“The Art of the In-Between” – Well Priced, Seriously Chic!

Kevin Anorak Jacket, $78, ssense.com

Transitioning from summer to fall may be trying for some. Still, it does not pose a challenge if you’re like me and adhere to somewhat of a minimalist uniform and predominantly neutral color palette year-round.

Who is not looking for something other than clean-lined, understated, practical, well-designed pieces that work from day to evening and span seasons? All the better when they don’t break the bank!

I was not the only one who rejoiced at the news that Phoebe Philo protégé Peter Do, named as creative director of Helmut Lang in May, will bring luxury to the masses thanks to his collaboration on a capsule collection for Banana Republic in October. Fashion could use a lot more of this, quite frankly!

Meanwhile, for those who crave substantive, utilitarian, minimal designs like Do, Lang, and Philo, there are many options to choose from now. For this article, I wanted to focus on neutral-colored, timeless pieces accented with fashion’s favorite pattern: leopard, priced from $23.98-$379. Buy now, and wear it forever!

I adore the couture-like flyaway shape and chic color of The Frankie Shop’s “Kevin” anorak. It has dropped shoulders, a front patch pocket, and an inner stopper drawstring hem. Intended to be unisex, this is perfect year-round, and because it’s made of khaki brown technical nylon, it can also be worn in the rain. It is for sale for $260 on thefrankieshop.com but reduced to $78 at ssense.com (refer to lead shot).

Isaac Oversized Bomber Coat in Technical Nylon, thefrankieshop

The Frankie Shop’s “Isaac” Oversized Bomber Coat is made of lightweight technical nylon. It has rib knit cuffs, a baseball collar, zip front closure. One size fits all, it is designed to be roomy and perfect for layering which makes it ideal for year round usage. Priced at $355, it is for sale at thefrankieshop.com.

Dee Maxi Oversized Blazer, thefrankieshop.com

The Frankie Shop’s “Dee” Maxi Oversized Blazer is made from mid-weight traditional suiting fabric. One size fits all; it is cut to be extremely oversized. Priced at $379, it is for sale at thefrankieshop.com.

Colette Hourglass Blazer, thefrankieshop.com

Really oversized jackets (and oversized everything) are the ‘thing’ right now, but I also love a more fitted, flattering style. I love the hourglass silhouette of The Frankie Shop’s “Colette” structured riding jacket.

Made of camel cotton (mid-weight suiting fabric), “Colette,” also offered in black, gives me Dior BAR jacket vibes. Priced at $289, it is for sale at thefrankieshop.com.

Malvo Pencil Skirt, thefrankieshop.com

The Frankie Shop’s “Malvo” Long Pencil Skirt is made of lightweight white suiting fabric. It has a slim fit, maxi length, front hip pockets, and a back slit at the hem. Casual and easy but dressed up at the same time. Priced at $219, it is for sale at thefrankieshop.com.

Foldable Japanese Trench. moma.org

Designed in Osaka, Japan, this water-resistant Foldable Trench Coat is a chic way to stay dry on rainy days or as a lightweight trench for everyday wear, roomy enough to fit over a suit.

A unisex design and one size fits most, it has a hood and conveniently folds up into the included zippered pouch, making it an excellent option for travel. For sale at moma.org, it is priced at $29.95 for non-members and $26.96 for members.

Jones Boxy Sequined Tee, thefrankieshop.com

I love the relaxed fit of The Frankie Shop’s “Jones” Boxy Sequins Tee. It is fully lined and has drop shoulders, a straight-cut hem, and a concealed zipper on the sleeve. The bronze color is a wonderful neutral, perfect for day or evening. Priced at $235, it is for sale at thefrankieshop.com.

Tuxedo jacket by Zara.com

Nothing is more timeless than a tuxedo jacket, and Zara’s iteration with satin lapels is just a little oversized and cropped at the waist, perfect to wear with high-waisted trousers. It’s very YSL indeed, except for the price: $69.90, and for sale at zara.com.

“Leopard is like camel, only better”

Carrie Donovan, Legendary fashion editor for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and The New York Times Magazine.

Saint Laurent Rive Droite Leopard Printed Tote bag, saintlaurent.com

This Saint Laurent Rive Droite leopard-printed tote bag is made of recycled cotton. Measuring a nice compact 15” x 16”, it is priced at only $75, and is for sale at saintlaurent.com. It’s a flat cotton bag but nonetheless, I actually thought it was a typo when I saw the price. I never would have thought they sold anything that inexpensive!

The Animals Observatory faux leopard tote, mytheresa.com

If you want something roomier and plusher, you cannot do better than The Animals Observatory Leopard Faux Fur Tote bag, which measures a hefty 20” x 10.5 x 8” with a 13.5” handle. It is currently reduced by 40% from $144 to $86 and is for sale at mytheresa.com.

Vans Slip-On 59 Sherpa, 6pm.com

You bet a sneaker can be chic! I love how Vans updated their iconic unisex, slip-on deck shoes by adding a leopard print in a tactile “Sherpa” fabric. The rubber sole adds comfort and traction, perfect for town or country. And you cannot beat the price. They’ve been reduced by 60% from $60 – $23.98 on 6pm.com.


Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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  1. Oh my! As the author of #CheapChicBook in 1975 and 2015 for Random House — I couldn’t be more entranced with your selections here. Now if I could only figure out a reliable mail service to hustle orders from Frankie across the border with Mexico and into San Miguel de Allende.

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