Don’t need, must have

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Alexa Chung has collaborated on a capsule collection with Barbour, and it is so, so damn good, if a little pricier than seems strictly necessary. This jacket is just a perfect swingy shape—meant for ease of layering, apparently—and ideal for cold, wet fall days (I adore this coat too). Do I go for it, people? And if so, do I get to justify the purchase by telling myself it’s a replacement for the Barbour jacket I left in a rental car one unseasonably cool day this summer?

How to dress when you’ve put on a few pounds

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I’m  going to be honest with you: over the past few months, I’ve put on some weight. And not just the five or so pounds we’re all constantly taking off or putting back on, but so much weight that my best jeans don’t fit over my hips, and mirrors have become the enemy.  All summer I could kind of ignore the issue because I usually wear pretty voluminous dresses, but now that fall is arriving the truth must be faced head-on. This is requiring a fresh diet and exercise regimen, and a few new articles of well-fitting and more flattering clothes—mostly pretty well-priced but with a couple of nicer numbers in there too. I find that pants are the hardest item to locate, but am very happy with these Citizens of Humanity jeans, which are super-comfortable and boyfriend-cut.

I got these Everlane pants in this slate gray and army green too, and while they’re higher-waisted than I’m used to, they’ve got a very flattering silhouette.

My biggest splurge was a pair of these Nili Lotan Paris pants, and while my boyfriend took one look at the drop crotch and asked if I was wearing them wrong, he later allowed that they reminded him of something Marlene Dietrich might have worn, so I feel like that’s netting out as a compliment.

I missed these Universal Standard joggers the other day, but I really like them a lot: the fact that you can belt them adds a touch of polish.

I am not so crazy about how it looks when I tuck shirts in these days—and as a strong devotee of the half-tuck, you can only imagine how painful that is for me. So I acquired one of these Everlane silk shirts in black and another in fuchsia because I like the boxy cut and straight hem.

An easy tunic that’s just about long enough to cover my ass, which is a priority at the moment.

Another cute straight-hem top from Xirena.

I like the clean, slimming lines of this Mac coat.

I know it’s more slimming to belt a dress like this one, but I like how it looks loose and flowy.

And finally: if you’re really in the mood to blow the bank, Zero+Maria Cornejo shirtdresses are rather magically slimming. Here’s a cheaper version.

All the reasons to love a good chore jacket

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First of all, they’re eminently layer-able: over hoodies, cardigans, fleece, and even under a big puffer when it gets seriously cold out. They’re tomboyish and unaffected and never try too hard, or at least the best ones don’t. And while they’re definitely on the casual side, they’ve got a certain crispness to them that can make even the most low-key outfit look pulled-together. Best of all, for the most part they’re pretty reasonably priced, like this one from Lee’s Vintage Modern collection.

A perfectly classic denim option from L.L. Bean.

This looks like the kind of jacket some glamorous artist like Cecily Brown would get all paint-splattered in the studio.

A slightly preppy option from Vans.

I actually think this orange boiled wool number is pretty elegant and designer-y-looking, even though it hails from Urban Outfitters.

This looks really authentically like a French worker’s jacket to me.

A corduroy and sherpa option for when it gets seriously chilly.

From tomboy-cool brand Wildfang: a slightly longer railroad stripe choice.

I’m a little obsessed with Carhartt’s Work in Progress capsule collection, and this jacket is a stellar reason why: it’s got satisfyingly menswearish lines, but is cut for a woman.

Alex Mill’s version comes in a few winning hues, but I’m loving the poppy red.

 

And finally: how about Everlane’s $75 specimen in luxe white corduroy?

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About

Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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