#FashionFriday: Spring Jackets to Step Up Your Weekend Look Plus a Weekend Mix Filled with New Music

Photo by Margaret Murphy

Photo by Margaret Murphy

Spring may not officially be here yet, but there’s a discernible feeling of relief throughout DC now that temperatures are inching back up. Patios are open again, down coats are tucked away in the closet (hopefully for good), and icy sidewalks are finally melting; everything is just splendid. Flowers may not be blossoming yet but the entire city’s mood has flourished!

The drastic temperature changes that happen in spring are a blessing and a curse. The mid-day spikes are a delightful taste of the sun-drenched summer days ahead but the morning chill requires way more than just the cute lightweight sweater you’ve been waiting all winter to wear. No matter how thick-skinned you are, morning temperatures in the 30s require a jacket.

Now that my unflattering, puffy winter jacket is back in storage — yes that’s right, I’m taking a stand, I REFUSE to take that thing back out — I’m so excited to start rotating my selection of lighter jackets, accumulated with extreme care over the past couple of years. They’re a fun way to dramatically change-up your street style. You could be wearing just black skinny jeans and a grey sweater — but topped with a variety of jackets, you can make that one outfit look like several fresh looks.

These are the key spring outerwear pieces every woman needs in her closet:

The Trench

As you can see from my photo, I love an edgy spin on a trench! If the clean silhouette of a classic Burberry trench is more to your liking, go for that, you can’t go wrong with a staple. I fell in love with the leather sleeves on my Rag & Bone number. A trench is timeless and elegant; you can wear it to the office, out to brunch, for a weekend jaunt, and pretty much any other event you can think of.

Burberry Brit - Hooded Packaway Trench Coat $750

Burberry Brit – Hooded Packaway Trench Coat $750

Vince Camuto - Draped Wrap Long Trench Coat $190

Vince Camuto – Draped Wrap Long Trench Coat $190

Mackage - Leather Trim Asymmetrical Zip Long Trench Coat $390

Mackage – Leather Trim Asymmetrical Zip Long Trench Coat $390

The Leather Jacket

A leather jacket goes with anything and will instantly give you an edgy look. The best part about a leather jacket is that it actually looks best when worn in, so toss it on before hitting up a concert this spring and try not to spend too much time worrying about it getting ruined. My All Saints jacket has been through hell — and now it looks fabulous as a result.

All Saints - Cargo Biker Jacket $540

All Saints – Cargo Biker Jacket $540

Top Shop - Premium Belted Leather Biker Jacket $370

Top Shop – Premium Belted Leather Biker Jacket $370

Rebecca Taylor - Washed Leather Jacket $895

Rebecca Taylor – Washed Leather Jacket $895

The Parka

These are perfect for days where the weather seems more than a little unpredictable. They’re easy to weather proof (a lot of them even come that way) and usually much easier to clean than other materials. Plus there’s an effortless sense of cool to these jackets — like you could just as easily be heading out for a hike as you could to the nearest bar.

ASOS - Summer Ultimate Parka $98

ASOS – Summer Ultimate Parka $98

Zara - Hooded Parka with Leather Sleeves $99.90

Zara – Hooded Parka with Leather Sleeves $99.90

Laver - 365 Parka $556

Laver – 365 Parka $556

The Cropped Jacket

Perfect for layering over chunky sweaters on colder days or thin long-sleeved shirts when the sun is shining bright, this silhouette gives you plenty of cool options for experimentation. Opt for an interesting texture or pattern if you feel particularly bold!

Nasty Gal - Moto Zip Crop Jacket $88

Nasty Gal – Moto Zip Crop Jacket $88

Rag & Bone  - Black Marshall Cropped Trench $695

Rag & Bone – Black Marshall Cropped Trench $695

ASOS - New Look Cropped Jacket $30

ASOS – New Look Cropped Jacket $30


 

Since I didn’t post a Turn Up Tuesday playlist this week, here’s a weekend mini mix to get you through till next week. Tunes, tunes, tunes! New tracks from three of my favorites —  Fehrplay, Gorgon City, and Oliver Heldens — plus lots more seriously groovy stuff.

I promise you’ll be dancing with those headphones in. xo

 

Fashion Friday: The First Date (You too, Dudes!) & Weekend Mini Mix

A couple of weeks ago, my girlfriends and I were talking about the simultaneous excitement and anxiety that accompanies the anticipation of a first date. Staring into her closet, Nicole contemplated outfit options as I sat on her bed eating pita chips supporting or vetoing the items. We couldn’t stop cracking each other up as we revisited tales of dating trial and tribulation, which got progressively more comical as the wine bottle diminished. She was hitting the town to meet up with a cutie and, as always, the question of “what do I wear?” was of utmost importance.

It was at this moment that I confessed the very point of this post to Nicole: I’ve worn the same outfit, with minor tweaks based on seasonality, on almost every single date I’ve had the honor or horror to attend. “You only need one!” I insisted, “It’s not like future suitors will be alerted.” She laughed at my explanation, but I stand by my philosophy! Either you’ll go out with someone again and change it up, or you’ll never hear from him/her again and the next guy/girl will have absolutely no way of knowing you’re in a first date uniform. Fact. So why drive yourself crazy planning or buying something new? Tried and true is always best.

There are many reasons I stand by this way of thinking. Primarily that it eliminates the stress associated with the question “what should I wear?” because you’ll know exactly what you’re going to sport and that you look amazing in it. But also because it eliminates the potential for Doing the Most. It’s a phrase you’ve probably heard thrown around a lot, but in this context it’s of extreme importance. Why? Because trying too hard (i.e. Doing the Most) is frowned upon on a first date. And if you don’t frown upon it, you may want to reconsider your point of view. Ideally, you want to convey a sense of  great personal style without the perception that it’s extensively crafted. Doing the Most propels an image of insecurity and overcompensation. Neither of which is attractive to a relative stranger. Refined simplicity will help you proudly present yourself to someone for the first time.

Whether you’re meeting the girl you met at your favorite bar last weekend or the guy who prompted you to “swipe right” and won you over with a clever pun, you want your clothes to convey who you are without becoming the focal point of your personality, because that’s what the art of conversation is for. Striking that balance can feel challenging, which is why I’m sharing my date uniform template as a great starting point for putting yours together.

Date Night: Women

                         
The beauty of this outfit is in its simplicity. From coffee dates to drinks to dinner, this ensemble is perfect for most first date occasions. You can’t go wrong with a sexy flowing blouse over a pair of jeans that fit just right. Give yourself a little height with a pair of booties, but try to stay away from an extreme stiletto heel unless you’re going somewhere upscale. Incorporate a statement piece like your favorite necklace, big earrings, or a fab scarf to inject your personal style into the look.  It’s effortlessly cool without sacrificing a fierce sense of style. Don’t forget to throw your favorite essentials into your bag — signature scent and lip color, mandatory!
Date Night: Gents
     
Men, there is no excuse for laziness! Especially since it’s so easy for you to look put together. Impress your date with a pair of perfectly-cut jeans like these from Rag & Bone. Don’t be afraid of a straight leg silhouette, they flatter your legs (and butt!) more than boot cut and look more dapper. There’s nothing more important than fit, so go the extra mile to find pants that are actually the correct size! Ditch sneakers or boat shoes for a pair of leather desert boots. Keep it simple up top with a button-down/sweater combo — but add some visual interest with a pattern, a plain sweater is a little too boring. Fun socks are always a plus in my book, so don’t be shy about adding a pop of color to the ensemble.

Got an exciting date planned for this weekend? Here’s a mini mix to rock out to: