I got this jacket from the Male Compatriot’s mom. It’s a beautiful color, very soft suede, (for more information on why I sometimes use secondhand leather even after converting to vegetarianism, click here) and overall really nice. But the double shawl collar and the waist skirt made it really fussy.
First, I removed the waist skirt, button plackets, and collar. This left it very nice, but incredibly simple. I tried adding back in one of the collars, but it suddenly looked like something a politician in her 50s would wear — polished and upscale, but not what I want right now. It was also much more formal without those button plackets! I thought about just overlapping the front with a button loop, but that created a couple of minor fit issues, and looked even more political.
Instead, I decided to add a silver zipper. Unfortunately, JoAnne’s didn’t have silver separating zippers in exactly the length I needed, so I used gold instead. It worked out well, but I did want silver for the southwestern feel. I chose to hand-pick the zipper because a. I don’t have thread that matches exactly, and I don’t sew with this color enough to justify getting a whole spool, and b. the bottom of the jacket is slightly curved, and I needed the control that hand sewing gave me to make sure things lined up. I considered adding a lace “yoke” at the back and cutting away the leather underneath it for a cutout, but decided it would be too kitschy Southwesty and overdone.
Unfortunately, you can see the white of the zipper. If I were really committed to this refashion, I’d have dyed the zipper before inserting it. But I didn’t.
It’s a simple refashion, but it makes a huge difference! I’m not 100% sold on the jacket when it’s zipped up, though; there’s a couple of pull lines (probably because a full 2 inches was removed with the button plackets), and it kind of eliminates my waist. I love it unzipped, though, so I’m calling it a success.