Most fashionistas have at least one blazer in their closets, and these versatile jackets are usually among their most cherished garments. There are a lot of types of blazers out there, so you have a blazer-sized hole in your wardrobe that you are just itching to fill, help is on the way. The perfect blazer combines the traditional and contemporary to create a unique and stylish look, and it should be cut in a way that flatters its wearer’s body shape and boosts their confidence.
Before you decide on a blazer, bear in mind that you will probably find yourself wearing it far more often than you anticipate. The rush of comfort we experience when we put on a blazer is easy to get used to, so the jacket you thought you would wear every now and again may well become one of your wardrobe staples.
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By the time you have finished reading it, you will have a new appreciation for blazers and the role they have played in fashion’s evolution. You will know more about the distinctive elements that come together to create a blazer, and you may even decide to incorporate this unique fashion staple in your own wardrobe.
What is a blazer?
A blazer is a type of jacket that looks a lot like a suit jacket but has a number of unique attributes. Blazers run the gamut from traditional and conservative to modern and flamboyant, but they are all instantly recognizable. Blazers are normally solid colors and originally showed that the wearer was a member of an organization, but they can now be worn by just about anyone.
The image that most people conjure up when they think about blazers is a navy blue double-breasted jacket with gold buttons and a crest, but a blazer can still be a blazer without these elements.
Blazers can be single-breasted with plastic or horn buttons, and they are available in colors ranging from bright red to deep purple. Blazers are garments that can be worn with dress pants, jeans, or skirts, and they are also still a part of many uniforms.
The most coveted blazers are awarded to individuals who excel in their chosen fields. The green jacket worn by golfers who have won the Masters tournament is a blazer, and football players inducted into the sport’s Hall of Fame wear custom gold blazers.
It could be this association with achievement and success that has made the blazer such an enduring fashion icon.
Parts of a blazer
Blazers may all look broadly similar at first glance, but look closer, and you will notice the subtle differences that make every garment unique. To better understand what sets blazers apart from one another, let’s take one apart and study each element a little more closely:
Blazers are usually made out of wool or a wool and polyester blend, but that is where the similarities end. The traditional blazers worn in country clubs tend to be either navy blue or black, but those of us who want to make a bolder statement can choose from a variety of bright colors like red, blue, or even yellow.
The first blazers were double-breasted and featured broad peak lapels. But all of that changed when the garments were adopted by trendsetters in the 1960s. Single-breasted jackets with very slim notch lapels were de rigueur at the time, and blazers cut in this style quickly became a shop window staple on London’s famous Carnaby Street.
Traditional blazers have metal buttons that are often embossed with anchors or crests. These buttons remind us of the garment’s nautical past, and they are still very popular. Double-breasted blazers usually have six buttons, and single-breasted blazers usually have two or three, but these are guidelines rather than rules.
Most early blazers had structured shoulders that gave the garments a powerful look, but unstructured designs that combine preppiness and modernity have become incredibly popular in recent years.
Double-breasted jackets tend to hang quite low, and this is how many men’s blazers are still cut. Women’s blazers are normally single-breasted, and they tend to be a little shorter. It is often said that jackets should be like good lawyers and cover your rear end, but fashion rules are made to be broken.
The breast pocket
When blazers denoted membership in a club or organization, they usually featured a crest of some sort on the breast pocket. Blazers with crests are still available, but the designs tend to be more whimsical than traditional.
Blazer, sport coat, or suit jacket
You may be wondering what makes a blazer different from a sport coat or suit jacket. These garments seem very similar at first glance, but there are a few subtle but important differences. Let’s take a look at each of these jacket types to see what sets them apart.
Suit jackets are more formal than sport coats or blazers and are worn with a matching pair of pants. They are available in both single and double-breasted styles, and they come in a dizzying array of fabrics and patterns.
Solid and pinstripe suit jackets are the most popular choices. But the more adventurous can choose suits with check, herringbone, or birdseye patterns. English and French suit jackets feature structured designs and padded shoulders, but American and Italian styles are more relaxed.
Sport coats can be found at the more casual end of the sartorial spectrum. These types of coats are designed to be worn with contrasting trousers, which is why they often make a bold statement. Sport coats are so named because they were first worn by men on fishing and hunting trips, and the earliest examples were made out of robust fabrics like tweed.
Like suit jackets, sport coats are available in a variety of weights. Fall and winter fashion lines often feature traditional sport coats in brown and other earth tones, but summer styles can be a little brighter and livelier.
Blazers are what you get if you cross a sport coat with a suit jacket. They are worn with contrasting pants like sports coats, but they tend to be a little more formal like suit jackets. With their solid colors, metal buttons, and traditional cuts, blazers can dress up a casual ensemble and add a dash of panache.
Blazers were once worn almost exclusively by men, but they are now popular among women who like to challenge fashion norms. If you would like to learn more about suit jackets, sport coats, and blazers, you should check out this post.
History of the blazer
The origin of the blazer is a subject of fierce sartorial debate. Some claim the garments were first worn by the crew of the Royal Navy ship HMS Blazer in 1837. Sailors at the time often wore jackets inspired by the ships they served on, and legend has it that the Blazer’s crew adopted a blue and white striped design after seeing sailors on HMS Harlequin wearing jackets with a diamond pattern. This is a great origin story, but most experts think that it is just a little too on the nose.
According to most researchers, blazers were first worn by members of college rowing teams in nineteenth-century Britain. The garments kept coxswains and rowers warm on windswept lakes and rivers, and their distinctive colors made it easy for spectators on the shore to tell teams apart. Even the term “blazer” is shrouded in mystery. Some claim that the versatile jacket is named after stripes or blazes that were extremely popular in Victorian England. Still, most think the name was inspired by the bright red garments worn by a particularly successful rowing team.
Most people associated blazers with school and sports club uniforms until mods began wearing them in the 1960s. The garment cemented its place in the mainstream in 1973 when members of the iconic British band the Who wore them to promote their new double album “Quadrophenia.” That exposure may have inspired Giorgio Armani to add a range of unstructured blazers to his line in 1975. The blazer had finally earned its place in the limelight, and it has been a fashion staple ever since.
Now that you know what a blazer is, what sets it apart from other jackets and how it has made its way from the world of sports and school uniforms to the fashion mainstream, it’s time to take a look at the many types of blazers you can choose from. That is what the next chapter is all about.
There was a time when wearing anything other than a black, or navy blue blazer would have raised eyebrows, but the fashion world is not as bound by tradition and convention as it used to be. Blazers are now available in a dizzying array of colors and fabrics, and nearly all of the major design houses offer them. Whether you plan to attend an opulent gala with the glitterati or spend some casual time with your friends, a blazer could be just the thing you need to give your look a little distinctiveness and pizzaz.
Attending formal occasions can sometimes be a little daunting, which is probably why so many people stick with the tried and true when they decide what to wear to these events. This is a shame because galas, balls, and celebrations give us a chance to really make a splash, and this is an opportunity that should not be squandered. A blazer can help you to stand out while you fit in, and its military origins make it a natural for formal occasions.
Formal Blazers for Women
Donning a jacket of any type instantly transforms a formal outfit, and the effect is especially pronounced when the jacket in question is a blazer. Formal blazers for women tend to have traditional silhouettes that add a little structure and width to the shoulders, but they won’t make you look like you belong in the 1980s. Let’s take a look at a few that hit the mark and get it just right.
You will be tempted to order your cocktails shaken but not stirred if you wear an eye-catching tuxedo blazer to your next formal event. Dinner jacket elements like satin lapels and piped pockets give the tuxedo jacket blazer unmistakable elegance and style, and its plunging neckline will enhance and draw eyes to your waist.
Capes are not as popular as they used to be, which is a shame because they look great. A cape blazer will cover your shoulders and keep winter chills at bay as you enter a formal event, and it will make you look like a superhero at the same time. Just resist the urge to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
If you love the way formal jackets look but don’t want to overpower your outfit, a beautiful lace blazer could be just what the doctor ordered. Lace softens the lines of a traditional blazer while adding a dash of elegance, and it gives the garment a distinctively feminine vibe. Lace is often used to add a delicate touch to the clothes we wear, but formal occasions give us an opportunity to go all out.
Double-Breasted Blazer for Women
Men wear double-breasted jackets when they really want to make a statement, and you should consider donning one yourself the next time you attend a formal event. If you want to convey power and confidence, the wide lapels and military-inspired styling of this double-breasted blazer will get that message across. You won’t be mistaken for a shrinking violet in this blazer, but that’s the whole point.
Formal Blazers for Men
Men really draw the short straw when it comes to formal attire. A well-fitted tuxedo makes a man feel like James Bond when he puts it on, but that feeling quickly vanishes in formal settings where just about every man in the room is wearing the same thing. The first tuxedos were worn by men who wanted to defy stuffy style rules, and blazers provide their modern counterparts with a way to continue that proud tradition.
People who wear linen look tailored and relaxed at the same time, which makes the fabric ideal for men who want to convey individualism at formal events without looking out of place. A linen blazer has the cut and style of a traditional jacket, but it is softer and easier to wear. Just check for wrinkles before putting it on.
Double-Breasted Blazer for Men
Many women eschew double-breasted jackets because they can add size and bulk to the torso, but most men will see this as a major advantage. A double-breasted blazer flatters the male physique and boosts confidence, and it can also cover up midsections that are not quite as trim as they used to be. Ditching the cummerbund is another benefit of going double-breasted at formal events.
Tweed Formal Blazer
Tweed and formal events may seem as incompatible as oil and water, but breaking unwritten rules is what bold fashion statements are all about. Tweed jackets are sometimes donned to dress up casual outfits, but they have the opposite effect in formal settings. A formal tweed blazer may not be the obvious option for a glittering event, but it could be a perfect choice for men who want to dress down while they dress up.
Corduroy has gone upmarket in recent years, and even James Bond is wearing it. Corduroy blazers give men a way to convey their individuality at formal events without going overboard. They are also versatile enough to be worn in just about any other setting. The fabric gives its wearers a bohemian and academic aura, which could be a significant plus in a sea of conformity.
Semi-formal occasions are great because they allow us to dress up and accessorize. The fashion conventions are not as strict as they are at black-tie events, which means we can take a bolder and more experimental approach. If you are looking for a garment that will send a message but will not make you stick out like a sore thumb, a blazer could be an ideal choice.
Semi-Formal Blazers for Women
If you attend a semi-formal event, you will want to look smart but not too smart. Blazers are not commonly associated with formal dress, so they will make your outfit look more thrown together than carefully curated. This is the very definition of style, and a blazer makes it easy. If this sounds good, but you don’t know where to start, here are some ideas to inspire you.
Plaid was once worn mainly by highland clans, lumberjacks, and used car salesmen, but it is now a wardrobe staple for fashionistas the world over. Some notable design houses have made plaid their trademark, which has spawned a great deal of interest in this distinctive pattern. The colors of a plaid blazer can draw attention to your eyes or highlight the accessories you wear, and they could also prompt more than a few envious glances from the less adventurous.
Light Pink Blazer
If you want to challenge gender norms while maintaining your femininity, you should consider a light pink blazer. Blazers traditionally lean toward the masculine, but choosing one in light pink turns this on its head. Pink is also a very versatile color that looks just as good paired with gray or black as it does combined with green or blue.
Single-Breasted Blazer for Women
If you like the look of a blazer but don’t want to appear overly formal, you should choose one with a single-breasted style. Single-breasted blazers have a natural elegance about them, and they look far better unbuttoned than their double-breasted counterparts. They also tend to fit more closely, which means they will accentuate rather than hide your figure.
Semi-Formal Blazers for Men
Semi-formal events give men the chance to take a few more fashion risks, which is an opportunity that should be seized. Business suits are usually the first choice in these situations, but wearing one brings the dull world of the boardroom into what should be a festive atmosphere. Choosing a blazer allows men to demonstrate their style to the world without looking like they are trying to close a deal.
Blue Velvet Blazer
People who dress in velvet attract a lot of attention, and they also look extremely comfortable. Wearing a blue velvet blazer to a semi-formal event will not go unnoticed, so the accompanying shirt and pants should be chosen with care. When everything ties together to create a smart but distinctive look, the effect can be devastating.
Collar Fit Blazer
One of the problems with men’s jackets is that they are usually cut in basically the same way. A collar fit blazer breaks the mold and achieves a more contemporary look by discarding the traditional lapel. The result is a modern garment that is rooted in history, which makes it a sublime choice for a semi-formal function or party.
Single-Breasted Blazer for Men
Men who want to look good often choose single-breasted jackets because their swooping lapels draw the eye to the slimmest part of the body and their lack of bulk accentuates height rather than width. When the single-breasted jacket is a blazer, men have even more ways to express themselves and stand out. Choosing a single-breasted style also allows men to unbutton their jackets while standing without committing a fashion faux pas.
Business Casual and Office Wear
The rules dealing with business casual and office wear have evolved over the last couple of decades. Pinstripe suits and gray skirts are out for the most part, and a far more relaxed approach is in. This has opened up a world of fashion opportunities, but it has also made choosing the appropriate outfit for a business casual environment just a bit more complicated. If you want to look professional and relaxed at the same time, adding some blazers to your business casual wardrobe is definitely something you should consider.
Business Casual Blazers for Women
Blazers are fantastic choices in business casual for women settings because they convey creativity as well as competence. If you wear a smart blazer to the office, nobody will mistake you for someone who never comes up with any good ideas. A blazer tells your coworkers that you like to look good and are not afraid to make bold fashion choices, so wearing one could be a smart career move.
Many women’s blazers are brightly colored to distinguish them from the black or navy garments favored by men, but many workplaces call for a more subdued look. A beige blazer looks professional without being intimidating, and it can be paired equally well with a skirt or a pair of pants. Beige can also work as a stabilizing influence and tone down an outfit that may otherwise be inappropriate for the office.
Long Cream Blazer
If you can’t decide between a jacket and a coat, why not take the middle road and wear a long cream blazer that can fill both roles. On warm days when wearing a conventional coat would be uncomfortable, a long blazer can protect your modesty if getting to your job involves taking public transport. If you decide to wear a long blazer, cream is a great color choice because it can be paired with anything and softens garments that could otherwise be overpowering.
Black Formal Blazer
Business casual once meant removing a tie or wearing flats instead of heels, but T-shirts and even jeans have started to infiltrate office environments in recent years. If you like to dress casual with a capital C but are worried about going too far, you should think about topping off your outfit with a formal black blazer. Adding a dash of formality will transform the message your casual ensemble sends, and it could also turn disappointing looks into approving glances.
Business Casual Blazers for Men
When office dress codes were relaxed, many men simply exchanged one uninspired look for another. They left their suits and dress shirts in the closet and donned polos and khakis instead. Fortunately, there are better options out there for business casual men who don’t want to look like they work at a big-box retail store, and blazers are high on this list.
Black Blazer for Men
Black suits are considered a little too much in many offices, but black blazers fit right in. Black is a sophisticated and complex color, which are qualities that we would all like to exude in a professional setting. People who wear black are seen as competent and decisive, and they are rarely questioned about their clothing choices.
Navy Blue Blazer
The classic blazer has nautical ties, which is why so many of them are navy blue. Men who wear navy blue blazers to work bring a leisure element into the workplace, but they still look professional and smart. A blue blazer may not be the most original choice in the world, but it is a wise one. Just resist the urge to go full-on dandy with ballooning pocket squares and ascots.
Casual attire is the area of fashion where rules go out of the window, which is why so many people make mistakes. Dressing for extreme comfort can lead to an uncoordinated and sometimes disheveled look, but the right blazer can fix that in an instant. In this section, we will look at the ways a blazer can add a dash of elan to even the most mundane casual outfits.
Casual Blazers for Women
Casual is a word that means many things in women’s fashion, so you will have a lot of blazers to choose from if you decide to add one or more of these versatile garments to your wardrobe. Blazers can be worn with skirts, dresses or pants, and any kind of footwear, so your outfit choices will be virtually unlimited. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about the possibilities.
Boyfriend blazers are cut a little differently than other women’s jackets. They are a little longer and feature hems that hit the upper thigh rather than the hips, and they tend to fit more loosely. Boyfriend blazers are designed to look like they were pulled out of a man’s closet, and they provide a very masculine look when paired with jeans and boots. If you do wear jeans, choose a slimmer fit to offset the bulk of the blazer.
Leather Blazer for Women
If you like leather jackets but don’t want to be mistaken for a member of an outlaw biker gang, choosing a blazer rather than a garment festooned with studs and zippers is what you need. Leather blazers are appropriate for any casual occasion, and they are also extremely durable and comfortable to wear. You can wear one with just about anything, but they look best with contrasting sweaters.
Blazers worn in formal or business settings are usually a solid color or feature subdued patterns, but you can let your imagination run wild when you dress for leisure. Printed blazers are a great way to express yourself because their traditional lines are a perfect counterpoint to their wild designs. They are also whimsical and vibrant, which is just the message you want your clothes to send out when you are having fun, and the world’s problems can wait.
Waterfall blazers have draping lapels that overlap to create a wave-like effect, and they can be a great choice for women who want to draw attention to the bust and away from the hips. A waterfall blazer enhances curves without appearing to be overly tailored, which makes it an ideal garment to wear with skinny jeans or form-fitting skirts.
Denim Blazer for Women
Making any garment out of denim lets the world know that it was designed with comfort and durability in mind, and blazers are no exception. Fashion allows us to turn convention on its head, and wearing a traditional garment like a blazer constructed out of a fabric like denim is a beautiful way to throw orthodoxy to the wind.
If you prefer clothes that hug your body and accentuate your figure, you should find a place in your wardrobe for a fitted blazer. This kind of blazer looks best on women with lean and athletic builds, but just about anybody can rock one and look good. If you have the confidence to give a fitted blazer a shot, it will make you smile every time you pass a mirror.
A draped blazer takes the basic design of a waterfall blazer and gives it a twist. The wave effect here begins where the lapel ends, which makes for a really eye-catching garment. The contemporary silhouette of a draped blazer attracts attention in a subtle way, and its flowing lines give the impression of graceful movement even when its wearer is standing still.
Cropped blazers are cut shorter and were originally designed with practicality in mind. They are extremely comfortable to wear when sitting, and buttoning them up visually separates the upper and lower body to form an hourglass shape. Most blazers blend the elements of a casual outfit, but a cropped blazer creates a sharp demarcation line to set them apart.
Casual clothes should make us feel comfortable and at ease, and few garments deliver these qualities, like an oversized blazer. If you like to carry a practical tote and hate to feel constrained, you will love the freedom and comfort that an oversized blazer provides. You can take your look to the next level with a loose top and baggy pants, or you could couple an oversized blazer with form-fitting garments to add some contrast and visual interest.
Military blazers remind us of just how dashing soldiers and sailors used to look. Service uniforms today are made to conceal and obscure rather than draw attention, but military blazers take us back to a time when looking good was considered just as important. Military blazers are usually cut with sharp and distinctive lines, but leaving them unbuttoned negates the formality and changes the look completely.
Casual Blazers for Men
For many men, dressing casually means putting on a pair of jeans and a sweat or tee shirt. While this is definitely a casual look, it is not very imaginative or stylish. Men that want to look good while enjoying their downtime need to be a little more adventurous in their clothing choices, and adding a casual blazer to their wardrobes would be a great first step. Here are a few suggestions.
Leather Blazer for Men
A lot of men love leather jackets because they convey toughness and resilience. A leather blazer does not have the hooligan heritage of a biker jacket, but it can still send a silent and powerful message. Leather blazers are also extremely comfortable, and putting one on after it has been broken in feels almost as good as slipping into a warm bath after a long day.
Woolen blazers are good choices for men who want to stay warm and comfortable when temperatures start to dip. They can sometimes seem a little dressy for informal get-togethers, but this can easily be remedied by pairing them with casual pants or jeans. When a coat is too much, and a cardigan is not enough, a woolen blazer can be just right.
Side Buttons Blazer
Not all blazers have the buttons laid out in a traditional single or double-breasted style. Blazers with side buttons are not very common, but they usually make a splash. This is a garment for men who are not afraid of standing out, and simply putting one on can instill confidence.
Denim Blazer for Men
Denim blazers were once de rigueur even in sophisticated circles, but they fell out of favor as the fashion world pivoted to oversized shoulder pads and skinny lapels. They are now making a comeback, which is great news for men who want to look stylish when relaxing. Just avoid pairing them with jeans in the same shade as this creates what is mockingly called a Texan tuxedo.
Brown is a very warm and sensual color that evokes thoughts of hot chocolate and autumn foliage. This is why it is so popular among men during the fall and winter months. Brown also has a degree of sophistication that few other colors can match, making it a great color choice for a casual blazer.
Most men have at least one gray suit, but very few of them own a blazer in this versatile color. Gray is a subtle hue that allows other colors to shine, and it looks particularly good when paired with rich and vibrant shades like pink or blue. Gray blazers are not a common choice, but most of the men who own one wish they had bought it sooner.
As you may well already know, seersucker is a light, durable and comfortable fabric. Moreover, it doesn’t crease in the same way ordinary fabric does. It creates extra space allowing for better air circulation and breathability. It is for this reason that many men opt for a seersucker blazer when the weather is warm. There are even seersucker suits you can wear at business casual events. Since seersucker is lightweight, you can use it to look a bit more formal on sunny days. More often than not, seersucker blazers come in a striped pattern composed of blue and white stripes. However, you can also find it in pastel colors, such as green, pink, or even yellow. (edited)
Parties, Dinners, and Cocktail Events
Parties give us a chance to let our hair down and be ourselves, so the clothes we wear to them should add to rather than detract from the festive atmosphere. Blazers can add a whimsical element to your outfit while still looking smart, which makes them perfect for dinners and cocktail parties. If you are looking for ways to make a dramatic entrance at the next party you attend, this section could give you a few useful ideas.
Party Blazers for Women
Choosing what to wear to a party can be pretty nerve-racking. Playing it safe wastes an opportunity to shine, but going overboard can attract the wrong kind of attention. Blazers make things a lot easier because they can be worn with anything and always look good, and simply putting one on makes any occasion feel just a little bit more special. If you wear a blazer to a party, you can enjoy yourself without worrying about running into somebody with the exact same outfit.
Floral Blazer for Women
Fashion designers often include floral designs in their spring lines, and blazers are now getting in on the action. Floral blazers remind us of the beauty of nature, and just slipping into one can put a smile on your face. If you wear one, pair it with complementing solid colors that will enhance rather than compete with the floral design.
Printed blazers are wonderful for parties because they tell everybody in the room that you are ready to have some fun. If you really want to push the boat out, accessorize your printed blazer with some statement earrings. That is the kind of outfit that will make sure nobody mistakes you for a wallflower.
People who wear dark clothes are seen by others as serious, intelligent, and powerful. If you wear a dark blazer to your next party, you can expect a lot of admiring glances. A dark blazer is not as playful as other party options, but it makes up for its seriousness with heaps of elegance and style.
Most blazers have the traditional cut of a men’s suit jacket, but peplum blazers buck this trend. Peplums are short overskirts that are attached at the waistline, and they completely transform the way blazers look. Peplums attract eyes to the waist and accentuate the hips, and they look especially good with pants or skirts that hug the body.
Prints and patterns come and go, but polka dots endure. Polka dots can be worn with solids, patterns, or even other polka dots, and they look just as good on blazers as they do on dresses or skirts. If you decide to rock a polka dot blazer, consider pairing it with a layered skirt and monochromatic accessories.
Blazer dresses are sharp, smart, and incredibly sexy. Lengthening the jacket and gathering the waist creates an hourglass shape, and a plunging neckline framed by sweeping lapels completes the look. Wearing a blazer dress and heels will certainly draw eyes at a party, but the look may be just a bit too racy for an office.
Front Open Blazer
This kind of blazer has no buttons to fasten and is designed to be worn open. The drape and fit of a front open blazer can be very flattering regardless of bust size, and the garment exudes casual confidence. Open jackets imply that partygoers are ready to get down to business, and rolling the sleeves up adds to this impression.
Deep Lapel Blazer
Plunging necklines are synonymous with parties, and you can achieve this look while wearing a blazer by choosing a jacket that has deep lapels. This is a look that adds width to the shoulders and emphasizes the bust and waist in a subtle way, so it is both sexy and understated. This kind of blazer looks best when buttoned, so make sure you pick one that is comfortable when worn in this way.
Vivid colors are associated with happiness and joy, which makes them perfect for celebratory dinners and cocktail parties. Some people believe blazers were named after the bright red jackets worn by members of a British boat club, so choosing one in a vivid shade pays tribute to the garment’s history.
Party Blazers for Men
Men’s fashion is full of rules. The bottom button of a jacket or vest should not be fastened, and button-down shirts should never be worn with peak lapels, but all of these conventions can be put on the back burner at a party. Parties give men an opportunity to strut their style, and designers have been working overtime to create blazers that help them do just that.
Red blazers are ideal choices for parties because they let all those present know that it’s time to celebrate. Red is considered a lucky color in many parts of the world, which is why the color is worn by so many sports teams. Red blazers are also deceptively versatile and look equally good with jeans and black dress pants.
Floral Blazer for Men
There was a time when only women would think of wearing a floral pattern, but fashion etiquette is a lot more relaxed these days. A floral print blazer would look out of place in many situations, but it would be right at home at a party. Not every man can pull this look off, but those that can should consider giving it a shot.
Double Color Blazer
If one color is good, could two colors be better? Double color blazers answer this question with a resounding yes, and they are a daring and adventurous choice for parties. Using stripes is the traditional way to incorporate more than one color on a men’s jacket, but the latest blazers go much further and often feature sleeves, lapels, pocket flaps, or front panels in contrasting shades.
White dinner jackets experienced a surge in popularity after Humphrey Bogart wore one in “Casablanca,” but modern life gives men very few opportunities to rock this look. Fortunately, there are now white blazers that can be worn at less formal parties that make the same impression. They look best when combined with traditional white-tie elements like black dress pants and collared shirts.
Men who are not big fans of the shorter suit jackets that are so popular today can take things in the opposite direction by choosing a long blazer that harks back to the days of Edwardian England. It is said that fashion runs in circles, and what is currently out will soon be back in again, so choosing a long blazer could be an investment for the future as well as a wise style choice.
Bordered blazers are like double-color blazers with a twist. On these garments, the second color is used to create an outline that emphasizes the jacket’s cut. This outline is almost always added to the lapels, and it may also draw attention to the cuffs and pockets. Parties give men a chance to be flamboyant, and a bordered blazer provides a great way to make the most of this opportunity.
If this chapter did nothing else, it showed you that blazers come in all shapes and sizes. We have talked about blazers for work and blazers for play, so now it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. The next chapter will cover the things you should consider when choosing a blazer. It will help you to find garments that make your body look good regardless of the occasion, and it will also contain tips for choosing the right clothes and accessories to wear with your blazers.
How to Choose a Blazer Jacket Depending on the Occasion
We ask the clothes we wear to do a lot. In some settings, we want them to attract eyes and make us the center of attention. In other situations, such as a wedding or graduation party, we tend to tone things down a little, so we don’t steal the spotlight from the people we have shown up to congratulate. We all know that wearing a T-shirt at a black-tie dinner or donning an evening gown to a Sunday brunch would prompt snickers even from those who think couture is a town in Greece, but the fashion rules we all know and follow don’t really help us all that much when we are on the fence about what to wear. They tell us what not to do, but they don’t provide us with much inspiration.
Understanding the room is the key to dressing appropriately no matter where you are. Our clothes should reflect the mood and feel of the setting, but few of us can afford to buy an outfit for every conceivable situation. What we need are garments that we can either dress up or dress down depending on the occasion, and that is why blazers are becoming so popular. Blazers can work just as well in a business meeting as they do at a glittering soiree, and they always look chic, smart, and sophisticated.
Formal and Semi-Formal Occasions
Blazers evolved from men’s suit jackets, and you should pick garments that retain a lot of this DNA if you plan to wear one to a formal or semi-formal gathering. Stick to structured and tailored blazers that feature classic elements like notched or peak lapels and back or side vents. Classic blazer colors like navy blue or black always look good in formal situations but don’t be afraid to make a splash if you think you can pull it off.
Business and Casual Settings
You can let your hair down a little when you choose a blazer in situations where the clothes you wear will be subjected to a little less scrutiny. Boyfriend blazers, military blazers, and bomber jacket styles all work well in business and casual settings, which means you won’t have to worry about changing if you head straight from the office to a cocktail party. Blazers are great in business environments because they are sexy without being provocative, and they look great in casual settings because they can be paired with just about anything.
How to Choose a Blazer Jacket Based on Colors
There was a time when you would have had to search high and low to find a blazer that wasn’t either black or dark blue, but these incredible garments are now available in everything from bright colors to subtle earth tones. When choosing what color blazer to wear, you should consider your eyes and skin tone as well as the rest of your outfit. We want the garments we wear to flatter our complexions and complement each other without clashing, which is where color theory and color schemes come in. Isaac Newton explored this area of science when he noticed how shining a light through a prism produced the colors of a rainbow, and he divided the spectrum he observed into primary and secondary hues.
You may be wondering what all this has to do with putting together an outfit. The answer to that question can be summed up in two words: complement and accent. All of the millions of colors you can choose from can be found somewhere on the color wheel Newton created, so that is where you should start. Once you have found the color you want to work with, you can choose:
- Complementary colors: These are colors on the opposite side of the color wheel that create a pleasing contrast for the eyes. Examples of complementary colors include blue and orange, green and yellow, fuchsia and red, pink and gray, and camel and black.
- Accent colors: These are the colors on the wheel that are next to or very near the color you are trying to match. Accenting colors create a very harmonious appearance, but you should add a flash of contrast with your jewelry and accessories to provide a little pop.
Matching Eye Color and Skin Tone
The same basic principles that apply to matching outfits can also help us to choose clothes that accentuate our eyes and skin. Choose accenting colors to bring out your eyes and complementary colors to make your skin shine, but don’t worry too much if the clothes you love deviate from this formula. Just remember that fashion is art, and there are no rules.
How to Select the Right Blazer for Your Body Shape
The clothes we wear should make us feel confident and upbeat, but that’s unlikely to happen if the first thing we think when we look in a mirror is “oh no.” Garments that look great on a hangar or runway model may look terrible on us, so you should think about the shape of your body as well as the cut of the jacket when you pick out a blazer. To get a look that will have you beaming instead of blushing, you need to pick a blazer that works with your body and not against it.
Understanding Your Body Type
We can sculpt our bodies with diet and exercise, but our basic shapes are determined by genetics rather than lifestyle. When we decide what to wear, we should focus more on enhancing our assets than covering up our perceived shortcomings. Here are a few tips to help you pick the perfect blazer for your body shape:
- Hourglass figures: If your shoulders and hips are similarly proportioned, and your waist is slim, choose a blazer that fits comfortably and has princess seams that will accentuate your figure. Few blazers have belts, but those that do look fabulous on hourglass figures.
- Triangular bodies: If your hips are a little more pronounced than your shoulders, look for blazers that fit your upper body snugly and have peplums or flares below the waist to accommodate and flatter your hips. If you want attention to be focused elsewhere, broad lapels or large buttons can encourage the eyes to look up.
- Oval shapes: If your figure is naturally pear or oval-shaped, pick a blazer that fits cleanly but does not hug the center of your body. Look for subtle buttons that will not draw attention to your waist, and aim for a Goldilocks fit that is not too loose and not too tight.
- Broad shoulders: Avoid blazers with a lot of shoulder padding if you are naturally wide in this area, and look for garments with seams that taper naturally to the waist. Blazers with plunging lapels look amazing on this type of body, and so do jackets with high armholes.
- Rectangular figures: If you want to accentuate your waistline, you should choose a blazer that looks like it was made for a woman. Look for something that fits fairly loosely at the bust and hips but cinches at the waist with a single button, and fasten that button whenever you stand up, or the effect will be lost.
What to Wear With a Blazer
Blazers are incredibly versatile garments, which means you can wear them with just about anything in your wardrobe. If you have a piece of clothing that you love but are not sure how to wear, it will probably look amazing with a blazer. A blazer can convey seriousness and determination in the workplace and a carefree attitude during a night on the town, and it will always attract just the right kind of attention. The clothes and shoes you wear with a blazer will depend on the plans you have and the clothes others are likely to be wearing, but you will have plenty of options no matter where you go or what you do. Let’s take a look at some of the choices you will have if you decide to wear a blazer.
Most early blazers were worn by men, so a dress shirt is something that works with them on a natural level. Men’s dress shirts are pretty conservative garments that were designed to work as a canvas for neckties, but women have far more stylish options to pick from. Choose collars that enhance your neckline in a sophisticated way, and leave the top button unfastened if the shirt has one. You can even wear your collar outside your blazer lapels for a retro and laid-back 1970s look.
A blouse is a safe option for wearing with a blazer if you want to add a touch of femininity to a traditionally masculine garment. While dress shirts tend to feature solid colors or subtle checks or stripes, blouses come in a dizzying array of fabrics, hues, and patterns. If you have a blouse that you are dying to wear, it will almost certainly look great with a blazer.
If you decide to wear your blazer with a dress shirt, a necktie could provide the finishing touch. Striped ties are often worn with blazers, and they can add a playful element to your outfit that evokes images of finishing schools and conjures up memories of long summer afternoons. Pick power ties in bold solid colors if you want to be taken more seriously, or go for the full-on fashionista look with a sophisticated ascot.
Some of the most memorable outfits we encounter startle our senses with a contradiction. One of the easiest and most stylish ways to pull this off is combining the most casual garment imaginable with a jacket associated with sports clubs and military units. Blazers make T-shirts acceptable in settings where they would normally draw disapproving glances, and that is a good thing because this paradoxical look is sure to attract attention. If you like to keep the people you meet on their toes and guessing, wear your blazer over a T-shirt.
Quality Denim Jeans
A blazer paired with quality denim jeans has been a fashion staple for generations, and the natural drape of the versatile jackets looks especially good with the skinny jeans that are so popular today. Pairing jeans with a traditional jacket creates an outfit with a subtle equestrian vibe, so consider taking the look to the next level with a pair of knee-high boots. Just about any blazer looks good with quality jeans, but loose-fitting boyfriend styles work the best.
Men usually wear blazers in situations where they want to look smart but not too smart, so they often pair them with a pair of khakis. If you find yourself facing the same fashion dilemma, wear your blazer with a pair of comfortable slacks. Pick a complementary color to avoid the mismatched suit look, and finish off your outfit with subtle heels or elegant flats. For the ultimate preppy ensemble, choose a navy blazer, tan slacks, and a pair of penny loafers.
A blazer worn with a pair of dress pants is for women what a pinstripe suit is for men. This outfit tells the world that you are ready to get down to business, but it does it in a subtle and refined way. If you think a pants suit is just too middle of the road, a blazer with a pair of dress pants could be just the look you are searching for. Once you have chosen the basics of your outfit, add a little flamboyance and elan with a lapel brooch or a belt with a distinctive buckle.
One of the few things that mini skirts, tulle skirts, pencil skirts, A-line skirts, and pleated skirts have in common is they all look incredible with blazers. A long blazer that nearly reaches the hem of a mini skirt creates a look that borders on the lascivious for those of us with the legs and nerve to give it a shot, while a flowing tulle skirt paired with one of the classic jackets projects an aura of innocence and almost childlike playfulness. If you have plenty of skirts in your closet, you will be amazed by how a blazer can give them personality and bring them to life.
Pulling off a blazer with a dress is all about mastering contrast. If the dress you are wearing fits loosely, your blazer should be fitted and classically tailored. If you choose a dress that fits a little more snugly and highlights your curves, an unstructured blazer that compliments rather than competes with it would be the best bet. Blazer and dress combinations run the gamut from smooth and sophisticated to eclectic and chic, so your options will be limited only by your imagination.
There was a time when fashion icons like Princess Diana wore blazers almost exclusively with oxfords, loafers, and other flat shoes. Still, it is now common to see these incredible jackets being rocked with high-heeled slingbacks, pumps, dress boots and many other types of shoes. Blazers have evolved and can now be worn in almost any situation, so it’s only fitting that the shoes we wear with them have also changed with the times.
Sneakers can look fabulous with blazers, but they have to be the right kind of sneaker. Athletic shoes that are great for intense exercise and look like they were made in a lab rarely look good with a blazer, so pick sneakers with more retro or classic styling. Some of the first blazers were worn by members of a boating club, and they are still worn by schoolgirls the world over, so plimsolls are a natural and obvious choice.
Blazers can be the garment you build an outfit around or provide the finishing touch, but they will always make you look good. Picking awesome clothes gives us confidence and makes us feel special, and scientists have discovered that dressing to impress can also improve our cognitive abilities and decision-making. If that does not make you want to have at least one blazer in your wardrobe, perhaps the products in the next chapter will convince you.
When you find a blazer you like, imagine how it will work with your pants, skirts, jeans, shoes, and accessories. Think about contrasting and complementary colors, and then put a few outfits together. Once you have a few ideas, think about all of the places where you could wear your outfits. Whether you want to flaunt your exuberance or make a professional impression at a business function, a blazer has you covered.
You will soon discover that blazers give clothes that you once loved but now hardly wear a new lease on life, and you may find yourself thinking that two blazers are surely better than one. This is probably true, but it is also a glimpse into how powerfully alluring these garments can be. As your mind fills with outfit combinations and confident new looks, you will soon realize that the only thing limiting you is your imagination.
Few garments are as steeped in tradition as a blazer, and few are flexible enough to look just as good at a gala as they do at a sidewalk café. This post covered everything about blazers, from where they originated to how they can be worn almost anywhere, so now you know all you need to climb aboard the blazer train.
Please leave a comment below if you have questions about blazers or any of the topics we covered in this post, and you may want to check out some of our other useful fashion and style posts if you liked this one. If you think this post contains information or ideas that others could find helpful or inspiring, please feel free to share it on social media.