A blazer looks like a suit jacket. It’s most often a formal and structured topper, but casual and unstructured versions are also available. Most are lined and made of woven fabric, but knits and unlined versions are gaining momentum. Lengths and fits vary. Tailored and gently fluid fits at hip lengths are the most traditional blazer silhouette.
My clientele run the gamut when it comes to blazers. Some adore them and have a large assortment. Some feel off in a blazer and do not wear them at all. And others keep a few on hand and enjoy the times they come out to play.
Here’s how I would summarize the reasons for this wide range of opinions on the blazer.
- It’s a classic with a high longevity factor
- It adds interest to an outfit and finishes it off
- It adds polish, dressiness, structure, and a sharp integrity to a look
- It provides practical insulation, especially in cold, air-conditioned settings
- It’s a versatile item that can dress up casual bottoms, like jeans, joggers, corduroy and athleisure pants
- It can effectively streamline the contour of the body
- It conveys a sense of authority and professionalism, making the wearer feel pulled together and powerful
- Knitted blazers are soft, stretchy and comfortable
- It is constricting and not as comfortable as a cardigan
- Woven versions can be hard to fit on broader shoulders and a larger bust
- It looks too stiff and straight
- It looks too classic
- It feels conservative and overly corporate
- It’s too formal for a casual lifestyle
- It is an impractical item that is only worn a few times a year
- It’s not as practical and easy as a coat
- It’s hard to layer under a coat
- It’s not as rock ’n’ roll as a moto, aviator, or denim jacket
I love blazers for the advantages I listed, and personally find them comfortable in gently fluid fits. They are practical for my climate, excellent in air conditioning, easy to fit when I pick the right brands, and can layer them under many of my coats.
That said, I am not as fond of classic and simple streamlined neutral blazers as I used to be. I’ve gravitated towards blazers that are playful, bold and energizing in some way, because those are the ones I keep on wearing.
Here is my current collection of blazers. The first four are the ones I wear the most and give me great joy. A thick checked blazer that’s like a short coat, a velvet floral, a navy polka dot, and a denim blazer with a large cuff that you can’t see in the photo. The burgundy pinstripe blazer is part of a matching suit, which makes me happy too. The very old navy Theory blazer is practical for plane travel, so I keep it around. I hardly ever wear the two old Smythe blazers because they are grey and lack the energizing integrity and fun factor I seek in a blazer these days. But I keep them on the off chance that I might change my mind.
Over to you. Do you wear blazers, and how do they feature in your style?