A single-breasted, hip bone length blazer in a tailored or gently fluid fit is a Modern Classic and always in style. From season to season, trends will create all sorts of interesting blazer variations that are equally fab. Shrunken or extended lengths. Exuberant sleeves. Ruffles, insets, flounces, mixed media and colour blocking. Cut-away fronts and high-low hemlines. Sharp shoulders, cold shoulders, oversized fits, tipping, bling, embroidery, embellishment, and piping. Even the most classic of blazer silhouettes are one-up from “simple and basic” in an unexpected colour, fabric and pattern.
Polish & Structure
The beauty of the tailored or gently fluid blazer is in its structure, dressiness and polish. The silhouette is traditionally flattering, and looks sharp. The right blazer adds instant chic and “authority” to an outfit. It’s favoured as a “professional” piece in business environments for good reason.
Blazers fit a range of body types. It’s a question of finding the right width, length and fabric that works with your figure and style. Generally in my experience as a fashion stylist, I’ve found that blazers are an easy fit on a straighter figure with a small or regular size bust. That said, the right blazer is glorious on a curvier figure like a pear and hourglass body type because it further defines a defined waist and creates vertical integrity. Tailored blazers are equally fabulous on apple-shaped body types because they create a waist and streamline the midsection. When you have a little extra around the midsection, wearing a tailored blazer over a fluid top that does not cling is an effective way of “slimming the figure” and feeling comfortable in a structured piece. Inverted triangles with broad shoulders tend to need more room up top, which often means sizing up. Blazers with stretch are particularly effective for broad shoulders.
A blazer is less easy to fit on a large bust, but not impossible. You need to find a silhouette that is roomy in the chest and with stretch in the fabric. Two more fit tips: One, try a petite size if you’re short with an ample bust. Two, a blazer does not need to button in front because it isn’t a coat. If it fits well apart from not fastening in front, it’s fine. The vertical line that is created down the centre front of the body by leaving a blazer unbuttoned creates a flattering effect.
You’ll probably have to get used to wearing a tailored or gently fluid blazer if you haven’t done so in a while. They aren’t as soft or forgiving as cardigans, but that’s the trade-off for adding structure, sharpness and a dressier integrity to your look. You can choose knitted blazers, Ponte styles, fabrics with stretch, and oversized silhouettes if you’re after more comfort.
The blazer is versatile, providing just the right amount of warmth as a topper. It can be a wardrobe essential or a statement piece. You can pair a suitable silhouette with trousers, jeans, skirts, joggers, harem pants, flares, pants, leggings, and all sorts of skirts and dresses. It’s an easy smart casual option when combined with jeans. It creates a fab juxtaposition with super casual items like sneakers. And it can be layered under a coat so that you look pulled together when you remove outerwear indoors.
My clients’ blazer preferences run the gamut. Some wear seasonally appropriate blazers several times a week for business formal or business casual dress codes. Some wear them for dressier occasions. Some wear them in transitional weather. Some wear them to dress up jeans and leave it at that. Some wear them in the Summer because air-conditioned offices can be brutal. Others like the idea of a blazer, but find them too masculine and Tomboy. Some won’t wear them at all because they’re addicted to the cosiness of cardigans, or find them too dressy for their lifestyle.
You’ll hear about blazer and my style tomorrow. In the meantime, tell us how blazers fit into your style, and why you like or dislike them.