Barely a season goes by without a few celebrities rocking the iconic jacket that typifies the Chanel Brand, so here’s my style tips on how to wear it when you’re an apple body shape like me.
From first lady, Jacqueline Kennedy wearing the pink boucle Chanel jacket on the day her husband John F Kennedy was shot in 1963 to todays style icons Penelope Cruz, Beyonce and Cameron Diaz, this chicest and timeless of fashion pieces keeps coming back, in varying guises, colours and detailing. It’s longevity is due to its straight shape, which compliments most figures (although not great for an apple body shape) and has remained the same, just as Coco Chanel originally designed it, with the intention of easing women away from the slim-fitted and sometimes restrictive silhouettes of the 1950’s.
As you know I’m a timeless classic kind of girl and oh boy have a tried over the years to get along with this effortlessly stylish jacket. I’ve tried it with a collar and without, cropped and longer, accessorised it with layers of pearls but it just didn’t seem to work for my shape. In stylist terminology I’m a “straight” shape so in theory it should have worked but this is a typical case where the rules around styling don’t work and other aspects of my figure i.e my tummy (apple body shape) and a broad back have to be taken into consideration. After many years of dismissing it as a look I loved but I couldn’t wear, a couple of weeks ago I decided to give it another go.
I’ve mentioned before in a previous post, (here’s that post) how when something keeps catching my eye I know I’ve got to take notice and listen to my sub conscious because its trying to tell me something. That’s just what happened, this Cara Knitted Jacket by Hush kept appearing in my inbox, social media feeds and finally when the catalogue dropped through my door it fell open on THE page – I just had to go with it!
I fully expected the boxy straight cut Chanel style of this knitted jacket to make me look top heavy as did all it’s predecessors, that is until I tried it on. I was so pleased with the result because low and behold it flatters rather than bulks! Being someone who seeks an explanation I came to the conclusion it must have something to do with the knit being more fluid than the stiffer tweed of a Chanel jacket. It skims my shape, giving an illusion of feminine curves rather than it standing off my top half thus squaring it off and making my short waisted proportions look even shorter and boxier. Also, despite it saying “cropped” in the description it is longer than most and therefore sits just below my tummy I also style it with longer tops underneath, which lengthens my top half and balances my proportions. I’m chuffed to bits that at last I can enjoy the Parisian Chic Chanel styling I had previously yearned for.
My key style tips when shopping for a Chanel look jacket/cardigan is to choose the knitted styles over stiffer fabrics, so the jacket skims over curves and look for on-trend details.
I’ve posted a couple of alternatives here and here. As with all my styling I do love to add a twist so I chose one with fringing detail, which is very “in” at the moment, and I’ve teamed it with my denim shorts to avoid looking too “mumsy” and dated. I’ll be wearing it with my jeans when it turns cooler and my kick flare crops for when I want a smarter look. I’ve also layered my necklaces rather than gone full on Chanel with loads of layers of pearls – I might consider that look when I’m in the mood for it although I can sometimes find it too “Mum does 80’s the second time around”! I’ll have to think of a way to rock it up to the 21st century!
I’m so pleased I have another style I can consider when I’m shopping. All too often, for ease, we stick to the styles we know work and as we get older and our body shape changes our choices become more limited, to the point where we get bored with the lack of variety and interest in our wardrobes. I know I’ve been there many times!
Why not give it a go and try something new, if it doesn’t work then use my style tips to figure out why and work around it.
I didn’t realise, until recently, that it was the stiffness of the fabric that was stopping me from choosing Chanel style jackets. Maybe there’s some fashion purest’s out there who’d say it’s not a true Chanel look – but if knitted is the way I can wear a look I love then I’ll go with it.
I loooove my Coral Knitted Jacket/Cardigan I’m getting so much wear out of it, it’s perfect for just throwing on over various plain coloured tees. I’m now looking out for similar knits in my best colours for this Autumn, in the hope that I find another treasure for my wardrobe!!
I’d love to hear if you’ve ruled out a look you love and since found a way to make it work – please post your finds below in the comments. Also tell me what you think – Do you like this look? Could I have styled it better? – I’m up for any suggestions!!
Until next time, have fun putting the joy into what you wear and have a great weekend!
Note: This is not a sponsored post and my opinions are always 100% honest and the content my own.
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