Why Everyone Loves a Boyfriend Jacket

There’s a good reason the casual boyfriend jacket has stuck around as long as it has. It’s hard to find clothes that are chic but comfy.

boyfriend jackets

If you’ve never been totally clear on what a boyfriend jacket is, it’s simple. Remember the days when your chivalrous date would lend you his jacket on a chilly evening?

That’s the idea behind this style of this jacket.  It’s slightly oversized, soft, and slouchy, but not baggy, and it has a relaxed look and feel. Think of the casual boyfriend jacket as a great alternative to a fitted jacket.

Boyfriend Jackets - Red

Boyfriend jackets aren’t always so masculine. Check out this stunning red boyfriend blazer.

A Boyfriend blazer is a fab wardrobe staple because:

  • it gives your 40+ figure, which is getting rounder with age, some gentle structure
  • is soft
  • is comfy
  • is roomy
  • can be worn with pretty much anything, anytime anywhere
  • is lightweight
  • easy to travel in

Boyfriend Jackets - Black

Boyfriend blazers for women look great in neutrals too, like white, taupe, navy, or black. A jacket like this has sleeves that you can scrunch up or roll up to show off the sleeve lining ( often pinstripe). This gives you a relaxed, sporty look.

A few seasons ago I bought a pink boyfriend blazer from Zara, and I also have an orange linen boyfriend jacket too. I still wear both! They’ve been a  great investment.

Fit Tips: If you are on the hunt for this type of jacket, look for one that: fits well across the shoulders, is mostly loose, but has a slight nip in at your waist. This construction gives you a bit of shape, without being form-fitting.

The Boyfriend Jacket with Jeans

The easiest way to pump up denim is to layer jeans and a printed top with a cute boyfriend blazer. To get the look, choose one in cotton, linen or some other relaxed fabric that matches the mood of your casual look.

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

Brights are popular, but neutral-colored jackets work with everything. Start by layering a basic black or white boyfriend blazer over a striped t-shirt and jeans. Tie it all together with a fabulous pair of booties and a drawstring bucket bag. Along boyfriend blazer like this is great for taller gals.

The Boyfriend Blazer over a Dress

A boyfriend jacket is great for making a plain dress look more dressy.  Try wearing a white boyfriend jacket over a pretty print dress for a classy summer look.

A dress with a fitted bodice and a flared skirt will complement the shape of the blazer. For a more feminine silhouette, you can cinch in your jacket at the waist with a thin black leather belt. Keep your hemline just above or at the knee to avoid looking matronly when wearing a jacket like this. A black clutch adds some glam.

Other ways to wear your boyfriend jacket:

  • Wear a long boyfriend jacket that goes past your hips with leggings
  • Try one with dress pants but add pretty touches like jewelry and a silk top to keep it feminine.
  • Pair with a neutral-colored jacket with jeans and a big colorful scarf.
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22 thoughts on “Why Everyone Loves a Boyfriend Jacket

  1. I love your blog. I’m retired and quickly approaching. 70 but still like to look stylish even on a fixed income. Your suggestions give me lots of ideas on how to put together a stylish outfit that looks current but doesn’t make me look like my 17 or 22-year-old granddaughters. I like a classic style with a few modern pieces to make me look current.
    A great example is purses. I had plenty of the once trendy cloth flowered handbags that now make me look grandmotherly. I’ve switched to oversized leather bags that are so popular right now and don’t show my age so much. Thanks for all your post.

  2. Just found your website via Pinterest, and I’m beyond thrilled!!! I love all the gorgeous outfits; they are so accommodating!!!! S piping is finally going to be fun again! Th nk you so much!

  3. I agree with the ladies above – great for those figures that look good in anything (long and leggy) – dangerous for the rest of us. f it cuts at mid-calf, I will only wear it with a knee-high heeled boot, and it has to be slim or A-line. Nothing gathered at the waist -eeks!) I own a few I wear this way – but mostly, I stick with just above the ankle or longer, or just at/slightly above the knee. t 5’4″ and not super skinny, 1″ in the wrong direction can move an outfit from fabulous to frumpy in a heartbeat!

  4. I love your ideas, pictures, and topics! Keep up the excellent work! Can you be much more specific about the fit and proportions? I’m 5’3′ and size 16. A long jacket can make me look short and boxy. Not sure how fast I can go, and it still is considered a boyfriend jacket…or long I can go either. What should the shoulder pads look like, and where should they lie to still feel relaxed without being in the 90s? Would you ever wear this buttoned? Thanks!

    1. Hi Patrice, At 5’3″, size 16, you are right. A long jacket would make you look short and boxy. You need to check the petite section for a boyfriend jacket more suited to your proportions. The classic boyfriend jacket is long and a bit boxy at the waist, but others are skinny and more tailored, and that’s what you need. Find a slim style that grazes your hips to look taller. As for shoulders- no shoulder pads, but this type of jacket should fit snug across the shoulders and drape well. You should be able to roll or push up the sleeves to get that relaxed look. Typically you wear it open, but if you wear it buttoned up, that’s fine. These days, boyfriend jackets are one button. Two button looks dated. I hope that helps! Cheers, Deborah

  5. Hello Deborah, I have a boyfriend jacket in a neutral color. I love it so much. Because it is comfy and stylish, pulling everything together. Thank you very much for helping us in the 40s and 50s. I do enjoy every one of your articles. Once thank you, Debbie.

  6. I could never get with this at any age because I am pear-shaped (not in a good way),s, making me look too masculine since I am significantly less endowed on top. Shoulder pads worsen it, and cinching with a belt exaggerates thick upper thighs and hips. However, for other figures, if it fits comfortably and looks sleek would be excellent for the office and other business casual venues. Unless the materials used today are washable, they seem like another hassle for the dry cleaners. Though I like the color combinations in all the outfits, you have chosen.

  7. I love all of your combinations for using the BF jacket! It reminds me of the 80s when we wore them all the time with our sleeves pushed up. I had two satin blazers- one in emerald and the other maroon with black trim- from men’s suits. I found them in a consignment store, which was so much fun. The ones you show here look fabulous.

  8. Hello Deborah,
    When the more fitted blazers and jackets came into vogue, I bought a few in neutral colors. I couldn’t bear to part with my looser fitting jackets, a.k.a. “boyf end jack ts,” and I am so glad now that I decided to keep them! I love e various looks shown; with all these great ideas, it is nearly impossible for us gals to go out and look anything but fashionable! Thanks, Borah!

  9. Hi, I bought a jacket like this. The mannequin wearing a jacket had the sleeves rolled up. The thing is that I am in my late thirties and not exactly sure where to end the rolling of the sleeves… please help.


  10. I love these jackets and all the ways you have shown them. None look too youthful (speaking as a 51-year-old).

  11. I think this jacket would be appropriate for any age when appropriately styled. It’s a great take on a classic and so versatile. I’ve passed the 60 mark, have a casual, classic style, and would wear this piece.

  12. I am 48 and struggle with the distressed look popular in either a garment’s fabric wash or construction (loose seams and unfinished hems). Many of these boyfriend jackets I have been seeing have a distressed look. If you are a celebrity wearing a boyfriend jacket like Cameron Diaz, people know you didn’t go dumpster diving for your clothing and you are wearing something trendy. Every time I try one of these distressed boyfriend jackets the look is too “forced.” Like I am trying to wear a trend for trend’s sake or fished out some old torn thing and tried to call it fashionable. Given the jacket’s wrinkled loose look, I also think the big baggy pants would be a mistake…too much loose on top and bottom is like pajamas. I would go more for a fitted jean. Pop it up with a statement necklace and call it a great look for running around town.

    1. Hi,
      You raise a good point. You have to feel good in what you wear, otherwise you will look uncomfortable and silly. Not every trend is for every woman.
      It sounds like you like a “neater” look and there’s nothing wrong with that. The crumpled linen trend boyfriend jacket look is not a “must have”, no matter what any fashion magazine or pushy salesperson says. True style comes from dressing authentically. Good for you for staying true to yourself and allowing others to enjoy the look. Why don’t you try a boyfreind jacket in a softer fabric that isn’t wrinkly?

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