Baa Baa, Black Jacket

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Before I dive into today’s outfit post, just a quick note to address my sudden disappearance. I’ve been laying low on the blog after a crippling flu that lingered for weeks. (After a coughing fit during a yoga class, I went to the doctor and wound up getting a prescription for an asthma inhaler.) Couple that with a busy travel schedule for work, and you get a lull in the blogging.

Slowly but surely, I’m hobbling back into the swing of things. Let’s do this.

Jacket: Coach | Skirt: BCBG Max Azria | Cashmere Sweater: Neiman Marcus | Boots: Stuart Weitzman | Belt: Miu Miu | Bucket Bag: Tamara Mellon
Jacket: Coach | Skirt: BCBG Max Azria | Cashmere Sweater: Neiman Marcus | Boots: Stuart Weitzman | Belt: Miu Miu | Bucket Bag: Tamara Mellon

We’ve been blessed with a spate of warmer weekend weather, and when I saw that Saturday was going to be balmy and dry as a bone, I tossed my snow boots and wore these suede boots instead. (Last seen here.) I can’t wear any suede if there’s even a hint of rain in the forecast, which means these can get a little lonely in my closet.

My skirt-belt-jacket-boot combo was inspired by this mega-chic outfit on Jessica Biel, which she wore in Paris in 2012.

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My homage to the biker jacket was this oversized Coach version, which includes heavy-duty hardware and a sheepskin collar. The quality is pretty insane — someone stopped me in the street to ask if the jacket was by The Kooples, a hipster-approved brand I adore but can never seem to afford. (BTW, the stuff never surfaces in consignment, so if you see something you love, snap it up.)

Despite the public plaudits my jacket received from passersby, the jacket was more than 50% off last week. I think Coach has struggled to prove that it’s mastered ready-to-wear. I can’t over-state how much damage Coach did to its brand when it churned out millions of blurry-logoed tote bags in countless outlets. Suddenly, every gal had a Coach tote — real or fake, who knows? — swinging from her arm. Ubiquity is the enemy of fashion. I’m all for democratizing fashion, but Coach steamrolled its own cachet and undid decades of brand-building in the process.

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In 2013, Coach named Stuart Vevers as its creative director. Vevers held the same title at Loewe, which has recently re-emerged as a heavy-hitter in the luxury accessories market. It was a signal that Coach was serious about reclaiming a place in the pantheon of high-end retail.

I can categorically say that Coach is KILLING IT. Run, don’t walk, and check out the women’s wear selection. The prices are lower than the uber-luxury brands, and the material quality and fabrication details are FAR superior to high-end brands in the same price point. (Maje, a French brand, has a line of similarly priced goods, but the quality is nowhere NEAR Coach’s, for example.)

I’m loving this leather coat, these moto boots, this bohemian dress and this leather patchwork skirt. Oh, and the purses? Huge improvement. Check out this floral saddle bag. Or this mini-bag in aubergine, which I would wear with a slightly bigger handbag, like a joey nestled in the pouch of a mama kangaroo.

Anyone else loving this new direction as much as me? Would love to hear your thoughts!

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