January 17, 2013

high shine

high-shine-3Jacket: Kooba. Sweater: Wilfred. Shirt: Ann Taylor. Jeans: 7 For All Mankind. Belt: Banana Republic. Booties: J.Crew. Bracelets: Nordstrom.

Several years ago, before Pinterest came along and revolutionized the way we catalog fashion inspiration, I spotted this photo of Blake Lively on NYTimes.com, printed it out, and hand wrote “NEED THIS JACKET” in big letters at the top before tucking it into my inspiration binder. (I still have it, by the way, sandwiched between an old Kate Moss YSL ad and pictures of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in their fashion heydays. I find it oddly therapeutic to flip through the pages and reflect on how my tastes have (or in some cases, have not) changed over the years.)

A majority of the images that make their way onto my pinboards or into my inspiration binders depict intangible ideas – perfectly styled designer looks to pine after or mimic using pieces from my current wardrobe. But this Kooba jacket, with its moto-inspired zips and luxurious silk fabric in that perfect shade of champagne, refused to be relegated to an idea binder, insisted that I pursue the original instead of some cheap copy. A quick Google search revealed that the jacket was on sale – wildly on sale, in fact – and available in my size. Fate, it seemed, was not without a sense of fashion.

I’ve worn the jacket only a handful of times – once to a friend’s birthday dinner at a fancy restaurant in Manhattan, another time to a New Year’s Eve party – habitually reserving it for special occasions. But last weekend, as I combed my closet for something to top off my decidedly casual ripped jeans and leopard sweater, my eyes landed on the silk Kooba and I thought, ‘I wonder…’ That’s what’s fun about the evolution of personal style. Experimentation leads to discovery, and suddenly the coat that I deemed too fancy for every day wear is reinvented as the felicitous offset to schlubby attire. Imagine what it could do for my sweatpants.