#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

 

#FashionFriday: A Formal Affair, Winter Wedding Inspiration

Wedding ready! Photo cred: Anita Ferrer

Wedding ready! Photo cred: Anita Ferrer

It often surprises my friends to learn this about me, but I have a secret Peter Pan complex. I’m terrified of “growing up” in the traditional sense of the word — job, spouse, baby, burbs. And though it’s nice to know that the cookie-cutter version of that narrative doesn’t have to be the model anymore, the pressures of fitting into that mold are still embedded into movies and TV, fodder for conversation at family gatherings, and splattered aggressively across Facebook feeds.

Thankfully, there are plenty of small milestones along the way to help us ease into young adult life. Tonight, I’m taking a new step along that journey. I’m attending a friend’s wedding. That may sound uneventful and silly, but it feels like a significant step to me. Sure, I’ve attended weddings before — aunts, uncles, cousins, even distant older family acquaintances — but never the happy union of two close friends. It’s a reminder that things really are moving forward. No matter how much I’d like to freeze these days of total freedom, those around me are in motion, full-steam ahead.

My (probably unnecessary) deep analysis of the situation aside, I also had a bigger problem to deal with leading up to this wedding — dressing for a black tie affair in the midst of winter’s frigid grasp. When I think of wedding-appropriate dresses, I imagine gorgeous flowing chiffon gowns and delicate silk cocktail dresses, neither of which feels particularly appropriate when it’s 20 degrees outside. But there are ways to keep it chic and sexy without looking wacky and out of season.

Stick to the Classic Color Palette

A really bright color in the middle of winter may seem like a novel and festive idea, but it’s inappropriate. During spring/summer the majority of lady guests will be sporting bright hues, but in the winter you’ll be seriously outnumbered, which draws attention to you and away from the lovely bride. If you don’t want to stick to standard winter colors like black, navy, or grey opt for a darker hue of a favorite color; a deep red, gorgeous burgundy, or forest green piece are super chic alternatives to their bright counterparts.

Experiment with Texture

I’m a big fan of mixing prints and textures, but that can be a little loud, especially if you’re attending a more traditional wedding. In the wintertime, I would lean more towards picking a dress with an interesting texture. As you can see from my photo, I decided to opt for a dress that is 100% beaded. In the spring or summer, it would feel way too heavy, but it’s perfect for winter and totally festive without being over the top. If heavy beading isn’t your thing, try a dress made of dark, intricate lace or crafted from an intriguing fabric — I’ve seen some beautiful plaid-patterned felt gowns that feel very modern yet maintain an aura of elegance, Michelle Obama totally pulled it off.

Ditch the Pumps

If you’re going to a stuffy, formal affair, this one may be a no-go. I personally hate pumps. I think they were sent by an evil force to destroy women’s ability to really get down on the dance floor, plus they’re super boring. Winter gives you the perfect opportunity to swap out your pumps for fabulous boots or sleek wedges. I don’t mean military boots and cork wedges. I’m talking about sexy Valentino rock stud booties and Theyskens’ Theory wedges (as seen in my photo!). They’re so much more unexpected than a standard stiletto, and much friendlier when it comes to navigating potentially dangerous, slippery winter streets.

Top it Off

What better excuse to bust out a statement coat or fur than a winter wedding? Or, better yet, what better excuse to buy one! Honestly, I would rather dig a dress out from the depths of my closet and put the money allowed for a new outfit towards a piece of ultra-luxurious outerwear. You’ll get way more use out of it going forward than you would from buying yet another dress, so at least some of the guilt associated with spending a small fortune will dissipate.

Perfect Your Pout

When all else fails, there’s nothing like a vampy dark lip to add drama during the winter months. Deep reds, purples, and browns may feel silly in the spring and summer season, but they’re gorgeous for winter months — especially when contrasted with a simple dress. I worship NARS and Christian Dior lip products and hardly ever use anything else. These colors would be splendid for any winter affair.

NARS lip pencil in 'Cruella'

NARS lip pencil in ‘Cruella’

Dior Addict Lipstick in 'Brown'

Dior Addict Lipstick in ‘Brown’

Rouge Dior Couture lipstick in Pied-De-Poule

Rouge Dior Couture lipstick in Pied-De-Poule