Jacket Reviews – Helmut Lang

I am always on the lookout for an excellent black jacket, since over time I’ve realized that they are by far the outerwear item I wear the most. Like a little black dress, I like to have a variety of styles for every which occasion. I recently found two that I both love and which I anticipate will get a ton of wear in my wardrobe.

The first is one that I am very happy about: a Helmut Lang tux jacket. I have quite a few black blazers in my wardrobe that I’ve accumulated over the years, but I have always had a hard time making use of them – both during the day and night. While I do have some more formal work dress occasions, the traditional blazer + trousers in a suiting fabric has always looked a little too formal for my needs.

I have the same issue for night – I love the black blazer over little dress/top and pants look, but for some reason just throwing on my Theory suiting jacket has always looked a little off to me, especially while wearing little dresses. It just looks too “office” in my mind.

Enter my new Helmut Lang jacket. I never thought I’d consider a blazer with a funkier cut like this one, but as soon as I slipped this jacket over my shoulders in Barney’s, I knew that I would be adding it to my closet. The parabola back not only adds a unique cut and a lovely angle, but it also makes the whole jacket more comfortable and flexible. It moves with you much more than a traditional blazer.

Helmut Lang Tux Blazer (also here, here, and here)

Overall I am extremely happy with this jacket – yahoo! It can truly go from day to evening and I have quite a few ways that I’m already planning on wearing it. The fabric is also very nice, seems to be quite good quality, and has a bit more stretch to it than my Theory items. The sleeves were also the perfect slightly cropped length (which looks great with long sleeve blouses – outfit post to come).

Now, while I do like my sleek and structured jackets, I must admit that many mornings there’s nothing more I’d like to throw on than my old oversized Cal Bears (GO BEARS!) sweatshirt. This is a habit that has been hard to break, especially in Silicon Valley where dress codes have been stretched to encompass sweatpants and Teva sandals. Still I would like to look halfway presentable on those lazy mornings, which is why I was happy to also find a sweatshirt that was stylish enough to wear to work made by the Helmut Lang basics brand, Helmut.

The jacket is very soft and stretchy and has a very nice asymmetrical cut which makes it more interesting than your standard zip up hoodie sweatshirt. It looks good zipped up (and is still comfortable)…

But my favorite way is wear it is unzipped!

Helmut sweatshirt

Even though I love this little sweatshirt and I’ve worn it quite a few times already, I had to say that it is quite expensive compared to your typical college alumni priced piece. I bit the bullet and thought of it as the modern day Juicy velour hoodie (but hopefully more subtle and more staying power).

These were the first pieces I’ve purchased from Helmut Lang in many years (the only other item I have is a black coat from when its namesake was still designing it). I have to say that I am quite happy with both. I can totally see the appeal to wear the entire “Helmut” look much like you might with a designer like Rick Owens. To be honest I don’t think I’m cool enough to pull off entire looks from either brand, but I’m happy to have found a few pieces that will fit in well with my wardrobe as a whole.

If there are any other  perfect black jackets out there that you all would recommend – please share!

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  • Ammu
    November 5, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Gorgeous jackets! I love Helmut Lang.
    I would also recommend Derek Lam – I own a navy jacket by him and the cut and finishing are just perfect.

  • guest
    November 5, 2012 at 9:06 am

    I love the knit moto jacket – have been searching for this for ages and it’s sold out in my size! Arghhhh….

    • Katherine
      November 5, 2012 at 10:03 am

      Oh I’m sorry about that! Save the link and check back, I’ve seen it pop back frequently, that’s how I snagged mine!

      • guest
        November 5, 2012 at 4:36 pm

        You are too sweet, fingers crossed! 🙂

  • wei
    November 5, 2012 at 9:44 am

    I really like the knit Jacket…actually I prefer knit jackets over woven anytime…You look great!


  • Anne
    November 5, 2012 at 9:46 am

    I have the Tux blazer which I agree is very versatile. After reading this post, I’m considering getting the sweatshirt jacket as well. I’m concerned about the fabric quality, however, because I read another review of the sweatshirt jacket in which the reviewer complained of pilling. Have you noticed any pills on your jacket?

    • Katherine
      November 5, 2012 at 10:03 am

      Woohoo, another fan of the tux jacket! I’m wearing the sweatshirt today and I looked at it and there are tiny little pills around underarms/areas of wear – but very little and nothing more than what I’ve had with other items of this material. I do agree for the price though there should be none! I think getting the putty color might make them barely noticeable.

      • Anne
        November 5, 2012 at 11:58 am

        Thanks for the info, Katherine. I’m gonna get it! I hope it looks as good on me as it does on you!

        • Katherine
          November 5, 2012 at 1:24 pm

          Awesome, I’m sure it will. I might try and wear it around the house for a bit with tags still on just so you can get an idea of the pilling 🙂

          • Anonymous
            November 7, 2012 at 12:49 pm

            Good idea. FYI, is having a 25% off Friends and Family sale that starts Nov. 8!

          • Katherine
            November 7, 2012 at 1:37 pm

            Oh thank you! I will remember this and let readers know, is there a code?

  • Stacey
    November 5, 2012 at 10:32 am

    I ordered the tuxedo jacket a few months ago and decided to send it back. I didn’t love the super high back, but think it looks really nice on you. I am, however, going to order the sweatshirt. I had an amazing Daryl K fleece-type black jacket that I wore endlessly. It was perfect! I managed to leave it somewhere (after 5+ years) because it’s gone missing. So sad. I am always cold and don’t want to wear a heavy wool jacket so this one looks like it might work out!

    • Katherine
      November 5, 2012 at 10:44 am

      Hi Stacey, I can totally see how it might not work on all body types. I have a longer torso (and sadly shorter legs) and so it helps me keep it balanced up top. The sweatshirt is really comfy and I hope you like it – it’s also in a putty color (beigey white) that I love! Daryl K was awesome.

      • Stacey
        November 12, 2012 at 4:41 pm

        Got the sweatshirt in black and wore is all weekend!! Thanks for the tip.

        • Katherine
          November 12, 2012 at 4:43 pm

          Stacey I am wearing it today too. So glad to hear that you got it! Is it pilling for you? I see some around the wrist areas but not too much, it seems to be holding up OK 🙂

  • Call me M
    November 5, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Really nice blazer! love the shorter back!

  • Eva
    November 5, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Love both items especially the sweatshirt because it’s not only compfortable and warm but fashionable as well!

  • Joanna
    November 5, 2012 at 11:37 am

    What fantastic jackets! Love the asymmetrical back hem in the second one.

  • Lindsay
    November 5, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I recently bought a Kimberly Ovitz slouchy jacket/blazer and I LOVE it. It’s bamboo, so super soft, and it’s made in the USA. It works equally well worn with a dress or with jeans.

  • LC
    November 5, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    love the sweater! darn this ban..imma have to snag this in december!

    • Katherine
      November 5, 2012 at 3:47 pm

      Yes! It’s wonderful but I respect a good ban!

  • Cindy
    November 5, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    I seriously love these! The second one looks so comfy

  • hera
    November 6, 2012 at 7:29 am

    I think I saw you in some Chanel jacket before and I love how it looks on you! I had a Zara classic black blazer and it looks very casual and easy to wear jeans or a dress.

  • Chic 'n Cheap Living
    November 6, 2012 at 8:01 am

    I love LOVE my Helmut Lang black blazer. It is an interesting draped open front with an extra chiffon layer. It is funky, yet goes with everything. I will definitely look for the tuxedo blazer as well!

    Chic ‘n Cheap Living

  • Kira
    November 6, 2012 at 9:42 am

    you look good in both! Nice finds! Hair looks gorgeous!!!! 🙂

    • Katherine
      November 6, 2012 at 10:32 pm

      Thanks Kira 🙂 Always happy to hear from you

  • Anouka
    November 6, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Great items, they look perfect on you. I believe that you’ll get to wear these for many years to come.


  • stina auer
    November 6, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    What a wonderful blog you have – haven’t been her for a while and finelly found it again. Was eager to by a new Hermès GM cashmere shawl today, and scrolling through all of your beautiful posts I just have to have one.

    See you soon!
    Stina Auer

    • Katherine
      November 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm

      Hi Stina thank you for coming to visit again! Enjoy your GM shawl!

  • Marlene @ chocolatecookiesandcandies
    November 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    I love jackets by Helmut Lang, Isabel Marant and Rag & Bone. Can’t go wrong with any of the 3. BTW, the tuxedo and sweatshirt are fabulous choices. The latter looks more like a biker cut jacket which goes well with a dress as well.

  • Annabelle
    November 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    I’ve been totally loving tuxedo jackets lately; I picked up a Smythe one in army green a couple of months ago and am still thinking about getting one in black or black and white. They are SO sharp!

  • Catherine
    November 6, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    I loooooove Helmut Lang’s designs, I’m always pining over the leather jackets.

  • Amy
    November 11, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    I’m a big fan of Helmut Lang’s dresses – they’re incredibly versatile and easy to wear from one season to the next. I’m not a big fan of patterns or colors either, so their minimalist aesthetic works with me 🙂

    What do you think of the ALC or Alexander Wang jackets? I think they fall within a similar price category, and have interesting shapes (but great cuts to them). I’m also big fans of their designs and find that their pieces mix and match well with what I already have in my closet.

  • cvandoorn
    November 12, 2012 at 12:06 am

    Thanks for posting the discount code! Bought the sweatshirt jacket and I can’t wait for it to arrive. Well, that is, after I return to LA first.

    • Katherine
      November 12, 2012 at 9:32 am

      Fantastic! Hope you enjoy 🙂

  • Suited » Feather Factor
    November 12, 2012 at 7:28 am

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    October 14, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    […] Sale PSA: The Saks Friends & Family sale has started, for a very nice 25% off with code FRNFAM. My picks are the classic Stuart Weitzman 5050 boot (Saks has the best discount I’ve seen on it in a long time), and my favorite Helmut Lang jacket in black and cream (reviewed here). […]

  • Jay
    June 18, 2014 at 6:07 am

    Love my helmut tux jacket but after one dry clean, it has these white little fibres/ piling coming out of it. Is it my dry cleaner or has it happened to anyone else?