There are few pieces in my wardrobe that I would say I can’t live without. Besides a trusty pair of jeans and a leather jacket, not many items of clothing have the ability to hold my interest as the seasons and years roll on.
One exception, though, is a blazer. Not only is it a nice, grown-up item to have, it also goes with basically anything, and has the amazing ability to transform a meh outfit into a chic one. When I was at that awkward age between university and work, trying to adapt to an office environment that was fashionable-yet-professional, I didn’t know WTF to wear to work. Pantsuits were out, obviously. And yet my go-to jeans-and-white-tee situation just didn’t seem to fit. I quickly learned that all my casual outfits needed were blazers to strike the perfect balance between professional and stylish.
Since my style is more on the casual-luxe side of things, dressing up for an evening out can be a rather terrifying affair. I have spent countless hours staring at my wardrobe in the hopes that the perfect ensemble will materialize out of thin air. Throwing on a blazer not only eases my frustration -- it also helps me to actually look ready in an instant.
Blazers are just the sh*t, you guys. The more you own, the more you appreciate them. My own collection started with a black, fitted blazer from ZARA, the same one I’ve thrown over many an inappropriate outfit. If you choose to buy one of these, it won't let you down.
I wouldn’t wear this beyond the confines of my house or a beachside holiday because it’s strapless AND short…But I’d wear it with this blazer.
Here's a similar one from Jack Willis ($149).
Once you add a classic blazer to your wardrobe, a softer, more casual one is your next best bet. My navy blue one isn't stiff, but it still looks very much put-together. (Confession: I once put it in the washing machine and while I wouldn’t recommend you do the same, it turned out fine.)
Very meh “the kids want metal” tee that I wouldn’t wear on its own… But I’d wear it with this blazer
I love this slightly relaxed fit blazer from Pull&Bear.
A brightly colored blazer is another great buy, like this one I own in orange. It gives your boring outfit a bit excitement -- enough that you actually look like you gave a damn when you got dressed this morning (did you?).
Not-so-boring with my not-so-boring blazer.
This bright red New Look blazer from ASOS ($47.62) has my eye.
Color and style are important, but the most critical element to look out for when buying a blazer is the fit. Here’s how to find what works for you:
Chest: I have left many blazers at the store because they fit well when open, but wouldn’t close over my chest area. Even though I usually wear my blazers unbuttoned, I shouldn’t be restricted. Make sure you're able to button your blazer without it pulling (or extra space).
Back: When you try on your blazer, it should not gape at all, but you should also be able to hug yourself without hearing a faint rip.
Shoulders: Make sure that the shoulders are only as broad as your own are; same goes for the waist (when buttoned).
Arms: Make sure the sleeve ends where your thumb meets your wrist -- anything longer and you look like you’re wearing your dad’s jacket.
Length: Of course, this depends on the style. For example, a cropped blazer is different from a standard cut, but generally, a blazer should stop at the hip.
I'm convinced that blazers are one of the easiest things in the world to wear. Where did you get your favorite blazer?