How to wear a shacket (shirt + jacket) | Priya Elan | Fashion

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What the hell, I hear you ask, is a “shacket”? Sadly it’s not a word to describe what happens when you play Love Shack by The B-52s far too loudly. Instead it refers to a piece of clothing that’s too thick to be a shirt but too thin to be a jacket. It’s a piece of clothing that is Just Right. As an aside, as a portmanteau word it is no hangry, but “shacket” is admittedly better than calling it a “jirt” which, we can all agree, sounds like a disagreeable stomach ailment. Here it joins some other great fashion portmanteaus-slash-crimes: “jeggings” (jeans and leggings – why?), “skorts” (skirt and shorts, courtesy of Dr Moreau’s school of clothing) and “treggings” (half trousers, half leggings, halfwit). In light of these, “shacket” is almost a blessing.

I have a shacket at home. On the weekends, I like to rid myself of my edgier, fun work clothes and slum it in my “dad” clothes. These are as sexy as they sound: big, discoloured jeans with very wide roll-ups; trainers bought in 2004 that are a shade of grey that exists only in suburbia; -24 prescription glasses – and an old shacket that is frankly horrible in every possible way. It’s shapeless and boxy in black and grey checks that bleed into one unclassifiable colour, a shade one might describe as “disused wormery”. It also features button poppers, worryingly suggestive of easy access. But it’s for all these reasons that it’s the perfect piece of dad clothing. Specifically, it can withstand the snot of 1,000 runny noses, random bits of child-friendly toothpaste and the anaemic broccoli-coloured goo of an Ella’s Kitchen food pouch. It’s what I wear when I am thinking practically, when practically involves (in order) being ridden like a human horse, used like a human wet wipe and kicked in the face as I trip over a Duplo castle.

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But the shacket isn’t just a muslin cloth in waiting. In fact, the shacket I’m wearing here would suit the 25-year-old, pre-kid version of me: it’s a deep red-birch colour, sharply cut, bold and probably hasn’t been worn while dodging a nappy-free bum, like, ever. It’s Just Right-ness is compelling: on a freakishly warm autumn day I wear it with blue cords and a T-shirt, and it feels light, bright and party-ready. But obviously I’m not going to a party. I’m going home to do bath and bedtime.

Priya wears jacket, £215, by Le Mont Saint Michel, from Trainers, £130, T-shirt and trousers, his own.

Styling: Melanie Wilkinson. Grooming: Samantha Cooper at Carol Hayes Management.

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