slow-burning

mariana
brian ferry for anaise

I often complain about the monotony of the weather here - tropical, humid, in varying degrees. But far removed as I am from anywhere with sharp seasonal swings, there are little variations, which bring on small changes in how I dress. For instance, in the hotter months of the year, I wear more dresses because covering my legs seem unbearable. And around this time of the year, when the rain and wind picks up (northeast monsoon hitting these parts), I start to yearn for a more tailored feel, specifically in the form of my one blazer - a simple grey jersey from Massimo Dutti I bought 4 or 5 years ago, I can't remember exactly. It has slim lapels, skinny sleeves, narrow and sharply tailored shoulders, and is cut long and lean. It's a formula that works best for me. Anything I've tried that deviates from this description never quite sits right.

For years, I've always found reasons not to buy blazers - most of it to do with the weather. It's pretty unrealistic to wear a jacket outdoors for most of the year, and my office isn't that formal. One jacket, albeit one that's starting to pill a little, seemed more than enough. Plus jackets are a bitch to launder - they almost always call for dry cleaning or at least very careful home-washing.

But I have realised that I reliably bring out my grey jacket for a few months every year without fail, which at least means it isn't a passing fancy. Of late, beautifully-cut blazers have caught my eye, enough for me to tentatively add "blazer" to my wishlist.

I've been eyeing Apiece Apart's Mariana blazer ever since I saw it pop up on a few online shops, in varying fabrics and colours - cream cotton, cranberry wool, black crepe. I love the notched collar and the way it pops naturally - classic with a subtle twist. I love the long, slim tailoring. I like it best in black wool twill (half cotton, half wool), as seen above. Alas, without feeling the fabric in person, wool-anything is a risk to order online; if it's too heavyweight it would be a white elephant in Singapore.

I've also admired J Crew's Ludlow jacket for women. But I hesitate because most of the nice-looking options come in wool, and I never seem to get J Crew sizing right. Moreover, I'm not convinced anything from J Crew is worth those prices. In any case, ordering something that needs to fit precisely over the Internet seems like a bad idea.

I'm still waiting for the one that makes my heart leap, without that little catch of hesitation. And enjoying my faithful old (well, not so old) thing in the meantime.

IMG_4212

What's captured your imagination lately?

Comments

Pret a Porter P said…
I know what you mean about blazers & tropical climates. But I keep on buying them...even in the heavy wools.

I remember you posting that jacket before, it's a keeper.
Kali said…
This is a very nice jacket indeed. I also love wearing blazers and tailored jackets during mid-season when the weather cools down. I own a lightweight black one that I have been using for years, and I'm actually eyeing a Massimo Dutti tweed one in a very nice grey/brown blend.

It is a bit expensive though, and after what readers told me about the brand's declining quality I have been hesitant to make the purchase... I really like the cut and fit of yours, it's a formula that would work for me too.
I've been looking out for a black (stiffer) blazer and coat for sometime. It's rather ironic that I found both at Zara, a store that I tend to avoid after having a few purchases fell apart after a couple of wears.

I can't stand the heat. The last time I was back in Sarawak and Singapore, I literally shoved my jeans to the back of my suitcase and stuck to dresses and shorts. The thought of wearing anything with long sleeves just freak me out.
miss sophie said…
oh you're preaching to the choir here. i collected a few black blazers in the past few years and thankfully that has stopped me from craving more...for now. but i agree with you re jcrew's prices - they've really raised them all around in the last two years, and quality has become very hit or miss :P

i saw the same lookbook from anaise and loved the shots of the black/white blazer and shirt! so elegant. maybe you could consider getting a tailor made one in a suitably temperate fabric?
Ammu said…
Your blazer looks lovely. It's very risky buying a blazer online, unless you are absolutely certain about your measurements. I picked up all my jackets online, bar one - but I never button them up, so I mainly needed them to fit along the shoulders and arms. Still, there was a lot of trial and error.
Sue said…
The cotton/wool twill fabric adds a certain something to the blazer you've shown and stops it looking overly formal and makes it seem lighter for your climate. Even the blackness isn't too black which is quite lovely and means it could be worn casually too. And at that price, you would definitely want to get your money's worth out of it. If there is a returns policy, I would say order it just to exorcise this jacket out of your mind and then you can say for sure whether it is the right fabric and fit for you. I think you'll keep coming back to this one.
nanashi said…
That is a nice blazer, and if you do find yourself consistently going back to grab the blazer then there is a good spot for it in your wardrobe. But yes, the weather and practicality question always looms. I just sized down on my blazer collection because I had many which I just never reached out for. I had one black blazer from Theory from ten years ago I still go back to every year, and aside from that I just can't seem to pull off the blazer look on the go.

For blazer the fit is critical---have you considered taking items that may work to a tailorshop? in that way the search for a perfect-fit-off-the-rack impossibility would feel less daunting.
Joy said…
Great blazer. You're definitely right on about JCrew's pricing and fit. I would never buy their stuff online without trying it on in person.
lin said…
Pret a Porter P: I don't know how you do it! I perspire too much for wool to be an appealing option.

Kali: Thanks! I'm a little afraid to buy Massimo Dutti now as well after a few negative experiences. Most of their clothes can be picked up during their end of season sales though, if you're keen on giving it a go without burning a big hole in the pocket. It's a big pity that they couldn't keep up with quality.

Marlene: Zara quality is very questionable indeed - even though it saved my life when I started working and needed some smart pieces at a good price. I still have some of those things but the way most of my things disintegrated with a couple of years was just sad.

Ah, the heat. I actually carry handkerchiefs now to mop off my perspiration.

miss sophie: I think a made-to-wear jacket is my best option actually, it's a matter of finding a tailor I feel like I can trust, and whether I want to save the pennies for it! Because a jacket is not quite necessary most times of the year, a part of me knows it's silly to spend too much on one.

Ammu: The fact that so many jackets that look great on a hangar look terrible once I put them on in shops, stops me from ordering one online. Plus I don't have a go-to tailor to make things right, so yep, the risks are high!

Sue: It's so beautiful isn't it? Unfortunately I think the website, being a relatively small e-tailer, doesn't have the best returns policy and I know return shipping will be a heartache.

nanashi: The blazing sun this morning was a good reminder why after all these years I only have one tailored blazer - it's just way too hot most times so I can't justify a second one...let alone one I haven't even seen in person.

Joy: I'm still greatly annoyed by my linen trousers!

hannah-rose said…
I'm still looking for the perfect blazer. I've had a few imperfect ones that I thought were 'the one' but they just didn't live up to expectations. I think the problem for me is cut. I've never found one that works for my body. The problem is that I now have no light jackets, only heavy coats. I have nothing for in between weather, and that's an issue..

At the moment I am looking for a denim jacket (For similar reasons as above haha) and also for a hooded, fur-lined (faux) parka for when I'm in America and Canada at the end of year. Warmth, warmth, warmth!!

xxx
Pret a Porter P said…
me too. I keep buying blazers, but the reality is I live in sweaters. Now that it's "cooler" I can actually wear them.
i adore my black blazer but now it's too cold to wear it as it would have to get crammed into a coat.

stripes. i love them and then sometimes i forget that it can really be that simple. stripes:

http://cartooningaround.tumblr.com/

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