Somewhere, someone with a dose of fashion authority decided to wear their jacket cape-style; thrown over their shoulders and literally every fashionista from east to west decided, "OMG I'm gonna do that too, like, all the time for now on!! I'll never utilize the sleeves in my jackets ever again!" Street-style stars are the biggest repeat offenders. Which means that all of their million+ followers are suddenly following suit (slight pun intended), and poor useless sleeves have never been sadder, nor more neglected. Well, today, I'm taking a final stand on behalf of sleeves everywhere. Enough is enough, fashion-flock.
Allow me to explain why this "style" needs to be addressed. Two years ago I was sitting (hooray for a seat!), waiting for a runway show to start during New York Fashion Week when I noticed 92% of the room was full of other guests all wearing jackets as capes. Now, for those of you that have yet to attend a NYFW show, the room is carefully coordinated by pecking order via highly paid PR. The first prized two rows of seats are dedicated to fashion's elite and celebrities. The following rows towards the back are where you'll find lesser known editors, photogs, bloggers, etc, and lucky "seat fillers" once the show opens. Depending on how popular the designer is, there could be rows of standing individuals in the very back mostly consisting of fashion hopefuls, hoping for a seat assignment in their near futures. Attend enough of these shows each season and it becomes a fun game of pinpointing who in the crowd has to be there for work, and who's desperate for the work that requires their attendance. Know what the biggest giveaway is? The desperate dress "desperately" and the A-list, well, don't. This means that when trends hit the streets they also saturate the back two rows and all of standing at every show. The closer you get to the front the more original the ensembles start to get. Now, this isn't to say that every eighth guest sitting FROW (fashion speak for "front row") doesn't also have their jacket thrown over their shoulders, or their 2.55 Chanel bag, floppy hat, gold oversize Rolex watch on. But not every celeb has a brilliant stylist and even still, some trends over others just can't help but scream "I'm just really trying to get my picture taken!!". Trust me, please, and quietly put this trend in storage where it belongs. Few things scream desperation as loudly as wearing your fitted biker jacket or blazer over your shoulders, especially to any fashion event. Why? Because it's just not gd natural, that's why.
Before the fashionista in question that gave everyone a bad idea, wearing a jacket cape-style was incredibly chic because it was utilized unexpectedly during only special events. When your fancy mom and pop attended cocktail gatherings or black tie events which required a mostly sleeveless gown to accompany a gent's three or four piece suit, for starters. Mom would almost always return home with pop's tux or suit jacket thrown over her dainty shoulders to protect her from the cold night air. His jacket was far larger than her, so using the sleeves wasn't nearly conducive to her well-fitting and carefully selected attire as it was as a cape. Also, given its boxy exterior and larger girth, his oversize jacket stays perfectly put, without her having to hold it in place. The same style does not work nearly as well on a smaller jacket, meant to fit the body of its owner. There's a reason capes are almost always a bit floaty and swingy, with plenty of room at the bottom to allow the hands and elbows to move about freely, without it falling off entirely. Another time it's perfectly acceptable to don an oversize (oversize being the key ingredient here) coat thrown over the shoulders is when you're bolting from one locale to another in the rain and you want to save yourself from getting wet but also plan on ditching the coat as soon as you're back safely indoors. These two examples, ladies and gents, are the only acceptable times one should neglect their coat sleeves. Follow me? Great.
Every self-respecting fashionista should truly want to hone their own signature style at some point in their lives. Experimenting with trends is always encouraged on this journey but take heed of your surroundings along the way. If everyone starts to look the same, well, where's the fun in that? Originality and diversity are key ingredients in actually getting noticed in fashion. When trends start to become forced, or tired, it's time to start experimenting again. Change keeps things interesting, not repetition. Karl Lagerfeld and Anna Wintour might not have changed their appearances nor wardrobes in the last three decades (or Anna, like, ever), but they entered the party as their own unique selves. Neither one of them borrowed their looks from anyone other than their own minds. There are followers and there are leaders. One cannot exist without the other. Whether you identify with the former or the latter it's perfectly fine. Own it and enjoy it. But if you are in fact a follower I just kindly ask that you give sleeves a chance from time to time. Please, and thank you. x