Brand Loyalty and Brand New

The second part of my birthday treat to myself was a red jacket to replace my BR military style red jacket. That is a fun piece but the red was too orange for my complexion and increasingly I felt uncomfortable wearing the style. I like how military themed items look on me. Not camo. I mean double breasted, buttoned, high collar or pop-able collar, epaulets, etc. -- these elements tend to suit me. It is a rare item in this style that doesn't light me right up!

But I'm uncomfortable with some of the associations. And particularly in bright red, the combination of these elements seemed to make a statement I didn't want to make. I still have my short navy military style jacket and own several trenches, and I wouldn't be against adding more! But there was something about that jacket...I'd reach for it, put it on, and then take it off and put the blue on on instead. Anyway. I haven't donated it ... yet...but it's now in a holding zone while I deliberate further.

A short red jacket seemed like a good alternative, so I ordered the Hackness (which Angie also owns) from Hobbs. 

Hobbs is a new-to-me brand (although I did own a pre-loved Hobbs jacket years ago). I almost sent this back because it is a bit snug across the shoulders. But the next size up would be too large, and sending back to the UK would be a huge pain. So I wore it around the house and it seemed to relax some. Also, comparing it to other jackets I realized it was not that much different -- I'm just unused to wearing jackets! 

Other elements here are J. Crew. (tee and wool culottes). J. Crew didn't get much love from most people on Carla's thread, but a huge proportion of my wardrobe comes from there. That's probably about to end, since there are no stores in Canada now so returns will be much trickier and pricier. For now, though, I'm grateful for the many long-lasting pieces I have from them in my closet. These culottes are gorgeous quality, were quite fashion forward when I bought them in 2014 or 2015 (?) and still don't feel dated to me, and are in terrific shape. 

Nothing fancy or special, just a  double plaid stripes and red teaching day. Oh, I wore my red mask instead of my N94 and the students loved the matchy matchy. Also, we had a great submission in class about second-hand shopping. :) 

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36 Comments

  • JAileen replied 9 months ago

    The new red is just excellent!  I’m sorry the old one didn’t work, because I really liked it.  When I think of red military style I think of Canadian ice skating.   :)

    BTW, I have a little camo, but not in green or tan.  I have some red camo and pink camo, neither of which can be mistaken for actual military wear.  I do not want to wear anything that looks genuinely military because I have never been in the military.

    I love your boots, too.

  • Cardiff girl replied 9 months ago

    Well red is definitely your colour!l love a red jacket ,it’s such a versatile piece.l like the military one but you have to feel comfortable in things don’t you and the fact that you keep taking it off is probably telling you something but your replacement looks great.lhavea few pieces from Hobbs ,they aren’t cheap but the quality is good and the styling classic so they will be wardrobe keepers.

  • Joyce replied 9 months ago

    Love the red jacket. I like the shade of the BR style but completely agree about not being comfortable with the aesthetics. 
    I discovered Hobbs, thanks to your new navy trench purchase. I bought a fab winter coat with hood and water resistant; style and substance, can't beat that. Was surprised that I had to pay the import fees separately for such a major company, did you? 

  • Helena replied 9 months ago

    I love you in red Suz! And stripes, so you know I'm 150% on board with this whole look.

    I agree that the style of the military one is pretty 'decisive', if that makes sense - so if it's not what you are going for, then it would be tricky to wear I'd say. (It feels a little RCMP to me, which is complicated at best I guess).

    Good call on the gorgeous new one! Fits look fab!

  • Angie replied 9 months ago

    KILLER cute jacket, Suz! Very biased, and waving at my jacket twin :)

    It's a better red for you, and the length is divine! Sooooo beautfully made. Very good with wide bottoms, and hear you on why the red military jacket wasn't quite right. 

    LOVE the way you styled it here with THREE OTHER PATTERNS! Awesome! The boots bring back happy, happy NAS memories! Soooooo stinking cute. 

    I'm a huge Hobbs fan. Have been for decades. I like lots of UK brands actually - Whistles, M&S, Jigsaw, Boden, John Lewis, L.K. Bennett, Sandwich, Paul Smith .....come to mind right away. I also continue to have a good run with J.Crew!

  • Vildy replied 9 months ago

    I like a military style, too, for the staccato nature of it but do not feel like a soldier in it, more like either sailing the Scientology yacht or Shirley Temple. So I resist as hard as I can. :D  

    I have this navy wool blazer with a wild amount of gold braid.  I can't wear it :D  and I can't get rid of it. :D 

  • LaPed replied 9 months ago

    The new jacket is a better shade of red for sure and looks like it will be so versatile for you! The culottes still look great! And I’m impressed by your pattern mixing.

    Re: military jackets, I’ve been finding pieces with a very distinct vibe harder to wear the past year or two. Things that used to feel like statement pieces now feel more like costume pieces. Changing zeitgeist, I think!

  • Barbara Diane replied 9 months ago

    I especially love the red jacket and striped top. I think I need a red 3rd piece.

  • Suz replied 9 months ago

    Vildy, I laughed so hard at that! I hear you! 

    LaPed, that's an interesting point and I think you may be right. The red military always did feel a leeeetle "costumey" to me but I figured it would be good for presentations, etc. And it was! But now, as Helena said, I get a bit of an RCMP vibe from it and I'm not too keen on the associations, particularly where I live considering the role of the RCMP in recent conflicts where I live. So...

    Angie, you look amazing in the jacket! And the boots do indeed bring back happy NAS memories. They aren't dated, either. :) But it hasn't been as long for them as it has for the culottes. '

    Joyce, I did indeed pay import duties on both items, although the duties on the jacket were much lower than on the coat. And oy vey, how it all added to the price. Sale priced items ended up being close to original price. But better than full price plus duties. Anyway, this is why I hesitate to order from the UK. The duties are built in when you order from Boden, which is a bit of a help. Hobbs probably doesn't sell much to the CAN market. 

    JAileen, pink camo sounds kind of perfect to me -- it snubs its nose at the idea, right? I had blue camo shorts from Gap for a long time and I did like those. 

    CardiffGirl, you are right about Hobbs being classic. This is shorter than the "current" jackets but a short jacket works better for me in general so I know I won't tire of it. 

    Barbara Diane -- yes to a red third piece!!! 

  • Mirjana replied 9 months ago

    Beautiful red jacket Suz, you really look absolutely amazing.

  • Sal replied 9 months ago

    Lovely jacket - you look wonderful in this.

    And yes trying something and taking it off is a sign it is not right.

    I had to google RCMP - I understand a bit more.  The jacket wouldn't have the same association here.

  • slim cat replied 9 months ago

    This is the right red jacket - perfect color and great shape! Love the whole outfit- feeling a bit jealous ;) ( like the red color but on myself it’s mostly works on accessories- lol ).

  • Jaime replied 9 months ago

    I hear you about the associations. I have never been comfortable with camo for that reason. A military red jacket is so far from anything you would see around here that I would be ok with it but totally understand the weird vibe when you are somewhere with a dressier military!
    Anyway, you look fabulous in your new jacket and entire outfit. I still love culottes too and will definitely be wearing some when the weather warms up. Or sooner if I get into a boots mood. Also, great lipstick!

  • Debbie replied 9 months ago

    Love the whole outfit. That shade of red looks great on you.

  • Runcarla replied 9 months ago

    That jacket felt more ‘Sargent Pepper’ than military to me, but once you get a negative vibe about an item, it’s hard to view it differently.  I’ve felt the buzz kill about a genuinely fab (to me) item that got a critical review.  The ‘kiss of death’ can be hard to overcome, IYKWIM.

  • MsMaven replied 9 months ago

    Definitely a winner for you! I find it is somewhat strange to put on a tailored jacket these days--even though it might be a jacket I wore a lot 2+ years ago.

    Yes, a winner. Perfect.

  • Suz replied 9 months ago

    Carla, that's hilarious! And yes, I can see that, too. Band leader costume style for the win! Hmmm. Maybe I'll hang onto it. :) It is extremely comfortable and travels really well. 

    MsMaven, that's it, right? I've really got out of practice with my beloved jackets. 

    Debbie, thank you!

    Jaime, thanks! You can certainly wear culottes with boots! 

    slimcat, Mirjana, Sal -- thank you. 

  • Bijou replied 9 months ago

    Suz, I love the new jacket and the colour and design makes it very versatile, I expect that this will be a workhorse for you. The icing on the cake is now you are twinning with Angie!

    I have always admired your older red jacket, it adds an element of fun and drama to outfits. I can see a place for both jackets in your wardrobe.

  • CarolS replied 9 months ago

    Another big fan of the pattern mix and new red jacket!, Suz!

  • Zaeobi replied 9 months ago

    You can send me the orangey red jacket instead then! Lol just kidding :P You mentioned masks though - are you back to teaching in-person?

    J Crew also pulled out of HK last year (or was it 2020? They feel the same, lol!) so I won't be buying from them again soon either.

    You look great in that cooler shade of red instead, but I understand wanting to avoid particular connotations. I think the key thing is the styling - I won't wear my satin cargo pants with camo or khaki for similar reasons. Maybe if you wore that jacket with your plaid tulle skirt, for example, it would feel less military to you?

  • lyn67 replied 9 months ago

    Wow, both of You (Angie &Suz) look great in that blazer!!! Love how different you styled it, each one is a master  outfit!

  • RobinF replied 9 months ago

    I love this outfit! The pants are great with the jacket and of course the boots are fabulous! I can't really wear red but this is a great shade on you.

  • Style Fan replied 9 months ago

    I love your outfit.  The new jacket is a much better shade of red for you.  I prefer the Sargent Pepper vibe to the RCMP one too.  I stay away from anything costume-like, but I like the original jacket.

  • rachylou replied 9 months ago

    This is a good red and I like the softer aspect v the band/military style jacket. Fab styling!

    And so wanna know what the essay said :)

  • Jessikams replied 9 months ago

    I love any kind of culottes or gaucho pants! I’ve been wearing them since 2005 and never feel they go out of style.

  • Stagiaire Fash replied 9 months ago

    I hear you on orangey reds. They don’t work on me either; this true red is great on you. Lol about the Mounties. Not the feel I get from the jacket. I’m not familiar with the news you refer to, will stick with my Rocky & Bullwinkle associations, unless you’d care to enlighten.

  • nemosmom replied 9 months ago

    The new red jacket is stunning on you. I can see why the other one called to you (and why it would give you pause) - but I think it’s a fab piece and in line with your style preferences (not the negative vibe of course, but the military/nautical/utilitarian structure of it, IYKWIM).

    The culottes are great, too! I had luck with Jcrew in the early 00s-10s, but pieces from a couple years ago did not hold up for me. (Banana goes in waves IME, too). Inconsistency, sure - but we all have bad runs of luck I s’pose. :D

  • Synne replied 9 months ago

    Beautiful new jacket!

    Very interesting about the old jacket. It is a fab piece, but sort of Freddie Mercury, very overly statement-y perhaps?

    Some garments can look so great on the hanger, for then to change completely when I put them on. This is what sent me down the Kibbe and style-ID rabbit hole.

  • Suz replied 9 months ago

    Thanks, all -- really interesting thoughts. 

    Rachy, the paper was really great. She talked about her experience growing up poor and thrifting and now she works in a thrift store and is economically in better shape but is feeling uncomfortable for her child self when she sees how popular thrifting has become, but more so when she sees some people buying at thrift to re-sell -- but also knows that many of those people are finding a way to make a living that way and there is a lot of upper middle class judgement towards them. So it was interesting on class issues. 

  • Brooklyn replied 9 months ago

    Looks great Suz. I can see why you prefer the new jacket.

    I have an orange military jacket. Years old. I haven’t been able to part with it because I absolutely love the style. It has this amazing really high stand up collar. But I never wear it because I don’t like the colour on me. (Must have had an orange moment all those years ago, probably because the only other colours available then were grey, black and blue.) It’s wool so I constantly think about dyeing it. But then I back out because there is a risk I will ruin it, and I’d much rather donate it to someone who will love it than ruin it. I suspect I will part with it this winter.

  • Jenni NZ replied 9 months ago

    Well I feel a bit late as it is 4 days since you wrote this. I do like the new jacket but have been feeling sad about your giving up the older BR one. A couple of days ago I read all the posts where that jacket featured ( I got to those via the Find).
    And I wondered… is it partly that your husband chose the BR one initially that made you not quite feel it was your choice? And does that raise a bigger question about how much we really emotionally “own” items that are gifts, or even recommended by our loved ones? Sometimes we do, I know, but I also have some gifts that I quite like and do wear but don’t feel the same attachment to as something I have chosen myself.
    Also, I was thinking about it in terms of my desire for #30 wears and thinking that in 5 years you might have almost got there anyway- I don’t think you track wears but do you think it would be anywhere near that?
    I guess I am just a bit sad about your possibly editing it out when it is so gorgeous and looks so good on you!

  • Suz replied 9 months ago

    Jenni, thank you -- interesting thoughts and some good questions! It wasn't a gift, exactly . We were just in the store together and it was on sale and he liked it a lot for me and encouraged the purchase. But I was fully on board. It really is a style that suits me well. As Brooklyn implied,  that stand collar style is not always available and if it is something that works well on a person, it's always tempting. 

     Well, it's still in the holding area -- and now I'm wondering if Brooklyn has an idea that might work -- maybe I could dye it

    It was an authentic choice for me, just not quite the right colour, if you know what I mean. It seemed better in the store's light. 

    And there have been political events in my country that make its associations more difficult for me than they were at the time. 

    I don't think I have got 30 wears from it yet. I think perhaps about 20. I bought it really as an occasional piece anyway. 

    But dyeing it might work! I would certainly wear it if it were blue, but not sure how likely it is I could get it that colour from red. Hmmm. It is worth investigating! It is made of poly, though -- I'm not sure how well poly would take dye. 

  • rachylou replied 9 months ago

    !!! That’s a good essay.

  • Brooklyn replied 9 months ago

    Suz, I’ve never dyed poly but there are dyes available at retail that claim they can do it. Is the jacket washable? I wouldn’t try it if it’s dry clean only. Also, it would be hard to make it blue. It would always have a red undertone. You could possibly get it to a blue-red like burgundy or plum. I think it would look good in those colours (I’d take it myself!)

  • Suz replied 9 months ago

    Brooklyn, it is washable for sure! And yes, plum or eggplant or burgundy could work on me really well, would not have the same associations for me, and would get use. I'm going to do some more research and check back. At worst, it could become a colour I didn't like, in which case I could just donate it after all. What's to lose? It might become a workhorse! 

  • Jonesy replied 9 months ago

    I love the new jacket, and can see what you mean about the old jacket. A plum jacket could be super-fab! I have never tried to dye poly, but there must be a way? One thing to think about is the top-stitching. In my experience, sometimes a fabric will take the dye, but the stitching won't, so you could potentially be left with a plum jacket with red stitching. May not be a dealbreaker, but something I've experienced.

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