Elaborating on the theme of my last article, I mentioned that I have been neglecting some of my designer RTW pieces. The most neglected of all being my collection of Chanel jackets, which are sadly lucky to make an appearance even once a year. Although each piece I own is exquisitely crafted, and is more often than not among the most coveted RTW items of their respective collections, they still remain unworn and largely forgotten. They lay dormant, waiting patiently for the day they make their grand appearance to the world again. It is such a shame as these items were so difficult to obtain at the time (even now) and hold within them their own amazing story to tell for those willing to discover.
I am fortunate enough to own over 20 Chanel jackets and coats, which I hope to feature and style on MimaMochi.com. This will be an ongoing multi-part series, which I have named “The Chanel Jacket Chronicles”. This idea was inspired by a friend of mine who was concerned that my pieces were not receiving the amount of sunshine that they deserve. You know what? I completely agree! The naturopath in me cannot help worrying about my jacket’s Vitamin D levels! With Vitamin D deficiency being linked with depression, I will stand idle by no longer while my Chanel pieces become depressed!
Given that this is the first article in the series, I thought that it might be interesting to begin by discussing the reasons why I have neglected most of my jackets. This may be of help to someone looking at adding one of Chanel’s famed tweed pieces to their collection. To get more wear out of an expensive designer piece like this, you need to select a jacket that is right for you!
Chanel Jackets Can Often Feel Quite Restrictive To Wear
The first problem for me is that tweed can be an awkward, albeit beautiful fabric. It makes Chanel jackets extremely restrictive to wear, as in general most tweeds I have purchased have very little to no give. I am a person that enjoys having full range of motion of my limbs, so whenever I put one of my tweed jackets on I feel like I’m wearing a fashion straitjacket! I would hate to over stretch and have any delicate threads busting at the seams. This is the sole reason why I will always choose a cute cashmere knit over a Chanel tweed jacket these days. You never know when you will need to do a cartwheel!
Furthermore, it is definitely a viable option to purchase your jacket in the size that is most comfortable to you. If you cannot find your ideal size, then it is possible to have your piece tailored by the expert in house seamstresses at your local Chanel boutique for a more comfortable fit. To my knowledge they generally provide this service free of charge if your piece was purchased new within a two year period of the collection. Areas of alteration include the armpits, as they are typically cut quite high on a Chanel jacket, and also the sleeves, which can run quite narrow. Altering certain parts of the jacket will provide more comfort, and on certain body shapes, a more relaxed fit looks so chic.
One Style Does Not Suit All!
Talking about fit in the previous section actually brings me to my next point. Not everyone is suited to the classic Chanel jacket shape! It is a lie when it is said that the 4-pocket cult tweed jacket (and it’s many variations) suits everyone! It is simply not true. It is not the jacket version of the sisterhood of the traveling pants. Beware of the hype or prestige convincing you otherwise!
To explain my stance on classics not suiting all people, I will use myself as an example. With my body shape, it is more flattering when I tailor my jackets for a tighter fit that accentuates my waist. A classic cut that falls at the hips adds a lot of bulk to my frame, which tends to be unflattering on my proportions. For ladies that are bottom heavy, a classic tweed jacket creates the illusion of you appearing as chunky as your legs. Even when you have a trim upper physique, the jacket will hide your tiny waist and this forms the unflattering deception of you torso being as wide as your bottom half. Thus, you will look like a rectangular shaped person, which does nothing for your figure... unless that's exactly what you want!
As a result of this, most of my jackets have been taken in at the waist to accentuate my figure, or are of a completely different cut e.g. cropped or swing style. My more trendy seasonal jackets are actually the ones that are worn more often as they suit me better. I don’t feel particularly confident or beautiful when I wear my classic style Chanel jackets, hence why quite a few pieces in my collection remain unworn. I have to style them carefully in order to not look fat, which honestly takes the fun out of wearing them. Why on earth did I buy them, you may ask? Well at the time I fell in love with the hype and rarity, how beautiful they looked on other people, and their collectability. Oh and when I tried them on in store they looked great on me!
Test The Jacket Under Different Lighting Conditions
The last point I made brings me to another interesting observation - RTW pieces always tend to look better in the optimal lighting conditions of the Chanel boutique compared to real life! Very much similar to jewellery in their boutique display cases. If you are serious about purchasing a jacket, venture outside of the change room and view yourself in the many mirrors found throughout the boutique. Viewing yourself wearing the piece under different lighting conditions is quite important for determining whether it is truly flattering to your figure or not. Lighting in the real world is very rarely as nice as the boutique change rooms. Teenagers with their selfie struggles can tell you all about lighting problems!
Try, Try, Try!
Another recommendation is that when you are hunting for a new piece you should try on a variety of shapes, cuts, colours and sizes. No two jackets of the same style, in the same size will fit exactly the same! This is due to the handling of each respective jacket by different Petite-mains (0r seamstresses) in the construction process. A SA explained this phenomenon to me when I was purchasing my cropped black tweed jacket from the Dubai Cruise collection. Given that there were two size 36's in store, she urged me to try them both on for this reason. I found that one was slightly more flattering on me than the other. No points for guessing which one I took home! It is also said that each Petite-main has their own unique way of garment construction. When pulling apart a garment for alterations, it is sometimes possible for the seamstress to tell exactly who made that particular jacket in France due to little clues the Petite-main leaves during it's creation. These are all beautiful touches that show a real person has placed a tremendous level of effort, love and care into creating your special jacket.
Mistakes Can Be Costly! No Chanel Jacket Is Immune To Depreciation
Avoid becoming fixated on buying a “classic” for the sake of it. I’m going to cut the sugar coating and tell it straight. No Chanel jacket ever retains its full value on the resale market. Like almost all cars, no modern Chanel jacket is immune to severe depreciation. I implore you to make your selection based on what looks stunning on you and what suits your lifestyle. This way you will reach for your piece time and time again and will never find yourself in a position where you have to sell your jacket due to lack of wear. With reselling, the majority of the time you will unfortunately make a significant loss and is one heartbreaking and expensive lesson.
To further confirm my stance on classic vs. more seasonal resale, I have seen the 2012 “Little Black Jacket” from the famed book selling for half its retail price on consignment. The only classic jacket from the supermarket collection, a much-hyped pink and white tweed worn by the likes of Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Kristen Stewart and Andreea Diaconu, is one I purchased only a mere year and a half after its initial release for a fraction of its retail online! It is of little consequence whether the piece is seasonal, timeless or worn by countless celebrities. They all find the same fate of depreciating at some point or another, for some the process occurs more quickly than others. A brand new Chanel jacket should be for life. Beware buying into the hype and making a mistake you’ll possibly regret!
Some Jackets Don't Stand The Test Of Time
My final note is that just because a Chanel jacket is outrageously expensive doesn’t mean that it is infallible to damage, although some would like to believe so. If you want longevity and plenty of wear from your piece, you need to select one that is capable of being a “work horse”. With some tweeds, the weave is quite delicate or loose making the threads susceptible to unraveling or getting caught in things. These pieces are better suited for occasional wear due to this reason. Many Chanel jackets also have braiding or extremely ornate buttons, which can be problematic for those who aren’t particularly careful. Pearl buttons can be scratched, and the braiding can unravel if it catches on anything. Another factor for the longevity of a piece is the composition itself. Not all fabrics age well. Some wool tweed jackets are susceptible to pilling like cashmere (which drives me crazy), hence may not be appropriate for heavy use.
Keeping these pointers in mind, a Chanel jacket can be an amazing wardrobe staple as long as you select your piece with care. For most, it is a big purchase so it is important to make an informed decision when buying straight from the boutique.
What Adrianna is Wearing
Adrianna paired her Chanel jacket (described below), with the "Girl Rock You Bra" by Silent Arrow, Asilio "On the Run Pants" and Gio Diev "Nikko" pumps. Accessories include Chanel parrot earrings from the Coco Cuba Collection and rectangular lambskin mini bag.
Did You Know? More Interesting Facts About The Jacket
The first jacket to be featured in "The Chanel Jacket Chronicles" is look #62 of Chanel’s 2012 Fall/Winter presentation. The crystal themed runway is actually speculated to have be inspired by "The Fortress of Solitude", Superman’s polar crystal palace which forms his headquarters. It certainly makes for an interesting bit of trivia. My jacket with its subtle cape, metallic finish and electric blue colourway certainly fits into a super hero theme. I can’t help but think the speculations must be true, which makes me love the jacket even more. The buttons of the piece actually look like crystals, and the fabric is an intricately pleated silk that has been painted metallic blue. When you unfold the pleats, you can see the unpainted black silk between the folds, which creates a beautiful effect. I purchased this jacket quite inexpensively on consignment and admittedly mostly snapped it up due to the price. I didn’t realize how much I would come to love it, as the pictures online did not do it justice. I believe the seller lovingly called this piece “The Kooky Karl Jacket” on the description, so I still call it that to this very day.
Please share your Chanel Jacket Experiences Below
If you have learned something new, or have anything to add to this discussion your opinion is very much valued here.
I am extremely passionate about Chanel and their RTW pieces that it would actually make my day (and probably several other readers' too) hearing of your own special experiences or acquired knowledge! If you have any other suggestions for future write ups in this series, or perhaps even a question or two please get in touch below.