In praise of the party jacket

— by Alyson Walsh

Photography: Claire Pepper


Sometimes you have to go all out. Take the festive season by the reindeer horns and make a sparkling statement. Believe me, this Party Jacket attracted a lot of attention when we stopped for a sandwich at Pret a Manger (living the high life…). Slipped on over a jumpsuit, cargo pants or favourite pair of jeans, the snazzy jacket is an instant game-changer. Immediately whooping up a pared-down outfit to make it Christmas party-ready.

This silver metallic Lurex number (full title the Silver Queen Blazer) is by the Dutch designer Fabienne Chapot, just one of over 30 brands available from the website With the slogan ‘Ageism is Never in Style’, this online boutique is committed to age-inclusivity and diversity, which obviously we’re all on board with. Founder Jacynth Bassett started the business when her 60-something mum had trouble finding clothes that said fabulous not frumpy. Committed to featuring women over-40 of different shapes, sizes and ethnicities, Jacynth has also recently started ‘Advocates For Ageing’ a collective of industry experts and activists who support the cause – as well as launching her own collection of cashmere sweaters. Model Alexi Bruni has worked with the company and I like what she has to say:

“As an older woman, a model, fashion activist and writer, I applaud founder Jacynth Bassett’s initiative. is a great place for women of all ages to shop, without judgement. Individual style is key and the commitment to fighting ageism is very genuine.”


Photography: Claire Pepper only sells sustainable clothes from small independent labels, the indigo cotton jumpsuit beneath the Party Jacket is from Scotch & Soda, another cool Dutch label. I am particularly enjoying the cropped, barrel leg shape and the way it draws attention towards my favourite, old silver pumps. For me, the go-anywhere Party Jacket and jumpsuit combo has much more mileage than a once-a-year glitzy dress. The bling-tastic blazer is great when you’re going out-out, and transcends seasons, adding a sprinkling of decadent luxury to any outfit. Wearing sparkle and shimmer away from the festivities gives the Party Jacket a second chance to shine.


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  Sometimes you have to go all out. Take the festive season by the reindeer horns and make a sparkling statement.