Wardrobe Review – Vol. 1: Outerwear

Thinking as a stylist and how to make clothing more approachable is a bit tricky. One of my main goals as a stylist is to leave everyone feeling a little more like themselves. I don’t want to provide a place of criticism: the goal here is escapism and identity in a very commercialized world. Creating this safe space, and further more, ‘Wardrobe Review,’ is an opportunity to share some things in my wardrobe I find to have the most utility and versatility while still providing that joy and self-acceptance we all seek. We’re buying better in 2023, not more. Since most of us are still experiencing the chill of late winter, outerwear seems to be the perfect jumping off point. Dear reader, let’s dive in shall we?

1. The Wool Coat
I will never cease to sing the praises of a wool coat. It can truly be whatever you want it to be while elevating the most relaxed outfit you own. It keeps you toasty warm on cold winter nights and is the perfect addition to any wardrobe. Look for a slightly oversized silhouette (perfect for layering) and then let your imagination run wild when it comes to colors or patterns. I purchased this beautiful blue option from Nasty Gal (plus and standard sizes available) as a bold statement whenever I need a pick me up. Basic black is not to be over looked either as it will absolutely stand the test of time. Style it over your favorite party suit or dress or take it out when you run errands, pairing it with a hoodie and leggings. The sky is really the limit here.

2. The Moto Jacket
Trends may come and go but a good moto jacket is immortal. This punky little sister of the leather bomber is perfect when you’re looking to add a bit of edge to your favorite jeans and t-shirt combo. It’s equally well paired with a sweater and trousers or a skirt (try satin for a hard meets soft look). I also think leather or faux leather are equally excellent choices here and if you’re not concerned about rainfall where you live, suede (real or faux) is also a beautiful option. My H&M moto jacket has been on my hanger since 2017 and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. I also love this ASOS option with a belt for a very punk look.

3. The Trench Coat
I will admit that in the not-too-distant past, I wrote the trench coat off as a preppy basic that was beneath me. I love admitting when I’m wrong. The trench coat gets a rep as being preppy when the word we’re looking for is timeless. There’s a reason Burberry has been in the business of trench coats since 1856. I’m not advising you break the bank to buy Burberry, but if it’s financially viable, I’d ask you to strongly consider it. Luckily if that’s way outside your budget, anywhere from J.Crew to Target to Nordstrom to Old Navy will have various options for you. To make mine a bit edgier, I style it with cargo pants, a band t-shirt, and a denim over shirt. I also found this lovely faux leather option from Hilary MacMillan that feels very luxe (and a bit more punk) if that’s your vibe. Similar to a wool coat, this will truly go with anything you own.

4. The Puffer Jacket
Did I also mistakenly swear of puffy coats in the early 2010’s? Yes, I did. Am I hear to once again say I was wrong. Of course – it’s called growth! Sometimes, it’s gonna be really fucking cold out and technical outerwear has come a long way from ankle length Columbia’s. I love the sporty cropped versions (this H&M one was one of my last purchases in 2022), the faux leather ones, and the overly shinny patent ones but anything that makes you feel good AND warm is a keeper here – even the ankle length Columbia’s. This obviously looks amazing with a sweat set but I also think looks as cool with (faux) leather pants, t-shirts, and a pair of crisp sneakers.

5. The Wildcard
This coat is the one that is so inherently you that you feel pulled to it all the way down in the smallest molecule of your DNA. Styling this is also the easiest – wear it with whatever you want, as often as you want, until it’s so threadbare and patched you think of framing it because you couldn’t bare to throw it away. While this can change from decade to decade, new self to new self, it should above all feel like an extension of you. For me, it’s currently the pinstripe duster y’all KNOW I cannot stop wearing! If you catch yourself stopping to admire yourself in every reflective surface when you’re wearing it, you know you’ve found the one.

Enough about me – what’s your favorite piece of outerwear that you own? Is it a silhouette that made the list or just your personal wild card? Can’t wait to hear all about it – when you shine is when I’m happiest.




KatyJoe Idaho

To showing up, imperfectly

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