Five Days Wearing Sleeveless Jackets
Sleeveless jackets are everywhere right now, having permeated womenswear Resort 2020 runways from Balmain to Dior, Givenchy to Gucci. A ubiquitous presence on the high street for the last few months, we happen to believe here at SL that the piece is impossibly useful; great for creating a more flattering silhouette, ideal for smartening up even the most casual of looks, it’s the handy layering piece we’re relying on this summer in place of a classic blazer. However, inspo for wearing it is few and far between. So, we decided to put it to the test, and give you some styling ideas along the way; here’s what happened when I wore one everyday for a week...
A strong start. How to style slip dresses has been another in demand topic here at SL. They’re so simple, easy and elegant, but they’re also pretty revealing - an open back and strappy shoulders does not an everyday outfit make. Well, one quick addition of a waistcoat changes all that; this cream style from Zara scores casual points, balancing out a more glamorous base layer and making it more wearable back here in Blighty - just add smart flats and go.
Blue jeans and a plain white top? Snooze. But blue jeans, a plain white top and a slick black sleeveless jacket? Suddenly an interesting outfit. This look perfectly treads the line between smart and casual; I've added heels for a polished dinner-ready edit, but you could swap them out for pointed flats and get high-low weekend dressing spot on. Plus, if you're like me and your thighs don't thrill you, the addition of a longline jacket make it all the more easy to pull off denim.
I’ll let you in on a secret here - this outfit wasn’t really supposed to be here at all. But I saw all the pieces hanging near one another, tried them all on and, what do you know, it’s my favourite of the bunch. I love the contrast of the puff sleeve and high neck with the sleeveless jacket - it creates such a flattering silhouette - and head-to-toe cream is, naturally, incredibly chic. What an easy way to improve on jeans and a nice top! Without the jacket, I’m not sure it’s my best look - the top has a peplum detail which can inevitably make those dreaded thighs look larger. But with the ever-lengthening layering piece on my side, this turns into one seriously flattering look.
If I wasn’t convinced on the first few days, day three’s balanced ensemble has sold me on the versatility of the sleeveless jacket. Whispers could it actually be more useful than a blazer? Layer these summery cream jeans with a structured jacket and you’re looking at an odd outfit hybrid, business on top, weekend on bottom, but the bare armed-ness of the sleeveless jacket and its relaxed oversized fit make it a comfortable addition that just elevates the edit ever so slightly. A great hack for nights when you want something a little different to the same old jeans-and-a-nice top formula.
I’m a keen fan of replacing tops with tailoring - there’s something very ‘oh this? I just threw this on’ about the look. Try with a black tuxedo jacket and you’ll veer into sexy territory, but a cream sleeveless blazer is a safe zone - with its pockets, brown button details and oversized length, this Zara style is less fierce, more fashion. I counteracted bare arms with a statement maxi skirt; long skirts can be a little swampy, but the structure of the style balances it out, and makes for a surprisingly smart edit. A tee or vest with the maxi would work for off-duty, but this gives it a polished feel that works for the office and the evening alike. I’ve just had a brainwave - why not sub both out for black styles and add glitzy jewellery for a night out? The possibilities are endless.
Seriously flattering and surprisingly versatile, it not just goes with but enhances pretty much everything, from maxi skirts to evening wear to the most casual of trainer and chino combos; stick to neutrals for summer, and try black later in the year. I don’t know about you, but I’m off to buy one now...
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