As someone with very little self-control, and a lot of love for this particular piece, I let an uncharacteristically long amount of time pass before I bought the Totême scarf jacket. However, it never seemed that our paths would cross. When the jacket first appeared last year, life was expensive and I couldn’t justify it. By the time I could, the jacket had sold out everywhere. When the brand teased a new beige-and-white iteration on Instagram at the beginning of the year, I checked its website every day for weeks in anticipation but, when it actually dropped at the end of February, I decided against it as coat season would soon be over. Hours later, I changed my mind and went back to the site but, of course, it had already sold out. So when the charcoal version finally became available again in my size, I immediately added it to my shopping bag.
This is a jacket that has sparked a thousand Instagrams – and then some – and it’s clear to see why. Its winning formula lies in it coming from a cool brand that isn’t too mainstream; it being neutral and easy to wear, yet very fashion at the same time; and, most importantly for the socials, it lacking in-your-face branding (so brash!) yet still signalling luxury and exclusivity by being instantly recognisable (understated flex!).
I wear a lot of Totême, so I expected that this jacket would slot easily into the Scandi-inspired part of my wardrobe. I originally envisaged wearing it with some of the brand’s curved-seam trousers and channelling my inner Elin Kling but, trying this look on at home, I realised this was not the way to go. This is a big jacket, and I am a small person. For my 5’3″, size 34-36 frame, the brand’s sizing charts indicated that I would need a size 32. That was to be expected – being a brand whose aesthetic revolves around oversized fits, Totême’s sizing always runs large – but even 1-2 sizes down from my usual, this style is still roomy, with wide sleeves that sit way off the shoulders. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. At this time of the year layers are key, and I know I could easily slip a jumper and a chunky cardi under this piece without that dreaded bulkiness. In my opinion, the loose, boxy silhouette looks modern and elegant, but it won’t be to everyone’s taste.
Quality-wise, this jacket looks and feels good. The contrasting topstitching is neat and intricate, the fabric has a lovely brushed, felty finish, and the buttons feature subtle T-monogram stitching as a thoughtful finishing touch. For a piece that feels relatively lightweight and only reaches hip length, it’s warmer than you’d expect. I won’t be wearing it in the biting cold of December, January and February here in Germany, but for autumn or spring it’s ideal. The highlight here is the integrated scarf, which you can throw just-so over your shoulders while you’re busy strolling around the city, taking pictures of coffee and bookshops for your Insta story, etc.
As mentioned above, if you’re petite like me then you’ll find that this jacket doesn’t look too great with similarly wide or voluminous bottoms. Totême styles it with its twisted-seam and straight-leg denim, but I prefer to pair mine with slim-fit trousers or minidresses and tights. My Arket kick-flare trousers also work well, providing a little proportion balance by fitting closely through the thighs. If you’re tall, you’ll probably have much more flexibility on the styling front.
Overall, this jacket was worth the wait. I appreciate how it adds a touch of interest to my outfits at a time of the year when they start to become very boring and comfort-focused. If you love the silhouette but prefer an even more minimalistic look, the brand has released a very chic camel version in double-faced wool, without the tassels and the topstitching.
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