Fake It Till You Make It...Chanel-esque Jackets - une femme d'un certain âge

Fake It Till You Make It…Chanel-esque Jackets

For many years, I had a deep and abiding infatuation with Chanel jackets. The real deal was exponentially out of my price range, even second-hand from ebay. So I was frequently on the lookout for what I referred to as “Chanel-esque” jackets from mid-priced lines, until I finally figured out that this often boxy style of jacket just doesn’t suit me. But I still can appreciate the look and the effort. And yes, I know that the materials, the construction, the fit will be a universe away from the original.

I happened to stop by our local Zara a few days ago, and it seemed that there were Chanel-esque jackets everywhere I turned.

Blazer w/sequins, $159
This one has studs. Multicolored blazer, $189.
The colors in this one are very pretty in person. Fantasy Blazer, $159.
This one is really cool with the gold pyramid studs, but the shoulder pads were too much for me.
Fantasy Studded Blazer,  $159.
Another option in a pretty color. Fantasy Fabric Blazer, $129.

They have several more options; you can see all jackets here.

J.Crew also has thrown their bouclé’d sleeve into the ring.

Plaid bouclé tweed jacket, $268

At a higher price point, I’d bet Lafayette 148 will deliver a bit more quality and fit:

Ravello Bouclé Tressel jacket, $648
Pampano Novelty Embellished Jacket, $598
Trifecta Bouclé Palermo Jacket, $698
This style of jacket is best suited to those with more boyish, or at least small-busted silhouettes. But if bouclé makes your heart beat faster, there are lots of options available right now at a range of price points.
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36 Comments

  1. May 22, 2012 / 11:14 am

    I have zillions of these (too many), but they really give some authority even to a jeans/tee outfit. I have to disagree somewhat: I saw a slew of Chanel jackets at a consignment shop in Petaluma and they did not have the expected aura. I have several from the Carlisle line (cost around $500 originally–these are sold at home parties and often end up at thrift shops and consignment places). These even have little chains inside and one has silk lining. These look very good.

    I also have some from JCrew and Talbots–also nice.

    Then there are the ones from Walmart–yukky fabric. Left these at the thrifts.

    Once again, I am grateful for my flat chest! Love the style.

    • May 24, 2012 / 3:06 am

      Carlisle is really nice stuff! I never see anything like that at the one thrift I frequent (on the way to my children’s school). FS, I want to thrift shop with you! You seem to have the best thrift karma of all! I’m glad I can sew my own “Chanel” jackets.

      • Marna Bentos
        February 9, 2020 / 10:28 pm

        Hello do you sew your jackets by hand

  2. May 22, 2012 / 11:15 am

    So ageing, I’ll wait until my 80’s for this look

  3. May 22, 2012 / 11:27 am

    I can’t wear them either. I’ve left the idea of a jacket pretty much behind. I am enjoying dresses right now.

  4. May 22, 2012 / 12:11 pm

    I love the look of them but don’t think they would suit me either… 🙁
    Love all the examples you have collated together though especially the Zara sequin one. Gorgeous. x

  5. May 22, 2012 / 12:15 pm

    Cherchez french femme: I too am a Chanel addict. Not only her books, her clothes, her life – she is a fascinating woman. P.S. Love your blog!!!
    Gwen

  6. May 22, 2012 / 1:02 pm

    Hi ladies: I just wanted to share our Carmel Jacket (named after Carmel Snow). It’s cut to fit over curves in and to fall a little lower than the top of your thigh. Although it’s closer in price to the Zara jackets, we used the highest-end Italian slub cotton and lined the jacket. You can see it live here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=348451991887478&set=a.334253389974005.79212.298740063525338&type=1&theater and here is the link to it on our site: http://www.dobbinclothing.com/carmel-slub-cotton-knit-jacket.html

  7. May 22, 2012 / 1:32 pm

    Chanel designed for her own figure, a self-referential tendency which most women designers still have. Most men designers have that shape in mind, too. This jacket does not flatter women with busts, and I noticed that it is shown with super-skinny pants most of the time. The best route to a jacket is not, alas, the one I admire as an embodiment of chic, but one that fits my shape.

  8. May 22, 2012 / 1:46 pm

    I fit all these figure parameters, and, no surprise, I love these jackets:). I just wish that Chanel themselves were making reasonable ones right now. These are nice choices, S., thank you!

  9. May 22, 2012 / 2:10 pm

    I like the look of these, but they don’t flatter my frame. Maybe with a simple white tee, jeans and boots, to shake up the mood. I agree the Lafayette 148’s look so much richer (naturally!) : >

  10. May 22, 2012 / 3:00 pm

    Love the look of these Chanel-esque jackets.
    I have a similar styled one by Simon Chang that I wear when Mother and I go to the theatre and I fit in with the salt and pepper crowd!
    It has no pockets and very clean lines just the ravelled shredded edges at the neck sleeves and hem areas.
    I am busty so I probably look a bit “mumsy”…

  11. mette
    May 22, 2012 / 10:46 am

    This is my opinion only, but the cheap ones look cheap. The pricier, the better.
    And you are right, these fit a small breasted woman best.

  12. Pam @ over50feeling40
    May 22, 2012 / 10:56 am

    I have a Chanel-look jacket, but I rarely wear it! I have just gone away from that style…for some reason, it makes me “feel” older.

  13. RoseAG
    May 22, 2012 / 10:56 am

    Not only do you need a small chest, you also need straight hips. The top-of-thigh length is a terrible place for jackets on the bell-shaped among us.

    It’s too bad the matchy-suit look is out because a bottom that flows with the jacket would be more flattering for the pear-shaped.

    Beyond the bad length for some of them I prefer braid trim over fringe. I have this image of the fringe on sleeve picking up all kinds of lint and crumbs as one wears it.

  14. Anonymous
    May 22, 2012 / 6:16 pm

    I don’t find these jackets to be aging, as long as they are used as separates, with non-matching pants or skirts. Young girls look wonderful in them, especially in the pretty pastels you’ve featured. It’s true that they drape best over a smallish bust (like mine, so no wonder I love them) but they are wonderful camouflage for a thickening waist, and in the shorter lengths they are a great choice for petite women. Chanel believed in a high, narrow armhole; any Chanel-esque jacket without this feature will automatically look clunky and matronly, but if you can find a jacket with that beautifully fitted shoulder, you may be amazed how flattering the silhouette can be.

    C.

  15. May 22, 2012 / 6:28 pm

    These jackets are so cute… I love them especially with jeans… and I do think Zara does a brilliant job of keeping the trends at a better price point… xv

  16. May 22, 2012 / 7:10 pm

    Ooh great selection – I do like the J Crew pink & orange one. Very summery.

  17. May 22, 2012 / 7:14 pm

    Bonjour. I am your newest follower. I found you today on Tish’s blog where you did very well 🙂 Love this post about a favorite lady of mine, Coco Chanel. Like you, I have always had my eyes on her famous jackets. Un jour peut-être… A bientôt. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  18. May 22, 2012 / 8:23 pm

    In your opinion, at what price point should you skip the imitation and just try to haunt a consignment store or eBay for the real thing instead?

    • May 22, 2012 / 9:11 pm

      @Closet Coach, when you can even *find* authentic Chanel jackets on consignment around here, they’re still in the low 4 figures. I haven’t actively searched ebay recently, but the last time I did the more desirable styles started around $1500-2000. So it really just depends on the woman and her budget, and lifestyle. (If you adore and can wear the look, but have gooey-handed toddlers, that’s another consideration.)

  19. kathy peck
    May 22, 2012 / 2:06 pm

    Aging in general, but I think for those who want a good facsimile, St. Johns makes the best. Since they’re a knit, they work better on more women, then these stiff, cheap fabrics, that look like they’ve come off some awful sofa.

  20. May 22, 2012 / 10:18 pm

    For CC above, these are two upscale consignments I’ve visited that specialize in Chanel etc. the first is in Petaluma; last summer, they had a big rack of Chanel jackets: http://vickissecret.com/.

    the second is in Wellesley MA (where we whiled away the hours while my mother was at a hs reunion): http://www.turnaboutshoppe.com/

    I think my Carlisle jackets are excellent, btw. And I love my St John knits also. Power jackets!

  21. May 23, 2012 / 12:28 am

    LOVE these jackets. I do wish we had a Zara where I lived…there is only 1 in Australia. I think they look fabulous. I am embracing jackets for the 1st time in years. I’m no sure why. But I am x

  22. sisty
    May 22, 2012 / 5:35 pm

    I agree about St. John as a nice substitute. They’re expensive, but they turn up at consignment stores. Sometimes they come across as a little bit Margaret Thatcher, but not always. Also, at 56, I’m rethinking what it really means to call something “aging.” My default is a t-shirt and jeans, which lacks gravitas and isn’t particularly flattering.

    I’m busty, too, so the short boxy jackets don’t work. I need a longer length, a collar and lapels, something like this:

    http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/st-john-collection-shimmer-tweed-knit-blazer/3214164?cm_cat=datafeed&cm_ite=st._john_collection_shimmer_tweed_knit_blazer:385595&cm_pla=jacket/sportcoat:women:blazer&cm_ven=Linkshare&siteId=eL3W0LN_nyI-3ClJuWBPA6r9tGJmJXuE8w

  23. Looking Fab in your forties
    May 22, 2012 / 6:28 pm

    I have never had a Boucle jacket but have always wanted one. I noticed Zara have loads and a few bloggers have bought the longline option in pink which looks really nice on x

  24. May 23, 2012 / 1:56 am

    I love these looks, but I admit they’re tough to wear when you’re little and busty. Every now and then you can find one that works (not too busy, darker colors, impeccable fit) – and then they’re a dream.

    Frugal Scholar hangs out in the ‘Vil? (A little Wellesley joke… Lovely town.)

  25. May 23, 2012 / 2:53 am

    Beautiful display of jackets in lovely colors. Will be on the lookout!

  26. May 23, 2012 / 11:49 am

    Another thought about jackets on women with more of a bustline: try a knit jacket that is more fitted. I mentioned above that I wear mostly dresses, but there are times when you really need a jacket. I have one on today. My knit fitted jacket is from Misook. I find most of her jackets to be matronly or mumsy (love that word!), but managed to find one that I enjoy.

  27. Terri
    May 23, 2012 / 6:23 am

    I often see jackets like these in the thrifts…but have never tried one on, although I may be small busted enough to get away with it. I notice that the first four jackets have a bit longer line and those might be attractive on you.

  28. May 24, 2012 / 3:09 am

    I’ve never liked the Chanel jackets. Too boxy!

  29. May 24, 2012 / 11:15 am

    I am with Wendy B on this, I have never been a fan of this jacket style, nor a fan of boucle. I have never understood the allure. And it has nothing to do with the fact that it wouldn’t flatter me, because it would not, they’ve just never ever moved or called to me.

  30. May 25, 2012 / 4:27 am

    I had a faux Chanel suit in 1986 and I wore it all the time — in High School — in Pennsylvania! That was a weird thing to do when everyone else was just wearing jeans. But, I loved that suit! Classic eggshell with black trim and gold buttons. 🙂

  31. May 25, 2012 / 6:09 pm

    I liked Chanel jackets on Jackie but in general I don’t like them. They don’t seem flattering on most women.

  32. GayleKrona
    July 23, 2017 / 8:00 pm

    I LOVE Chanel jackets! I have one from 2004 in a multi color boucle (pale pink,beige,cream, blue) that looks terrific with slacks or jeans; I’m about to purchase a Chanel little black jacket I hope to pair not only with jeans/slacks but over several dresses. I agree they tend to look best on a straighter figure and need to be perfectly fitted. Expensive but worth the splurge. To me really good fashion is worth the investment
    and will last for years in a classic style (oh, and at 62 I’m definitely a ‘woman of a certain age’).

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