Jackets and blazers used to be essential parts of a woman's wardrobe. Nowadays, while the average woman owns at least one blazer, she's probably not sure just how to wear it.
The rise in the popularity of more casual clothing, even at the office, has placed women's blazers on the back burner, but the trend is turning around. True to their name, blazers have come blazing back. Through some hot design updates and new style rules, blazers are once again at home, in offices, on dates, and even at movie premiers.
When it comes to blazers, women state their top fashion concerns as being:
- That it will look masculine or severe.
- That it won't fit in with their wardrobe.
- That the blazer will accentuate their least favorite features.
Yet you'll often see a model, Hollywood starlet or a stylish everyday woman wearing a blazer and showing it off perfectly. You can do it too, and without a personal stylist or trainer. All you need to know are some basics about dressing for your body type, as well as ways to update the classic blazer for a hot look.
Evaluating your body type is the first stage of choosing the perfect blazer.
- If you have an athletic build, with broad shouldes and more or less boyish hips, a cropped blazer can be a good look for you. The new styles of cropped blazers (cropped in the back, lower in front) are cut diagonally in front, creating a feminine shape for the waist and hips. Go for a look with minimal structure so you'll avoid the boxy look.
- A pear-shaped body features slimmer shoulders in relation to fuller, more curvy hips. In this case, your best bet is either a jacket that falls just above the hips or just below. Light shoulder pads and/or wide lapel will draw the eye upward and add the illusion of width to your shoulders for a more balanced look.
- Petite, small-boned women often avoid blazers because they feel they get lost in them and look like little girls playing dress-up. Luckily, there are ways to wear a blazer that will make you look like a very grown-up - and sexy - woman. Your best bets are very fitted styles that define your feminine shape. Try "shrunken" blazers and other contemporary and youthful styles.
- Having full breasts can make you look like a goddess in a gown, but when it comes to blazers, your bust might be less of an asset. The wrong jacket can make you look top-heavy. For your best look, go for blazers that provide definition beneath the bustline, and those that are tailored to highlight the waist. Avoid jackets with lots of structure or decoration, as they make the chest look fuller.
- If your chest is on the small side, you can create a curvier line by choosing jackets with plenty of detailing to add volume to your upper body.
- Plus-size women can look great in both long and short bolero type jackets. Just take care to avoid anything too bulky or loose, and avoid heavy and large-patterned fabrics.
One of the hottest looks of the year is the boyfriend blazer. This longer, tuxedo-style jacket can be worn in a variety of ways and it suits many body types. For example, it can elongate a short torso, balance a pear shape, or provide some stylish coverage to a problematic mid-section. Whatever your shape or personal style, the boyfriend blazer is worth a look.
Making the Most of Your Blazer
There are many ways to wear a blazer, depending on the clothing and accessories you choose to wear with it. Blazers can be classic, casual, even glam. Here are some awesome ways to pair and accessorize your jacket.
Classic. The blazer is closely associated with the professional and academic world. Create a no-nonsense yet lovely look by wearing your blazer with a nice tailored shirt and slacks. For cool days, a blazer can be worn with a thin sweater or turtleneck, a skirt, and textured tights. This look pairs nicely with boots. When you're going classic, complete the look with minimal but stylish jewelry.
Casual. Wearing a blazer in a casual manner has become a very hip style choice. The primary way to accomplish this look is to pair your blazer with jeans. To get this style right, you need to choose jeans that are fitted; no baggies, please! The best shirts to wear with this look are a little more on the funky, interesting side. Try a boyfriend blazer over a fitted logo T-shirt.
Evening. Blazers can be dressed up - way up - for a night on the town. Once again, it's important to choose the right blazer shape and fabric for evening. Some blazers (such as those with shimmer or other eye-catching detailing) were made specifically for wear at evening events, while others can go from day to night with some strategic pairing and accessorizing. Some blazers should be avoided for an after-hours gathering, like any piece that looks overly structured, businesslike or severe. A light, satiny fabric works well. The right blazer can be worn over a short dress with good results. To bring the ensemble together, throw in a cute bag, some well-chosen bling, and a pair of flirty heels.
Shopping For Your Blazer
When you go shopping for a blazer, know what your basic style is going to be. If you're looking for a classic professional style blazer, go to a department store. If you would prefer a blazer that can be worn with casual clothes, try a retailer with a more trendy, youth-oriented brand image. Blazer fit can be tricky, and getting the wrong fit can spoil your entire look. Take your time trying on a variety of sizes and styles, have a look at yourself in the blazer from all angles before making a choice, and don't be afraid to ask for guidance from an in-store fashion consultant.