Ladylike Jackets

Coco Chanel once said that simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance and frankly, we couldn't agree more. That's why today's Trend Report focuses on a classic and elegant piece--the ladylike jacket--and the youthful ways our favourite front-row fixtures are wearing it. Whether it's cropped and boxy or hip-length and snugly buttoned, this wardrobe essential has been a favourite of ladies-who-lunch since Mme. Chanel designed her first signature cardigan jacket in the 1920s. Since then, the typically tweed topper has been reinvented by countless fashion houses--just about every brand has created a version--demonstrating its truly timeless appeal. Now, this iconic piece is noteworthy anew, thanks to some fresh styling choices from the likes of tastemakers such as Clémence Poésy, Caroline Sieber, and more!

Though we certainly could talk about Chanel's many iterations of the ladylike jacket, today we're looking to another fashion powerhouse for guidance on how to address this classic item now: DKNY. The brand's Resort 11 collection features a slew of wonderfully wearable pieces that are perfect for the modern sophisticate--think: silky blouses, slim cropped trousers, and cool cocktail-party options--including an excellent take on today's topic. Instead of styling the Lurex Tweed Jacket ($425) with a matching knee-length skirt, it's mixed with the Nightfall Sleeve Scarf Blouse ($245) and Wool Utility Pants ($225, available at select DKNY stores) for a fresh look that's feminine, yet still polished. In other words: perfect for the office!

Now, it goes without saying that this isn't the first time a ladylike jacket has been in the spotlight, but the way top trendsetters are styling said item is definitely worth discussing. For example, Caroline Sieber gave the prim piece a provocative update in October when she arrived at the Miu Miu S/S 11 show wearing a white Chanel jacket from the Pre-Fall 10 collection with vintage leather shorts and a pair of Valentino Garavani Runway Chain Slingbacks ($775, available at select Bergdorf Goodman stores). We adore the contrast, not to mention Sieber's decision to keep the jacket buttoned up, which gives it the appearance of being a chic top rather than an extra layer. Julia Restoin-Roitfeld selected a similar Chanel jacket from the same Pre-Fall 10 collection (this time in a striking blue and black tweed) when she attended the reopening of the Soho Chanel boutique back in September. Restoin-Roitfeld's take on the trend instantly caught our attention, as she teamed her chic jacket with a pair of light-wash denim shorts for an unexpectedly cool combo we're dying to recreate.

While we are suckers for the longer ladylike jackets Sieber and Restoin-Roitfeld picked, cropped styles make for an equally elegant finish, as demonstrated by Clémence Poésy and Gaia Repossi. Both ladies donned Chanel jackets from the Cruise 11 collection at the Chanel Metiers d'Art Fashion Show in Paris early last month. Repossi selected the Embroidered Fantasy Tweed Jacket ($4620, 212.334.0055) and Stretch Denim Wide Leg Pants ($1445, 212.334.0055), while Poesy opted for a taupe version, which she wore over a white button-up shirt and denim skirt. The contrast of a finely crafted jacket with the more utilitarian bottoms works because it tempers the former and elevates the latter, resulting in a perfectly balanced ensemble!

Bearing all of this in mind, while we do believe that a Chanel jacket is a worthy investment and the DKNY version is also a savvy selection, we also understand that the holidays can be harsh on the wallet. Accordingly, we've spotted plenty of affordable alternatives--all just a click away, of course! If you're looking to achieve a look à la Sieber and Restoin-Roitfeld, you'll definitely want to check out MM Couture by Miss Me's Jacket ($114) or Elizabeth and James' Dylan Tweed Jacket ($465); either option would look fabulous teamed with a pair of jeans or juxtaposed against a leather skirt or shorts. Prefer a subtle and cropped style, as seen on Poésy? Ann Taylor's Fancy Tweed Corseted Jacket ($198) and Rivoli's Check Tweed Jacket ($455) will certainly give a casual skirt or a little black dress a chic finish. Of course, if it's Repossi's statement-making jacket you're after, Forever 21's Crepe Chiffon Jacket ($30), Spiegel's Fringed Tweed Cropped Jacket ($89), and Milly's Josie Fringe Jacket ($495) are sure to give your ensemble that extra bit of panache and ladylike polish.--Jessica Baker

Photos of Gaia Repossi and Clemence Poesy, courtesy of Getty; Photos of Caroline Sieber and Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, courtesy of Splash