Jackets are the “fixers” in your closet. They’re wardrobe magicians that turn a blah outfit into a stylish one, give layers of tees and sweaters a pulled-together look and make us appear better-dressed, poised and polished or just plain cool … all in the five seconds it takes to slip one on. But before you donate your oldies and splurge on a new blazer, biker or bomber, read this because the best (and only) jackets to own now are those in sync with our 50-plus bodies, lifestyles and attitude. Here are the ones that do it:
1. A modern blazer
Once relegated to office wear, tailored notch-collar blazers now thrive “off-duty” to dress up jeans, tees and sneakers, toss over untucked shirts and hoodies and give any pants, from wide-leg trousers to joggers, suit-level class and authority. Your best bet is a single-breasted style. It’s easier to wear open or closed than double-breasted styles, which are dressier and look best buttoned — and are hard to sit in for that reason. Stick with neutral colors to amp up versatility, but switch to practical lighter year-round fabrics with stretch and eased up silhouettes for a contemporary look. For example, A New Day Women’s Relaxed Fit Essential Blazer in Black ($38, target.com) has a casual fit that layers easily over light sweaters, and the Everlane Men’s Performance Chino Blazer in Deep Navy ($188, everlane.com) with 4-way stretch is comfy. Knit blazers with sharp lines and a sweater-like feel, such as the Talbot’s Easy Knit Blazer in Deep Almond Buff ($189, talbots.com) — the horn buttons are purely for show — are another lifestyle-friendly update. The right blazer will be not too tight, not too loose and slip easily under your winter coats without a worry. Leave the massive, oversized styles trending on social and runways alone.
2. A black leather jacket
The Milwaukee Leather SH1011 Black Classic Brando Motorcycle Jacket for Men ($130, amazon.com) is the go-to for those wanting to add a rebellious touch to their clothes. But that just-rode-in-on-my-Harley hardware has tough competition from the bomber (also known as a flight jacket). The Michael Michael Kors Men’s Faux-Leather Hooded Bomber Jacket in Espresso or Black ($250, macys.com) and the Abercrombie & Fitch Women’s Vegan Leather Bomber Jacket in Black ($160, abercrombie.com) pack plenty of attitude but have sleeker lines. For an even softer approach, regardless of biker or bomber style, choose brown leather rather than black or opt for suede instead of leather. Or for another kind of swagger, women can try the gutsy Good American Sculpted Faux Leather Blazer in Black 001 ($195, nordstrom.com) that combines tailored polish with a shapely edge.