Thursday, December 5, 2013

InFINITY and Beyond

The jacket has an equestrian vibe when paired with a long plaid skirt (I also wore the skirt as a dress with my grandmother's leather jacket earlier this Fall - see it here).  Skirt (Willi Smith); Boots (Nine West); Mexican fire opal and diamond pendant (Master Jewelers, St. Maartin); Bag (Brahmin)
The same jacket has a retro, 70s vibe when paired with bootcut plaid pants, my Annie Oakley pendant from eBay (the little pistol actually comes out of its holster!), and a cable knit bucket bag from Michael Kors.
In the mid-90s, I moonlighted as a sales clerk at Parisian (now Carson Pirie Scott) while I finished law school.  I'm pretty sure I spent more than I earned while I was there, but it was a great way to build a professional wardrobe on a budget (we're talking BIG employee discounts).  Though I loved trying on the newest trends, I made a point of investing in quality staples that would stand the test of time and coordinate readily with other pieces.

One of my "go to" clothing lines during that time was Finity, which was on the higher end of Parisian's brand offerings, but still affordable for a struggling law student (especially with the discount).  In Finity, I found the perfect black suit and the perfect, dark chocolate brown blazer.  Though I've acquired multiple black and brown suits and blazers since, those from Finity are still my favorite, and they are still in rotation some 15 years later.  I stay on the lookout for replacements, because I know one day these wardrobe basics will wear out but, to date, I've not had luck finding the perfect pieces.  Sadly, it also appears that the Finity brand is no longer being sold in stores (though there is an abundance of it on sites like Tradesy and eBay). 

When I bought this chocolate brown jacket, I knew it was a solid, seasonless, and well-tailored piece that I'd be able to wear both at work and in more casual settings.  I can't even begin to recount the many ways I've styled it over the years, but it's probably safe to say that no other jacket in my closet has been worn so much.  In addition to the looks above, I wore it over the summer with an ivory lace skirt and spectators (see it here), and last month with an autumn-hued boucle skirt (see it here).  I'm actually kind of amazed that it's still in such good condition, though I have to admit it is starting to show signs of wear.  I may have to step up my search for a replacement...  

I also managed to dig up a few photos of the jacket in its early life with me.  Wish I could say my hairstyle in those days stood the test of time as well as the jacket!  

Do you invest in "boring basics" that last?
Top left and bottom:  I took the jacket to Australia with me in 1998, where I wore it with dress pants for my internship and with (bad) Guess button fly jeans on the weekends (I can neither confirm nor deny that these jeans are still in my closet somewhere).  Top right:  I also wore it for some family portraits in (I think) 2001.
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

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