How I Wear My: Chanel-Inspired Outfit

It’s August! And Jill and I are having a little Chanel party. August 19 is the birthday of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, who gave the fashion world so many timeless wardrobe staples—the little black dress, the cardigan jacket, black and white worn together, quilted bags, loads of costume jewelry, ropes of pearls (real and faux), and two-tone cap-toe shoes, to name a few.

For this month’s theme, I chose a Chanel-style jacket I bought in Paris on my 40th birthday as my central piece. It’s from Caroll and it’s a little too business-y for my lifestyle. I don’t wear it much at all, maybe once or twice a year. So…not exactly my smartest purchase. But I still like it and it brings back such great memories.


For this post, I attempted to de-formalize it by pairing it with faded J. Crew matchstick jeans, rolled at the bottom and a simple black Banana Republic T-shirt.


Feeling too costume-y and dressy wearing lots of pearls, the look that Coco made so famous, I opted for plain pearl bracelets that I bought at fair last April for a few bucks….

And I chose a bulky gold chain I found while thrift shopping with Gloria a few months ago that I paid $6.00 for.

I dug my Chanel lipstick (Chanel Rouge Coco Vendôme) out of my makeup drawer and put a little on. I usually only wear it for special occasions because I find it rather dramatic for my suburban/small town lifestyle. It’s much redder in real life than it is in this photo.

I put this outfit together while home alone one afternoon. Since I haven’t figured out how to teach my dogs or cat how to help me get my link bracelets on, I used an old trick of mine that maybe some of you haven’t heard of before.

It’s really easy. Take a piece of plain old office tape and adhere the bracelet to your wrist so that the loop the clasp attaches to sits right on the edge of your wrist.

Next, I pull the clasp end up to the loop and secure it.

Take the tape off and you’ve got your bracelet securely on your wrist.

Being the thrift store lover that I am, I’m elated to tell you about next month’s theme for “How I Wear My”.

The arrival of September means fall is fast approaching. For many of us that means hitting the malls and boutiques for new fall clothes and accessories. But why not skip buying new and try out second hand? Show us your favorite second hand piece or outfit. It can be a thrifted or consigned item, something used that you won on eBay or even a hand-me-down. Jill and I would love to see your gently used treasures.

Simply send me or Jill a photo of yourself wearing your second hand item along with a brief description and you will be featured on September 4th’s “How I Wear My: Second Hand Treasure” post.

Be sure to visit Jill’s blog today for more great looks that Coco herself would approve of!



  1. August 1, 2012 / 4:55 am

    I love how you’ve “down-styled” what would normally be a formal looking jacket. Perfect!

  2. August 1, 2012 / 5:09 am

    Wonderful outfit! I was thinking about sending a photo but I am too lazy to take pics of me, not to mention that I’d have to shed a few pound first…
    Did you change your mind about the choice of the jacket?
    I absolutely love that chain and 6 dollars is a real bargain price!

  3. August 1, 2012 / 5:27 am

    Oh Adrienne, I just love this entire look. The jacket is beyond (bought in Paris for your 40th birthday? Divine!) and I think you ought to bust it out of your closet far more often. I love how you’ve paired it with jeans. I would do exactly the same thing. I also am crazy for the stack on your wrist, and thank you for that trick regarding putting on bracelets without assistance. That is going to come in handy around here! This has been such a fun post, I love seeing what looks ladies will put together when they think of Coco Chanel! XO, Jill

  4. August 1, 2012 / 5:58 am

    I’m not a huge fan of the classic Chanel “look”, although I hugely admire her as a designer, and the incredible changes and contributions she made to women’s fashion. I like the way you’ve styled your coat, but it’s not my favorite look on you. Do love the lipstick!

  5. August 1, 2012 / 5:59 am


    Thank you for the bracelet tip! Thank you thank you thank you!!!!

    You did a great job dressing down that jacket. Its wa marvelous jacket and I know you will be getting lots more wear out of it. Love it casual-ized. (Is that a real word?

  6. August 1, 2012 / 6:23 am

    The trim on that jacket is scrumptious! And I can’t think of a better way to spend your 40th birthday than some Chanel-inspired shopping in Paris.

  7. August 1, 2012 / 6:37 am

    I think you down-styled it perfectly. Looks very put together but not uptight. And thanks for the bracelet tip! I have so many that I’ll now be able to wear!

  8. August 1, 2012 / 6:42 am

    I love the way you’ve styled the jacket with jeans and heels. Looks great. That’s a brilliant tip for putting on an awkward bracelet!

  9. August 1, 2012 / 6:51 am

    Hi Adrienne,

    That jacket looks great on you, I really like the way you pulled this look together. Don’t worry about being overdressed in it for your suburban lifestyle, you never have to apologize for looking better than most, and may be an inspiration for others to make more of an effort. Also, there is no point having wonderful quality pieces in you home or your wardrobe if you never use them and enjoy them.

  10. August 1, 2012 / 7:46 am

    @Pam @ over50feeling40 Thank you, Pam. I think the only way I feel comfortable wearing that jacket is with jeans. Otherwise, I feel too professional looking.

  11. August 1, 2012 / 7:48 am

    @déjà pseu Thank you, Pseu. I have tried wearing that jacket with slacks before and look too buttoned up and stuffy. Though it is nice to be able to have a conservative and professional look when the occasion arises.

  12. August 1, 2012 / 7:56 am

    @lovesjetlag I hope you will join us one of these months, Barbara. Next month is second hand treasure – maybe you could show us your “new” silk scarf?

    The item I really wanted to wear for today’s post is just way too big. I thought I could make it work for photos by pinning the back but then I realized the shoulders are huge too. Not sure what to do with it now. I will send you a photo of it soon – it may not be worth the effort.

    Isn’t the chain great? I bought another one on that shopping trip as well that is quite similar but a longer length. I wonder if it they were donated by the same person.

  13. August 1, 2012 / 8:02 am

    @jill815 It has been a very fun post. And everyone on your blog looks really fantastic. I love our How I Wear My posts and am super excited about next month’s post.

    I will try to wear my jacket more often this fall and winter. At least I have one look I know will work for me!
    xo, A

  14. August 1, 2012 / 8:04 am

    @kathy I agree with you on everything. I think I have probably done the best I can with the jacket. Last year, I thought about getting rid of it but I wasn’t ready. I will hang onto to it for one more season and if I am not wearing it more often, to consignment it will go. Even if I did buy it in Paris on my 40th.

  15. August 1, 2012 / 8:05 am

    @Lisa Thanks, Lisa! Casual-ized sounds like a word to me! I like it 🙂

  16. August 1, 2012 / 8:07 am

    @Jane W. That birthday was by far my very best – what could be better than shopping in Paris on your big day?
    I like the detail on the jacket too. It’s my favorite feature.

  17. August 1, 2012 / 8:10 am

    @Kate There are few things more frustrating when dressing yourself than trying to get a hook and clasp bracelet on without assistance. I use the tape method even when there is someone around who can do it for me. It’s that easy!

  18. August 1, 2012 / 8:13 am

    @Gracie’s Mom You are right. I shouldn’t not dress up simply because I live in the burbs. And I do have occasions that require dressing up now and then so for now, I will keep the coat. But if I find that I am not wearing it come this fall and winter, it needs to go. Like you said, there is no sense in keeping things in our wardrobes if we aren’t going to wear them. It’s better to let someone who will wear it enjoy it, right?

  19. August 1, 2012 / 8:17 am

    I love this Chanel inspired jacket and your outfit – it looks amazing. But what I really love is your tip how to do the bracelet – amazing!!!!!! I must do this from now on!

  20. August 1, 2012 / 8:31 am

    @The Faux Foodie It’s such an easy trick for bracelets. Once you figure out the best place to put the loop, you won’t even bother asking your husband to help you!

  21. August 1, 2012 / 8:52 am

    I love the jacket and the way you styled the outfit. Thank you for the bracelet tip.

  22. August 1, 2012 / 8:58 am

    @Donna Thank you, Donna! I forgot to mention that if the bracelet is on the small side, be sure to tape it to the very smallest place on your wrist. I have to do that for the bracelet I wore in this post. It’s not tight but it is rather fitted.

  23. Gai
    August 1, 2012 / 9:15 am

    The trick with the tape–genius!! Keep the jacket. Even if you only wear it once this colder season, keep the jacket. It’s a high end piece, hard to replace, and replete with memories. I find in my own closet that I use things in cycles–wear them for a couple years, then in several years begin to wear them again. Things that I love, or that have special memories attached I have cycled and re-cycled in this manner for several decades! Everything old is new again…

  24. August 1, 2012 / 9:41 am

    If I owned a Chanel jacket I would wear it with jeans and ballet flats like you have shown here. The longer style looks great on you as you are taller.

    I own a tweed Simon Chang Chanel esque jacket that I wear with skinny jeans, it’s tweediness (bulk) balances the skinny and works.

  25. August 1, 2012 / 10:20 am

    Thank you for the tape tip! You look fabulous!!

  26. August 1, 2012 / 10:53 am

    @Gai You are right…I should keep it. It’s classic enough to be stylish for many years to come and I did pay a pretty penny for it. It’s well made and it fits me well. So what if I don’t wear it very much! Thank you for convincing me to keep it. It will be staying in my closet for the long haul. Who knows, maybe I will wear it on the plane to Paris when we go next spring!

  27. August 1, 2012 / 10:54 am

    @hostess of the humble bungalow I would love a shorter jacket in a Chanel style. Something in a wool boucle – maybe in burgundy. Wouldn’t that be lovely?
    Your jacket sounds pretty – though I am not familiar with that designer. I will have to google him and see for myself!

  28. August 1, 2012 / 10:56 am

    @Leigh Powell Hines (Hines-Sight Blog) Thank you, Leigh. I have been doing the tape thing for years and years. I used to use my chin to hold the loop in place without very good results. The tape seemed to simple to work – but it really does!

  29. August 1, 2012 / 11:22 am

    You look great. You did a perfect job in dressing that jacket down and I’m forever grateful for the tip on fastening my own bracelet!

  30. August 1, 2012 / 1:19 pm

    @Gracey at Fashion for Giants Gracey, Thank you so very much for joining me and Jill for this month’s HIWM post. I love your outfit – am nuts about stripes these days – and your gorgeous smile always looks so radiant.

    I hope you’ll join us for the second hand treasure post next month!

  31. August 1, 2012 / 1:36 pm

    Love that jacket! You did a great job of making it work with your style

  32. August 1, 2012 / 2:32 pm

    It’s a gorgeous jacket! Definitely a keeper if it were mine. I adore how you styled it with jeans…very very chic!

  33. August 1, 2012 / 2:35 pm

    This is a great look on you–I love it. Thanks for the bracelet tip…you are ingenious.

  34. August 1, 2012 / 4:26 pm

    Lover of Chanel that I am, I love this post. What great and fun inspiration!

  35. August 1, 2012 / 4:27 pm It’s not an easy jacket to work with in terms of a look that suits my lifestyle – Maybe when the weather turns cold I can play around with it more.

    Thank you for participating in this month’s HIWM. You look fantastic in your Chanel-inspired look.
    xo, A

  36. August 2, 2012 / 12:54 am

    Dear Adri,
    don’t throw away that jacket, it’s perfect with jeans, the way you wore it makes it suitable for any occasion!

  37. August 2, 2012 / 2:19 am

    oooo I love it, but I would fancy it up, black pants and all. I am such a huge fan of the mid thigh or longer jackets!!!

  38. August 2, 2012 / 4:48 am

    You’re wearing Chanel-as-casual perfectly! Coco would be very pleased with your sartorial display, including the jewelry. You look great!

  39. August 2, 2012 / 8:04 am

    What a fun theme and I love your Paris purchase 🙂 .. paired with the other items, it’s perfect!

  40. August 2, 2012 / 8:15 am

    What a great tip about getting on the bracelet! Thanks for sharing this one!

    I can’t believe i missed participating in the Chanel post…
    I love seeing these and how everybody brings their own interpretations…Just another reason I adore your blog my dear!

  41. August 2, 2012 / 8:58 am

    What a fantastic jacket!! And a great tip for putting on the bracelets. I’m going to be trying that.
    Love how you styled yourself today!

  42. August 2, 2012 / 12:48 pm

    I really enjoy all the small details in your outfit! You look stellar! And Im sincerely glad that you liked the american apparel shirt! I had been hunting for a long time as well and am really happy with that one! I want all the colors now…


  43. August 2, 2012 / 1:18 pm

    What a great jacket! Good tip on the tape — I always have a hard time putting on my chunky gold bracelet. Great challenge!

    Cable Car Couture

  44. August 2, 2012 / 4:46 pm

    I think that you created a beautiful casual outfit. You look absolutely gorgeous in it.
    Thanks for the great tip on how to fasten a bracelet!

  45. August 2, 2012 / 6:11 pm

    @Michelle Thank you, Michelle. I am so glad you enjoyed it. I hope you stopped by Jill’s to check out all the other participants this month. There are some great Chanel looks!

  46. August 2, 2012 / 6:14 pm

    @lovesjetlag I love that you call me “Adri”! Only my parents call me that and even then, it’s seldom. I wish it was a nickname that had stuck. Instead it’s “A” that people call me when they don’t use my full name.

    About the coat – I will not be getting rid of it. I realize how classic it is and that it is a well-made item. So what if I don’t wear it very often? It will still be stylish many years from now.

  47. August 2, 2012 / 6:15 pm

    @Jodie (aka mummaducka) I can make it more dressy if the occasion requires it by adding black slacks, like you said. It’s so rare that I need to be that dressy though. Still, it’s always good to have some formal or professional clothing in one’s wardrobe when the time comes.

  48. August 2, 2012 / 6:17 pm

    @Rebekah Bonde I hope you’re right about Coco. I wondered if maybe she would frown upon the jeans. Mine aren’t tailored and they are little light, making them even more casual.
    I love that darn necklace. I would like to wear it all the time but it’s frankly a little much for summer. When fall arrives, I will be getting my $6.00 worth out of it!

  49. August 2, 2012 / 6:29 pm

    @Leslie Paris purchases always have a special place in my heart. Whenever I wear this jacket and the other one I bought at the same time, I think back to that lovely day!

  50. August 2, 2012 / 6:29 pm

    @Tamera Beardsley Darn it! Next time I will send you an email a few days before HIWM posts. I would have loved to have seen your interpretation of Chanel.

  51. August 2, 2012 / 6:31 pm

    @Nico Saich How funny because I want all the colors, too. I am annoyed because I really want to wear the AA shirt but it’s so darned hot out, I really can’t. As soon as it cools down, I will put together an outfit with it.
    Thanks again for blogging about it! You look really great in yours.

  52. August 2, 2012 / 6:32 pm

    @Sarah the Stylist Hi Sarah! Thank you for stopping by! I hope the trick works for your bracelets. It’s been a no-fail trick for me for several years.

  53. V.O.
    August 2, 2012 / 6:50 pm

    Adrienne, you’ve styled this so beautifully! Re: your comment above that you’d like a shorter version. Why not have a very very good tailor (key: must be very accomplished — maybe someone in SF) make this into the classic shorter Chanel jacket? The tailor could even re-position the bottom pockets if necessary. That’s what I’d do with this beautiful treasure. I bet you’d wear it way more often. What do you think?

  54. August 2, 2012 / 7:33 pm

    @V.O. I think it’s a great idea, V! But you are right when you say I need to take it to San Francisco. It would require someone with lots of experience. I have to think about how much I would wear it because I have a feeling it would be a small fortune!

  55. Anonymous
    August 3, 2012 / 9:39 am

    I think it would look good with a distressed looking grey t-shirt for even more of a casual vibe and keep all the other styling the same !!

  56. August 3, 2012 / 11:47 am

    @Joni James Thank you, Joni! I hope the bracelet trick works as well for you as it does for me!

  57. August 3, 2012 / 1:39 pm

    Jacket = Perfection! Love it and I’ll bet you have never regretted buying it because it will always look good.

  58. August 4, 2012 / 1:42 pm

    Adrienne – PLEASE wear that jacket more!
    With jeans like you have, white t-shirt, long necklace (loosen up the “uptight” neckline), maybe a light weight chambray shirt?

    You are so fun to play dress-up with all of us. 🙂

  59. August 4, 2012 / 7:36 pm

    The jacket is amazing. I love how you styled it, and the jewellery looks great with the outfit! 🙂

  60. Anonymous
    August 11, 2012 / 1:34 pm

    Love this look on you! Fantastic! The jacket, jeans, jewelery… everything! Love it!

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