/jacket at the top – done up it’s perfect. I just purchased an olive green jumpsuit… for casual days when I don’t have to peel out of it quickly to use the restroom… lotsa buttons. However, the colour is SO versatile. I love it. It’s a great neutral.

  9. Plenty of pockets have been a blessing this past year and donuts are always a welcome distraction. The jackets work well the way you have deployed them over the years. They have earned their keep.

  10. 1. “…..sunglasses in one pocket and two glazed doughnuts in the other. Everything I need to have a great day.” Thank you for starting my day with a much needed chuckle! Now if only I had a donut to complete the moment.

    2. I truly admire the fact that you whittled your collection of jackets *down* from 3 to 4, bravo! Looking at my collection of denim dresses, I wish that I only had 4. But the burning question I have is this: which of the original 3 jackets did you give away?

    3. I like the metal buttons. I think black buttons would be too heavy.

    • Shopgrrrl — I laughed out loud over your praise for whittling my collection “down” — it’s pandemic hoarding math. And if one questions the absolute linear time perspective, it is fair to say that I did reduce the number of jackets from 5 to 4!

  11. I hadn’t thought about this, but olive drab/fatigue green used to be the only color I would tolerate in my otherwise all-black wardrobe, and I haven’t owned any since I abandoned that look. Now when I see an army jacket, I think of Lindsay on “Freaks and Geeks”; yours are much more stylish than that one — designed to be worn, not hidden within! The buttons are nice and glam but would definitely get you killed by Axis powers.


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