Monday, April 9, 2012

Malang vs. Malang

Spring '12 yellow Malang Jacket with satin lining
 I joined what seemed like half the world in running, not walking, to Uniqueen to purchase the Malang after seeing it on Extra Petite last November. I was also one of the mistaken/lazy readers who somehow missed that only the quilted Malang was available at that time, and was not a little disappointed when I opened the package. You wouldn't think that a quilted vs. satin lining would make such a difference, but it just goes to show how millimeters can mean in clothing. The quilted one has noticeably thicker shoulder pads and is quite boxy in cut.

That being said, I grew to love the pink quilted Malang. It's not the most flattering blazer I own, but it's pretty, distinctive, warm, and looks great with grey or brown. I plan to wear it as a spring jacket on brisker days. Still, I yearned for the lighter version, and when Uniqueen brought back the satin-lined Malangs this spring, I bought one in yellow.

There were some actually noticeable differences between the two versions, even aside from the color & weight. I'm not sure if this is an issue of product consistency or just redesigns for a new season.

Yellow Spring '12 Malang (satin lining) vs. Pink Fall '11 Malang (quilted lining)
Can you spot the differences?
First, what I love about both Malangs: 
-The hints of sparkle in the fabric! So fun.
-Small but functional pockets! What's not to adore?
-This eye-catching tweed is an easy way to add some flair to a workday outfit.
-Pretty pastel colors. One can get tired of having only neutral blazers.
-They are serious compliment magnets. Have never worn them without getting one.
-The Malang is now available as a full skirt suit! That would likely be too Easter egg on me, but I can see it being so pretty on someone taller and/or slimmer.

What I don't love: 
-Both Malangs came with ostentatiously fringed sleeves. I ended up snipping off the fringes.
-Sometimes the overall "shagginess" gets on my nerves. Tempted to trim it, but am too chicken.
-The size Small fits me in the shoulders (maybe a breath too tight if I'm wearing a sweater), but is cut very wide in the waist. So from the side, I look not unlike a pyramid. (Not the end of the world, I just wear them with pants or fitted skirts.)
-A minor annoyance: The linings on both are a little sloppily done and bunch in the sleeves. But no one can see it, so I guess it isn't a big problem.
-The highlighter-yellow lining on the yellow Malang is a little much.

The differences between the two Malangs:
Close-up of both. Pretty striking contrast, huh?
 -Yellow Satin Malang has a broader pattern. Pink Quilted Malang has a narrower one. This isn't necessarily a bad point as I think both patterns are pretty and aligned well across the pockets. It's just worth noting.

-Yellow Satin Malang has a touch more gold/sparkle than the Pink Quilted.

Subtle difference, but it's there.

-Yellow Satin Malang has thinner, longer fringe. Pink Quilted Malang has thicker, shorter fringe.

-On that note, Yellow Satin Malang had messier fringe. I'm guessing there was a spring rush. Even if I didn't mind the sleeve fringes, I would have had to remove them on the yellow regardless--they were REALLY uneven and crookedly sewn on.

Yellow Satin Malang on top. Sleeves significantly shorter.
-Yellow Satin Malang is a fraction of an inch shorter overall, but has dramatically shorter sleeves. This could be intentional as the quilted one seems to be intended for colder weather.

Much wider sleeve on the Yellow Satin.

-Yellow Satin Malang has much, much, MUCH wider sleeves, especially if you keep in mind that the Quilted Lining leaves much less room inside. The Pink Quilted Malang sleeves are snug on me; Yellow Satin are quite loose.


But in the end, I like both. It is a little excessive of me to keep two blazers that, despite everything, have many more similarities than differences. But I can't quite bring myself to part with either. I'm telling myself one is for cooler weather and the other is for warmer weather. So I can enjoy pastel sparkly tweed all year round. Or something. (This self-justification, it can be dangerous...)
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