The blazer might just be the perfect piece for any women's closet. It's definitely in my top 5. Ate too much last night and need to disguise that little pooch in your midsection? Cover it up with a blazer. Going straight from work to a fancy event? Wear a blazer. Freezing in the morning and hot in the afternoon? Throw a blazer on.
Blazers are a very versatile article of clothing, and a true transition piece. They'll take your wardrobe from freezing February to a milder March and even into the summer. It can make your jeans look dressy and that sleeveless dress look professional. It is the quintessential layering item. Let's take a look at how to choose the perfect blazer and then how to wear it.
Picking The Perfect One
Color | Before you go out and buy a bold colored blazer make sure you have the basics covered. A black or navy blazer is a foundation item. If you want to add a little more without going overboard, look for a blazer with a very thin and slight pinstripe in a color that isn't a high contrast. After you've got the basics covered, I suggest adding a lighter neutral like camel or ivory. Then add a black and white striped or floral blazer. You'll be amazed at how much interest it adds to your outfit with minimal effort. And finally if you're feeling very fashion-forward, add a bright pop of color with a coral or yellow blazer.
Fit | The whole appeal to a blazer is the tailored fit. Think of it as a frame around your body. The slight structure adds shape and definition to any size woman! You want a blazer that hits at the top of your hips and buttons at the narrowest part of your waist. The shoulders should be fitted but not stretched too much. The sleeves should hit about mid-thumb when you hold your arms out straight. If the sleeves are too long (and actually even if they're not) roll them up once to make a cuff. Extra style points if it reveals a patterned lining! Of course you want it to be roomy enough that you can button it up without having to suck in but you want it to maintain it's shape when it's unbuttoned. In fact, you'll rarely wear it unbuttoned so make sure it creates a flattering silhouette when it's open. Follow this rule of thumb for any article of clothing, but blazers specifically: if you're in between sizes, always size up. You can easily get certain parts of the blazer custom-fitted to your body by a tailor. I highly recommend that!
Extras | If you really want to have fun with your look, pay attention to the details. Great buttons or a patterned lining, like stripes or paisleys, are the perfect way to add a little extra to your outfit.
Anytime you want to reach for a cardigan, see if you can replace it with a blazer instead. It adds just the right touch of preppy professionalism. If you work in a formal office that requires suits every day, replace your traditional monochromatic suit with pants and a blazer instead. It doesn't have to match, each piece can complement the other and still look structured. If your office allows casual Friday with jeans but you still want to look dressed up, wear a blazer over a button up shirt or silk tank top. Put a blazer on over a simple cocktail dress for a big presentation at work. It will turn your more formal pieces into work appropriate office pieces. If you're a stay at home mom but still want to look pulled together when you run to pick up the kids from school try this: one of my absolute favorite casual looks is jeans, a gray t-shirt, a navy blazer, a gold necklace and camel-colored (or leopard!) shoes. Amazing.
Right now, t-shirts with slogans and catch phrases are all the rage. If you want to participate in this trend without looking too juvenile, pair one with a blazer and huge, beautiful statement necklace. You will look trendy and chic at the same time. Of course who doesn't want to sport an OSU shirt on Fridays or game day, you can look polished and still show your school spirit by layering a black blazer over an orange t-shirt. As the weather hopefully begins to warm up, a blazer can be worn in place of your traditional outerwear…talk about instant Parisian style! Even in the summer, you can pair a blazer with lace shorts and simple tank. It's elegant and comfortable.
Are blazers a part of your wardrobe?
I'd love to see a photo of your favorite blazer or if you purchase one and incorporate it into your closet, show me that too!