A Softer Side Of Jackets - une femme d'un certain âge

A Softer Side Of Jackets

I’ve long believed that the right jacket can have almost magical properties, by making even the simplest ensemble look pulled-together, helping to keep the Business in Business Casual, and sometimes taking center stage as the focal point of an outfit. In the past few years I’ve struggled with more structured jackets (once a mainstay of my wardrobe) which now can often feel too boxy, stodgy and/or mannish.

A couple years ago I stumbled across an Eileen Fisher ponte knit jacket (shown above) which seemed to bring together the best of elements: the structure of a jacket but with the modern ease of a knit. Since then I’ve been on the lookout for knit jackets (especially in colors other than black). While still not an easy find, I have seen more this season and hope it’s a trend that’s on the upswing.

Eileen Fisher Merino Diagonal Jacquard 

Even though this jacket is predominantly black, the fabric has an interesting weave with a bit of brown which reads as “texture” and softens up the effect of the black. There’s both structure and stretch here, and it’s a flattering cut with versatile simplicity.

C by Bloomingdales Cashmere One Button Blazer

The “blazer” above is actually a cashmere sweater, so very cozy and comfortable. I picked up one in grey a few weeks ago during one of those Bloomingdales “Friends and Family” sales, and anticipate it will get a LOT of wear during the cooler months. (I’m wearing here.) Though not particularly fitted in back, it does have a nice nipped-in look from the front, especially when buttoned. If you prefer a closer fit, you could try a size smaller. It’s available in several neutral colors and a bright red.

Banana Republic Knit Plaid Jacket

I haven’t actually seen this jacket in person, but have had good luck in the past with some BR jackets. I like the styling and subtle print. It’s rated well on the website and moderately priced (watch for sales).

Ann Taylor Marled Wool Jacket

Ann Taylor often serves up some nice alternatives to the traditional blazer, and this jacket brings a bit more feminine styling and on-trend piping detail. Again, watch for sales.

Below, more options.

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Are you a fan of knit jackets?  Any good finds lately?


On another topic…

Thinking of my friends and co-workers in NYC, where some areas will be recovering from Hurricane Sandy for some time, I went with OPI’s “Big Apple Red” this week.

If you’d like to make a donation to help with Hurricane Sandy relief, here are a few links.

American Red Cross

Habitat For Humanity


And finally, do go check out Visible Monday fun at Patti’s fabulous blog, Not Dead Yet Style.


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  1. November 5, 2012 / 12:16 pm

    I love your jacket and the c from Bloomingdales has me interested!!!
    Thanks for posting!!
    I have Big Apple Red on my toes. It’s my go to color when things get chilly.

  2. Anonymous
    November 5, 2012 / 3:44 pm

    Talbots had some great knit jackets this summer and some canvas-y type ones with great stretch to them. I haven’t really been in since then, but since their revamp, I’m liking almost everything they have to offer!

  3. November 5, 2012 / 4:05 pm

    I like jackets, knit ones even better. . . but I find them difficult to wear under most coats, and from November through March, a coat is necessary here. So I find I don’t wear my jackets as much as I once thought I might . . . Yours looks great on you!

  4. November 5, 2012 / 4:13 pm

    I have been avoiding my jackets lately in favour of cashmere sweaters and a faux fur vest.
    My line of work calls for a casual look and my jackets are very classic versions of the Chanel tweedy ones.

    Saw a concert fundraiser on TV with Springsteen, Sting and Bon Jovi…
    there was very graphic coverage of the devastation in the wake after the storm.
    It’s difficult to watch and see people who have lost everything.

    The Red Cross is a wonderful agency, I hope everyone will donate.

  5. November 5, 2012 / 5:28 pm

    Wonderful outfit! I love soft, knit jackets. Bought a navy Jones NY one a few months ago and it’s been worn several times each week since it arrived.

  6. Anonymous
    November 5, 2012 / 5:49 pm

    Love this outfit and would totally wear it as is. Can I ask where you got those fabulous jeans? I’ve been looking for a pair that colour for a while now.

  7. November 5, 2012 / 7:04 pm

    Knitted jacket & coloured jeans = the perfect combination! Do like that Bloomingdales blazer.

  8. November 5, 2012 / 7:05 pm

    I’m loving knit jackets this year, and esp the C by Bloomingdales you own. The Ann Taylor sweater/jacket is also delightful. I too am avoiding mannish jackets now, they seem to date or age me, and that’s not welcome : >

  9. November 5, 2012 / 7:42 pm

    I like the jacket’s length a lot. That pants color really works for you!
    “Big Apple Red”, how very appropriate.

  10. Marla
    November 5, 2012 / 11:47 am

    I love OPI polishes. I love jackets and feel they can turn a boring outfit into something magical.

  11. November 5, 2012 / 8:50 pm

    I love my old St Johns for a kind of dowdy/chic look.

  12. Pam @ over50feeling40
    November 5, 2012 / 1:09 pm

    You look gorgeous this morning!! I am so into softer jackets lately…and I would love to find an Eileen Fisher like this on ebay or in thrift…I keep looking and so far hasn’t happened. But, the softer jackets are great! Have a wonderful day!

  13. Kathy Leeds
    November 5, 2012 / 2:12 pm

    Love the whole outfit – it’s your best look IMO. I have a black knit jacket that is a St. John knit, that I’ve owned for about 12 years, and still love. The Ann Taylor is my favorite of the group, love the collar particularly. And it looks like it has some structure, while still being a knit. Also a bit of an edge.

  14. fmcgmccllc
    November 5, 2012 / 3:36 pm

    The longer jacket is very flattering on you. Nice outfit.

  15. November 6, 2012 / 12:02 am

    I really like this outfit (love the purple pants), and particularly love the length of this jacket. I prefer what you have to many of the photos because I am partial to having my butt covered and I think it is a more elegant look overall.

  16. November 6, 2012 / 12:31 am

    I think I need to reconsider my prior ban on knit jackets… it’s so hard to outfit myself when suits don’t fit, so I try to make do with separates.

    I like several of the ones you have posted. I wonder if I will trun back into “Mrs. Spendy” soon?

  17. Lynne DeVenny
    November 5, 2012 / 6:36 pm

    I think a great jacket can put the “business” in almost any ensemble. At least that’s what I keep telling myself 😛 I haven’t found any great stretch jackets, but I have been lucky to thrift several amazing jackets in the last year, as well as score some deeply discounted jackets at the Loft Outlet.

    You look very sharp in your jacket. I wore my $4 Evan-Picone jacket (GoodWill) over a loose shirt last week. Loved it and so comfortable!

  18. November 6, 2012 / 2:49 am

    Yes I love knit jackets, soft stretchy jackets of all sorts, really. I agree, the Eileen Fisher you’ve got on is a particularly nice example.

  19. Chicatanyage
    November 5, 2012 / 7:54 pm

    I love knitted jackets they are so easy to wear. I have a great one I bought in the sales last year by Trussadi. We always used to wear them for work as “smart casual” somewhere between a formal suit and week-end wear. Great selection.

  20. 1-2Punch
    November 7, 2012 / 6:09 pm

    I love this post, it is so true how a jacket can pull together a look, my favorite is my newest purchase from Wet Seal (of all places) It is a black cotton t shirt material, with a silky striped lining, it is just the right weight for this on again off again weather we so often experience in the fall.

  21. November 8, 2012 / 7:32 pm

    I love the way you wrote this article. This is wonderful. I do hope you intend to write more of these types of articles. Thank you for this interesting content!

  22. November 26, 2012 / 5:44 pm

    Thanks for this post. I bought the Ann Taylor wool sweater and the Bloomingdale’s cashmere blazer in black based on your recommendations. The Bloomingdale’s purchase was a bit of a stretch, as they charge shipping both ways and there’s no store near me for returns, but thankfully the blazer was great!

    After reading the reviews on the Ann Taylor sweater, I ordered both small and medium (pretty daring, since I’m normally a large/extra-large). Both fit, but I liked the looser, cape like look of the medium and will be returning the small. With the top 2 buttons undone, this sweater has a very nice v-neck profile with the large collar laying smoothly on the shoulders. It’s also very warm and soft.

    Thank you!

    • November 26, 2012 / 6:15 pm

      Oh, I’m so glad those worked out for you! Thanks so much for letting us know.

  23. Lee Rosenthall
    December 13, 2012 / 2:05 pm

    VERY late to the party, but as I’ve always adored knit jackets, I of course thought of your post when I spotted this jacket on sale at J. Jill last week and snapped it right up. Exactly as described and right up my alley. In case anyone comes here via the search engine looking for a nicely priced, versatile option (especially for those in warmer climes who love that old East Coast tweedy look), it’s a great option:


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