Not just for Halloween (& a tribute to swing jackets)

Jacket: H&M; sz 2 (Style # 065030, also in a muted navyBlouse: H&M; (old)
Ring: YSL Arty in Coral   Heels: Louboutin Simple 100s in Nude
Eye makeup from this post.

When I first brought home this little orange swing jacket, I made a mental note that it could be paired with many colors – but not black. I’m super wary of colors combos such as red and green, orange and black, at the risk of looking like a jolly elf or an emaciated jack-o-lantern.

However, through trial and error, I learned that patterns offer more versatility than solid blocks of color. Although black is present in this skirt, I worked on bringing out the ivory with a similar colored blouse and nude pumps. I find the finished color pairing seasonal-chic, versus holiday-tacky.
I’ve received a few questions regarding swing jacket fit. I’ve always loved swing jackets for the following reasons:

– Usually shorter in length, and thus petite-friendly (ivory jacket below is 00 regular, black is 00 petite)
– Flattering on small-chested women. I find two garment types to be generally more flattering on smaller-chests: swing jackets, and shift dresses that are cut straight up and down and shorter in length.
– Very versatile. I wear mine over everything. Here are some outfit pics dug out of my archives:

Above (from left to right):  October 2010, June 2011  Below: March 2010 March 2011


Below: March 2011, November 2009 (deep archives!)

However, fit can be tricky. Ideally, a swing jacket should fit perfectly in the shoulders, and when buttoned up, should have a slight A-line shape and just lightly graze your chest. Some readers mentioned that this H&M; jacket fits in the shoulders, but when buttoned up, the torso is too snug (and thus does not “swing”). In this case, I suggest sticking with the size that fits your shoulders best and wearing it open, versus sizing up to accommodate the chest area.

Readers – Are you a fan of the swing jacket?
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  1. Laura wrote:

    Sehr schöne Kombinationen. Die sehen alle sehr schön aus.

    Posted 7.8.13 Reply
  2. Pablo wrote:

    Wow! You look so good with the orange jacket! =)

    Posted 8.21.11 Reply
  3. Tiff wrote:

    Thanks for your prompt reply and link to the forum. I feel the same way. I am now very discouraged from shopping there again, especially since there isn't an AT store near me. The other part of them scanning your drivers license is that they get your address, and other personal information like your birthdate. I'm still waiting for AT customer service to get back to me, but am disappointed that I haven't heard back after 4 days.

    Posted 8.21.11 Reply
  4. @Tiff They don't do that (yet) at my local stores, but I'd be very annoyed. The issue you describe is discussed here:

    I know they are able to track all of my returns anyways because I always buy from the same online account and use the same credit card, but to add another form ID to track customer behavior would honestly just prevent me from freely ordering online. A lot of times I order online with no expectations of keeping anything, but I will end up keeping a piece anyway (such was the case with the skirt in this post) so it would be detrimental to AT's sales if their customers find it a hassle to return merchandise. I do a TON of returns, and if I have a bad experience returning with a certain retailer, I'll shop there significantly less in the future.

    Posted 8.17.11 Reply
  5. Tiff wrote:

    I was curious about your opinion of Ann Taylor's return policy. I went in today, and the sales associate asked for my driver's license (after walking in on me in the dressing room without knocking and being rude my entire visit), but then she proceeded to swipe my drivers license without a satisfactory explanation of why she was doing that, except saying that it was a new Ann Taylor policy and to contact customer service to find out more. Have you had this experience? If you have, what do you think of it?

    Posted 8.17.11 Reply
  6. not a huge fan of swing jackets on myself. or mb i haven't found the right one. I feel they're mainly for style. cuz I'm still so cold when the wind gushes in from underneath. and often times, I always think the proportions are off. I just end up grabbing smthg else and neglecting the swing jackets i do have.

    Posted 8.16.11 Reply
  7. @StefPatt It's an older Rimmel London lipstick called "Spotlight Beige" : )

    @Anonymous I will work on it but my casual ensemble is just dark skinny legging jeans (I like the Gap petite ones, and also have some J Brand ones coming in the mail) plus a top, and flat sandals because we have to do so much walking here! For the Fall, I think it's important to find a nice pair of flat taller boots.

    @Anonymous Hi there, I did get these on eBay. You can search for akoya white pearls (lots and lots from China) and sort by price from low to high. The ones I'm wearing in this photo are 29" long.

    @fabulouslyfrugirl Aw, thank you! I actually love reading through the oldest archives of the blogs that I follow and seeing their "growth" and style journey.

    Posted 8.15.11 Reply
  8. Sarah wrote:

    you look great in this – I absolutely love the color combo and wear it often myself (even though I do always feel like people are going to comment that it isn't halloween hehe). swing jackets are so versatile, love them! all of these looks are fabulous, lady 🙂


    Posted 8.15.11 Reply
  9. Love this colour combination! What a great idea to wear the patterned skirt.

    I loved looking through your archives – you've become so much more polished, and definitely look more confident.

    Posted 8.15.11 Reply
  10. JC Rineer wrote:

    Good to know that I'm not the only one who is paranoid about wearing "holiday colors" lol

    Posted 8.15.11 Reply
  11. Michelle wrote:

    Oh!! I love all your archives, Jean!!

    Great pairing idea…no Halloween vibes! 🙂

    I have never tried a swing jacket…ever! You make this style look so wearable! I will definitely give it a try if I find the right piece!

    Posted 8.15.11 Reply
  12. jessica wrote:

    i love your outfit, esp. the orange swing jacket! 🙂

    Posted 8.15.11 Reply
  13. Anonymous wrote:

    hi jean! i love your double strand pearls. is it just one long strand tha tyou loop twice or does it come that way? where did you get it? ebay? what length should i be lookng for? thanks!

    Posted 8.15.11 Reply
  14. danica wrote:

    Love the outfit! I especially love the pencil skirt! 🙂

    Posted 8.15.11 Reply
  15. MamaTamTam wrote:

    Your post has me looking forward to the fall! I think you paired the orange swing jacket and the patterned skirt perfectly. Sadly, I'm a curvier petite and my chest doesn't look flattering in a swing jacket. 🙁 I will live vicariously through your cute swing jacket wardrobe.

    Posted 8.15.11 Reply
  16. Wow, great post! Love all the pics. Swing jackets are cute!

    Posted 8.15.11 Reply
  17. Anonymous wrote:

    love the swing jackets on you!

    would you do some more outfit posts but with casual attire? college is sadly starting again and id love to see what you would put together 🙂

    Posted 8.15.11 Reply
  18. Like you, I'm afraid of pairing red and green and orange and black, but I will take this tip from you to add prints to the combo. This works beautfully! Great look Jean!

    Posted 8.15.11 Reply
  19. Orange is my favorite color. You look stunning!

    Posted 8.15.11 Reply
  20. FP wrote:

    Nice colour pairing… N I also favour swing jackets a lot:)

    Posted 8.15.11 Reply
  21. Anonymous wrote:

    hi this is not relevant to this post but i just saw a bunch of your videos and i really love how you use affordable makeup, affordable jewelry and gives tips on caring for them! it's just nice to know that i can get the same stuff as you without breaking my bank!

    Posted 8.15.11 Reply
  22. Rinny wrote:

    I love the jacket on you! And the color is gorgeous as well. I agree with you on the orange & black thing – that combination is def a bit too Halloweeny for me.

    Posted 8.15.11 Reply
  23. I'm with you about the holiday colours! LOL although red & pink seems to work out – sometimes. I love how you wore the black swing jacket in the 2nd outfit pic! And omg the March 2010 one! I actually remember that outfit, but totally one of those unexpected outfits from you. : )

    Posted 8.15.11 Reply
  24. Jenn wrote:

    I completely agree with you on the orange and black, it's way too Halloweenish. I also try to avoid red and green as well. But you have a great point about the black patterned skirt breaking up the Halloween motif. When I first saw the outfit I thought autumn (and not trick-or-treating). I love the cream with the orange.

    Posted 8.15.11 Reply
  25. HeyDahye wrote:

    That color is gorgeous on you!

    Posted 8.14.11 Reply
  26. Nelah wrote:

    Gorgeous outfit…I love the color combo and how you pair everything. It is a sign that Fall is on its way. Looking at all these awesome H&M; pieces on several blogs make me feel sad because there is no H&M; store around here that I know of (grrrr!!!). Might be good for my wallet though 🙂

    Posted 8.14.11 Reply
  27. Courtney wrote:

    I LOVE your swing jacket! I think it really can be paired with everything. Makes you look crisp and polished and that orange is the perfect pop of color. Paired with that black patterned skirt… I think that was tricky but you totally made it work and I didn't once think about Halloween. Amazing! I love your blog!


    Posted 8.14.11 Reply
  28. Callandra wrote:

    Love swing jackets! I have a couple myself but I usually wear them with pants. I like that you paired yours with your new skirt……I'll have to try this look myself 😉 By the way, I enjoyed your archive pictures… always look so pretty!

    Posted 8.14.11 Reply
  29. Olyvia wrote:

    Ooh, I think of all the swing jackets you posted here, the orange H&M; seems to look the best! I own one swing jacket, but never really knew how to wear it. You gave me some ideas 🙂

    Posted 8.14.11 Reply
  30. Great job on the color combo. It definitely feels fresh and professional (not Halloween-y in the least bit)!

    I also appreciated the effort you took to find the jackets in a variety of looks; it showed how truly versatile they are.


    Posted 8.14.11 Reply
  31. R.L. wrote:

    I know what you mean about evoking holidays with certain colors. I have a couple of pastel blues and purples that I have to purposely not wear together so I don't look like an Easter egg. I definitely don't think of Halloween with your outfit, just that you're ready for fall! The red/orange color is so gorgeous. I really want this swing jacket, but I'm hoping my annual winter coat purchase will be in this color so I'm resisting and luckily my H&M; doesn't have this jacket yet…

    Posted 8.14.11 Reply
  32. Anonymous wrote:

    Love the skirt. The jacket would be a challenge for me…but looks great on you.

    Posted 8.14.11 Reply
  33. I feel the same way about orange and black. This looks perfect tho, the nude shoes are lovely!

    Posted 8.14.11 Reply
  34. StefPatt wrote:

    Love how you paired it up so well! Have been wanting to ask you the color of your lipstick. I love the nude lipstick look 🙂

    Posted 8.14.11 Reply
  35. I used to think orange and black are traditional Halloween colors too. Now I see orange as a beautiful Fall color. This jacket looks great on you. I am sure you are going to get a ton of wear out of this jacket.

    Posted 8.14.11 Reply
  36. I actually haven't found a swing jacket that looks nice on me. I think it's the proportions for some reason it makes me look shorter like kind of stumpy.

    This jacket looks great on you and love that you actually paired it with black! I agree, the pattern on the skirt makes it work.

    Posted 8.14.11 Reply
  37. You look great…The orange and black totally works here 🙂

    Posted 8.14.11 Reply
  38. thats really cute….I am thinking clothes for job interview

    Posted 8.14.11 Reply
  39. I love swing jackets- so much that I bought navy and the orange! Lol

    I like the old archive pics:-)

    Posted 8.14.11 Reply
  40. I love swing jackets too! That colour has the power to lift all your neutrals. It works so well and you look great! And totally agree with your advice on the shoulder fit, which is always more important for petites I feel.

    Posted 8.14.11 Reply

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