Styling Your Outerwear

Apr 18 2019

Campari Spritz on the patio of Le Petit Fer à Cheval, an adorable little bar dating from 1903

We just came back from a very fulfilling and much needed vacation – to Paris! Since Paris is oh-so-chic, I knew I wanted to look put together at all times. When it came time to pack outerwear, I knew it couldn't be an afterthought. The weather was going to be typically Parisian in temperature (anywhere from 40-65 degrees) but atypically Parisian in precipitation (sunny with no rain predicted!)

One of my secrets to staying stylish is to make sure you have a cool coat. This may sound obvious but here in Chicago, it's easy to fall into the Canada Goose down coat + Sorel boots trap. Which is fine for those Polar Vortex days, but early spring begs for lighter jackets, which gives all of us a chance to go wild and express ourselves.

Paris is all about cafe culture – they do it better than anyone else. I knew I'd be wearing my outerwear more than I'd like to so I made sure to pick something versatile that could go with some of the other things I was bringing. I selected this vintage animal print jacket that I've had for years. It's somewhat warm – perfect for damp spring days. Only downfall is that it's not waterproof but since rain was not in the forecast, I decided to bring it anyway plus an umbrella for good measure.

Once I had the jacket picked out, I selected some very important accessories – a hat, gloves, scarf and lipstick. Lipstick? I'll explain. While traveling and exploring on vacation, I usually spend long periods of time away from the hotel. Difficult lipstick (super dark shades, things that need to constantly be re-applied) don't work well for when you're constantly moving about, most often without a mirror for application. Therefore, I brought Glossier's Generation G lipstick in Cake because it's a subtle color and easy to apply without a mirror. It wears more like a chapstick but it's tinted, which is a major bonus – so easy.

Next on my list – the purse. I knew I didn't want something too small. I needed something that could hold my necessary wallet and phone, but also my waterbottle, umbrella and other in-case-of-emergency-while-out-and-about items, like a baguette. This large, Dalmation print tote did the trick, plus I love how I'm throwing yet another pattern into the mix. C'est la vie!

At Père Lachaise Cemetery

I added a pop of color with a cute wool hat that I got during my last visit to Paris. Coupled with my new Theo pink glasses, I duped everyone into thinking I was French. I even had a local ask me for directions, in French! Très bien!

Who says you can't mix prints?

In Montmartre

In front of the famed Shakespeare and Company bookstore

The point of this post is to assure you that you can make outerwear stylish as long as you have some core pieces. Don't be afraid to purchase a patterned jacket – it goes with more than you think. Don't be afraid to mix patterns! As long as they have a similar color palette, like my jacket and scarf do, you will look classy, not clashy ;) And lastly, outerwear does not have to match perfectly or be boring! Try a colorful hat, or colorful gloves. You'd be surprised how easily small pieces elevate a look. Don't be afraid to be yourself!

Another bonus: cute outerwear means you're always prepared for outdoor photos!

(I did put darker lipstick on for this pic)

Meet Adrianne

Colorful, wild paintings and other art by color lover and maximalist Adrianne Hawthorne.

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