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September 17, 2008

Prospective Project: Chinese Jacket

While my ultra-preppy gold-buttoned double-breasted jacket is currently in production, I’m already toying with the idea of what else I can have made.  I’m thinking of having a relatively loose-fitting, reversible chinese jacket tailor-made.
My previous prospective project, undocumented, was a marching band jacket a la Sgt. Pepper.  I was very much inspired by what Casey of Make Me a Supermodel would wear to elimination day, a navy marching band jacket replete with coattails and fringed epaulettes.  I love the way he wore it, with a t-shirt, jeans, and messy hair.  
Of course, I wouldn’t have something that ostentatious made, but rather a pared-down version.  I would still do gold or silver buttons, epaulet tabs, and maybe two gold stripes on each wrist.  I still am considering having it made, but I’m going to wait until after my Tokyo trip in October to decide on this.  Who knows, I might score a really nice looking vintage one from Harajuku.  The jacket is also somewhat overdone by so many rock bands (Panic at the Disco, My Chemical Romance), all the more reason to put this idea on hold for now.  
Back to topic now.  I’ve always loved the idea of a cozy, loose-fitting chinese jacket.  It makes a bold statement, but is extremely comfortable and not at all constricting.  Funny enough, though the chinese/mandarin jacket is originally a men’s item of clothing, what inspired me to go for this look are stylish women.  On a long haul flight from Manila to Los Angeles, there was this very chic Hispanic lady who was wearing a black tank top, black leggings, zebra print flats, a dark brown bag, and an oversize men’s mandarin jacket in the most FLUORESCENT shade of highlighter green.  It looked great against her reddish-brown hair and pale skin, and the whole look was a statement, yet very comfortable.  It was much like this, but in highlighter green.
Jane of Seaofshoes wears hers impeccably with tattered denim shorts and fabulous heels.  The way she styles it evokes a modern, rich, artistic vibe, which I am very much drawn to.  

I tried to find a good one in Hong Kong last month, but most were on the cheap/cheesy/tacky side.  Much like this one:

It’s really more costume party than anything else, if you ask me.  
On my trips to the tailor, I always bring with me an image of how I want the piece to look like, plus a few notes.  I’m glad I found this photo, it’s the closest I found to what I like.  

from Shanghai Tang
My Notes:
1.  Reversible chambray plus some sort of printed silk/brocade in black or maybe even orange.  Any other suggestions?

Chambray, a current obsession
2.  Fit: soft shoulders, loose arms, straight throughout the torso
3.  patch pockets on both sides
4.  Collar somewhat high (slight nod to Maggie Cheung in In the Mood for Love), but unstructured
5.  Ends right below the hips
Oh, to think of the styling possibilities…  White t-shirt with jeans and suede mocassins, black skinnies with boots, or even with loose faded denim shorts and white sneakers for those lazy early morning air-conditioned classes!  I really hope this turns out nice, I will be heading to the fabric store once I finish preparing for this report that I have been putting off for days now.  
Any tailoring advice would be greatly appreciated; this is after all a somewhat risky endeavor.  My tailor isn’t one who regularly does traditional Chinese clothing.  Styling tips most welcome too!

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