My take on the sleeveless trench

I mentioned awhile back when I was first obsessed with my flowy trench coat that I made an impulse purchase of a sleeveless version in black.  This sleeveless trench hung in my closet through a whole month of no shopping without being worn, begging for its shot, yet intimidating the crap out of me. I must’ve made about five different outfits with it as the main piece and each one just didn't feel right.   I tried matching it with my ripped, girlfriend jeans and a tight fitting black, sleeveless turtleneck.  The vest seemed to hit right where all the holes were on the knees and just looked odd.  I also attempted to match it with a series of different dresses and skirts, but the lengths just didn’t go together.  

Meanwhile, I would pass women pulling them off effortlessly walking down the street.  One constant reminder was the mannequin in the window of Macy’s Herald Square, a storefront I pass twice a day, to and from work.  This particular one featured a beautiful white sleeveless trench over an all black outfit.  If a mannequin could pull if off, so could I, right?

Another issue was the weather.  It needed to be warm enough to have bare arms (this particular vest would look ridiculous with a coat or even an office sweater to battle the AC).  At the same time, if couldn't be too hot because it is a rather thick material and I might melt on the way to the office. What exactly is the appropriate temperature to wear a sleeveless trench?  I’m still not entirely sure, but I chose an 80 degree, sunny day.

As if that’s not enough, I had no idea how to wear the trench itself.  Should I tie it or leave it open?  If I leave it open what do I do with the long belt?  Throughout my search for how to pair my sleeveless trench, I came across a how-to for properly tying belts in the back.  Last night as I was prepping my week’s outfits and was determined to finally wear this trench, I attempted to follow the how-to, and I failed immediately.  Luckily, my husband was up for the challenge who was pumped to contribute to Magenta Blazer and told me it was basically a “half windsor knot.”

I ultimately used the mannequin inspiration but inverted the colors.  I wore the trench open with my fancy knot in the back.  I wore fitted white jeans with a tucked in white cami to add some shape.  The vest itself felt a bit shapeless so I wanted to create some shape underneath it.  It’s important to mention my favorite white camisole.  White tops are hard because most are thin and you can see through.  In most cases I layer with a tank, but this one is double layered, avoiding the need to add layers. The idea of so much white is super scary from a stain perspective, so I made sure the there was no rain in the forecast and planned to eat a very safe lunch.  I also carry a Tide To Go on me at all times to be safe.  I went with my cognac heels to break up the white and black look.  I kept jewelry really simple to focus the attention on the blazer.  

Who knew there were so much to think about while trying to pull off a trendy sleeveless blazer!  Now that the first wear is out of the way, I’m looking forward to finding additional outfits to pair with my sleeveless trench.  Next up, I think I’ll try a skirt or dress.

Outfit breakdown:

  • Black sleeveless trench coat:  Express (same one here for $98.  Also comes in white!)
  • White camisole:  Express (same one here for $39.90.  Comes in eight colors--I have three!  They are double layered and perfect for pairing!)
  • White jeans:  Banana Republic (same one here for $98.  Everyone has a brand of jeans that fit them and this is mine.  Great quality too!)
  • Cognac heels:  Coach (similar by Steve Madden here for $119.95, and they come in three colors)

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