Shirt jackets: Ease with a little attitude
Hovering at the edges of my style-sense for the last year: the shirt jacket or "shacket", a portmanteau that makes me envision a female shack. (Nancy Friedman of the blog fritinancy writes about the word here.)
The piece, heavier than a shirt, can be worn either indoors or out, depending on fabric and weight. A few, like certain useful scarves, can hop between both. Easier to wear than a strictly-tailored blazer—a garment which still telegraphs authority—the shirt jacket manages to be more detailed than a sweatshirt while still retaining its ease.
Let's window shop!
Clockwise, left to right:
1. Yorkway corduroy shirt jacket from Madewell, my favourite for the eminently useful side pockets, and the plush, machine-washable midweight fabric. Made in Standard and Plus sizes; the $CDN 152 price includes duties, a useful way to represent price for those who shop internationally. Other colours, too.
2. Boiled-wool Peak Pitch Jacket from Sea Salt in 60/40 wool-viscose (dry clean only); price, about £130. This one is fairly short. The mood is calm, effortless but not workwear-functional.
3. Arket's entry is an unusual plaid, and extra points for that neat matching at the pockets; this is a synthetic/wool blend that can be hand washed; price $US 129. Limited sizes.
4. Also from Madewell, the Cohancy bonded flannel shirt jacket, handsomely merges menswear with a softer cut, and is also washable. (I am tempted to order just to see this "bonded flannel".) Price, $CAN 237.
Readers with a bust are muttering "Chest pockets, no thanks!", but if a plaid is matched, I think they work, and of course you aren't stuffing those pockets with extra gear.
The style shows up as strictly outerwear, too, like this J. Crew quilted puffer shirt jacket with Primaloft lining, price, $US 144. Machine washable. May be hard to wear with checks and pockets on top of all-over quilting, but it's a fresh option if you're looking beyond the ubiquitous Uniqlo down.
The grandmother of all shirt jackets is the Pendleton Retro '49er, which I remember from my youth, and have nearly bought oh, about a dozen times. Pendleton formerly offered at least three different plaids, so I could never decide. Now, it's down to one, a perfect Dark Academia palette.
The modern version is slightly trimmer than the original, but still produced in pure wool milled in the Northwestern US (but, it seems, sewn overseas.) If you tuck a small scarf at the neck, Mom reminds me, you would need to dry clean only at the send of the season. Price, $US 239, in sizes from XXS to XL.
The thought of spending another muted winter in fleece makes my shoulders sag. In a shirt jacket with a skirt or any kind of trousers, and brogues one has made an effort. Add pearls or your favourite necklace, now there's an individual.