Saturday, March 7, 2009

Trail Blazer

If you ask my parents, they would tell you it is pretty unbelievable that the girl who would not wear buttons as child is now addicted to blazers and jackets. I define addicted by the fact that in the last year alone, I have acquired five new blazers. It all started with a cute little bow jacket from Bloomingdale's. So adorable in fact, that even my mother bought one for herself. Of course, I had no idea what a slippery slope this purchase was to become.

I wore the jacket with everything - t-shirts and leggings, tank tops and skirts. It dressed up and preppied-out my most simple of outfits. It was a revelation: jackets were my new accessory. I could change any look just by putting one on. I was starting to slide down the slope, and it was a going to be long ride until I reached the bottom.

My next purchase of the year may be considered my most versatile and promising. While taking one of my weekly strolls around the neighborhood, I could not help but notice a half off sale sign in the window of an Upper East Side thrift store. A sucker for a good deal, I was compelled to venture inside. As I flipped through the rack of blazers, I came upon the perfect menswear jacket. In all honestly, I think in once belonged to a boy (not much shape in the waist area), but it fit perfectly. It was black with gold buttons, vintage Aquascutum, and only $20.

Once I started wearing my new blazer, I was even more in love with the idea of how it gave new twists to all my old clothes. Once a girl searching for the ideal over-sized cardigan (which, by the way, I purchased in the men's department at Daffy's), I was now the girl searching for even more perfect jackets and blazers.

After much magazine reading, blog surfing, and television watching, I decided I wanted a tuxedo jacket to add to my collection. I tried thrift stores, department stores, and discount stores, but found just what I wanted at Express. It was tuxedo style, long, had a fabulous leopard print lining, and was magically on sale. It dresses up my American Apparel t-shirts, and looks great with leggings and sky high heels. I love to cuff the sleeves, and pile on the punk rock accessories.

You would think by this time that my collection would have been complete. I had three new jackets, in addition to the four blazers I already had in my closet. Of course, if you know me and my tendency to shop too much, you would know that when it comes to my collections, complete is a word I cannot seem to grasp the definition of.

During my post X-Mas shopping, after I had already resolved to stop the madness and start saving, I spotted a wonderful, Balenciaga inspired blazer by Theory. It was completely Gossip Girl, Upper East Side fabulous, and I had to have it. It also was going to be about 75% off the original price. It is shorter, has the perfect stretch, white accents, and looks adorable even with jeans.

My final purchase was a month or so ago, and even in the midst of my no shopping resolution, was only $48 and almost 90% off the original price. It was one of those "I can't NOT buy it" situations, and I do not regret it. I think for a final item, it was the best way to go. It is sparkly, cropped, 3/4 sleeves and adds cocktail party panache to anything it touches. In a word: Love.

So there you have it: a year's worth of new jackets. Now, you might say that I spent a lot of money on blazers alone in 5 month period (yes, 5 jackets in 5 months, I know I know), but I like to think of it as an investment. Blazers and jackets are like cardigans, they can be mix and matched with any dress or shirt, jeans, dress pants, skirts, or leggings. I have managed to dress up many a t-shirt and leggings for work, or tank tops and jeans for a night out. I can be preppy, funky, classic, and even warmer, just by throwing on a different blazer.

The best part is: you don't have to spend a lot to get a great jacket. My purchases have ranged from $20-$100 and while they were either on sale or with a work discount, if you have a little patience and time to search, you too can get the right piece for a great price. It is all about the hunt, and I can definitely lead you to the right path.


Thomas said...

I love the Balenciaga blazers! Which one is yours most similar to? I wish there were some pictures of the other two. I can only imagine how cute that tuxedo one is, especially with "sky high" heels. :D

I wouldn't really have considered jackets an accessory, but at the lower end of your spree, they definitely fit the price tag.

The Sensible Trendsetter said...

Thanks! Mine is most similar to the J. Crew one. I tried to find a pic of the Express blazer but to no avail. (Just imagine a long fitted blazer with satin lapels and pocket detail). One day I'll have to take a headless pic of my fave outfit (tuxedo blazer, oversized tee, leggings, 4 1/2 pumps).