At-Home Try-On: Fall Jackets & Cardigans - une femme d'un certain âge

At-Home Try-On: Fall Jackets & Cardigans

At-home try-on: Fall jackets for women, cardigans for women. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Layering season is almost upon us, so during the Labor Day sales, I ordered a few lightweight jackets and cardigans to try on.

But first I wanted to show you this top from Kettlewell Colours. It has two layers: this fun swingy outer layer, and a longer slimmer layer (which is a bit long for me to wear out, so I like to tuck it in). I’m wearing a size Small in the “Peacock” color.

Susan B. wears a Kettlewell Colours Lulu top, Chico's girlfriend jeans and Paul Green sneakers. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Also wearing: Jeans | Sneakers

This Lulu top from Kettlewell Colours has two layers. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

What I like about the Kettlewell website is that you can narrow options to the colors in your season, or search by color. I’ve found their pieces to be really well made and a good value. Shipping to US is $20, or free on orders over $100, and (currently) it’s not fast, but they really do have a great selection. Returns are also hassle-free.

TIP: I chose this top to wear as a base layer for this try-on session because it’s one of my best colors, which will be a litmus test for the other pieces I’m trying. If they coordinate well with this color, they’ll probably work well with the rest of my wardrobe.

I’m always on the lookout for lightweight jackets in neutrals other than black. The selection is usually good this time of year, and though there’s still a lot of black, I’m seeing a lot of other great neutrals: olive, brown, burgundy, camel, ivory.

I just can’t see myself wearing classic blazers anymore. They feel a bit too buttoned up and well…classic for my style. I’m aiming for casual, but still neat and pulled-together.

Casual Fall Jackets

Susan B. wears a Chico's faux leather moto jacket in cream. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

This little faux leather moto jacket (gifted) from Chico’s is just so good! The fit, the material, everything. It’s offered in both Misses and Petite sizes in Natural Cream, Dark Jasper (which is gorrrrgeous!) and Black. I’m wearing the 0P and the size was perfect. It’s machine washable too! Verdict: Keeper

Susan B. wears a Chico's leopard print denim jacket. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I also really like this leopard print denim jacket. The print is strong, but it works nicely with the bright top. Chico’s refers to it as Cheetah print, but I think it’s closer to leopard. (Maybe we’ll split the difference and call it “Jaguar…”) It’s offered in Misses and Petite sizes, and I’m wearing the 0P. I’ve since tried it with some darker wash jeans and think it looks better, more balanced. Verdict: Keeper ✅

Susan B. wears a Talbot's double-breasted band jacket in Chestnut. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

This “band jacket” from Talbot’s is cute, but I don’t think it’s right for me. It feels awkward worn open, but I know I won’t wear it buttoned up. On someone with a smaller bust, it might drape better. It’s a nice stretchy twill fabric, not stiff at all. I’m wearing the 6 Petite. In Misses, Petite, Plus, and Plus Petite sizes. Verdict: not for me.

Susan B. wears an Everlane chore jacket in Copper. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I loved the fabric and color of this Everlane chore jacket, but it’s just too long and overwhelming on me. I’m wearing the Small. If I sized down, it would be too snug in the shoulders and wouldn’t button over the hips. Offered in four colors, in Misses sizes XXS to XXL. Verdict: not for me ❌

Susan B. wears a Banana Republic utility jacket. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Don’t let my blasé expression fool you…I really love this Banana Republic utility jacket! It’s lightweight, not stiff, not bulky, and has an elastic panel in the back that gives it a nice shape. And I love the gold hardware! It’s also available in Olive, in both Misses and Petite sizes (some sizes in each color are sold out). I’m wearing the Petite Small. Verdict: Keeper

Sweater Weather 🍂 Ahead

I’m well set for pullovers, but don’t have many light- to mid-weight cardigans or sweater jackets.

Susan B. wears a Chico's long pleated cardigan in Toffee. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I think the Toffee color in this long pleated cardigan (gifted) is yummy! I also like the light weight and pleated fabric, which adds a nice detail. While the Dark Jasper color is offered in both Misses and Petites, this color was only offered in Misses. I think it might be just a little too long for me, but am going to try it with some different pants and see if that makes a difference. I’m wearing size 0. Verdict: still deciding 🤔

Susan B. wears a Talbot's merino sweater jacket in Tortoiseshell. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

If you don’t like big, oversized sweater jackets, you really should try this one. It’s nicely fitted (offered in Misses, Petite, Plus, and Plus Petites) and substantial but not bulky. This “Tortoiseshell” color is a lovely chocolate hue. The button cuff is a nice detail too. While the fit and color were perfect for me, the style leans just a little more classic and “blazer” than what I’m looking for. Verdict: very nice but not for me

Susan B. tries on the J.Crew Sophie sweater blazer in Herringbone. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Finally, the J.Crew Sophie Sweater Blazer in Herringbone. Here’s what I mean about the color of the top being a litmus test. The beiges/browns in the sweater blazer are a little cooler/softer, and just go drab against the top. If you have cooler or softer coloring, this one might be just right for you! (Sizes XX-Small to 3X.)

I have to say, I didn’t do too badly this round…have three solid keepers, one maybe (which I’ll try with some other combos in my wardrobe to help make a final determination). The rest are being shipped back today.

What neutrals will you be wearing most this fall?

Stay in touch.

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  1. Lisa
    September 14, 2020 / 4:48 am

    Susan, first I have to say that since you have been wearing colors in your skin/hair palette, you look radiant. Red Door (?) was a great visit for you. Second, I like the tip you provided: trying on these jacket colors with a top that is square in your palette should tell you how they will work with the rest of your wardrobe. Good idea.

    I long for our future travel when I can see what your travel wardrobe will look like now!

    • Alison
      September 14, 2020 / 6:41 am

      Yes! Everything that Lisa said! 🙂

      • Trace
        September 14, 2020 / 12:39 pm

        What size were you wearing in the Talbots tortoise jacket, please?
        (We are similar size & I really like it.)
        You look great in that color but I hear you about it being pretty office-conventional.

        • Susan Blakey
          September 14, 2020 / 1:48 pm

          Hi Trace, I’m wearing the Petite Small.

  2. Susan
    September 14, 2020 / 4:58 am

    Thanks for sharing, Susan. I envy those who can wear warm colors this time of year. Fall is my favorite season, but it’s more of a challenge for us cool color gals. (I’m a summer.) Possibilities exist. I, too, purchased the ivory utility jacket from Banana Republic. It’s a keeper for me, too. It fits well, is comfortable, and I like the little bit of stretch.
    I’m pretty much all set for fall. My basics are in light, heather grey, some charcoal grey, taupe, ivory or soft white. My favorite accent colors are in ruby, true reds and a variety of blues. Then, I have LOTS of black left over from working days that I update with scarves.
    I think any purchases this season are going to be mostly accessories. I am well supplied for wear at home and errands. What is missing from my wardrobe are nice accessories that make outfits, so am on the lookout for bags, jewelry and scarves. I don’t need these around the house, either, but they are the holes in my wardrobe and can be available when the world opens up again.
    Thanks for the post.

  3. Gertrude
    September 14, 2020 / 5:27 am

    Susan, that was a wonderful post for the jackets. I like how you explain what works and doesn’t work for you and your colors. I have enjoyed your transition. It inspired me to have my colors reviewed. My season switched from spring to fall and I love it.
    I own the Kettlewell lulu top in olive and love it. That is a great tip for petites, tucking the bottom layer in. I wanted to mention that I have ordered several times from Kettlewell and have never paid for shipping or a return (which they make extremely easy by including a label to use on the same bag it is shipped in). You have to order 100$ or more for that perk, but their return policy is lenient. For those interested in Kettlewell, they have a Kettlewell Colour Club on FB. Even if one never orders, there is much advice and inspiration. I think you would agree: leave no stone unturned.

  4. Elisabeth Calvert
    September 14, 2020 / 5:34 am

    Thanks for sharing these Susan. The idea of using a colour in that you know is one of your best colours as a base layer against things you are trying on is simply genius! I shall be doing it from now on and hopefully avoiding my usual mistakes. Kettlewell colours clothes are amazing. Being based in the UK (you might have already guessed that from the strange spelling… 🙂 ) they are a staple for me. I don’t know what I would do without them.

    • Lagatta de Montréal
      September 14, 2020 / 8:13 am

      Strange spelling for Yanks. Not for your northern neighbours… 🙂

      Susan, neither Banana Republic link worked for me. I’d like to see the other colour.

      I’m mostly seeking greens and dark, but not too muddy, reds.

      • Lagatta de Montréal
        September 14, 2020 / 8:17 am

        Sorry, Gertrude – see you’re based in the UK. Most of my translation and copy editing is to UK or Canadian spelling, but I do have some US contracts. All on hold now, alas. 🙁

      • Cathie
        September 14, 2020 / 1:43 pm

        Ohh the dark Jasper is nice Lagatta, but interestingly looks to be longer than the ivory, hitting further down the hip. Living in a subtropical climate I really can’t justify adding a fourth moto to my wardrobe but tempted. Seems to me like it would be right up your street

        • Susan Blakey
          September 14, 2020 / 2:50 pm

          Hi Cathie, the length should be the same, as it’s the same jacket, just a different color.

  5. Diane B
    September 14, 2020 / 6:05 am

    Susan, that first Chico’s jacket is gorgeous. Besides the colour on you, that collar is perfect, not to masculine and lots of interest. It really shows the difference a style can make on different body types as well as personality types. I too find the more classic style is just not good on me and just comes across as masculine not chic. I have in the past bought styles that don’t work just because there was no other option and then find out it never gets worn after all. Lessons learned with age. Ha. I have gotten inspiration from Kettlewell in the past for colour and style, then look for options here without the exchange and other costs.Thanks for a post with lessons to learn again.

  6. Susan
    September 14, 2020 / 7:11 am

    Great post! I love both Talbot’s jackets and think I may get one of them for me. What was it you didn’t think was right for you with them? I thought they looked great on you.

    • Susan Blakey
      September 14, 2020 / 7:16 am

      Hi Susan, thanks, it’s hard to quantify. I liked it but it felt just a bit too classic for my current style.

  7. Wendy Bird
    September 14, 2020 / 7:24 am

    My favorites are the cream colored pieces. The color is so perfect with your skin tone. What a difference, yes? As for me, I’m not buying anything this month. It’s too hot to think about fall clothes and too smoky to think about even leaving the house. Anyway, part of the fun of buying something new is getting to wear it out to dinner or to a movie. I think it will be a year or more before it will be safe enough for these old bones to go out in public.

    • Anon
      September 14, 2020 / 8:55 am

      We are getting the smoke again today here in Canada. It’s supposed to stick around for the week. This happens every year like clockwork now, usually from our own wildfires, but is especially concerning mid-pandemic. Not good for those with respiratory issues, or anyone for that matter. So sad to see so much loss. It was utterly heartbreaking to read about the boy and his dog.

      • Nina
        September 15, 2020 / 12:25 pm

        Thank you for your thoughts on these jackets. Based on your review, I’ve actually ordered the Everlane jacket, as normally such things are far too short on me. Crossing my fingers that it’s love at first wear!

  8. Mary Ann
    September 14, 2020 / 8:29 am

    I love that “Jaguar” jacket! Animal prints don’t look good on me for some reason but that jacket looks really snazzy on you. It will go with so many colors in your palette. Great choice!

  9. Anon
    September 14, 2020 / 8:48 am

    Chore/utility jackets are my fall crush. The casual feel, the slight bit of stretch, the drawstring waist in many, and he wonderful color selection are all I want and need. I chose a color that is not really my season, but pops with the colors that are, just because I like it. Jean jackets are too stiff and boxy on my body shape, and moto jackets don’t suit me any more. My cardigans and sweater jackets still have a role to play under winter coats when the time comes. I’d love to see what’s up in sweater jackets this year, Susan. They’re a good, semi-dressy, comfy alternative to more formal suit jackets. I hope they never stop being a thing.

  10. Shaza
    September 14, 2020 / 8:55 am

    Love your Keep choices! They all look amazing on you. Your “not decided” sweater is a fabulous colour on you but I agree that it’s too long for you. Does it come in petite length? The length and style seem like a throw back to your old silhouette. Your current style looks so much better on you.
    While your style and colours are not close to mine at all, I always find inspiration – that Talbots jacket/blazer in another colour is calling my name.

  11. Eve
    September 14, 2020 / 10:04 am

    I think your picks were just right. I bought four new pieces this fall. An olive utility jacket and a golden yellow sweater in cotton. A pink Vee neck sweater and a pink bomber jacket. The last is not something I would usually buy but I can wear it with my sage green pants and a white tee. I’m not into Blazers or anything with a structured look but I love casual chic like a moto jacket, jean jacket, bomber.

  12. September 14, 2020 / 11:01 am

    This is a great post that showcases the role correct color and style plays in looking your best. I love that YOU are modeling the clothes and then share your thoughts as to why or why not you’ll keep the item. Very informative . There really IS a science to dressing well!

  13. Kay
    September 14, 2020 / 11:33 am

    I like chore jackets, all those pockets! I will have to go check that one out.

  14. Angela in NZ
    September 14, 2020 / 12:28 pm

    So very envious of your Kettlewell top as our stores very rarely sell bright colours. Lots of black and muted or currently rust.
    I just looked on their site and there is no mention of free shipping for international delivery. They charge $50 (NZD).
    Would love to purchase from them but the shipping costs are prohibitive. 🙁

  15. September 14, 2020 / 2:43 pm

    THE LONG TOFFEE CARDIGAN IS A KEEPER.IT matches your eyewear!
    YOU will be happy to know I agreed with all your KEEPERS!
    Now which Neutrals will I be wearing this FALL………LEOPARD!

  16. September 16, 2020 / 8:00 am

    My choices would be the light coloured moto jacket from Chico’s and the Tortoiseshell” color jacket. I think they are both lovely foe your complexion and an excellent fit. To me the patterned jacket is too short (hope you don’t mind my Dutch frankness ).

    • Susan Blakey
      September 16, 2020 / 8:53 am

      Not at all! I’m fine with honest feedback, and you are able to express your opinions without being disparaging or unkind. 😉

  17. Julia
    September 16, 2020 / 2:35 pm

    Are you really happy wearing a vinyl jacket Susan? It looks cute but don’t you think they are sweaty?

    • Susan Blakey
      September 16, 2020 / 2:52 pm

      Hi Julia, I wouldn’t categorize it as “vinyl.” It’s quite lightweight and soft. I have a couple of other faux leather/faux suede jackets and don’t find them to be warmer or less breathable than my leather.

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