Thursday, November 29, 2012

What's a Shacket?

Women's safari jacket

I opened the Wall Street Journal today and went to the personal journal section. This is my favorite part of the WSJ and I rarely read the rest, although my hubby does. There was a large article about how casual dress is expanding. The once easy to figure out casual Friday is now something that most men think about as clothing options become more complicated. Welcome to the world of women’s clothing.

Menwear "Shacket"... look familiar
What truly caught my eye was the terms “shacket” and “swacket.” Now I didn’t have a clue as to what these terms referred to, except some type of jacket. As it turns out the terms are easy. A shacket is a shirt/jacket. It is lighter weight, has shirt style cuffs and outsized pockets. I have always referred to these types of jackets as “safari” jackets. I actually have two, one in a khaki color and another in black. I bought them when L.L. Bean was having a huge sale and I got them for half price. Don’t ask me why menswear needs to make up new names.

 My favorite sweater coat or swacket

The other term was the swacket, apparently this is a sweater/jacket hybrid. This is an item in menswear that I believe has been around for quite some time. Steve Carrell wore one in the movie “Crazy, Stupid, Love” when he was going through his hip transformation phase. While I’m sure this style of jacket is practical, I love a good sweater, I have yet to see one on a man who doesn’t look a little bit dorky. Even the model features in the article looked odd. Although these types of sweaters don’t look so odd on women, don’t know why.

 Menwear "Swacket" just seem shorter and have a hood or not

What gets me is the names. They sound so funny and obviously trendy. It appears to be some type of a marketing ploy. If they give these clothing items new and trendy names then maybe men won’t notice that women have been wearing similar clothing items for years. Or even that these clothing items have been on the market in one form or another for eons. Yes I own a shacket or safari jacket and I also own a swacket or sweater coat. In fact I am wearing a swacket as I write this, go figure. So no matter the name remember a light weight jacket is perfect for the office, even if it has a funny name.

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