Fashion

The petite riding jacket

As a petite woman, there’s nothing I love more than a great cropped blazer.

Blazers and jackets are extremely tricky items to shop for when you’re petite and curvy. Does the jacket fit at the shoulders? Great, expect it to be too long on the body, too tight at the waist, and have sleeves that are too long. Does it fit at the hips? It’s probably enormous everywhere else, with boxy shoulders that scream Melanie Griffith in Working Girl.

See, blazers are so frustrating because when you get them right, they provide that perfect silhouette, balancing out proportions and giving an air of professional confidence. But when you get them wrong, they’re almost impossible to fix, alter, or improve.

I own a range of blazers in different colours and styles, and love pairing them with a pair of dark jeans and a tank or tee for a business casual look that never fails me. But I hadn’t invested in a new one in a while. So when I saw Banana Republic was having a 50% friends and family sale a couple of weeks ago, I decided to pick up this navy blue equestrian-inspired hacking jacket to supplement my wardrobe:

What I like

  • The fit is almost perfect... once I got the size right. In my usual Banana Republic size, 4P, it was way too big on me. But I exchanged it for the size down, and the 2P fits almost like a glove. Almost.
  • The style is super flattering. The waist is at the right place, the shoulders sit perfectly, and the cut is nicely fitted through the top but roomy at the hips — perfect for a pear-shaped petite like myself.
  • The fabric is rich and heavy and feels perfect for a three-season jacket that will take me through fall, winter and early spring. It’s actually a polyester/rayon/spandex blend, so not real wool or cotton, alas. But it nonetheless feels expensive.
  • The colour is great — a dark navy blue that will pair well with denim and look good over almost anything. Because I’m so pale, black washes me out, so I like softer neutrals like charcoal, maroon or navy.

¬†What I don’t like

  • The sleeves are a tinge too long. This is a common problem with most jackets and blazers. Unfortunately, the three-button cuffs make the sleeves hard to shorten or roll, meaning I’ll probably be forced to live with it.
  • The fabric is showing some wrinkles from being folded for shipping. While I’m sure they’ll come out easily enough, this jacket probably won’t travel very well, making it a poor option for business trips.
  • The buttons are gold metallic, which is actually a nice contrast to the navy blue, except that I usually prefer to wear silver jewellery. It’s a minor detail, but it does affect how I’d accessorize this.

The verdict

Once I got it in the correct size, I knew this jacket was a keeper. It’s sure to become a regular wardrobe staple. Two thumbs up.

Blazer: Banana Republic, size 2P, on sale for $102.50 (down from $205)
T-Shirt: Style & Co., size PS, $20.74

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