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Monday, April 9, 2012

The best way to predict the next big fashion trend is to remember my catchphrase: “Never is the next new thing™.” The styles that are most hated at first — the ones that make people say, “Never!” — are the ones that are hottest once our eyes adjust. Since I figured this out, whenever I think, “I would never wear that,” my next thought is, “I can guarantee I’ll be wearing that.”

Occasionally, I have a micro “Never is the next new thing™” experience: It’s not trend-worthy, but it’s definitely a personal change of heart.   It happened to me last year with animal-toe shoes. It just happened to me again with arm warmers. I came “thisclose” to mentioning them disapprovingly in Saturday’s post about Madonna and aging, because a few gossip bloggers have suggested that Madonna is wearing arm warmers to hide crinkly elbows.

From the Daily Mail. Click for source.

In my post, I noted that elbows do indeed deteriorate aesthetically as the years go by. I was going to add that if Madonna is wearing the arm warmers for that reason, I wish she would give them up and flaunt her old elbows. Wrinkly elbow pride! But I’d already noted that she’s said to wear fingerless gloves to cover aging hands, so the general point had been made.

Meanwhile, it completely slipped my mind that I have charcoal rib-knit arm warmers that go with the sleeveless shearling vest I got from designer/blogger Stacy Lomman’s Fall 2012 collection. That combination made sense to me. After all, if the weather is cool enough to wear a shearling vest with a knit collar, it’s too cool for bare arms. Stacy says, “I personally own fleece vests, neoprene vests, and chunky sleeveless sweater knits. Vests can easily be worn over thick turtlenecks with long sleeves, so I think they’re great layering pieces.  Still, I thought the arm warmers offered another option that is very fashion forward.” Edgy but practical! It’s such a pleasure when designers are realistic like that.

Vest, arm warmers and skirt by Stacy Lomman. Model: Caitlin Sloat. Photographer: Shane LaVancher. Click to enlarge.

I was inspired to wear Stacy’s arm warmers for the first time yesterday — only one day after I gave the side-eye to Madonna’s arm warmers. It was chilly outside, but I wanted to wear my Fall 2011 silver, wool Stacy Lomman jacket with 3/4-length sleeves. I’ve been obsessively wearing that over a short-sleeved black t-shirt for more than a month, with a winter coat over the whole thing. I wanted to skip the coat this time but I worried I’d be cold in the cropped sleeves. Then I remembered the arm warmers. In my short sleeves, I didn’t feel as constricted as I do in many long-sleeved t-shirts and sweaters, but when I got a little warm, I could take the jacket off without freezing. And if I had gotten really hot, I could have taken off the arm warmers and stashed them in my purse. Speaking of heat, I told Stacy I thought arm warmers would be the perfect layering piece for women having menopausal hot flashes. What?!? It could be big business. (And they do hide those pesky elbows!)

I only got a bleary Instagram photo of yesterday’s jacket/arm warmer outfit, but it’s a photo that’s totally worth $1 billion. (Yo, newly rich Instagram peeps, call me for all your luxury jewelry needs.) I was using my better camera to take a picture of Stacy wearing her red and royal blue wool-tweed crop jacket, also from her Fall 2012 collection.

Stacy, close-up. She needed a new Facebook picture!

Later, I wished I’d asked Stacy take a picture of me for an outfit post. Luckily, today’s weather continued being not-too-hot, not-too-cold. Perfect for the sleeveless vest with arm warmers. Like the silver jacket, it’s got a motorcycle vibe. Stacy says that look is becoming one of her signature styles. “I did [the motorcycle style] in grey/silver with elbow-length sleeves for Fall ’11 and then I repeated it as a sleeveless vest in Spring ’12 in neoprene. So, I thought leather or fur would be a logical progression for a new fall season.”

I was wearing the vest and arm warmers when I visited Jean Kormos of Ghost Tailor — the creator of the Nobel-Prize dress I wrote about for the Huffington Post . She took some outfit pictures for me in her studio. Ghost Tailor is a full-service operation. Alterations and blogging assistance, all in one place.

What Wendy Wore
Jacket and arm warmers: Stacy Lomman (2012)
T-shirt: Splendid
Jeans: Citizens of Humanity (2011)
Bag: Prada (2009)
Scarf: Alexander McQueen (2010)
Shoes: Prada (2010)
Rings: My own designs

Jean was impressed with the profile of the vest, created by gathering in the back. I was excited that she noticed because Stacy struggled to do that. She doesn’t have the industrial-strength sewing machine that would normally be used on such a tough material. I kept telling her to skip it; that the vest was great without any pleats in the back. She insisted that it would make all the difference. She was right.

Side view.

But this “Never is the next new thing™” moment has a history pre-dating Madonna’s arm warmers. The seeds were sown in 2010, when Brioni’s shoulder-length gloves gave Stacy and me the giggles. “Then Stacy patiently pulled one on,” I wrote at the time, “and it looked amazing.”

The Brioni gloves. Click for 2010 post.

In 2011, Brioni’s women’s line was discontinued, which is sad because the clothes and accessories were gorgeous and so well-made. At least we can console ourselves with Stacy’s clothes. If you want to place an order for a custom-made piece, you can contact Stacy via her website.

This post is linked to Visible Monday on Not Dead Yet Style.

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21 Responses to “What Wendy Wore: Stacy Lomman Vest & Arm Warmers”

  1. stacy says:

    Girl, you look great in the vest and arm warmers! I’m so glad you got them — thank you!

    And Brioni should hire me.

  2. Sheila says:

    I love long gloves for that reason! They keep your arms warm and let you expose a little shoulder (and if you’re at a party, they help keep you from gorging on the hors d’oeuvres).

    I need some arm warmers.

  3. franca says:

    Ohh, i like! I might knit myself some! DIY girl that i am…

  4. What a great look…I love the arm warmers with the vest! Really cool!

  5. Love those arm warmers! I think the elbow-covering feature is brilliant for the(cough)woman-of-Madonna’s age set. Thanks for linking up to Visible Monday!

  6. Andrea says:

    you look amazing!

  7. Wendy does you anti spam know what I’ve been doing – drinking too much wine! My word was sancerre which happens to be my tipple of choice!!

    Back to the real reason I’m commenting LOVE the arm warmers I am a massive fan of them always have been and now my elbows are beginning their tragic journey a la Madonna I need to own the look for now and for ever!

    Stacey sold to the woman in London not least because your video has the Jam’s modern world xx

  8. Megan Mae says:

    The vest and armwarmers look great! I grew up as a goth kid so armwarmers are oldhat to me. I loved ’em, left ’em, and will probably own some again in my life.

    What I want to know is where Stacy got those sunglasses. <3 Waaaant.

  9. Maja H says:

    Big arm warmer fan here! They were huge over here in the late 90s/early 2000s when everything was supposed to be super-functional and have a thousand pockets and have the ability to be detached and re-attached and turned into a handbag. Then after that there was the goth kid phase with the black and red striped arm warmers, and now I knit my own (albeit not red/black striped this time around) – so practical, and much more touch-phone friendly than gloves!

  10. drzibbs says:

    Pretty darn cute.

  11. When I got my hair cut last week, the stylist in the next booth was wearing arm warmers. He’s always up-to-the-minute on the newest fashion trends, so I loved your post on its origins.

  12. Madonna can wear band aids to hide her wrinkles, and she still rocks. Despite all her broohahas over the years, and the misses, I still admire and respect her for somehow take full responsibility for all her actions. Not that I agree with all her antics, lol

    Thanks for your kind comment, Ms. Wendy. Yellow was not my color, but I tried it and found out I like how I look in it! ^_^

  13. It looks like Madge chopped the feet of her son Rocco’s soccer socks and slid them up her arms. My son’s first soccer practice is this evening, but he may be going sockless 😉

  14. Vyque says:

    The vest/arm warmer combo is genius! I have some above the shoulder cashmere fingerless gloves I think I’ll be breaking out once it gets cold again!

  15. Heather says:

    Those long purple gloves are ridiculous!! WOW!

  16. Melanie says:

    OH NO!! I have obviously been living in a cocoon – I never knew I had to worry about wrinkly elbows. After I post this I’ll be rushing to the bathroom to check the backs of my arms for wrinkly elbows! Thank goodness for armings, limbings, arm warmers, all those limb disguisers.

    You look fabulous here! The diagonal zip on the vest and the colourful scarfing on the bag are mmm.