It’s very hard for me to resist stripes. Even loud, horizontally striped jackets, which, according to many style authorities, ought to be a non-non in any language.
I saw this Stella McCartney jacket years ago on Yoox (already past-season when first seen by me) and the brilliance of these colors — so saturated, so vivid — spoke to me. Even in photos, the stripes have a sheen to them, and so I thought (incorrectly, as it turns out) that this structured jacket was silk. That seemed too dressy for daytime wear* for anyone other than an extremely assured Mother of the Bride. Therefore, I resisted.
When the same jacket appeared on The RealReal last year (pan-rules!), I took a chance.
Who would have thought I could wear a rainbow striped jacket and not look like
The fabric is a stiff cotton-silk blend+ and therefore perfectly suitable for daytime. Even better, possession of the jacket allowed me to discover several unexpected delights.
First Unexpected Delight: The cut. It’s like a post-modern cutaway — all sharp angles. It’s playful and dramatic.
Second Unexpected Delight: The colors. This rainbow combines classic lipstick red with a slightly burnt orange, a clear mustard, racing green, International Klein Blue, and a pale blue with sour yellow undertones. I love each of these colors, but never would have thought that they could be so harmoniously presented together.
Colorists and art historians, please explain!
While you sort out the mystery of this cross-palette rainbow, I will show you the Unexpected Delights up close.
Here is a better view of the side vents and the post-modern cutaway silhouette.
Third Unexpected Delight: The alignment of the stripes. The stripes are beautifully aligned. Scroll back up to see how perfectly the stripes on the torso align with the stripes on the sleeves.
In this photo, you can see how effectively the stripes are aligned on the shoulder seam.
Please note the barely visible, skinny animal print belt, a sub-atomic detail.
I suppose I should have taken a photo with the jacket fully buttoned. It’s very cute like that, but you are seeing me at the end of a mediation that lasted more than six hours on Zoom. Directrice Verite.
Stay tuned for the second half of the Berkshires trip later this week! Also forthcoming soon: a post on Universal Standard. Who’s already on-board the Universal Standard train? I am a fan.
* Some of you may be noting an internal inconsistency. I did recently wear a silk, Mother-of-the-Bride jacket for work. I did. But I wore it ironically with rumpled khakis. I am wearing this striped jacket seriously.
+ The fabric was pretty stiff when I first tried the jacket on. A reasonable person might have returned it on that ground. But I had a feeling that it might soften with a little wearing; when the mediation broke for lunch, the stiffness was gone. The fabric still has a lot of structure, but it’s not stiff.