Outerwear options are elevated and infinite this winter.
By Ashley Breeding
With an obvious emphasis on beachy trends, outerwear has never taken center stage in Newport Beach. But this year, that may be changing.
“Until recently, outerwear was a second thought—a utilitarian piece to keep you warm. This fall, it’s the main show,” says Deborah Keillor, a Newport Beach-based personal stylist and fashion show producer whose clientele includes Hollywood A-listers.
The options are endless, so invest in what fits your taste in luxurious textures like tweed, boucle, cashmere and leather. Bright colors are also big.
Your staple jacket this season is the blazer, reimagined for fall in a supersize silhouette—think oversize boyfriend cuts and shoulder pads circa the 1980s. Keillor says these can be “part of your daily uniform.”
She loves the look for casual day wear (thrown over a T-shirt and paired with baggy jeans) as well as more formal occasions. Lightweight twills are perfect for the transition season, while heavier wools pack warmth for winter.
Leather jackets never go out of fashion, but current styles move beyond basic motos, says Keillor, pointing to unique silhouettes and shades of red, green and rich cocoa. Details like collars, quilted patterns and peplum hems are also popping up everywhere—and not just in leather. “One of my favorite styles comes from Alexander McQueen—it’s got exaggerated shoulders and a [ruffled] peplum skirt,” the stylist notes.
Denim is also getting a do-over this season. “The denim jacket has moved forward in a more fashionable way,” Keillor says. “It’s not just the Western look anymore.” Runways revealed pieces cropped, oversize, blazers, bombers, double-breasted, pleated, studded and even mixed with tweed.
“I really like … [a] denim jacket with [dramatic] sleeves and a cinched waist,” says Keillor, who prefers the Ulla Johnson version layered over a flowy, floral maxi dress to add a level of elegance. “Another great look is a bomber worn with wool pants and a pump, like Louis Vuitton’s tulip heel.”
With the return of trends from the ’80s and ’90s, Keillor likes to shop vintage with eco-conscious clients. “Try stores like Swellegant [in Newport] or Crossroads [Trading] in Costa Mesa to find leather bombers or [jackets with] padded shoulders,” she suggests.
As for coats, how many does a Southern Californian need? Well, according to Keillor, at least three. “Chocolate is the new staple color; you can wear it just like you wear black,” she explains. And since it pairs beautifully with neutrals and pastels, “you’ll have more opportunity to wear it than you would black.” Bright trends span the color wheel this season, “so pick your favorite,” she says.
When temperatures dip, turn to longer coats, like a classic tie-waist trench. Cashmere, herringbone, alpaca and faux shearling/fur are also coziest in floor-sweeping styles.
Keillor “loves the juxtaposition of a mini skirt and a long jacket. … I’d pair a tweed mini with a fitted cashmere sweater, tights and wide-shaft boots.”
When dressing for black-tie, she adds, you can’t go wrong with satin, velvet or even an elegant cape.