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Jackets unzipped

When winter hits hard, it’s time for jackets to come out of the closet. You can wear them over anything - shirts, T- shirts, polo necks, cardigans and vests. You can team your jacket with...

india Updated: Jan 16, 2010 20:04 IST
Yatan Ahluwalia & Jojo

JacketsWhy Jackets?

They form a significant outer layer – keeping you both warm and protected from the wind.

They are extremely versatile and easy to put on as well as to take off – you can wear a jacket over just about anything: shirts, T- shirts, polo necks, cardigans and vests.

You always have the option to wear a variety of jackets: formal, semi-formal or casual and lighter jackets when indoors and heavier ones when outdoors.

Jackets with reflective strips are ideal for foggy and cloudy days (and nights) – especially if you are on a bike, involved with outdoor sports or travelling on foot.

Work and semi-formal jackets
What to wear: Stand-alone semi-formal jackets in corduroy or drill. Stick to designs that use a single or two buttons. Contrasting coloured thread work, buttons, cuffs or collars are acceptable.
How to wear it: Team your jacket with a simple office shirt and a brightly coloured plain or printed tie (see accessories). Complete the look with a pair of comfort fit semi-formal trousers (that look distinctly different from the jacket) or plain jeans.

Jacket Colours
Yellow: For a sporty feel – ideal for men with a dark skin tone.
Red: Energetic and best suited for casual wear – ideally with jeans. Suits men with pale or light skin colour.
Blue: Dark tones for day and office wear, lighter ones for sports and recreation.
White: You can wear a white jacket for sports, a casual party or night out at a club.
Black: Can be worn over formal and semi-formal clothes. Works with most skin tones and face cuts.

The Look
A sharp look for the face to match your jacket.
How to style your hair: Grow it out a bit – spike at the centre and leave longer strands (at the back) to fall over the collar.
How to shape brows: Trim and define them, but keep them looking thick and bushy.
Maintaining sideburns: Keep them long and sharp. Allow the ends to slice into your cheeks or run along the jawbone.
Lips: Ensure they are well buffed, moisturised and nourished – the fresher and fuller they look, the better.
Stubble: A day-old stubble is permissible – but only if you must.
Skin: An exfoliation routine with a scrub once weekly is highly recommended. Use light and absorbent day creams with a low SPF.

Ultra short


Short and the kind that can be turned up to cover the neck


Sleeves should end at the wrist and the overall length, just above the waist – never any lower


Prominent zippers over buttons


Sporty stopwatch or chronograph with a large dial


Straight or fitted – but not loose and ill-fitting


Dark, especially if you are wearing a lighter jacket on top


Trendy sports and casual shoes – printed, coloured or embellished with contrasting coloured laces (a revival of the early ’80s trend)

Windcheaters for the day
Windcheaters (light jackets that protect you from the wind) are a good substitute for the heavy woollens and overcoats from winter. Look out for short lengths and a sharp structured cut that flatters the natural shape of your body – especially on the shoulders and chest. When worn with jeans, your windcheaters should be left open – ideally revealing a fitted, multicoloured printed T-shirt or a textured muscle vest underneath. Collared shirts are completely unacceptable. Coordinate or contrast the colour of your jeans with your windcheater. Ensure the jeans are always snug fit (see our last column, Power Denims) and can be worn without a belt.
Complete your look with dual coloured casual laced shoes. You may substitute with trendy sports keds, but never with semi-formal or formal laced leather shoes.

Zippered jackets for casual & street wear
Multi Pockets: Jackets with multi pockets allow you to get space to store your phone, keys, wallets and other carry on accessories.
Zippers: While most jackets come with a single zipper, some casual styles come with more. Check the quality of zippers before you make your pick – they should look and feel durable and long lasting.
Cuffs: Never roll up the sleeves or the cuffs of your jacket. Not only does this damage the fit and fall of your jacket, but looks just as bad too.

The Bollywood Influence
If Bollywood and beefed up heroes inspire you, then you could always get into a cut sleeve jacket or a full sleeve fitted leather jacket. Choose a plain single colour – brown, army green or black – and a style that comes with enough padding to make you look both fuller and wider, where you need to. Chains, transfers with embellishments are a good idea, but optional off screen.
What you need: Pumped up arms, a broad chest, well defined shoulders, hair colour or streaks and large dark glasses to cover the eyes and most of the face. Combine with skintight jeans or take things to the extreme – a pair of leather pants.

Punching Bag
We strongly urge brands and designer labels to justify the price points of their merchandise – especially the jackets they presently retail. While we understand quality comes at a price, most designs we looked at in various stores did not make the cut and do not justify their price tags – either for the materials used or the look of the overall finished product.

The drawback of picking up something expensive and which grabs attention is that you can never wear it too often or over and over again. Therefore whenever you shop, try and pick a neutral style that you can wear in many different ways and combinations – that’s called styling – to stretch the rupee to the hilt.

Five accessories to flaunt with your jacket
Sleek flat belts: Under the jacket, fasten your semi-formal trousers and jeans with a plain and slim sleek belt that has an eye catching metal buckle.
Colours: Black, grey and red – either on their own or combined together.

Multicoloured Striped Ties
For your work or semi-formal jacket – dress your office and semi-formal shirt with an eye-catching, bright and multicoloured tie.
Prints: Stripes in all sizes – from the pencil thin to the broad – placed vertically, horizontally or diagonally on your tie.

Square Sunglasses - Try wearing these innovative USB-mounted sunglasses. You should choose a pair with a black tint instead of brown, gold or green.
Shape: This year, wear square sunglasses or spectacles and avoid all oval and round styles.

Coloured Wristwatches - A bright multi-dial watch that peeps from under your jacket cuff can add a lot more than a hint of colour to your overall look.
Combinations: Pick watches with straps and dials in combinations of black and yellow, red and white or blue and silver.

Laceless Casual Shoes
You can wear either sporty or casual footwear with most casual jackets. For semi-formal jackets, we recommend relaxed, laceless styles in leather.
Dimension: You can wear regular footwear, ankle length styles or low rise boots with jackets. Avoid heels and stick to flat soles instead.