Privilege Blog

Will You Wear A Tailed Jacket In 2011?

It’s quite possible that you’re going to wind up in a long-tailed jacket this year.

Why, you may wonder? Well let’s consider.

The Four Factors Leading Us Toward A Long Tail

1. Michael Jackson, AKA The King of Pop

We were besieged by images of Mr. Jackson upon his unfortunate demise. Those band-leader/military jackets imprinted, and the style is making its way through our cultural consciousness – in various guises.

2. High-waisted pants

After a decade of low-rise pants, followed by a long stretch of skinny jeans, we’ve seen some high-waisted, Charlie!-ad-in-the-1970’s, inspiration recently. A high waist looks much better with a jacket that nips in at the right spot.

3. Downton Abbey

Have you seen this show on PBS? I’ve just started watching online, here. While some may succumb to a desire for fine cotton lawn, gloves, and buttoned boots, I have a scary urge to dress like one of the footmen.

4. Momentum

Designers are picking all this up. For example:

And even better, from Bassike,

I honestly imagine the jacket worn with those baggy, high-waisted, only-a-few-centimeters-away-from-sweatpants pants. I imagine I could lounge on the sofa, lightweight cotton preventing any sofa burn from sweaty thighs, then throw on the jacket like a cool person, any time I left the house. But, of course, in that daydream I’m also 32 and Artsy.

The One Factor Holding Us Back

Public toilets. Trailing fabric. Say no more.

Michael Jackson, Purple Velvet via MyTherese
Downton Abbey via the Telegraph
Pants via Trend Report
Jackets, Elizabeth and James, Gryphon, and Rag and Bone, via Bluefly
Bassike via High Snobette

62 Responses

  1. Ha! Loved this post! For those with Dread of Excess Fabric, the tux-style jacket is also available without the tails and CHEAP! My daughter snagged one off Target’s clearance rack for $7. Of course she is 19 and in a band….

  2. I probably won’t be wearing the more extreme versions, but I am glad to see longer jackets coming back into style. I’d love to find a good hunt-style jacket. I won’t be wearing the pleated, high-waisted pants either.

  3. Great article. I love your last “observation!”
    Will I be wearing it……..I don’t think so. A nipped in at the waist jacket definitely, but not with the tails ;-) I think as I am only 5 foot 4″, I would start to resemble a penguin!

  4. I particularly DO like the return of the high-waisted pant, sans the pleats perhaps. It gives one the look of a ‘long leg’. Just like you are sporting in the ‘snake watching’ photo from 1982. I wonder why though, a designer thought he/she was putting his best foot forward with that grungy looking jacket and too-big jeans, and of course that gross adaption of the ‘skinny’ leg with room at the top for a Depends?
    Now exactly what “real” size girl/woman/refugee do you suppose that model is? I for one will be looking forward to anything that doesn’t support the “Muffin Top”!

    1. I’m generally not a fan of people saying “Get that model a sandwich!” (people do come in all shapes and sizes), but I admit to thinking that she looked a BIT unhealthy & also wondering what size she was. It doesn’t help that I thought the style of the clothing she was wearing didn’t suit her body type, either!

      Did you know that in Spain the runway models must be at least a size 38 (around a US 6-8)? I love it… the models look normal-sized!

  5. I like plain old mid rise pants. Not high, not low (my love handles would NOT thank me…). Those high waisted baggy pants remind me way to much of that crazy balloon pants funk from the 1980’s. Add a zig-zag print on them and we’re right back to the decade where (in my opinion), some fashions just need to be erased! Same goes for the stone washed jeans, I just can’t do that. As for Downtown Abbey, I am really wanting to watch and need to get caught up! Have a great day!

  6. There’s NO way you’d get me in one of those jackets, but I absolutely cheer the return of high-waisted pants. Thank goodness.

    1. Putting it on backwards is a good solution. Thanks! I usually tie it around my shoulders, which also makes hand-washing easy.

  7. Downton Abbey is like crack- I cannot get enough of it! Dame Maggie Smith is perfectly cast and you just cannot shake a stick at anything the Julian Fellowes gets involved with- have you read his book ‘Snobs’?



    1. I caught the last episode and could not stop talking about it all day. My husband had to suffer through my synopsis on Monday morning.

  8. One more reason to continue my hatred of Mr Jackson: bad fashion.

    Dowton Abbey makes me want to wear long dresses and grow my hair long.

  9. I just bought a very cute double-breasted metallic tailed jacket for my 18 year old daughter – Alice and Olivia, I think. I’m not sure that the look suits me – like Marcela commented, it is quite contrived. I’ll stick to classics spiced up with zippy accessories.

  10. i think it’s a bit too costumey for my liking. for evening, though, i could see rocking a tux with modified coattails to do an updated sexy Le Smoking a la YSL in the 60s. but i’m also too practical and the trailing fabric thing would get to me. public toilets – LOL!!

  11. Also too trendy and costume(y) for me. Would tire of it immediately, in fact,
    I’m already tired of it. But I love well cut blazers and am on the look out for those. Happy they’re back!

  12. No, thank you.

    Not that I take my fashion cues from television or pop stars, but my style has been what I would characterize as Brideshead Revisited since university, and it is likely to remain that way.

    Good grief, I can’t believe Michael Jackson could possibly be a fashion icon again. Are people who grew up in the eighties really and truly nostalgic for that time? To me, it was a dreadful era full of tacky excess and smugness, and I would prefer to forget it altogether.

    Sorry to be so cranky.

  13. I think these are more for the dream of who I once might have been. But I accept my choices for who I am now, and do not see these items per se. But never say never. Dream selves however have their own lives.

  14. The tailed jacket? Probably not. The high-waisted pants? Definitely not. I am a realist and know that neither look as shown would flatter my figure.

    Downton Abbey? Oh my yes. An absolutely enchanting series. Truly. I’ve enjoyed it from beginning to end. The characters have me longing for velvet and necklaces among other things…

  15. Superb posting!
    Tailed jackets, high-waisted pants – what else can you suggest to enhance the optical illusion of shrunken a torso with boobs out of proportion (the jacket that springs open and the tummy that finally moves towards the key focus of my whole appearance.
    no, no, no!
    For me it is wrapped cardigans, wrapping me like a maki and pants sitting on the hipbone, never above. The “feature” – long legs, short torso – can be difficult to handle when fashion takes a turn towards high pants.

  16. I think I’m too tall or too short or too round or too something for fashion.

    Although, I’m generally in favor of something that camouflages my fanny.

  17. After the episodes for Downton Abbey are over, I go to the website and watch it again, freeze-framing some of the scenes just for the clothes! I am lusting after Lady Mary’s blue day dress and just adore The Dowager Countess’s hats. Silk and velvet, riding clothes and hats, a luscious Anglophile fantasy.

  18. Hi there, nice to meet you. I came through Kayce’s blog. I love the look of high waisted trousers, incredibly elegant and think you are right – need to worn with something at the waist. The grey ones at the bottom are amazing…really comfortable looking and most wearable. I have some high waisted jeans and after seeing a photo of me in them – I think I’ll have to give them away! To someone younger! They are too tight in the thighs -think high waisted needs to be loose in the legs…what do you think?

  19. Probably a “no” on the jacket unless it morphs into something less “trendy” looking. I usually avoid “one-season” and “one-body-type” looks. However, over the years, there have occasionally been trends that smoothed out into fun fashion statements … witness the extraordinary layering of styles and articles of clothing made popular in the nineties. It looked so unkempt, so mismatched. At the beginning of the trend, I wouldn’t have imagined adopting the look for myself. Now, I often wear interesting layers…of course, I’m artsy with occasional undertones of Sturdy Gal and Grande Dame….

  20. In true High Wasp style they recycled the clothes in Downton, they’ve been seen over the years on many a cossie drama here, most admirable and very
    Princess Anne

  21. Not for me, thanks. Unless of course I undertake yet another career change and get a job as a circus ring-mistress. But I don’t look great in jodhpurs, either, so that doesn’t seem likely.

    I love the costumes on DA — in the last episode, the Poiret-style cocoon coat worn by Lady Grantham had me drooling.

  22. Well, I’ll be in the minority and say I like that last example, the blue jacket, which looks like it has very restrained tails. I like how the hem curves to the tails in front – very flattering. I won’t be wearing any high waisted, pleated pants anytime soon, but I do like the high waisted pencil skirts that came around last year, and I’d wear it with one of those in a heartbeat.

  23. Haha – love your last line :-) But no, no tails for me. I do believe wearing tails depends on one’s height and “tail” size . . . :-) Have a great evening. xoxo

  24. I have a love the jackets with peplums, and wish I could find a Willie Smith pattern I had years ago with the baggy pleated pants. Fitted waist and no digging the crotch from your butt cheeks is great. I think high waist pants are great, loved them during the 70’s and would gladly wear them again.

  25. Saw Sting wearing a jacket like this when he performed with the Chicago Symphony last year. His jacket was a curved shape like the light blue one in your post. He wore it with jeans. At first it looked odd to me, but by the end of the evening I loved the look.

  26. I’ve always longed for a return of the high-waisted pants. For me, they are incredibly flattering and comfortable. I’d love to return to the day when I don’t have to (discretely) hike up my jeans when I arise from my chair. High-waisted pants stay put. They were always the best cut for me – small waist, long legs, but not so skinny thighs. They’ve threatened to come back several times over the last thirty years, but they haven’t really. I doubt they will much before I’m 90…

  27. Despite all the naysayers here, I actually have a tailed jacket in black velvet. It’s more of a cutaway like the pale blue one pictured above, but I actually got it over a year ago from the Jil Sander collection for uniqlo. The tails aren’t very long, so it looks more interesting than unusual. I adore it!

  28. I would def wear a tailed jacket – closely tailored in the style of YSL with that extra bit of fabric in the back sounds perfect for my tall, long-waisted frame. Perfect with a pair of fine heels… could not do it in flats!

  29. Think this jacket looks better on the Hunt set while riding their horses..I remember my Grandmama wearing a black one while riding most days in the country.

    Hip,hip the high waisted pants are back!! Ida

  30. I’ve been droning on about Downton for weeks now (starting with and finally putting a sock in it with

    I see what you mean about the jackets, only the way they open at the front just where my tummy pooches, sort of invites a person to look at my tummy. One cannot have a tummy and wear these, I’m afraid. I remember weighing 100 lbs and loving my high top jeans, with 2 narrow little belts. I still have a long waist, but it’s not 23 inches anymore… I think I like the ladies’ jackets because of all the interesting lapel details attracting the eye to a more pleasing area on my front side. On the other hand, having a flat behind, a little tail thing might help out, you think?

  31. I, too, shall pass on the tailed coat. My elder daughter (24 and built like that model, only 32C) would look fabulous in one, though.

  32. No, would not wear that. doesn’t go with my lifestyle or shape. As with other commenters, it would work on my 24yo daughter.


  33. Also, LOVE Downton Abbey!! Can’t wait for second installment. I actually love PBS in general.

  34. I will not be participating in the tailed jacket and/or high waisted pants trends. I do, however, love Downton Abbey.

  35. Laura – Thank you. I bet your daughter looks, well, rockin’:).

    Deja – I think hunt-style is the more elegant description.

    Marcela – I tend to recognize trends, but not adopt them, so I’m with you.

    Vanessa – Ha! A penguin on a hunt:).

    Deb – I am surprised and pleased that you remember the snake-watching photo. I look forward to high-waisted pants too, although I agree, perhaps sans pleats.

    Kahlia – Go Spain! Andale Espana, I mean!

  36. Jennifer – I’m thinking high-waisted, but dignified and elongating, not balloon-ish. Enjoy Downton Abbey. I snarfed the episodes up in a couple of days:).

    Hostess – Ha!

    Jan – Now you’ve set me a challenge:).

    Anna – I always find myself in public bathrooms wondering where to put all my stuff, coat, bag, shopping bag, etc. Tails might be more than I can handle. But tied around shoulders or back to front I could maybe manage:).

    QBS – Yes! Addicting. I have not read the book. Sounds like it should be on my list.

    Dream – Oh I am just imagining trying to retell the story to a husband sort:).

  37. Demoiselle – Oh good! A volunteer! I want to see photos, if it happens!

    Emmaleigh – Ha!

    Patricia – So I have clearly found a look for the young. Well, I suppose thinking young is good as long as we don’t buy young:).

    miss sophie – Huh, I would have thought you’d look great in a hunt jacket.

    Kathy – Ha. Well-cut jackets are my best friend too.

    StaircaseWitch – Not cranky, just an opinion, which we all have. I am now imagining the Brideshead Revisited style…

  38. DocP – I think the right people could carry this off, pairing the jacket very simply with casual trousers, and accentuating the vintage vibe.

    Mardel – “Dream selves however have their own lives.” And therein lie so many many stories…

    Terri – You bet. Any time:).

    Sylvie – Velvet and necklaces. Those jet parures…

    Paula – Well thank you! And being long-waisted, I am not the expert in your proportions. I hope you read Imogen Lampert’s Inside Out Style. She’s the best, IMO.

    Patsy – You never fail to crack me up. Thank you.

  39. Loretta – You are apparently not alone! I wonder if the sketches for the clothes are out there anywhere, or, if has been said, these clothes are all reused from other period dramas.

    Susan – I am very much looking forward to your style discovery voyage.

    Jody – Hi Jody, and welcome! I think for almost everyone high waists are most flattering with a loose, straight, leg. So not tight, but not ballooning either.

    Lara – That’s an interesting point, when trends are point item limited, and when they become a wider philosophy. The leggings and flats bit, for example, started as some clothes and became the silhouette of an entire decade.

    Tabitha – Very admirable. I bet you could carry off a hunt jacket just fine.

    Rubiatonta – Ha! Run away to the circus, indeed. Does no one threaten that any more? I think the brocades were my favorite part of the DA costumes.

  40. rb – The blue one is my favorite. To wear casually. But I honestly think it’s too young for me, unless I were to grow my hair long and gray, become witchy and deeply powerful, wear large rubies:).

    Preppy 101 – Ha! You’re on fire! Tail size. Good lord. So far ahead of me.

    Sherryl – Did you see that J. Crew has shorts with a peplum this year? (!)

    martha – Oh yes, that’s very Sting, now that you mention it.

    Patricia – I believe they are threatening just a little harder this time, and I hope so. I find them comforting too.

    cosmic – Sounds wonderful. I love Jil Sander.

  41. Worthy – And in your neck of the woods, isn’t there still some hunting going on?:)

    Buckeroo – Ha. Thank you.

    Ida – I bet your Grandmama looked absolutely smashing. Hip, hip, indeed.

    La Belette – OK. Are we going to get the patented LBR analysis of the show? *buys tickets*

  42. Shelley – Not droning, extolling the glories of :) I remember the double belts, and the ones we wrapped twice. I do think, tail or no tail, a nipped waist jacket and high waist trousers looks good on a long waist. Many ways to skin a cat.

    Marieanne – Aren’t daughters great for dressing sometimes?

    Stacy – I know! When will the second season come out?

    Caroline – I am only glad I found the show before PBS took down the online episodes:). There were only four, is that right?

  43. This is too wonderful, and just what I needed late in the day! Especially that very last observation, very well put. We are seeing more of the high-waisted pants, albeit many with the uber-wide legs.

    Would you believe we missed the boat on Downtown Abbey? Completely? All is not lost however, we have ordered it up via Netflix, thank heaven, as everyone just raves about it.

    Sending you a smile Miss Privilege!

  44. Lisa – that’s right, only four episodes of DA. The next season is in production. I can’t wait!

  45. loved this post. i would really like to wear a tailed jacket in 2011, IF i can find an especially cool piece – perhaps at a vintage clothing store – for a good price. this is of course a big if, but i love your idea of pairing it with dressed down pieces, like lounge-ish pants.

  46. Why yes, I might just wear a tailed jacket in 2011. With high-waisted pants, even, though not the sweatpants ones. I’m not arty enough, I fear.

  47. It’s very Adam Ant! If a version looked great on me, I’d get it. It’s one of those things I’d have to try on before rendering a verdict.

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