Ask Angie: (and all) Top me up! What to purge, what to buy?

Angie, your wish is my command. You asked for visuals of my current toppers, and at long last here they are. 

The truth is, I do not have much that I am wedded to keeping. Which means we are starting from a pretty clear playing field. :-) 

The only two jackets that I won't consider purging right now are my Danier leather jackets. Pics 1 and 2. 

I can wear these jackets indoors, especially the taupe one -- but more so in winter than in early fall. They are a bit heavy for that, and the white one, especially, tends to feel a bit more comfortable as an outdoor jacket. 

Pic 3 shows an Ann Taylor jacket from about 3.5 years ago, just before I joined YLF. I have brightened the photo so you can see it a bit better. It is navy, with trench type details -- epaulettes, wrist buckles, a flap on one side. It's a comfortable fabric. I wore it like mad the first year I had it and wear it less now, but still like it. 

Now for those I am inclined to purge. 

PIc 4: Fuchsia fast fashion knit. Super useful little shrunken jacket that I literally wore to death last year. But you is fast fashion. And a bit worn. 

Pic 5: Marilyn Anselm for Hobbs vintage black crepe. Nice fabric and fun pleating details on bottom, old-fashioned 3 button stance and shawl collar. It looks faintly equestrian with pants. It's a bit big for me, though. Was bought on consignment. My only black jacket. 

I was preparing to purge the  following three for sure but thought I should show just in case: 

Pics 6/7: Consignment purchase, Italian, 100%  wool houndstooth. Shoulders are quite wide. 

Pics 8/9: Another consignment purchase. Canadian designer. A bit tough to wear due to the collar -- can really only use with turtlenecks or round/ crew necks. 

Pics 10/11: Consignment tweed 9 West. Judged a bit "twee" by Angie when I bought, but I wore to death in its first year because the colours were useful to me. It's a sort of teal. 

Apart from these, the only jackets I own for FW are denim (white and faded blue) -- but in reality I rarely wear these in winter, especially the white one. 

And the dressy jackets -- fuchsia silk and the black kimono. 

So, my friends -- where should I begin in my jacket rejuvenation project? What should I get rid of tomorrow, and what should I buy? Note: I LOVE jackets. I would like to purchase at least two. :-) 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Ingunn replied 7 years ago

    Suz, you are so cute! And beautiful, too, if I may say so. Your jacket collection seems to be quite well. My suggestion is t purge #6/7, 8/9 and 10/11 because they don't seem to be in line with your fab style. But you knew this already. Don't you dare to get rid of the fuchsia suit. It is beyond fabulous on you. 

    What you should buy? I'm leaving that to the experts, and will be taking notes on the sideline.

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Thanks, Ingunn. It is funny...these are all beautiful fabrics. I think, like you (and like Shannon in her earlier post) I am very tempted by fine fabrication. Which can be tough to find in newer, affordable items. 

  • texstyle replied 7 years ago

    All of these look so cute on you it's hard to say to purge any but I think you know the ones that are worn or feel out of sync for your style. I actually love the tweedy looking one in 10/11 and think it looks great on you but I'm not the expert. The navy one in #3 looks a bit short for pants for some reason and straight on the bottom hem which is something I'm trying to figure out for myself (rather straight lines on the bottom of blazers is a bad thing I mean). I'll be curious to see what others - esp. Angie - have to say.

    It looks like maybe a longer length jacket in a modern cut would be useful to wear with pants/jeans.

  • Ingunn replied 7 years ago

    Yes, that's very true. I wish it was easier to have jackets altered in accordance with current styles. Substituting with new ones from H&M or Zara is just not the same. No matter what you buy, I suggest splurging on 1-2 good quality ones instead of trying to stretch it. After all, you love jackets and wear them so much, so you need good ones.

  • nancylee replied 7 years ago

    You weren't kidding when you said you loved jackets, Suz.  You have a lot of great ones!  I guess if I had to purge one for sure it would be #6-7.  That houndstooth pattern with the boxy big shoulders seems a bit dated and not fab enough for you.  I'd also give #8-9 a good hard consideration.  I like the unique pattern, but the shape is a little dated and the limitations on how it can be worn might make it a closet orphan.  You don't want it taking up valuable closet real estate when something more fabulous could take its place!

    I'm thinking something tweedy or substantial with color is in order.  Maybe to replace the teal one in #10-11 (although I like this jacket in your photos). Did you order that one from JCrew with the plum/wine coloring?

    How about your kimono jacket from Zara?  Did you keep that, or did it go back?  I'm thinking a jacket with some softness and drape might be a good option.

  • Inge replied 7 years ago

    Fantastic job taking all these photos, Suz! Like you I just love jackets and always want a few more:-) And I hear you on great quality fabrics.

    My vote is to purge: 6/7, 8/9, 10/11 as they don't feel very you anymore.
    I love you in a tweed jacket though, so we will need to find you a new one :-)

    I'm keeping an eye out for you!

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Nancy, I sent the kimono back. It wouldn't really offer warmth, either, this time of year. But it was too much for me anyway. And softness and drape are not my thing. I like theory. But seem to need more crispness in practice. 

    I agree that something tweedy would be good. 

    Good point, Ingunn. 1 or 2 good ones are better than 5 sub-par ones. 

    Tex, thank you. The jacket in #3 actually has a pointed front, not straight cut. I know you can't really tell from the photo, but the front is a bit longer than the back and also angled. 

  • Sarah A replied 7 years ago

    I love a good blazer! And I think you are on a great route with your collection. I guess I'd be interested to know whether you have a need for a casual topper? I know you wear many knits for winter at home, and if blazers are more for your city capsule then I'd stick with putting my money into fine fabrication. Maybe something with some interesting detail. I cant remember who posted one that i think might be something that would speak to you... and ill have to pop back to search for it in as I need to run out now :)

  • nancylee replied 7 years ago

    OK, I forgot!  Softness and drape are my thing.  ;)

  • Diana replied 7 years ago

    Off the top of my head, I see something similar in your jacket collection that I see in mine, that namely they are all more fitted and on the slightly shorter side.  Personally, I am looking to add a longer, more fluid blazer to my collection, and I could see that working for you as well.  Something less boxy than a boyfriend style, but with a longer length and a nice long lapel line. 

    I agree about purging 6/7 and 8/9.  I kind of like 10/11 and I like that it has a more structured, almost coat-like shape about it that is different from the others.

  • kellygirl replied 7 years ago

    The only ones that I think aren't good enough for you are the houndstooth (6/7) and the speckled white one (8/9.) I like the tweed one--it doesn't look twee to me the way you have styled it. I love your leather and denim jackets. I also really like the low stance and single button look of 3 on you. I'm terrible at imagining items but I love the idea of a tweed in taupe/black for you or a black watch plaid. You look great in structured jackets! 

  • Niefern replied 7 years ago

    I am not an expert but I will still give my amateurish opinion:

    If I absolutely had to purge a few of these, it would be 4, 5 and 8/9.

    I love 10/11 and 7 (belted).

  • Debbie replied 7 years ago

    I love 1, 2 and three. They look great on you.
    Have you thought about a striped blazer?

  • ManidipaM replied 7 years ago

    With 4 on its way out, you are wide open for something colourful. Cobalt or burgundy, that may be the question.

    And like Inge, I hope there's a more modern tweed waiting to be found by you.

    Unless it is a colourful tweed, I think having an indoor version of taupe would work great with lots of your closet. Or is there room for a winter white in your lifestyle? (Not sure because you mentioned not wearing the denim much, but does that feel extra summery due to fabric?)

    The black looks beautiful. Hang on to it till you find another great one. Agree with Diana a longer fluid one would be a nice change for variety.

    Also worth considering a leather or pleather indoor moto or bomber I think with perhaps knit sleeves. Or a mixed fabrication featuring felt or tweed... to bring the Danier vibe into the living room.

  • deb replied 7 years ago

    Out with 6, 8. 10. In with a plaid, check, hound's-tooth in a more current fit.

  • annagybe replied 7 years ago

  • AviaMariah replied 7 years ago

    Here we go....
     1/2 - love of course.  
    3 - your description sounds wonderful and I'm going to trust your judgement.  I'm thinking the picture must not do it justice.  
    4 - definitely think you should find a bright replacement for this.  
    5 - From the picture this one looks like it fits you perfect and I really like it.  But again, will have to trust your IRL judgement
    6/7 - My least favorite by far.  Shoulders too wide and it just looks dated and not near up to your usual fab style
    8/9 - I can't tell if this one is maybe a little too wide in the shoulders?  If not, I have to say that I kind of like this one styled with all black. But other than that it's probably not really versatile and if you feel like it looks dated, then toss. 
    10/11 - I want to like this one but it looks like the fabric is maybe a little to thick for popping the collar and scrunching the sleeves.  It looks like you're trying a little too hard to make it work.
    12-15 - love
    It's looks to me like you need a really nice tweed in a modern cut (weren't you looking at one at JCrew?)and a bright one to replace your fuchsia.)

  • rae replied 7 years ago

    I think I am with you on what to purge... except maybe keep the black equestrian one. It doesn't look big, but I know sometimes the pictures don't tell the whole story. IMO, the novelty of a different look does not outweigh the fabness of your two Daniers - even if you never found replacements for the rest, those two can keep you covered for a lot.

  • replied 7 years ago

    I think your instincts are right on for 6-11 on purging.  Not sure about 4, but I like 3 and 5 and would at least hold on to them unless a replacement came along.

  • Gillian Pearl replied 7 years ago

    I actually like 10 better than 5. 5 seems a tad long and not as strong a statement.

  • Caro in Oz replied 7 years ago

    I think your assessment is spot on Suz. Those Danier jackets have taken you to another place with your jackets :)  If I were you I'd be looking for a quality replacement for the fuchsia jacket - it looks fantastic on you & a perfect addition to your neutrals. A navy jacket would work well too. 

  • cobaltblue replied 7 years ago

    I agree that you must find a bright jacket to replace the outgoing fuchsia one, and I think you should wait to purge till you find the replacement. Winter needs a shot of flattering color!

  • Angie replied 7 years ago

    Thank you, Suz. THIS is how we can make informed purchasing decisions about our topper capsule.

    Here's my 2 cents:

    • Love the leather jackets. Keep.
    • Keep the denim jackets for Summer
    • Keep the AT navy jacket
    • Keep the fuchsia suit

    And now - are you ready for it - pass on the rest.

    But pop the kimono jacket into a holding zone.

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Totally ready, Angie, and ready to put them out the door. 

    Anna, thank you for the link. I will try it on in Toronto. 

    And Angie, what next? What to buy, I mean? 

    Is it crazy to try that Lanai? I know it is collarless. But I always wear high necks???? (She said, wistfully...)

    Also considering the BR suit that Sveta is trying. Worth a try? (Can always and easily be returned). 

  • Angie replied 7 years ago

    Please try the Lanai Suz. Must get that out of your system.

    Have you looked at the Theory site? Lots of very stunning stuff.

    You also need a lightweight leather jacket.

  • Sarah A replied 7 years ago

    Looks like Angie has you sorted :) I think Dianthus posted a jacket a (long) while back that had a lovely hem detail. A bit asymettric pointed below the lapels and short in the back if I recall (this could be my imagination!), Sadly, I have searched the archives to no avail. I htink I have some dated jackets in my closet so I will be watching your replacement choices!

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    On it, Angie! Might just try the sale version. Should I try the 2 or the 4? 

    For reference, the Tahari Tinka was just right in the 2 (not the 0, as we initially thought I might need). 

  • Angie replied 7 years ago

    Great. I vote size 2.

  • pil replied 7 years ago

    Now that you're all sorted I'll be anxiously awaiting the replacements,

  • Deborah replied 7 years ago

    Suz, you look great in jackets!  I haven't read the earlier comments as I don't want to be influenced :)

    No question about keeping your leather jackets:)

    I think the navy jacket looks very  modern on you and is a great fit, I would keep.

    I wonder if you fuschia jacket might be reading to pass on too?  I know you have loved it and worn it a lot but something is telling me it may have been a short term relationship.

    I think you can pass on the jackets in 6 /8/10.  They are lovely but none of them say "Suz" to me.  Each of them looks a little dated.

    The denim jackets work for you and I would keep those.

    Your Kimono jacket is a really interesting garment and I would be inclined to hold on to it.  It's one of those items that you may not wear frequently, but as part of the right outfit for the right occasion, you would be glad you have it.

    I LOVE your fuschia suit and I think you must keep.  It's fun and bright and will perfect for certain occasions.

  • K. Period. replied 7 years ago

    Ha ha! How much do we love Angie? A LOT! She has you perfectly sorted.  I would have hedged and hemmed and hawed.  I had no really great advice for you. I knew 6/7 and 8/9 had to go, but the others were okay enough.  But in swoops Angie and she hones right in on the ones that are truly phenomenal and tells you to pass along the rest.  And the ones she told you to keep are truly phenomenal.  Lesson learned.  Every non-perfect piece you are keeping that your heart tells you to pass along? It is just a roadblock to the perfect replacement.  

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Deb, you are right on! (Look at what Angie said...) And K, you are so right. All those jackets are out of my closet and on their way to consignment as soon as I can get on my way there! 

  • shevia replied 7 years ago

    Sometimes it is great to come late to threads. Angie has laid down the law and now I can just enjoy watching you try on your new jackets as they arrive for testing. It is not that the ones that need to go look bad, they just don't look up to your level. Really must do this after the guests leave on Friday. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Joy replied 7 years ago

    I.agree with Shevia. This thread also gives me the push I need to cull the jackets that are just ok. I have a bad habit of holding on until a replacement is found but it also keeps me from actively hunting and buying that replacement.
    That you so much for posting these jackets.

  • Karie replied 7 years ago

    Our Angie sure knows her stuff - glad she has you all sorted out. I can't wait to see your new jackets and blazers!

  • Sveta replied 7 years ago

    We had such big hopes for NAS for jackets, didn't we Suz? :-(

    I am with Angie on the verdict. The only other one I like is the black one but if you feel it is too big then off it should go too: it is hard to see black in the pictures.
    As for the new jackets we will hunt together, right? There are some options on BR right now which may work for you?
    This textured jacket in blue. They have it in size 0 but not 2 - but it can com back you know!
    You already know about the navy blazer so I won't go there.
    This hound tooth blazer. Again size 0 is available but not size 2 but I like it a lot!
    Plaid blazer. The fabric is really nice and the scale of plaid should not be overpowering...

    If you find anything else just let me know :-)

  • Deborah replied 7 years ago

    Ha ha Suz, yes I went back and checked everyone's thoughts after I posted.  I must admit, it's a bit of game.  I like to think the person's post through, post my thoughts and then see what "The Master" says... it's my way of assessing whether or not I am learning anything on this journey :)

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Deborah, that is exactly what I like to do, too!  :-) 

    Sveta, you picked out three that I was considering!!! I am going to see if I can examine them in store on Saturday and I will report back. 

    Thanks again, everyone. The search is on! 

  • jurocha replied 7 years ago

    Don't you dare to get rid of the fuchsia suit. It is beyond fabulous on you. (/me echoes Ingunn)

    I would say get rid of the jeans jacket - the blue one, I find it a bit too short - and the white blazer because, as you said, it is difficult to wear. Maybe the fast fashion pink knit, but hey, I am just saying that because it seems you need space for new jackets.

    They are all nice and all look good one, which makes quite hard to say purge this or that one...

  • Traci replied 7 years ago

    Suz, I really really love the jacket Anna posted for you.  After reading Diana's thoughts I was thinking tuxedo jacket and I think Anna found the perfect one.  Try it!

  • Beth Ann replied 7 years ago

    Jacket wardrobe rebuild!  How exciting.  The topper, while one of the more expensive parts of an outfit, can do so much to elevate and hone our style.  Oh, and keep us warm!

    I'll be watching your developments with great interest.  I'm learning that I need to look for variety in silhouette, as much as color.

  • Lisa replied 7 years ago

    This is so exciting!  Time for a major overhaul of your jacket wardrobe.  I can't wait to see your new pieces.  I would also keep in mind different styles, maybe a bomber to mix up from the classic leather and blazers?  Or a moto style?

  • lyn67 replied 7 years ago

    I see you've already decided what to purge, and I agree. (Thus I loved the white fleck one, what a pitty it isn't that usefull as it should be). Then, please keep the fuchsia! And, I can't wait to see new aditions!

  • lyn67 replied 7 years ago

    I am so terrible on purging my blazers/jackets, as they are always my most expensive clothing items, and am usually hooked on them years after even growing out the style, fit or size.
    I  see you've already decided what to purge, and I agree! You are a strong woman, Suz!:-) (Thus I loved the white fleck one, what a pitty it isn't that usefull as it should be). Then, again- please keep the fuchsia! And, I can't wait to see new aditions!

  • Elly replied 7 years ago

    I would be seriously tempted to replace one jacket with something textured but modern (tweed if you want, but not too "ladies who lunch"), one with a suit jacket similar to your pink suit jacket, and either a lightweight leather as angie suggests and/or a new knit blazer (which also probably won't have the staying power, so I say go for a fun pattern or color). No help on which ones, but my favorite jackets on you by far are your tan leather and the two pink jackets, so I would look for similar styles, perhaps in different colors, fabrications, or details.

  • cinnamon fern replied 7 years ago

    Have you sworn off Nordstrom?  If not, your Lanai is 40% off in navy pinstripes right now.

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