14 In Getting Dressed/ Series

Anatomy of an Outfit with a Jacket I Tried to Get Rid Of

Some pieces need a second look on BrendaKinsel.com

My gray jacket returns to me and finally works its way into an outfit I love


Have you seen that app that people use on Instagram pictures called Boomerang? It takes a short clip you’ve recorded and makes your image go forward and then come back again. Well, I have a story to tell you about my boomerang 100% cotton, lightweight gray jacket. It went away nearly a year ago to a consignment store because I decided … I don’t know what I decided! Because I’m actually having a What Was I Thinking? moment right now. Did I think it didn’t fit properly? Was I deciding that it didn’t suit my lifestyle? Did I think I didn’t have the right bottoms for it?

I must have been thinking one of those things because I dropped it off at SAX consignment store in San Anselmo last year and thought someone would snap it up, get some wear out of it, and I’d get some money in my pocket. Except, a couple of months later, it still hadn’t sold and it came back to me. The return happened toward the end of the summer season. I ended up packing it away with my other summer clothes once I transitioned my wardrobe into fall. I decided I’d deal with it the following year.

And here we are, the following year, and I’m facing it once again.

Wearing this new outfit at Boon Fly Cafe on BrendaKinsel.com

Feeling peachy about my gray jacket at Boon Fly Cafe


When I started pulling out my summer clothes a few weeks ago, I pulled out this jacket originally purchased at Cotélac. It had the SAX hang tag still attached.

Wow, thinking back I probably purchased it five years ago at their boutique on Fillmore St. in SF. I remember loving all the detail it had. And it’s hard to find lightweight jackets to wear in the summer. This one was practical, functional and really, it seemed so me. It was fairly expensive but gee, I’d get so much wear out of it!

Right. I didn’t.


Simple necklaces for this tailored outfit on BrendaKinsel.com

Loving my bee and heart necklaces


Facing the same jacket once again

I decided to give it another chance. I tried it on and it fit me just great. Was I liking it better because I’ve dropped a few pounds since last year? Maybe. But something still wasn’t right about it. There was something about the sleeves that seemed to drag it down. They were full-length. I decided to turn them under to see what it would look like if the sleeves ended just above my wrist. Oh, that was so much better!

That week I took it to Alterations to Go in the Bon Air Shopping Center in Greenbrae and Snow did the alteration. I was determined to give it my best shot.


Putting it together into an outfit

Putting it together was actually quite easy. Because it has a tailored look I decided to put a white shirt underneath it, a Hugo Boss one I found at SAX. It has great detail on it (hard to see in the pics). There’s stitching down the front on both sides of the placket that hides the buttons. The effect gives it a feminine-tuxedo-shirt look but without the actual tucks of a tuxedo shirt. It was very happy to be paired with the jacket. I rolled the sleeves up on the shirt so my wrists were bare. I added my white Tag Heuer watch.


An iPad case works great as a handbag on BrendaKinsel.com

Polka dots bring the party to this outfit in my iPad case, AKA handbag


Accessorizing the gray newly-improved jacket

I added two favorite necklaces. The one inside the shirt collar is a bee necklace. And hanging lower is a heart necklace. Bees and hearts; what’s not to love?

With those two tailored clothing pieces, I decided to go for an Oxford shoe. This Rosa Mosa lace-up shoe has interesting design on the front end and I love the white detailing in the laces and the soles. The jeans are my tried and true AG ankle jeans.

I didn’t want my outfit to look too tailored so I had to add a fun handbag.

Voila, polka dots stepped right up, begging for an assignment. These black and white polka dots are on an iPad case with a black tassel. It looks like a handbag to me!


The result?

I’m so glad to have my boomerang jacket. It’s so darn comfortable and a perfect weight for the Bay Area. Adjusting the sleeve length made it so much more flattering. I think I’ll find a sleeveless white collared blouse, maybe a linen one, to wear under the jacket when it’s really hot.

Do you have any boomerang pieces that are waiting to be utilized? Do you have any jackets that would benefit from changing the sleeve length?

You know me; I want to know! Please share!

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  • Reply
    Nicole K
    May 22, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    I love everything about this outfit and the post. I have not had things come back to me in exactly that way, but I have searched for (and repurchased) items on eBay that I had given away due to weight loss or gain or regret. You have a knack for taking tailored items and making them look so hip and jaunty instead of corporate office. I recently discovered you and so happy that I did!

    Thanks Brenda!

    • Reply
      May 24, 2017 at 8:42 pm

      You are so welcome, Nicole! There is a very core part of me that loves wearing tailored items. That’s probably a real comfort thing for me. I’m so very happy you’ve found this great community! Welcome!

  • Reply
    Katherine Cramer
    May 23, 2017 at 7:29 am

    Everyone needs a few white blouses to showcase a jacket or sweater. You’ve created a lovely look here that is so Brenda. Love the shoes (comfort-worthy) and fun polka dot clutch. Now I know why I hold on to so many pieces. They do have life in them…or so I tell myself. Thanks for showing us yet another seemingly easy way to look fun and polished.

    • Reply
      May 24, 2017 at 8:43 pm

      Yes, Katherine, my guess is you have things in your closet that have a lot of life in them. I think it’s true of most of us. It just takes some time to figure it out. I call that playtime!

  • Reply
    Susan Trevors
    May 23, 2017 at 7:34 am

    Love all of your clothes and the outfits you put together. You have such class . Beautiful !

    • Reply
      May 24, 2017 at 8:43 pm

      Thank you so much, Susan! I’m glad you’re enjoying them.

  • Reply
    Inez Trigg
    May 23, 2017 at 10:37 am

    Thanks Brenda! Jackets over jeans is my uniform. You have inspired me to take a jacket that I have loved for years (left over from my corporate days) and get it tailored because the sleeves are cuffed and too bulky over a blouse. I love what you had it altered, it helps to show off your lovely white blouse! One question: how tall are you? I am 5ft 4in and it’s difficult to find jackets that don’t overwhelm me. You always look so great in your jackets.

    • Reply
      May 24, 2017 at 8:45 pm

      Hi Inez, I’m glad you’re having your jacket tailored. I’m only an inch taller than you. Changing the sleeve length can do so much for getting a jacket to feel right and not bulky. Good luck!!!

  • Reply
    Mary Lou Hartman
    May 23, 2017 at 11:00 am

    Love this entire outfit. What a great post. Thank you.

    • Reply
      May 24, 2017 at 8:45 pm

      I’m so glad!!!

  • Reply
    May 23, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    Last week my daughter put a variety of clothes in my donation box for Goodwill. I noticed a lovely blouse on top of the pile. The fabric pattern and color made me pick it up, try it on and wonder why it seemed so familiar to me. Yup, a cast off from my closet to my daughter 3 years ago is now back on a hanger in my closet. Totally amazing. I’m going to style it differently this time around. Some things just come back to haunt you in a good way!!

    • Reply
      May 24, 2017 at 8:46 pm

      Oh Kathy, this is such a fun story! I LOVE it! It was meant to be and I bet you’ll have fun styling it. Bravo!

  • Reply
    May 24, 2017 at 8:58 am

    Love this outfit! I recently pulled a little white jacket out of the closet that I purchased on clearance probably 5 years ago. It was my first time to wear the jacket and it made me feel so put together! 🙂

    • Reply
      May 24, 2017 at 8:46 pm

      That’s so great, Stacey. I bet you’ll be wearing it more and more.

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