Here’s a guide to curating an arsenal of jackets based on your personality type.
Sept 21, 2020
Whether a classic style or a new spin on an old favourite, a jacket is the kind of garment you buy with the intention of wearing for the long term, so choosing the one that is just right for you is a serious undertaking. With so many styles from which to select, making that choice can be a daunting task. There are fabrics to consider, lengths to ponder and even more minor details (like whether you prefer button fastenings or zips) to assess. But, the beauty of this challenge is that once you've found the piece, you probably won't need to look again for a very long time.
With a little savvy, the jacket you select this season can pull off the double duty of carrying you right through the year and also telegraphing your overall persona. Read on to find the outerwear picks that best match/complement your personal style.
Photo: Richie Diamond Hooded Jacket, Orange Culture
The Laidback Lady
First of all, let's start off by affirming that casual is not synonymous with dull. In this case, the adjective refers to the laid-back qualities a garment can carry including unfussy silhouettes, simple cuts and—most importantly—comfort. If casual dressing is your forte, it’s hard to go wrong with an understated style like the bomber jacket. With its iconic, soft silhouette and lightweight nature, Kahindo’s brightly patterned variations—as well as Taibo Bacar’s iteration—are incredibly easy to wear, and can be quickly thrown on top of a simple sneaker and jeans without disrupting the look’s ease. There’s also the Richie Diamond Hooded Jacket by Orange Culture which is as relaxed and unpretentious as it gets. Fashioned in Lagos and rendered in deep shades of black and blue, it’s a choice that is both polished and easy-going.
Photo: Kimono, Awa Meité
The Boho Babe
The spritely fairy of fashion, you’re partial to flowers in your hair, swanning around barefoot, and are rarely seen wearing a pair of trousers. An artistic, bohemian soul who was born to wander, the pieces you select to throw over yourself mirror your personality. Consider a flowing kimono, like that of Malian designer Awa Meité. Crafted from cotton and handwoven Akwete textile panels (a hand woven textile produced in Nigeria’s Igboland), this floor-sweeping jacket is a romantic shot of lightweight glamor, a sublime example of what is an enduringly influential piece. Meité’s Indigo Bouffant Sleeve Vest is also a real statement-maker; when coupled with a floor-length, tiered skirt is both practical and attention-grabbing. If it’s a strong dose of sunshine that’s in order, Kahindo’s Pleated Yellow Duster Jacket provides just such radiance. Part of the brand’s 10th anniversary collection, this flattering coverall looks best with a pair of delicate summer sandals and linen trousers, its warmth and whimsy speaking to the free spirited dresser.
Photo: Red Ayumi Blazer, Studio 189
The Sophisticated Soul
As someone who is devoted to all things elegant and chic, you’re the furthest thing from a fickle fashionista, turning instead to items that are classic and will stand the test of time. You favor refinement over trendiness, grace over glitter, and for these very reasons, the blazer is your best friend, Finely tailored and perfectly polished, it’s a power piece—one that takes on many forms. Take a look at Nigerian designer Emmy Kasbit’s Tribal Lace Blazer; cut from a subtly patterned, pinky-peach lace and featuring a soft cotton lining, it exudes an inherent elegance and formality. Still, Kasbit’s style is pared back enough not to overwhelm, the pastel shade lending the structured blazer a paradoxical softness. A little less understated is the designer’s Okawa Jacket, which is a fantastic blend of bold lines, vibrant colors and standout textures. Studio 189’s double-breasted version of the blazer on the other hand, is a cool, off-kilter incarnation that’s long and lean in silhouette. Whether you’re drawn to the black and white version or the green version, both offer the coverage you need and the timeless elegance that a sophisticated soul like you would expect. Wear either of these pieces over a figure-hugging slip dress, then add your favorite pair heels for a sleek look, or try mixing in a pair of trousers or pencil skirt in a corresponding shade for a business-chic ensemble that exudes authority.
Photo: Batkara Layered Coat, Lisa Folawiyo
With your try-anything attitude, as the Daredevil you probably have the most fun getting dressed out of everyone. There’s nothing too intimidating or dramatic for this archetype; everything is on the table, including heavily clashing prints. Nigerian designer Lisa Folawiyo’s maxi-length Batkara Layered Coat and Pleated Coat Dress are great examples of patterned pieces that look great together. Crafted from luxurious and Ankara textiles, her coat’s varying shades of deep blue and green create a kaleidoscope effect that’s enhanced through intricate diamante fringe detailing, while the coat dress boldly experiments with pleating and silhouettes, demonstrating the label’s panache for outer layers. An equally assertive statement piece is the J'al Jacket by Kenyan label, Kiko Romeo. Created in collaboration with Sudanese artist Eltayeb Dawel Bait who hand-painted the garment with bleach, this cropped jacket is, quite literally, wearable art. Try wearing any one of these selections with a simple crop top and high-waisted jeans: plain colors and silhouettes will ensure the jacket you choose remains the focal point of your ensemble.
Photo: Emboridery Coat, Taibo Bacar
The Avant-Garde Admirer
Always on the hunt for the what’s next in the world of experimental design? A superfan of designers like Yohji Yamamoto and Rick Owens? Fascinated by innovative designers who push the envelope and go against the grain? Well then, it would seem that you’re something of an “Avant-Garde Admirer.” If this is you, let that experimental spirit and imagination of yours be captured by the Embroidery Coat by Taibo Bacar. Completely black save a flourish of gold embroidery that festoons its back, it’s an audacious piece that announces the wearer's presence with no fear. Pair the coat with a white shirt and matching trousers to create a cool, monochrome palette, then offset the look with bold gold jewelry. An equally enchanting piece, the unexpected elements of the Embroidered Short-Sleeve Blazer by Ghanaian womenswear brand Christie Brown endear it to those who boldly embrace experimentation and innovation in their manner of dress. A piece that feels more inspired by sculpture than by utilitarianism, its classical tailoring is complimented by its meandering patterns, while its white embroidery detailing and vivid colors draw the eye in. Finally, there’s the Barkcloth Long-Sleeve Jacket by IAMISIGO. Made from Barkcloth (a fabric made by harvesting the inner bark of Uganda’s native Mutuba tree during the country’s wet season), fully-lined and featuring an on-trend, boxy silhouette, it’s a luxurious, ethically-produced head turner. Once again, we recommend keeping the rest of your look simple; afterall, this singular piece is the epitome of one that speaks for itself.
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