Shacket a shirt-jacket hybrid is one of those buzzwords (skort is another) that makes you want to run screaming in the opposite direction.
Who wants clothes that look both whimsical and unglamorous at the same time? Better to call it that: a light and relaxed jacket, ideal to wear in spring. It might not be that sharp, but at least it does it justice.
But shacket seems to be stuck, so shacket is for now, although the concept is not new. A four-pocket safari jacket is a shacket, and Yves Saint Laurent made it in the 1970s. A French worker square jacket; a painter’s jacket, with two patch pockets; a belted denim jacket they’re all cabins.
Women have been wearing unlined, lightly fitted cotton jackets for as long as they have been wearing variations of men’s utilitarian clothing. They are what you would call a classic transitional piece, just the thing to wear over a sweater when packing your winter coat.
Shane Watson takes inspiration from Lily Collins (pictured) to embrace this season’s shacket trend
But the shacket’s real selling point is its overall usefulness, considering the way we dress now. The best look as good with jeans and a tshirt as they shrug their shoulders over a midi dress or belted over a sheer sweater with pants and heels.
That’s the difference with this year’s shacket, all options are covered, from weekends to the new Working From Office (WFO), outings, then whatever life has in store for us.
You might be wondering: what about a denim jacket? But it’s more casual than a shacket and although I might have worn a denim jacket a year ago, now I feel the need for something more grown-up and versatile.
Suede is tempting this time of year (a Whistles pistachio suede jacket caught my eye), but it’s a jacket you need to think about: what does it wear, what goes underneath , and in summer it will look heavy. This season’s creme cotton huts can just be popped over and over and then off you go.
On the relaxed end of the spectrum is the Me + Ems khaki work jacket (195, meandem.com). It’s your equivalent of simple and stylish white slip-on sneakers and the fact that its cropped fit makes it perfect for wearing a printed midi dress to keep it casual without drowning it out. Longer, heavier jackets can take the line of a dress and make you look overwhelmed.
SHACKETS: THE RULES
- Wear a short skirt over a midi dress.
- A belt rocks a shacket into chic, relaxed territory.
- Tired of persimmon? Try light beige or cream.
- Stick to heavy cotton and faux horn buttons.
Simplicity is the key to a shacket. Avoid lapels, keep buttons simple but smart (faux horn, ideally), and avoid washed-out colors that automatically look scruffy; remember you want to wear this to work, and with flowing dresses and skirts.
The French brand Comptoir des Cotonniers makes a work jacket in dark navy cotton (170, comptoirdescotonniers.co.uk). Or, if you’re looking for something more casual, & Other Stories has a relaxed beige corduroy jacket (85, stories.com), which you could wear with a turtleneck tucked into high-waisted pants. Slightly Katharine Hepburn.
If you want something more fitted and I do Me + Em has another khaki jacket with an adjustable drawstring at the waist, the minimalist version of a safari jacket. Personally, I prefer to go to the full four pocket and shoulder pad safari like Baukjens (169, baukjen.com), which also has a concealed drawstring waist.
Better yet, because it has the potential to be smarter, I prefer to choose one with a tie-belt, like the Samsoes Stone Utility Jacket (160, samsoe.com). Pale colors seem cooler than khaki at the moment and will wear a pair of denim jeans to something distinctly spring 2021.
Plus, a self-tie belt elevates a shacket into office-appropriate territory, especially if you’re wearing it with stylish pants.
Alternatively, & Other Stories offers a long, belted safari jacket with bisque horn buttons (165, stories.com). But it’s recycled wool, so she won’t see you during the summer. And a cabin, let’s be clear, should serve you faithfully, give or take showers, by October.