Art of Style

Shopportunities: The Sleeveless Jacket Challenge

How to wear one, plus what to wear to a 1930s-themed soiree

BY May 4, 2015


Dear Cheryl,
  I recently bought a sleeveless jacket but find I’m wearing it as I would a vest—with a shirt and pants; I’d love some advice on what else I can put with it.

 —Carrie H., Bonita Springs

In your email you described your new purchase as a boxy, elongated jacket with a collar and lapels—essentially a coat minus the sleeves. There’s nothing wrong with wearing a sleeveless jacket as you would a vest, but there are so many other options it would be crime against fashion not to try them. Teamed with a lightweight sweater and a great pair of jeans or leggings, your look becomes casual and weekend-worthy. Left unbuttoned and teamed with a short-sleeve or sleeveless dress, your jacket looks professional at the office yet polished enough to take you to dinner afterward. Try buttoning it up, cinching the waist with a wide belt, and pairing it with tailored pants or a skirt for a sharp, fitted look. It’s a perfect travel piece, as you can layer it for different temperatures and even pop a coat over everything when it’s really cold. I think you’ll find so many ways to wear your new sleeveless jacket you’ll wonder how you ever did without it.


Cheryl Lampard, founder of Style Matters International, answers your questions each month. If you have a question for Cheryl, send it to


What to Wear: Florida Rep Gala

Aptly named “on stage with Florida Rep,” the gala recreates Jack Benny’s eponymously named radio show, which ran for more than 20 years from the early 1930s. It takes place Saturday, April 25, at the Marina at Edison Ford, and the organizers suggest cocktail dresses for ladies—and definitely encourage dressing in a ’30s theme. Typical of the era are bias-cut dresses with long, lean silhouettes, often with round, cowl or V-shaped necklines, finished off with a faux fur stole. If your preference is to give just a nod to the decade, an ideal way to do so is with a perky little hat. Gentlemen could have some fun sporting a pair of plus-fours and a Fair Isle sweater vest, topped off with a soft, tweedy cap—all of which would be spot-on. For further information, contact Sara Garner at 332-4665, ext. 16. 


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