29 January 2008

I'm gonna have to borrow that

First, a photographic introduction to the influence(s) behind why my new favorite dressy topper is an LLJ, or "little leather jacket":

Ashley, Winter 2008
Ashley, November 2007

Together with Danny Tanner, January 2007
Mary-Kate, September 2007

Together, September 2006
Together, May 2006
Together, March 2006

For those who were hoping I'd fallen off the Prim Express altogether with an admission of affection for Mary-Kate's favored Balenciaga ankle-booties, Ashley's beloved Louboutin 'Pinhead' boots, or their mutual affection for all things big and furry, I do apologize. I'm not quite there yet.

Where I am, however, is madly in love with the idea of wearing a fitted, moto-style black leather jacket on the red carpet -- or in my case, to a formal or semi-formal DC event. For the past couple of months, ever since my lone formal coat was sucked into a black abyss in a club bathroom, I've had to choose among my work coat, my more casual weekend coat, my olive trench and a host of cute but seasonably impractical jackets to top my cocktail ensembles. I know it might seem excessive to some to care so much about an item that will spend the majority of the evening on a rented hanger, but hey, that's me, I kinda want it all.

So after a couple of years of observing the twins Tanner rock this look so successfully, I finally came to a point where (a) I needed a new going-out coat (b) I found a very reasonably priced version of my ideal going-out coat and (c) I had the chutzpah to finally face the fact that there may be a little more Olsen and a little less Audrey in me than I ever wanted to admit.

Also, on a more practical note, the benefits of owning an LLJ extend far beyond just that which you'd wear on the party circuit. They look smashing with skinny jeans and flats, super chic with a high-waisted pencil skirt and pumps and even have the ability to enhance that ruffled jumpsuit you know you -and your friend to whom you've outsourced its less-expensive equivalent's search and rescue- are constantly looking for on the Interwebs.

In closing, I'd like to thank you, Mary-Kate and Ashley, for your leather-jacket-cum-party-topper inspiration -- I hope y'all don't mind too much I'm gonna have to borrow that.

56 comments:

Pinkie said...

I love the little leather jacket look and have been looking for an affordable option myself. Yours looks to be quite nice. Let's see a picture of you wearing it please! The LLJ is definitely a wardrobe piece i'd love to borrow from the Olsons, along with a few Louboutins ofcourse. None with spikes though.

Anonymous said...

I keep hoping you'll come up with some ideas that are a little more fashion forward. Your leather bomber over a cocktail dress epiphany is so blasé.

Johanna said...

Anonymous 12:43-

I've never claimed to be fashion-forward, in fact, you'll find several admissions to the contrary. I like what I like, and if this epiphany of mine bores you, I do apologize. Maybe you should check out the Sartorialist, Style.com's runway photos or Google "Charlotte Gainesbourg" if you want something more avant garde.

I'm a writer who happens to like clothes, not a fashion icon who dabbles in blogging.

kiss,
J

abby said...

I am so sick of condescending people like anon 12:43. I mean really, why bother commenting?

Jo has made it clear she's not trying to set any new trends. And I'm guessing 12:43 doesn't live in DC, because in all the years I've been here and attended events, not once have I seen someone rock a LLJ with a cocktail dress. Not once.

san fran fan said...

I really love the jacket you picked up at Zara! Ignore anon 12:43. I did and so will most of your readers. There's nothing more nauseating than a condescending fashion snob.

Anonymous said...

This is a little too punk for me (omg, can you believe there's someone more "prim" than you??), but I do like looking at it.

and I love the idea of making this a monthly feature!

Anonymous said...

I've been rocking my LLJ since my sister found me the perfect one during Christmas of '03. However, I've since lost weight, and it just hangs and looks so sad. Any chance of a post on reasonably priced LLJs?!

get over yourself said...

You're a blogger, dear, *not* a writer. There's a world of difference. I agree with anon 12:43. This look is tired and dated.

Anonymous said...

And you "Get over yourself" are an ignorant asshole.

K said...

Doesn't the very title of this feature - "I'm gonna have to borrow that" - imply Johanna is co-opting something someone is already doing or wearing? In other words, the premise precludes one from assuming she thinks it's a novel idea?

Blogger:Writer::Get over yourself:Worthwhile commenter/human being

Ballerina K said...

i've been searching for a little black wool jacket!!!! i need something that will keep me warm while going out through the winter nights! any suggestions?

gemma g. said...

This is a cool look that I know I've seen before (on them and on Rachel Bilson, maybe?) but never really thought about trying. Maybe I will now...

I second that you write a post about LLJ's!

tooserious said...

Jeez, people! If you think this idea is dated or it doesn't work for you, DON'T WEAR IT! I was skeptical of the Olsens as fashion inspiration, and the LLJ idea is not one I would have thought of for myself, but this post has broadened my horizons a bit. It's obviously something that can work and is adaptable to different circumstances, even if it's not up-to-the-minute enough for you hipsters. Wait long enough and it'll become retro-cool anyways.

And last I checked, a writer is someone who strings words together, often for public consumption. A blogger who does this _is_ a writer. Joanna's opinions may annoy me sometimes, but her opinionatedness and writing style are what keep me coming back for more!

Righteous (re)Style said...

I like this look, too. I really like the idea of mixing contrasting styles - like a girly dress with a tougher looking jacket. I have a more motorcross-y one that I got from Target awhile back, but it is PVC (which I now know is totally evil for the environment), so my next suggestion for an AFFORDABLE OPTION is looking for vintage jackets on Ebay (was just going to do a post on something similar about Ebay). For some reason, there is just a FLOOD of smallish, vintage leather jackets on Ebay.

God, and the funniest thing is that DC style is SOOO tired that most people haven't even come up with this trend yet (although its been around since the 80s in one way or another).

Anonymous said...

I think Johanna has a very unique and humorous writing style, and I think she is a top-notch blogger; but I think I'm going to have to say a writer is someone who writes for a living. I'm not saying Johanna doesn't have the creativity and the talent it takes to be a writer, I just don't think she's a writer...YET.

She has a tremendous gift at blogging in that she marries words with images and ideas and links wonderfully.

She's a great blogger with a great sense of style. But I don't think she has yet earned the title of "writer," though I certainly could see her doing that someday.

dc lawyer said...

Love, love, love.

Ash has never looked cuter than in the first two pictures you posted. They get such unfairly negative press for their senses of style. It's uniquely them, which in my opinion is enough. You've broadened my mind with this post as well, so even if you didn't introduce us to something new (jesus, people how many of you does it take to tell J that this idea has "been around since the 80s"?), I thank you.

dc journo said...

anon 2:05, I mean no disrespect but I write for a living and I have to disagree slightly with your comment. The volume and quality of output on this site definitely qualifies Johanna to carry around the "writer" title. She writes more in one week than most journos put out in two or more, and it's not just good but really good, insightful and whip smart.

I do keep waiting for the day however, when she announces she's moving onto bigger and better things...

Dave said...

A few thoughts:
1) Yes, that jacket does look good. Nice buy.

2) Ashley looks like trailer trash. Ew.

3) The shiksa girl used "chutzpah?" Granted she didn't use the word properly. Chutzpah means gall or gumption. You've substituted it for realization or epiphany. Still I have to give you credit for trying.

4) A writer is someone whose people read. Johanna is a writer. You may not think she's a good writer, but she is a writer. Of course if you don't think she's a good writer, why are you here?

Dave said...

4a) I didn't see the part "a writer is someone who writes for a living." Um, no. Van Gogh sold one painting in his lifetime. No one has ever argued he wasn't a painter. John Kennedy Toole wasn't published during his lifetime. He was a writer. Making a living isn't important. People reading you is.

Anonymous said...

Van Gogh would be a genius or a god; John Kennedy Toole would be a candle in the wind. Johanna has not EXCEEDED the title of "writer" in the way that Van Gogh exceeded the title of "painter." (Hello? He was an ARTIST, not a painter.)

Johanna has neither met nor exceeded the qualifications of being a writer. But she is an excellent blogger, and she truly should take pride in that. She has the capacity to be a writer. But she isn't one yet.

jes said...

Urban Outfitters also has several LLJs on their site. Unfortch, they are out of a lot of sizes, but maybe someone will strike gold!

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:48, try to be a little more condescending. What exactly are your qualifications to determine whether that Johanna has "the capacity to be a writer" but hasn't yet attained that status?

Dave said...

anonymous, you may have a snobbish view of things, but that doesn't make you right. As someone who is a writer, I know the definition that the Writers Guild of America uses. Being a writer has nothing to do with the quality of your work or how it's used. Writers are people that write.

Van Gogh was a painter. Go to http://www.vangoghgallery.com/.
"As a post impressionist painter and one of the most famous artists of all time, Vincent van Gogh has become an icon."

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:48, why are you so insistent that you're right when there is no clear answer to this question? It seems personal.

IMO, anyone who writes regularly for an audience is a writer. There are good and bad, some who get paid full-time some who get paid part-time (like J) and some who don't get paid at all. If you're only measures for being a writer are salary and "exceeding" some nebulous standard, then I must say I'm not really persuaded.

sycophants and haters bore me said...

commenters suck.

Anonymous said...

Writers are those who write for a living. Bloggers are those who blog from a self-created soapbox. Writers write, bloggers blog.

That's all.

Anonymous said...

"3) The shiksa girl used "chutzpah?" Granted she didn't use the word properly. Chutzpah means gall or gumption. You've substituted it for realization or epiphany. Still I have to give you credit for trying."

No, she did not. Read it again.

brown rowergirl said...

J is a published author in both her professional and blogger capacities (DC Style is still technically a blog but whatever), so in my book, that's enough. Can we get back to talking about the Olsens and how cute LLDs are? Puhhhlease? Thanks.

lila m. said...

I love this look with a longer hemline. With a short dress it runs the risk of looking a little trashy. Depends on the LLJ of course.

elle said...

I saw the debut of this LLJ over J's black strapless cocktail dress on Saturday, and it was Olsen-inspired loveliness, I have to say. Along with the face-framing earrings, of course.

wondering said...

am i the only one who finds it odd that j seems to wear a cocktail dress every weekend? that's not meant to be rude...just curious.

Mary said...

Like the LLJ, it truly seems to work over formal duds. But I'm hoping you will continue to brush your hair, and not follow the unbrushed Olsen look.

tess said...

wondering:

I'm guessing Johanna is the type of girl who invents an occasion to wear cocktail dresses every weekend. That's what single girls in the city tend to do.

Me, I'm nestled into the couch with my boyfriend watching a DVD and eating takeout.

All that prowling for a man must be why she looks so tired ;)

kiss,
Tess

elle said...

wondering:
Not that a girl can't wear a cool dress to go to dinner and out, but J went to a semi-formal event on Saturday, so it was all cocktail dresses in attendance. There are alot more of those events on the weekends than you might think...

E said...

Tess, you're awfully bitchy. I'm hesitant to believe you have a 'boyfriend' because I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a guy who'd put up with such cattiness. Are you bitter because months of eating take out have caught up with you and your boyfriend hasn't looked at you since September?

Skipping the kisses,

E

ataraxia said...

Speaking of cattiness, e...

Rise above -- seriously. Implying that a person is fat and attacking her supposed lack of sexual activity isn't much better than what you are snipping at Tess for.

I'm not for degrading Johanna, but I despise the "you hate her because you suck and this is why" response. It is just immature.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:12, I realize that the Interweb is a newfangled wonder and all, but you do realize there are bloggers who get paid, right?

Anonymous said...

Yes, Tess, a bitchy woman must be one who is fat and not getting any, right?

I'm not for smacking on Johanna, either, but like ataraxia says, rise above.

And anon 4:35; you do realize Johanna *doesn't* get paid for this blog, right?

keri lee said...

I love the coat Ashley's wearing in the second picture. Do you know who designed it and where I might find a size S?

Johanna said...

Keri Lee-

It's by Rick Owens. I wasn't able to find it online anywhere (I'm sure it sold out after Ashley wore it), but if his collarless leather jacket is any indication of price, you're looking at somewhere between two and three thousand dollars.

I know, it's not fair :-(

best,
J

p.s. wondering- I'm a girl of extremes, I'm usually in a cocktail dress or workout clothes. If I could, I'd wear the former to work, but on the few occasions I've come close, the hammer hath come down.

p.p.s. I don't need to be called a "writer," so if it makes those of you who piped up feel better, you can just call me a blogger. Or Johanna. Or Monte's Mom.

Marissa said...

Uh...I'm going to skip the bullshit comments about Johanna -- the WRITER of this blog -- not being a writer and all the other needless nonsense and try to comment on what the post was originally about.

Ahem, I LOVE short leather jackets. The current one I'm sporting (and actually wearing in the pic directly to your right) is an Argentine cropped leather jacket with sweater sleeves and a huge sweater neck that when zipped is warmer than a scarf. *sigh* It was my purchase of the year in 2005(made in Argentina but bought in Bloomies Soho). I wore it once over a color-scheme similar sundress. It was definitely more of a casual than cocktail outfit (I'm honestly not sure if I even own any cocktail dresses), but I think it worked.

Anonymous said...

"not a fashion icon" - truer words were never spoken

stuck in l.a. said...

it's official, after that last pointless, douchebag sentiment, you need to consider comment moderation. please, for all of us.

keri lee said...

Johanna,

Thank you! I'll keep an eye out for it (or something similar) on eBay.

Honestly I don't know how you put up with the crazies on here, I really don't.

Anonymous said...

I agree that some people need to calm down and be a bit more tactful and kind when they disagree or have criticisms, both toward Johanna's posts and the comments...

But there is absolutely a trend on the comments made here where the second someone has even a gentle or thoughtful criticism, people leap all over that "detractor" in the comments section.

Shouldn't there be room for disagreement and discussion here? If not, why have a comments section at all?

m street admirer said...

"gentle or thoughtful criticism[s]"?

are you serious?

j takes so many blows on here that are completely unrelated to the content of her posts that I'm surprised she's still writing.

impressed but surprised.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I am serious. Amid the thoughtless insults and low-blows there are some challenging and valid points from time to time that do deserve consideration.

And m street admirer, by sarcastically asking if I was "serious," you have pretty much proven my point.

san fran fan said...

love my LLJ! I've never worn it with a dress before, but I have an event next weekend, and I'm gonna try it out.

love the blog, love the comments (they make me laugh)

Righteous (re)Style said...

Not sure who was offended with my note about this trend being around since the 80s, but I wasn't implying that it wasn't cute or worthy of being highlighted . . . just that it isn't really *new* (remember Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan?) - but still seems to be very exciting for DC. I don't think many of us would argue that DC is behind the times a bit fashion-wise. What, I can't say that?

michelle said...

Love the jacket in the second pic - November 2007. I definitely noticed it when the pics first hit the internet.

reader in midtown said...

Great post.

Anonymous said...

It is very apparent on here if someone's trying to launch a thoughtful critique of a point or style point of view Johanna is advancing, or if they're trying to hurl invective. Alleging she's not a writer, which had nothing to do with the post is most definitely the latter.

Anonymous said...

Andrew Marc makes similar, equally beautiful and *slightly* (and i do mean slightly) more affordable swoon worthy LLJs. Nordstrom had a few models on sale online for Fall 07 but alas, good things can't last forever. Check him out at his the website: http://www.andrewmarc.com/DisplayDetail.aspx?pid=196

Anonymous said...

Let's see some photographs of johanna in her LLJ. Regardless of what the haters say, I love seeing her impeccable, clean style manifest. Sometimes seeing it on celebs is just a little too extreme. Seeing it on Johanna motivates me to go to Zara and not eat bread.

16th streeter said...

I'm with you anon 10:56. I give away my Cosi slice every time I go, and I've easily lost an inch off my waist. No joke.

Righteous (re)Style said...

I was so inspired by this post that I just found some awesome vintage leather jackets on Ebay that I've posted to my blog (with links to the bidding site). Most of them are really affordable - and eco-friendly!!! So you can feel REALLY good about your purchase. (I also wrote why buying a vintage leather jacket is better - but you can just skip down to the jackets.) Cheers!