You went out and bought one of those great little It Girl sleeveless jackets, better known as a vest, and you get it home with visions of wearing it with everything. You put it on the following morning with your favourite pair of pants and blouse, ready yourself for that just wow moment, then you glimpse yourself in the mirror and surprise, the outfit looks awkward. What happened? This is a sleeveless blazer – a blazer without sleeves – shouldn’t it work the same way and be as easy as 1,2,3? Unfortunately, it’s not. This look is indeed a challenge to piece together, seemingly more complicated than geometry class. How can this be so when a blazer is so effortless? Is it not essentially the same concept, and just an arm’s length from the blazer? Well without the arms, the look becomes trickier than you could have imagined.
The good news is it won’t have to live in your closet, never to see the light of day because here is how you wear it. Minimalist is the key to this look. It has a very cool girl vibe so keep this in mind when you pull together your look. Pair it with basic trousers, a straight pencil skirt, tunic dress, sophisticated jogger or skinny jeans. The other key component to executing this look is what you wear underneath it. Sleeve length and type are critical. Sleeveless is ideal, and really no more of a sleeve than a cap. Anything pretty much south of the deltoid suddenly makes it tougher to pull off. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but it just takes a trickier turn when it comes to styling. If you hate your arms, however, and a cap sleeve is not your best look, wear a looser short sleeve t-shirt or blouse, maybe with a cool black and white print or message on the shirt. Don’t even think of adding a mutton chop or bat wing sleeve with this look. And, if chill is an issue or you want to get mileage out of your pieces and carry it through the seasons, the way to do the long sleeve is tone-on-tone or neutrals. Try a cashmere crew neck or turtleneck underneath it, or a very delicate sheer blouse in a neutral with subtle contrast.
The look can either be belted or worn loose. Leaving it open is a bit more current, but your shape dictates whether it should be worn open vs. belted. If you look best defining your waist, then throw on a belt. Trade out the one that comes with it, and add in a judo or obi belt for a more interesting take on the look. The vest should hit long, around mid thigh.
I love the look when it’s a bit androgynous and worn with a simple tank or striped black and white tee, add in a brogue or oxford shoe, and some edgy styling pieces like a chunky ring, stacked bracelets or layered necklaces. For those that are girly girls at heart, the look also works well with a cage bootie or peep toe boot. Strength behind the shoe is going to look best. That means tough girl rock ‘n roll, punk or super hot sex kitten.
Tunicify your look – hunh? There’s nothing wrong with making up words. The Urban Dictionary needs a reason to grow. I adore the sleeveless jacket over a sleeveless tunic dress. Talk about a match made in Heaven. The girlieness, clean lines and basic shape of the tunic paired with the sleeveless jacket . . . can we sing from the rooftops because this look is editorial perfection.
Billowy shorts like the silky pajama boxers as daywear, leather shorts, city shorts or a classic mid-length dressy short paired with the cut of the vest makes a nice contrast. Just make sure your shorts are longer than your blazer so that you don’t appear from behind to have forgotten your pants. Hello. Just sayin’, it happens. A lot.
Are you ready to rethink the sleeveless jacket? It really adds a nice change to your everyday blazer while simultaneously giving you an office appropriate look that is cool for the summer, but hot on trend.