Shiny Outfit 1Today we tackle the 5th of my 10 casual outfit formulas for moms on the go (refresh your memories with formulas #1, #2, #3 and #4). This one is all about the boyfriend blazer, so I turned to fabulous Boston forum member Jennifer (or “shiny” in the forum), who is a full-time telecommuting professional, wife, and mom to two beautiful teenage girls. As an early fashion adopter, stylish Jennifer got her head around how to wear a boyfriend blazer in no time at all. This is how she rocks formula #5.

As a 44 year old mom of two teens, my biggest challenge is achieving that ambiguous state of style that we call “age appropriate.” I do not know which is worse: being the mom in the pickup lane who doesn’t try hard enough (showing up in sweats and her husband’s baggy tees), the one who tries too hard (squeezing into her daughter’s clothes), or the one who got stuck in the 80s and never left.

So when Angie first proposed wearing embellished T’s, Converse or boyfriend blazers, I dismissed each out of hand, thinking: “This is not for me. I am old enough to have teenagers who live in graphic tees and Converse and I already did the boyfriend blazer thing in my younger years!!!” But with lots of trepidation and some coaxing, I decided to give it a try. I learned how to pull off wearing all three, even all at once, and without looking like a teenager! You can, too.

Here is Angie’s formula:

Jeans + graphic / embellished T + boyfriend blazer + Converse sneakers

And here are my tips:

  • Boyfriend Blazer: Because I’m only 5’0”, I was dubious about finding a boyfriend blazer that would not overwhelm me. But once you find one that’s scaled to your frame, structured on the shoulder, not too long, and with the stance in the right place, you’re good to go. Alternatively, this look will work with any structured blazer. The fact it is a blazer will automatically make the outfit “grown up.” Why? Very simple, because teens do not normally wear them! This is the item that pulls the outfit together and makes it look more sophisticated. Do experiment with your career clothing because I love the juxtaposition of a serious business suit jacket worn over a casual, whimsical tee. And what better way to make your wardrobe work double duty?
  • Graphic T: Just because it’s an inexpensive T does not give an excuse to skimp on fit. While you’ll want to leave the cute sayings to the teens, it’s okay to express your interests and have fun. Do choose a flattering neckline and length. Alternatively, any nicer knit top or tunic will work. For a casual date-night look, try a dressier silk blouse and juxtapose feminine with masculine.
  • Jeans: Try the look with dark wash or black boot cuts, straight legs, or skinny jeans. Ponte knit pants work too.
  • Footwear: For a more “grown-up” look, stick with bootcuts or straight-legs when you wear Converse or fashion sneakers. When I wear my skinnies with a boyfriend blazer, I opt for ballet flats, but slouchy flat boots, loafers, brogues and booties will also work. I love the look with my metallic oxford booties. Yes, they are heels, but since I spend a lot of time schlepping teens around in the Toyota instead of my arms, I can get away with it. Not to mention, they and all their friends tower over me now, so I could use the extra inch or two of height to give me “mom” authority!
  • Layering: Add a cami, cardigan, vest, scarf for extra warmth and interest. Think of your boyfriend blazer as you would any fall-weight jacket, but so much sharper than a Polar fleece or hoodie.
  • Accessories: I like the look of a long necklace with the lean line of the boyfriend blazer. Or I skip it entirely and go with the ease of a simple pair of hoops. Add a watch if you wear one, and a cross-body bag, slouchy hobo, or tote in a fun color.

While there are many ways to incorporate a boyfriend blazer into your wardrobe, this formula is ideal for the Moms and gals on the go because it is casual, comfortable, practical, and so easy. Above all, I love how the blazer gives me authority when dealing with teens that are taller than me. So over to you. Are you willing to give this formula a try? Let’s hear your opinions on formula #5.

Shiny Outfit 2Shiny Outfit 3Shiny Outfit 4Shiny Outfit 5

I like to roll up the sleeves for attitude. The purple T advertises my favorite theater group’s recent production. It works when the blazer is added to give structure. Since my lifestyle involves lots of taxi-driving these days, I can also wear this formula with heels too.