Applied Science - une femme d'un certain âge

Applied Science

As we learned from Imogen, Style is a Science, so after Saturday’s workshop I thought I’d apply some of the formulas she shared to some items already in my closet.
Experiment #1:

This is the “deep discount” Lafayette 148 jacket I purchased at the end of last year for close to 80% off retail. The fabric and construction are great, and I love the simplicity of it. But somehow something was just “off” about it, and I found that I just wasn’t wearing it. After Imogen’s workshop, I can look at this picture and know exactly what the problem is: the pockets! I usually try to avoid boob pockets, but I’d figured since these were flat and unobtrusive that they wouldn’t add bulk. The problem is though, that they create a visual horizontal line right across the bustline!

So with a little careful snipping, a big improvement:The color of this jacket is right in my palette, and is a great neutral for warmer months. The fabric has just the right amount of texture and sheen for me. It’s still a bit boxy, but next I’ll see if I can find a tailor for a little nip/tuck to add some shape.

Experiment #2

This is my “Chanel-esque” experiment, an Ann Taylor jacket. While the fit, cut and shape are excellent, the texture of the fabric is just too much for me, and the color is wrong. Unfortunately the fabric can’t be altered, so this one will soon be listed for sale over at Emotional Baggage, along with some other wardrobe experiments that have yielded less than optimal results.


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  1. May 15, 2009 / 1:05 pm

    Excellent move taking those pockets off — these are the kinds of little alterations a person has to be willing to make to realy customize a wardrobe. And I lurve that tweed jacket — what size is that bad boy?

  2. May 15, 2009 / 1:42 pm

    Wow. Great save– and good eye, for spotting that bargain in the first place!

  3. May 15, 2009 / 1:46 pm

    Amazing….after you removed the pocket the jacket seemed as if it was more form fitted and flattering. I hope Imogen gives you an A+ for that.

  4. Sheila
    May 15, 2009 / 2:19 pm

    I can’t believe what a difference removing the pockets has made to that jacket. You have inspired me to have a critical look at the clothes I don’t wear to see if some small change can make them more wearable.
    I’ve learned a lot from reading Imogen’s blog as well – maybe one day she’ll come to the U.K.!

  5. May 15, 2009 / 2:34 pm

    Nice job on the pockets.

  6. May 15, 2009 / 2:40 pm

    I wish my students did their homework so well! (admittedly, writing research essays is not quite as much fun as playing with our wardrobes). That gold jacket looks great on you now.

  7. May 15, 2009 / 3:27 pm

    Great tailoring. Changing the pockets did the trick. Love it!

  8. May 15, 2009 / 4:21 pm

    Fantastic. This is my kind of science. I can’t wait to see where the scissors take you next!

  9. May 15, 2009 / 4:44 pm

    Wow, you’re right. The jacket looks amazingly better without the pockets. I’m impressed– and wish I could have been at that workshop!

  10. May 15, 2009 / 4:53 pm

    I’m amazed at the difference such a small change could make. Nipping the waist slightly (just the teensiest bit) would also be a good change. Hope you have a good tailor!

    I like the AT jacket too, but it’s more of a cooler weather look with all the texture.

  11. May 15, 2009 / 4:55 pm

    Removing the pockets makes the jacket seem less boxy. Great idea you had there. And, I love the fabric & color.

  12. May 15, 2009 / 6:05 pm

    I really love this blog…

  13. May 15, 2009 / 6:20 pm

    Amazing what getting rid of the pockets did for that jacket.

  14. May 15, 2009 / 6:47 pm

    Removing the pockets makes such a big difference. Now it’s sleek. Great job.

  15. sewcelticblue
    May 15, 2009 / 7:14 pm

    That such a simple alteration could make your jacket so flattering! There must be so many garments in so many wardrobes that need this kind of tweaking. Here’s to the critical eye.

  16. May 15, 2009 / 7:23 pm

    It’s easy to see that the first jacket is a warm, flattering colour and the second, cool, which is not so good on you. But if I only saw the second jacket, I would be thinking, pretty good. It’s amazing what juxtaposition does to the eye.

  17. Couture Allure Vintage Fashion
    May 15, 2009 / 12:59 pm

    Wow, what a difference removing the pockets makes! It looks like a completely different jacket, and is so much more flattering.

  18. Marsi
    May 15, 2009 / 1:17 pm

    Vast improvement. It looks wonderful on you!

  19. Frugal Scholar
    May 15, 2009 / 1:57 pm

    I think the AT jacket looks great on you.

  20. Sher
    May 15, 2009 / 3:08 pm

    Huge difference getting rid of those pockets!

  21. Sal
    May 15, 2009 / 3:26 pm

    Holy moly, I’m astonished how much more clean, classic, and flattering the jacket is with the pockets removed. Good eye, beautiful!

  22. May 15, 2009 / 11:51 pm

    Loved being in on your editing process. I loved that first jacket but, yup, loved it even more when you cleverly removed the pockets.
    Brave/so sensible of you to get rid of well-fitting jacket that is nevertheless too much this or that.
    That’s the hardest thing for me, ignoring a jacket that feels good on my body.

  23. La Belette Rouge
    May 15, 2009 / 6:13 pm

    Clever editing. But, can I say I still like the Chanelesque jacket on you.

  24. metscan
    May 15, 2009 / 7:50 pm

    Both jackets look good on you. Removing the pockets on the top one, did make a change. Tailoring a bit on both jackets would make them more `you´. At this certain age, I too like texture and a bit of structure on my clothes and bags. Could you possibly think of wearing maybe a necklace or something else from your color palette closest to your face with the chanelish? But if you are anything like me, once you decide that something must go, it goes.

  25. sisty
    May 15, 2009 / 7:51 pm

    Amazing difference without the pockets! Know what I think might make it look even better — if the collar were pressed back to create a deeper V. That might even create the illusion of a more nipped in waist without tailoring. Might be worth experimenting esp. since it looks like there are no buttons and the fabric is smooth.

  26. May 16, 2009 / 1:35 pm

    Wow – great improvement on the beige jacket! A+++++

  27. sallymandy
    May 17, 2009 / 3:03 pm

    I love these little lessons in style science! Every one helps me learn to see what’s working and what’s not in my wardrobe. It was especially encouraging to see you decide against the piece that doesn’t work for you, and just let it go. I need to be braver about that. The first jacket is definitely your color–it just glows on you.


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