My Chinese Jackets

Steady readers of this column know of my love for Chinese shoes. You know, the black cotton Mary Janes you buy in Chinatown. They’re the most comfortable for someone who walks as much as I do.

Well, I also love Chinese jackets. These are the embroidered satin, velvet, and cotton jackets that you can also find in Chinatown. I have a number of them—some I bought in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Beijing and some here. I love them because they dress up any outfit. Team one with a pair of jeans and you have a chic, stylish outfit.

I wear mine with cocktail dresses and with jeans. They look perfect with everything.

Whenever I wear them, I get many compliments and looks. They’re certainly not expensive. They’re so easy to find, and yet I can’t recall seeing anyone else wearing one. Women will wear a denim jacket that has no style at all, but not a stylish Chinese one. I can’t figure it out.

Perhaps women don’t want to wear something that will make them stand out. So many women dress to blend in with the woodwork. They say they want to stand out, but they really don’t.

If you’re hesitant to buy an embroidered satin jacket in an eye-catching color, I have a suggestion: Buy a black velvet or black satin one. Some just have the collar and cuffs embroidered and the velvet makes it more conservative.

A few days ago I wore a brown turtleneck sweater with chino beige pants and brown shoes and purse. Over it I wore a cream-colored satin jacket embroidered in tones of brown and red. I got so many comments on it. To tell the truth, I had nearly forgotten about it, but now I’m making a point to wear and enjoy it.

Some jackets come with matching pants in a solid color. I have one of those, too.

Come on, live a little. Break out of your fashion rut. Throw off your chains (gold, silver, and jeweled). No, on second thought, don’t throw off those chains, they go very well with the jacket.

Miriam Silverberg is a freelance journalist and owner of Miriam Silverberg Associates, a boutique publicity agency in Manhattan. She can be reached at