Today I’m going to tell you a tale about my most favourite clothing item – a jacket.
Jackets are bliss. They accompany us in fancy jobs, protect from morning/evening chills, hide “love handles” and bring jeans & tee outfit to a whole new level of chic. I’ve worn jackets and blazers ever since I was a teenager, so you can imagine how thrilled I was when I noticed that they were “in” now and one can buy a jacket in any shop now, from Penneys (AKA Primark) to designer brands.
Alas, quantity will never do for quality. Wearing jackets is truly rewarding, but finding one can be helluva challenge.
– you are size 18 (sometimes even 20), which means that the number of fashion retailers that have something for you to offer is very limited
– you are a busty girl and lapels of any jacket are just cracking over your bosom, forming something alike the legendary spikey Madonna’s bra
– you are also petite (this term usually means women of height 5’3″/161 cm & under), which means that in an average jacket/blazer, its waistline lands somewhere on your hips
In other words, imagine you are me!
At first glance, you may think you are screwed. All those blazers that are supposed to give you a 19-year-old hipster look don’t fit you at all – they are too long, too tight, too shabby. Tailored jackets look bad as well, because they are stiff and don’t adapt to your shapes. Hours of trying and helpless scowling – I have been down that road, when suddenly… I found my match!
Here is what I managed to hunt down and what I learned from the experience:
3/4 Sleeve Shaped Hem Ponti Blazer by Pepperberry – size 18C-RC
DAT COLOR! When I saw it on their website, I couldn’t help myself. Bust-friendly and red (which happens to be my favourite colour) sounded like a total must-have! Frankly speaking, my experience with Pepperberry is not all moonlight and lovesongs: most of their tailored stuff fits me rather ill because of my height. Still, I was desperate to give it a shot and I probably made one of the best decisions in my life.
What is so great about this one:
- it is red
- the fabric is slightly stretchy, so clings very nicely to my waist and boobs
- it is shorter than a regular jacket, so my monstrous hips do not get in the way
- it is red
Per Una Linen Blend 2 Button Jacket by Marks & Spencer – size 18
This was a very surprising discovery. I had tried jackets in M&S before (both tailored and casual blazers) and they didn’t fit me at all, even their petite collection looked plain awful (I suspect my boobs are to blame). I gave this one a chance and I was amazed at how good it looks on me – even buttoned up, which is rather rare.
What is so great about this one:
- it is short
- it has a well-defined waistline, which means that with a taller person it would probably land a bit below the bust, whereas for little gals like me it sits, well, exactly on the waist
- it looks very smart, but not too businessy, so can work both with smart and casual dress code
The Pleated Suit Jacket by Pepperberry – size 18RC
This one was a risky purchase, but decided to give it a shot, since I was paying for shipping of my red blazer anyway. I cannot say that it fits me perfectly (you can see a bit of extra space around boobs; this is height-related), but it’s definitely the best I’ve ever tried when it comes to tailored clothing. May I add that I wore it during interview for my current job and obviously nailed it, so apparently it gives a great professional impression.
Great advantages of this one:
- it is very, very smart
- even though it is smart, the cute pleating in the back makes it a bit more fun
- it is boobs-friendly, which is rare with tailoring clothing (hence I agreed to pay this astronomical price)
To sum up & more advice
General advice for non-standard ladies who search for a nice jacket:
- pick something made with stretchy fabric, it tends to adjust better to your curves
- if the store does not provide petite collection, pick something with high waistline
- for jeans & tee purposes, you may settle for something not that well-fitting, but go for a size smaller one – it will flatter your curves better and you don’t need to button it up anyway
- in less formal occasions (i.e. when you have smart casual dress code at work) consider wearing a cardigan, especially during winter (Pepperberry has some really nice ones – I own this beauty)
- don’t give up if you don’t have one yet – your Perfect J is out the somewhere for you :)