Who doesn’t love a great blazer! Whether attending a formal event, a business meeting, or just dinner, a blazer will instantly take your outfit from casual to chic. With tons of different styles, cuts, fabrics, lapels, buttons, and other features, how do you choose the perfect blazer to add to your wardrobe? Consider these things:
1. Fit is Key
A beautifully cut blazer that fits well can make all the difference in how you look and feel. If your blazer is too oversized, it can end up looking frumpy. If your blazer is too small, it can make for a very uncomfortable day and detract from the polished silhouette you are trying to achieve. Here are some tips on how to find the right fit:
The fit of your blazer is also an important consideration. The right fit can enhance your figure, flatter your body shape, and add comfort and ease to your movements. Here are some tips for finding the perfect fit:
- Shoulders: This is the most important aspect of fit. The shoulder seam should sit comfortably on your shoulders without bunching or pulling. The seams of the blazer should align with the edge of your shoulders. The blazer won’t fit properly if the seams are too far in or out.
- Sleeve length: The sleeves should end just at your wrist bone, allowing about 1/2 inch of your shirt to show.
- Length: The length of the blazer should be such that it covers your hips but does not go beyond them. Taller women can handle longer lengths. Petites shorter and cropped styles.
- Waist: The blazer should be nipped in at the waist, creating a flattering silhouette. You should be able to button the blazer without any pulling or gaps.
- Chest: The blazer should be fitted across the chest without any gaping or pulling, but it should not feel tight. You should be able to move your arms freely.
2. Choose the Right Fabric
The fabric of a blazer is important too. Here are some of the most common materials used for blazers:
- Wool: Wool is a classic fabric for blazers. It is durable, warm, and has a timeless look. However, it can be heavy and not suitable for warmer weather.
- Cotton: Cotton is a lightweight and breathable fabric, making it perfect for warmer weather. It also has a more casual look, which can be great for more relaxed occasions.
- Linen: Linen blazers are lightweight and breathable, making them perfect for warmer weather. They have a more relaxed and casual look and are great for creating a more laid-back and effortless style. However, they wrinkle easily and may require more maintenance than other fabrics.
- Synthetic fabrics: Synthetic fabrics, such as polyester or rayon, are often used in blazers as they are cheaper and easier to maintain than natural fabrics. However, they may not be as durable or breathable.
- Silk: Silk blazers are elegant and luxurious, perfect for formal occasions. They have a beautiful drape and sheen and can add a touch of sophistication to any outfit.
- Velvet: There’s nothing lovelier at holiday time than a classy velvet blazer with a pair of black pants!
- Leather: Leather blazers are edgy and trendy, perfect for creating a more rock-and-roll vibe. They’re great for adding a touch of edge and rebellion to any outfit.
3. Consider the Color and Pattern
The color and pattern of a blazer matter. The right color can enhance your skin tone, complement your style, and add interest and dimension to your outfit. Here are some tips on choosing the right color and pattern:
Solid blazers are classic and timeless. They’re versatile and can be worn with anything from jeans to dresses. They’re great for creating a more polished and professional look. Choose from:
- Classic colors: Classic colors, such as black, navy, gray, and beige, white, are timeless and versatile. They can be dressed up or down and are suitable for most occasions.
- Bright colors: Bright colors, such as red, pink, or yellow, can add a pop of color to your outfit and make a statement. However, they may not be as versatile as classic colors. One of my favorites is this pink blazer from Amazon.
Patterns, such as stripes, checks, or herringbone, can add interest to your outfit. However, they can also be overwhelming if not worn correctly. If you’re unsure about patterns, start with a subtle one, such as pinstripes. Each print has its character:
- Striped: Striped blazers are classic and preppy. They’re great for creating a more casual and relaxed look. They’re perfect for pairing with white T-shirts and jeans.
- Plaid blazers are classic and old world, but more modern versions like brightly colored plaid blazers are fashion-forward and youthful.
- Checkered: Checkered blazers are bold and trendy. They’re great for creating a more edgy and rebellious look. They’re perfect for pairing with leather pants and boots.
- Floral: Floral blazers are feminine and romantic. They’re great for creating a more playful and whimsical look. They’re perfect for pairing with flowy skirts and dresses.
4. Zero in on the Occasion
The occasion you’re wearing the blazer can also influence your choice. Here are some tips on choosing the fitting blazer for different occasions:
- Formal occasions: A classic black or navy blazer is a safe choice for formal events, such as weddings or galas. Pair it with a dressy skirt or pants, and accessorize with statement jewelry.
- Business meetings: For business meetings, a tailored blazer in a classic color, such as gray or beige, is a good choice. Pair it with dress pants or a pencil skirt and a blouse.
- Casual occasions: For everyday events, such as a night out with friends or a weekend brunch. Blazers in a bright color or with a fun pattern can add personality to your outfit. Pair it with jeans and a T-shirt for a relaxed yet stylish look.
5. Don’t Forget about the Details
The details of a blazer give it personality. Look at:
- Buttons: The buttons on a blazer can make it look dressy or casual. Consider the size, color, and placement of the buttons.
- Pockets: Pockets can be both functional and decorative. Look at the size and placement of the pockets, which range from slit pockets to flap pockets.
- Lapels: Lapels can create a vibe. Consider the size and shape of the lapels. Sharp pointy lapels are authoritative compared to the rounded lapels of a shawl collar blazer, making it look romantic.
6. Consider Your Body Type
When choosing a blazer, your body type comes into play. A blazer that fits well and flatters your figure can make all the difference. Here are some tips for different body types:
- Hourglass: You’ll want to emphasize your waist if you have an hourglass figure. Look for blazers with a nipped-in waist and a flared bottom to accentuate your curves. Avoid boxy or oversized blazers, as they can make you look shapeless.
- Pear-shaped: You’ll want to balance your hips with your shoulders if you have a pear-shaped body. Look for blazers with a structured shoulder and a broader lapel to draw the eye upward. Avoid blazers with pockets or embellishments around the hips, as they can add bulk to that area.
- Apple-shaped: If you have an apple-shaped body, you’ll want to create the illusion of a waist. Look for blazers with a defined waistline, such as a peplum style or a belted blazer. Avoid boxy or oversized blazers, as they can make you look shapeless.
- Athletic: If you have an athletic body type, you’ll want to create the illusion of curves. Look for blazers with a defined waistline and a flared bottom to create the illusion of an hourglass figure. Avoid boxy or oversized blazers, as they can make you look shapeless.
7. Match Your Personal Style
Your personal style is an important factor to consider when choosing a blazer. A blazer that fits your personal style can make you feel confident and comfortable. Here are some styles to consider:
- Classic: If you have a classic style, look for blazers in traditional colors, such as black, navy, or gray. Consider a blazer with subtle details, such as a pinstripe or a textured fabric.
- Trendy: If you have a modern style, look for blazers in bright colors or bold patterns. Consider a blazer with a unique detail, such as a contrasting lapel or a statement button.
- Minimalist: If you have a minimalist style, look for neutral colors, such as black or white blazers. Consider a blazer with clean lines and minimal detailing.
Bohemian: If you have a bohemian style, look for blazers in natural fabrics, such as linen or cotton. Consider a blazer with a relaxed fit and a unique pattern or texture.
8. Take these Measurements to Take Before Shopping for the Perfect Blazer
Before shopping, you should take a few basic measurements to help guide your selection.
The measurements should include your bust, waist, hips, shoulder width, and torso. Remember, when taking the circumference measurements, you want to measure at the widest part of each measurement to get the best fit.
Generally, your shoulder width and torso measurements will be more accurate if you have a friend grab the measuring tape. Getting precise measurements of your upper body is crucial in the proper fit of the blazer.
Once you have your measurements, refer to the brand’s size chart to determine your best size. Keep in mind that different brands may have different sizing, so it’s vital to double-check each time.
Remember that different materials and fabrics will affect how the blazer fits. So whether you choose one made from cotton, rayon, nylon, tweed, recycled polyester, corduroy, or a mix of different materials, they will have a slightly different fit.
9. Try Before You Buy
One of the most important things to remember when choosing a blazer is to try it on before you buy it. A blazer that looks great on the hanger may not fit well or flatter your body. When trying on a blazer, consider the fit, the fabric, the color and pattern, the occasion, and the details. Walk around in the blazer, sit down, and move your arms to ensure it feels comfortable and allows for a full range of motion. Look in the mirror and see how it looks from the back.
10. Get It Tailored
If you’ve found a blazer you love that doesn’t quite fit perfectly, don’t be afraid to get it tailored. A few minor alterations can make all the difference in how a blazer fits and flatters your body.
If you are looking at the size range and find yourself between two different sizes in a specific blazer style, it is always recommended to size up and have your favorite tailor bring it in for the perfect fit! Remember, this is often an investment piece that will add style to your wardrobe for many years!
11. Care and Maintenance
Once you’ve found the perfect blazer, taking care of it is essential to ensure it lasts for years. Here are some tips for caring for your blazer:
- Read the care label: Always read the care label on the blazer to ensure you’re washing and caring for it properly.
- Don’t over-clean. Too much washing or dry cleaning damages the fabric and shortens its lifespan. Instead, spot-clean any stains or spills immediately and dry clean only when necessary.
- Avoid wire or flimsy plastic hangers: They stretch the shoulders and cause wrinkles. Instead, use sturdy wooden or padded hangers designed explicitly for blazers.
- Steam it: Use a good quality steamer if your blazer gets wrinkled. Be careful not to hold the steamer too close to the fabric, which can damage it.
Different Types of Blazers
Each blazer type has its unique style and purpose, from formal business meetings to casual weekends. It is also important to find one that suits your personality. Here are the different types.
1. Single Button Blazer
The single-breasted one-button blazer is a classic style that has been around for decades. This blazer is typically more fitted than other types, with a single button closure and a notch lapel. It’s perfect for formal occasions like job interviews or business meetings. It can be paired with dress pants or a skirt for a polished and professional look. It can also be dressed in jeans and a T-shirt for a casual look.
2. Double-Breasted Blazer
The double-breasted blazer is a more traditional and formal style of blazer. This blazer has two rows of buttons on the front, with a peaked lapel. It is often more structured and tailored than other styles. This style is perfect for formal occasions such as weddings or black-tie events. It can be paired with a skirt or dress pants for a sophisticated look. It can also be dressed in jeans and boots for a more casual look.
3. Sweater Blazer
The sweater blazer is a more relaxed and comfortable style of blazer. It is made of a soft and cozy knit material that provides warmth and comfort, making it perfect for cooler weather. This blazer type is typically unstructured, with no lining or shoulder pads. It often has a more casual and relaxed feel but can also be dressed in a blouse or dress pants.
4. Belted Blazer
The belted blazer is a more modern and trendy style of blazer. Thanks to the belt, it has a tailored and structured look with a cinched waistline. This blazer is perfect for adding a touch of femininity to your outfit. It can be paired with dress pants or a skirt for a more formal look or with jeans and a T-shirt for a casual look. A padded shoulder can also add an extra dimension to this blazer style.
5. Oversized Blazer
The oversized blazer is a more trendy and fashion-forward style of blazer. It has a more relaxed and loose fit, with dropped shoulders and long sleeves. It looks great paired with a fitted dress or pants for a more balanced look. It can also be worn with shorts or a skirt for a more playful and casual look.
6. Open Front Blazer
An open-front blazer is a great style to add to your khakis or jeans to bring them up to the next level. As long as you are not at a formal event, these blazers are made to wear with the open front, not buttoned, even if they have a button available.
7. Long Blazer
As the name suggests, this blazer is more prolonged than traditional blazers, typically extending to the mid-thigh or knee. It can be made in various materials, including wool, tweed, or cotton, and is generally unstructured, with a relaxed fit and minimal shoulder padding, making it comfortable to wear.
Long blazers can be worn with dresses, dress pants, and jeans. Pair a long blazer with dress pants, a blouse, and heels for a more formal look. This look is perfect for a business meeting or a professional event. Alternatively, you can wear a long blazer with jeans and a T-shirt for a more casual look that still looks put-together. To create a more feminine silhouette, add a belt.
8. Sweater Blazer
Nothing quite says cozy like a perfect sweater blazer! It gives you the best of both worlds by being comfortable, relaxed, yet stylish simultaneously. Pair your sweater blazer with your favorite pair of jeans and a t-shirt, and you will be ready to hit the town in a casual look that is also classy!
9. Colored or Printed Blazer
If you have a capsule wardrobe full of plain-colored pants and basic-layer shirts, adding a colorful blazer will give you just the right amount of pop! Choose a color pattern with which you already have jewelry and accessories, and you will be all set and make a statement at all holiday parties! This is a great way to add fun to your outfit without buying a brand-new piece each time you want a slightly different look. A velvet blazer can also add elegance in a statement color like burgundy.
9. Denim Blazer
The denim blazer might not come to mind when you think of denim, but they are a great piece to add to your outfit rotation. Putting it together with colored jeans, your favorite pair of sneakers, and a graphic t gives the outfit a casual, relaxed vibe without being too far over the top.
Your Turn – Style an outfit with Blazer
Do you have a casual outfit that needs a boost? Whether it’s a dress, pair of jeans, dress pants or even dressy shorts, try adding a blazer. It instantly adds authority and uplevels your business.
If you’ve ever heard of the “power of the third piece,” you know what a difference this can make. The third piece is a dressing trick where you take a run-of-the-mill outfit and elevate it to the next level by adding a third piece (like a blazer) to tie your look together.
Start with any pair of jeans and a simple top. Then add a stylish spring blazer, and suddenly you have a much more polished and exciting look. It’s like adding a juicy tomato slice or a yummy avocado wedge to a plain, old bread and meat sandwich — the third “piece” makes it much more exciting!
Applying “the third piece rule” is easy this season because of all the fabulous new spring blazers we’re seeing. Here are some of the latest blazers in stores loaded with personality!