Studio Visit

This Layering Trick Can Make Your Winter Coat Look More Stylish

And more things our new favorite luxury brand Arjé' taught us about seasonal style.

By: Tara Gonzalez
Photography: Alec Kugler

When Bessie and Oliver Corral met at Parsons, they didn’t speak the same language. But a teacher saw something in Oliver and told Bessie, “You’ve got to call him.” Years later they’ve overcome the language barrier, gotten married, and written three chapters with their luxury clothing brand, Arjé

They not only set out to create beautiful clothing, but also to design a world that transcends language. Walking through their temporary shop, which they like to call a “winter home,” at 829 Washington Street in New York, it’s almost hard to speak because there is so much to look at. Terracotta walls, the smell of tangerines, Mediterranean leaves fresh from the flower district. “Chapter one, chapter two, chapter three…” Bessie points across the store at the different racks that represent different collections but come together to tell one story. 

“The name comes from ancient Greek philosophers, who coined the word to say that before life, we all existed in some way, shape, or form. In essence, it means the beginning of the beginning and the essence of everything,” Bessie tells me. “The most important thing about Arjé is the concept. There’s no start and no end to anything we’re doing, so from the racks to the men’s to the women’s clothing, there’s a natural evolution. We create these worlds that never end and have our identity on them.”

The identity of Arjé is fluid–literally–with silky slit silhouettes, reversible jackets, and menswear designed to complement the womenswear. “I think the beauty of having two brains, a masculine and a feminine, is because he looks at me how he wants to see me, and I feel what I want to feel, and vice versa,” Bessie tells me before looking over at Oliver, who is wearing the shearling side of the suede coat she has on.

 

But with incredible pieces, like an oversized shearling jacket that’s entirely reversible to reveal a camel suede coat, and oversized silk cami tops made to perfectly fall over sculptural flare pants, it isn’t hard to imagine why someone would want their closet to look like the inside of an Arjé shop. The Corrals have mastered (in just nine months) clothing that’s comfortable and cool, that looks perfect together and separate, that looks just as good on a Tuesday as it does on a Wednesday or a Thursday or every day of every week of every year.

Click through to discover the Corrals favorite Arjé pieces and read Bessie’s tips for how to style and layer them (or similar pieces you already own) perfectly for chic comfort and warmth this winter.

Invest in reversible pieces that help you get two looks out of one piece, like the Arjé Luna Curly Hair Shearling Jacket.

BC: “A lot of the pieces this season have double meaning, double purpose. So with the shearling, it starts with the camel suede side, and the white gold hair, and they’re all fully reversible! So you’ve kind of got two different looks, where the shearling side one is really more, we call it like the ‘tomboy’ look; it’s got buckles coming out, you’re a little bit more casual. You can roll up the sleeves, and then you can wear it fully reversible, and you’ve got a totally different feel of a jacket. Much more winter-y, sheepskin... into-the-chalet, into-the-mountains look.”

If you own a jacket with slit sleeves, don’t put it away because it’s winter! Hold on to the pieces to help in layering extra chunky sweaters, which can easily flow out of the sleeves, like with the Arjé Cass Curly Hair Shearling Jacket.

BC: “The whole concept of this season’s slit sleeves came from my own frustration that we love designing sweaters with huge, wide sleeves. It’s kind of like become a lot of our signature look, too. So you’ve got these big, chunky, wide sleeves, but you can never find a winter coat that goes over it. So you only end up wearing these beautiful sweaters in the fall, not really in the winter, when you don’t need a chunky jacket over. So we designed all of these jackets and coats to have these sleeve slits, so that they just literally work right on top of the knitwear, and it just drops over. And it’s kind of this look... I guess our whole look is very effortless, elegant. But it’s always got a ‘tomboy’ feel to it. So it’s like you’re throwing over these gorgeous double-face cashmere coats, but you don’t feel done-up.”

Easy tops with side slits are good for showing skin in the summer and for layering with other tops for winter.

BC: “The slits give you a feeling of an openness. So if you're wearing a cami top under, or this with a cami top, or this with a bomber over, the slits just give you that staggered, layered look so you can just keep adding. That's the way we do it.”

Pair sheer pants with an oversized knit for a look that’s essentially a sexy pair of pajamas.

BC: “You’ve got this detail just on the side with the boy shorts underneath. So you just see a little bit of your skin. And you just tuck knits into the wide leg pants, and they’re pieces that for us, you just live in! There’s no reason why you just wouldn’t want to wear this all winter long.”

Flare top + flare bottom + flared jacket = all the silhouette you’ll ever need.

BC: “Our flare sleeves, or flare pants, the slits, we made them all so you could have a really interesting silhouette when you put it all together.”

Look for jackets with extra-long sleeves that can be rolled up or pinned back to let knitwear hang out.

BC: “And then this is one of the hero pieces, the trench! And it’s got the big slits and slits, and the huge belt. The sleeves are long, but you roll up so that your knitwear can just hang like right out of it. And that really is this collection. We just wanted the knit and the jackets to be like one world together.”

Don’t tie your belt entirely around your waist. Instead tie a knot below your belly button to create a more relaxed shape on your back.

BC: “There are no loops on the back of our double-face cashmere coat because it’s meant to be tied at the front. It changes the shape of the jacket entirely because it doesn’t scrunch and creates the most flattering back silhouette that you usually don’t see with these kinds of coats.”

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