Monday, August 10, 2009

Brooches and Bows

Chesterfield Jacket and Vintage Poodle Brooch; photo by Richard Gwin, Lawrence Journal World

By mixing classic wardrobe pieces with fun accessories, you won’t get bored waiting around for fall! Add feminine accents and trendy touches to your daily-wear using items you already own. Play up your favorite fashion trends for a style-savvy daytime look.

Each time I discover a new jacket shape for Fall 2009, I feel compelled to report. Boyfriend blazers, military jackets, tuxedo coats—all of these overcoats are versatile and fun.
The Chesterfield Jacket is a classic shape (not to be confused with a Chesterfield Coat, which is typically full length). The jacket version has perfectly fitted arms without rolling up the sleeves, and its longer length is surprisingly comfortable, not at all bulky. Look for the trademark velvet collar, which can be single- or double-breasted. Also, Chesterfield Jackets are made in many different fabrics, but are normally tweed; because of the all-occasion nature of such a fabric, a Chesterfield Jacket can be worn with jeans, trousers, or a dress.

Although brooches constantly pop up as spring and fall fashion trends, I continually have to remind myself how gorgeous and transformative they can be. The best part about brooches? They are an instant look into the personality of a stranger. Brooches can reveal hobbies or start great conversations, all about their origins (‘is that an heirloom brooch or a thrifted brooch?’). Plus, brooches can be purchased relatively inexpensively. Use your brooch as an accent piece on your jacket collar, to pin a dress that is one size too big, as a hairclip, or to secure a scarf. Stick them on handbags or on the hem of a skirt, too.

Oversized bows have been sneaking their way onto the Fall runway—this time a bit less flamboyantly. Lanvin’s bowties were an excellent Menswear rendition, as well as the ‘smaller’ bows on some of Chanel’s blazer-collars. Lela Rose discreetly included oversized bows on designs, utilizing only one pattern and fabric for both the dress and the bow. Incorporate bows into your wardrobe to add a more feminine touch. Trousers can be belted with a satin ribbon, tying the ends into a sweet little bow. Scarves can be twisted into bow-like shapes and worn around the neck or even on your purse-strap. Maybe even use a brooch to secure a smaller bow onto the collar of your jacket!

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