The Casual Boyfriend Jacket – For Grown Up Gals

Deborah BolandHave you noticed that as you’ve gotten older your body has gotten softer and rounder and sometimes you don’t look as polished and chic in your clothes as you’d like to?

boyfriend jacketA simple solution for that is to add a jacket to whatever you happen to be wearing.  You see, a jacket is like hanger. It gives you body structure and shape. Throw one on and you instantly look more polished, slimmer and trimmer.

One of my favorite styles is the boyfriend jacket, which has been pretty popular the last couple of years.

Remember the days when your chivalrous date would lend you his jacket on a chilly evening? That’s the idea behind the boyfriend jacket. It’s a softer, slightly oversized, but not baggy jacket, with a relaxed look and feel. It’s a casual alternative to the fitted blazer, but still looks polished.

You’ll find the boyfriend jacket in all sorts of colors from neutrals to brights, and it has sleeves that you can push or roll up, usually exposing a thin pinstripe lining.

I bought a watermelon red boyfriend jacket  from Zara last season and have gotten a ton of wear from it. I like it because it is comfy like a sweater, but gives me the structure of a jacket. It goes with everything and is great for travel.

Stylist Chantelle Collier has put together a few ways to wear the boyfriend jacket -a must-have wardrobe piece for women 40, 50 and more. Here are her suggestions:

boyfriend jacket - casual

Inspired by menswear, this super-versatile layering piece has a cool feel to it; as though you’ve borrowed it from your boyfriend’s (or husband’s) closet.


The boyfriend jacket is a great piece to have on hand for causal days when you need something to layer over jeans and a t-shirt. A soft cotton blazer with a loose fit is easy and comfortable, while still looking put-together.

You can roll up the sleeves of your jacket to give it a more laid back feel and free up your arms and hands for errands. It’s always a good idea to stock a few different colors in your wardrobe to increase mix-and-match possibilities.

Choose the style of boyfriend jacket that suits you, and pick up a few in neutral colors. Incorporate this summer’s pastel trend by layering a beige blazer over a soft pink t-shirt. This causal look comes together with a cute leather ballet flat and a pastel blue bag.

boyfriend jacket - formal

Be sure to choose a jacket with a proper fit (ie. The sleeves are the right length, and fit well on your shoulders).


The boyfriend jacket can also be dressed up for date nights and formal events. A white jacket with structured shoulders and a silk lapel is incredibly classy as a formal summer layer. Pop it over a pleated dress in a bright summer print.

Choose a dress with a fitted bodice and a flared skirt to compliment the shape of the blazer. For a more feminine silhouette, you can cinch in your jacket at the waist with a minimal black leather belt. Carry a matching black patent leather clutch.

Co-ordinate your shoes and accessories with the colors in your dress to pull this look together with polish.

boyfriend jacket - work

The boyfriend jacket is It’s cut larger so it fits more loosely – it’s meant to be slightly oversized, but not consuming.


A light blazer is a stylish summer option that’s great to wear to work. If you’re going to have just one boyfriend jacket in your collection, make it a classic black blazer. Select a blazer with a longer cut to give your outfit a dressier feel. This piece can be adapted to create many outfit combinations, using different pieces to layer.

Contrasting the solid black of the blazer with a bold print creates a really sharp look. Try pairing your blazer with a sheer floral blouse that drapes away from the body. Wear this on top of a sleek straight leg pant in grey.

To complete your office ensemble, choose minimal accessories (the focus of this look if the classic blazer) and a kitten heel in a neutral color such as nude.

Do You own a boyfriend jacket? How do you wear it. Let me know. 

*This post was originally published in 2011 and has been revamped and updated in keeping with current style. 


Comfy Travel Shoes With a Touch Of Whimsy

When it comes to travelling, comfy shoes are a must. Sporty sneakers or walking shoes fit the bill, but are usually more practical than stylish.

A pair of cute ballet flats or sandals can also work and will help you avoid the tourist look, but what if your style is more whimsical?


Stylist Morgan Mullin has these tips on how to wear a shoe that is both comfy on your feet, and will score you some creative style points- the casual oxford.

Feminine feel

Since oxford shoes are very masculine, avoid pairing them with other tomboy pieces- otherwise, you risk running into Annie Hall territory! To add some femininity to your look try pairing your oxfords with a simple day dress, a floral print, or a top in a ladylike shade of pink.

You could even don a blouse with lace trim or a slight ruffle! The contrast created between a feminine piece and the masculine shoes will be very high-fashion, yet totally wearable. Also, it will keep the oxfords from looking costume-y.  Talk about win-win!

oxfords with orange dress

This borrowed-from-the-boys shoe is dressier than sneakers and more interesting than a ballet flat.

Wear Oxfords with Polished Pieces

Oxfords are dress shoes for men, and on women they should still be paired with more polished pieces. That means nothing sloppy, ill-fitting, worn or faded. Rather, choose pieces that are well-tailored and classic. For instance, dark denim Bermuda shorts with clean lines look amazing with oxfords.

A simple a-line skirt that fits perfect would be another excellent item to pair with them. Clean, flat-front pants with a slim leg would work on cooler days. As for a dress? A simple, structured one makes an easy, chic mate to your oxfords.


Whether you’re walking cobblestone streets, city blocks or standing in line at monuments make the oxford your new go-to travel shoe.

Choose Warm Weather Oxfords for Summer Travel

Since most of us spent our summer in sandals, having confined toes on a warm day seems difficult to do. To pick oxfords that can be worn in the warm weather, try fun cut-out styles or ones with lightweight uppers like lace or mesh.

If you want to sport your oxfords into the fall or next spring, try choosing more classic styles made from traditional fabrics like suede or cotton. These more classic varieties still work for summer if you choose softer hues- instead of black, reach for grey or taupe. Just don’t forget to pair ones made of heavier fabrics with footlet socks!

Don’t Wear Oxfords with Too Many Accessories

Since oxfords are such a statement-making shoe, use a light hand when adding other accessories. A simple cross-body bag lets your shoes take centre stage and is a practical choice for travel. As for jewelry, one bold piece, like a great necklace, ensures an extra dose of femininity without overdoing it.

There you have it! Let your comfortable feet carry you to new experiences in your oxfords, and don’t worry about looking like a faux-pas from the ankle down. Finally, fashion and function have made a perfect match, making your holiday that much easier.

*This post was originally published in 2012 and has been revamped and updated in keeping with current style. 

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