6 In Getting Dressed/ Series/ Style

Anatomy of an Outfit: Jean Jacket Chic

Shining in a jean jacket

Shining in a jean jacket


Mariam is my perfect muse. I see her when I’m at Nordstrom, shopping with clients or finding a fashion solution for myself. She’s a sales associate there.

She’s massively talented. She has had an atelier and making clothes from scratch is one of her talents. I’m having the pleasure of watching her create a suit for a client of mine. We had the first fitting last week. She starts with a muslin pattern (you know, like Dior did or Chanel or Halston) before cutting pattern pieces out of the actual fabrics we’ve picked out.

My client slipped into the muslin jacket and the muslin top. With Mariam in my client’s dressing room, together we made a few decisions about things like adding pockets or not having pockets at all on the jacket; having a cap sleeve or going sleeveless for the shell underneath; adding slits to the shell or not; making a small opening in the back of the top so it would be easier to slip it over my client’s head; and finally, where the button would go on the jacket (not at the waist but a little higher where my client is smaller).

It’s so fun being in on the making of this suit. I can’t wait for the second fitting! When Erin and I left our client’s house that day, Erin said, “I bet you want Mariam to make all your clothes, right?” Ah, yes, Erin! You’re reading my mind! It’s such a creative and fun process. But so is creating outfits from ready-made clothes off the rack.


Mariam explaining



Often when I see Mariam she’s in one of her own creations. I’ll compliment her on her outfit and she’ll say, “Oh, I made it!” One day I ran into her in the shoe department at Nordstrom and before I had a chance to compliment her, she grabbed my arm and exclaimed, “Brenda! I was thinking of you last night. You inspired me to make this jacket!” She was wearing a jacket that I can only describe as a fusion of Dior and Asian design. She’d just whipped it up the night before. “Then when I was done with the jacket I decided I needed a sheath dress to go with it so I made it too and here it is!”

A woman who can stay up until 2 a.m. for fashion–well, that’s my kind of woman!


Mariam belt


On another day (and honestly, she inspires me any day of the week), she was wearing this dress in these pictures with a jean jacket. I love mixing fancy with non-fancy so I had to ask her if I could take some pictures and ask a few questions.


Mariam wrist


The dress has been made from a pretty, rather traditional print. It’s glitzier than a normal day dress with all the gold metallic thread spun throughout it. It could be a special occasion dress. I love the bow tied loosely at the neckline. She bought it at Anthropologie. On this particular day she didn’t want to wear it dressed up so to dress it down she added the jean jacket, rolled up the sleeves and ditched the self-belt for a tough wide leather belt with a Western feel. She’d found it at Lucky Brand. It was on sale and then on sale and then on sale again so she ended up picking it up for about six bucks.

She added her signature of clustered bangles on her wrist, mixing colors and designs. Her earrings, even though you can’t see them clearly, are sparkly butterflies. Dainty and pretty like the dress, bright like her smile.


Mariam shoes


Her shoes are beige AGL flats with that little bit of hardware on the front. Don’t you just love how her glasses frames are a similar tone? If this outfit was a sandwich, the shoes and eyeglasses are the slices of bread that hold together the wonderful nourishing ingredients in-between. What a yummy concoction!

Do you have a pretty dress that needs some dressing down? What does your jean jacket want to be paired with before getting outside into this pretty day? Give us details!





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  • Reply
    Sandy Styer
    September 2, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    OK Brenda: You’ve inspired me to pull out my JJ and wear it out to supper with a lime green sleeveless top, grey maxi and back sandals with a heel. I think a green (but not too green) bag, statement necklace, and I’m good! TY!

    • Reply
      September 2, 2015 at 4:08 pm

      Fabulous!!! Hope that dinner is fabulous–as great as you’ll be looking in that outfit! By the way, what’s not to love about lime green? Great that you can wear it!

  • Reply
    September 3, 2015 at 11:10 am

    Can you tell us who makes the jean jacket? I find they are not all created equal.

    • Reply
      September 3, 2015 at 6:44 pm

      Totally agree! They aren’t created equally! This one is KUT from Nordstrom. You can look for it online if you’re not near a Nordstrom. Fairly reasonable in price as I recall. I don’t own this one but a few clients of mine do.

  • Reply
    May 19, 2016 at 11:46 am

    I have three jean jackets- light, dark, and one slightly oversize for wearing over sweaters. I’ve had them for years, and they definitely come and go with fashion. One of my best friends will read this and know it’s me!

    • Reply
      May 19, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      So you’re well stocked! I hope your friend does she this and says, “I knew it was you!” Enjoy those jean jackets!

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