Print, Pleats, and a Springified Trench

banana-republic-sunny-days-skirt-1I’ve always loved the look of an open trench, but find it hard to get right. Double-breasted trench coats have to overlap and button across the front, so there’s a lot of extra fabric flapping around when it’s not fully buttoned. On people with more height and presence, the extra fabric of an unbuttoned trench can look cool and casual. I, on the other hand, look swallowed and lost in my coat.

Here, the extra fabric has been folded back and buttoned in on itself, which isn’t a new idea to anyone, but for some reason, it’s only now working for me. I’ve tried this before and thought the coat looked unbalanced. For some reason, when I tried it again this time, it worked beautifully. Did my eye just get used to the look? Or did I do something better this time? Seems hard to believe since buttoning a coat isn’t exactly hard to do. Maybe it worked this time because the waist tie has been cinched behind the coat to gather the fabric for a slimmer look? Whatever the reason, I’m loving the springification of this trench and my new found way to wear it open.


As a huge departure from my affinity for menswear inspirations, my all time favorite silhouette is the full skirt and narrow waist popularized by Christian Dior’s New Look. It’s strange that I can be attracted to the most masculine of womenswear, and then arguably the most feminine of silhouettes. I don’t wear full skirts often because I always felt they were better suited for women with more shapely legs than my own, but here, it worked. Maybe the coat is balancing me out? Either way…I like it! =)

Outfit Details – Burberry trench :: Ann Taylor blouse :: Banana Republic skirt (c/o) :: Ann Taylor belt :: Christian Louboutin shoes :: Chanel handbag :: Amrita Singh necklace :: Kate Spade watch (customized) :: Stella & Dot bracelet (c/o) (new in silver) (post) :: Vintage bracelet

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  1. says: pimpIT

    Ha, I’m the first commentator today ; ) 
    Hi Kelly,
    I absolutely have to say: More skirts please! And this one is such a nice pop of color. Love it! The only thing (if you’d ask me to be honest ; ) which immediately came on my mind is: this skirt could be a little shorter. Not at the bottom part but the upper part seems just a little too long. But as you know it’s my job, my eyes are always focused on perfect proportions. So, please don’t get me wrong here. 
    You look fabulous in that outfit!!! Great combo! Love the buttoned back trench!
    <3 <3 <3

  2. says: Carrie

    Cute outfit for spring. I think the touch of red you added looks so cheerful with the yellow.  Enjoyed the Christian Dior link, too – very interesting. :)

  3. says: AUBS

    first learned about this buttoning of jackets onto itself thing from khatu.  really like the idea, mb i wont be so hesistant the next time to get a larger jacket but wear it open all the time.

  4. says: Anna

    I really like this combination of colors and textures but I can’t get past the skirt. Something about it doesn’t fit right. I think the pleats are a bit too wide so they overwhelm your frame. I have narrow calves myself and wide knee-length bottoms make them even narrower.

  5. I am in love with the ‘new look’ as well. I like the pop of color in the Amrita Singh necklace. I have trouble with skirts, too. I usually have to put them back if they ‘poof’ too much in my rear.

  6. says: Arts

    Love that skirt. I kept it in my bin for some time, but decided not to buy , my budget is already over the mark this month :)

  7. says: Janki

    so cute!  I have super narrow calves too (making finding tall boots nearly impossible).  I like this look, there is something “Mad Men” about this without seeming like a costume.  I am a total dolt, but I don’t get how you modified your trench– can you show some pictures?  I always buy single breasted outtwear since double makes me too too weird.  Am diggin the statement necklace. I saw Jean posted the ideeli link, may have to get one too.

    1.  Hi Janki! Thank you! Hmm…let me try and describe it better, since I’m not sure I’ll be able to take photos anytime soon. On a double-breasted trench, each side has both buttons and button holes, so you can overlap the two sides and button them closed. Instead of buttoning one side’s buttons into the button holes of the other side, you fold each side of the coat over so you can button it’s own buttons into it’s own button holes. Make sense? I know, it’s a lot of words to describe a pretty simple concept, which makes it confusing. =P

      As for Amrita Singh, I own two necklaces, but both have oxidized in the short time I’ve owned them. I had to sit down the night before wearing this outfit and give the necklace a good wipe to get all the icky green stuff off. Other ladies haven’t had an issue, but it’s worth mentioning before you drop any money on an item that might turn green on you.

  8. says: Cee

    I studied your photos for the longest time before I finally comprehended what “extra fabric has been folded back and buttoned in on itself” meant. THIS IS SUCH A GENIUS IDEA! Can you tell I’m so excited I want to go home and try this right away? Haha. Before, I’ve only done the belt cinching from the back to gather fabric, and then kinda push the excess fabric from the front away as I walk. It works in outfit photos but kinda ugly in motion haha. Thanks Kelly!

    I’m like you, some days I just feel super girly and would wear lace/ruffles/etc. On other days, I can probably be mistaken for a boy if I wore the right headgear, lol. Feminine looks do suit you, so keep ’em coming!

    1.  I’m surprised you’re not a pro at this trick already Cee! You east-coast girls are always way advanced in the wise ways of coats, layering, and the like. And, yeah, my explanation wasn’t very good, but I’m glad you were able to figure it out. =)

      As a fellow “tie in the back and push around all this extra fabric” trench wearer, I’ll be anxiously awaiting more amazing trench-centric preppy looks from you with this new trick. hehe

      1. says: Cee

        Ahh, sorry, I didn’t mean it like that. I’m a bit slow today, so it took me awhile to figure it out. But once I did and reread your explanation it was one of those why-didn’t-I-get-it-earlier-moments?! I blame it on a long day :)

        I’m new to the trench business, so have to rely on you Burberry experts on how to wear ;)

  9. says: witheachpassingday

    The petite bloggers ladies never crease to amaze me on the creative way you come up to wear clothes.  
    Even though I attracted to  girly clothes. I find myself looking more and more at menswear. LOL you can say I’m influence by you and your wonderful outfit.  BTW I know I said it once already but I’ll say it again. You looks damn good in skirt. =)

  10. says: PetiteintheCity

    That’s my favourite way to wear my trench!!!  The saleslady taught me, definitely cinching the waist helps.  But remember to unbutton, it leaves folds in the trench!

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