Have 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?
A 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:
THE BF JACKET WITH JEANS
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.
OVER A SUMMER DRESS
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.
IN THE OFFICE
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.