The Simple Sophisticate, episode #58
September begins tomorrow and with it the fall season seems to unofficially begin in many ways. Much of Oregon is already back in school, vacations are winding down and the long Labor Day weekend in the states is just a few days away which for quite a few is the true marker of the fall season. Tomorrow TSLL Fall Shopping Guide will be sent out to subscribers and as I have been fine-tuning my own fall capsule wardrobe, I wanted to focus on a staple that is often an unmentioned gem to always have on hand: The blazer.
Having found my dream blazer this season as I discussed in last week’s Outfit of the Week post, the more I began to contemplate all of the options now available to me, the more excited I became. Such excitement is almost reminiscent of the first day of school as a young girl when my mom would take me back-to-school shopping, and I would have to wait to wear my school clothes until school actually began. Torture!
But truly, there are many options, and when you’re ready and your budget is as well, there are beautiful, quality options that will remain in your closet and be worn happily for years.
Today I’m going to take a look at the many options available when we have a blazer in our closets as well as style inspiration (pictures included) of how to style it to work the best with each of our signature styles.
Why Not . . . Wear a Blazer?
Depending upon where you work, even if you are expected to wear a suit, a blazer is a necessity that will always work. If you happen to work in a field that is similar to education, a sort of middle ground, blazers can be worn with dark denim, over sleeveless dresses or many of the options we will discuss later in the blog post. The coverage, collar and layering allow you to look pulled together and professional. Roll your sleeves up to add a touch of casual, but still, you are workplace appropriate.
2. Casual Chic
The blazer offers the best transition as you make your way from the office to the restaurant with your friends or significant other for dinner and drinks. Perhaps you change up the accessories and maybe even the bottoms and shoes, but the blazer can remain constant and always fit right in to any situation.
3. An Outerwear Option
As we transition from summer to fall, warmer evenings are gradually subsiding, but there is no need for heavy coats. The blazer provides just the right amount of warmth without being too bulky. Add a scarf if the temps drop a bit more and you are set!
4. Endless Options
The brilliance of the blazer is that you can wear it every day if you wanted to and as long as it was with a different top or bottom, you will forever be looking pulled together and in style. Choose a neutral color that works well with your capsule wardrobe: tan/wheat, charcoal, gray, black, navy or white and much like a chameleon it blends in beautifully.
5. A Safe Option that Can Break the Rules Tastefully
One of the things I love about the blazer is that it exudes a professional flare or touch, but you can have a bit more leeway with the bottoms. Have some fun with a statement t-shirt that speaks to your sense of humor or even boyfriend jeans and a pair of flats. The juxtaposition of serious and silly or über casual can sing a very nice tune.
6. A Travel Go-To
Airplanes can offer a chilly climate, and taking a scarf or coat is always a good idea, even in the warmer months. However, because we are limited for space when we pack our wardrobe, wearing our blazer on board saves a bit of space, and offers that layer of comfort when the cabin’s temperatures decrease.
How to Wear a Blazer
1.A Piece of a Suit (Skirt or Pants)
What the blazer was made to do was be paired with its bottom half – a skirt or trousers. Creating a polished look conveying you mean business, make sure its tailored to your body and walk confidently into that interview or into the front row during fashion week knowing you look top-knotch.
My favorite, and a look that Jennifer Aniston does so well. She regularly is seen with a blazer and jeans while traveling and on the streets going about her day. Whether you choose bootcut (as seen below), skinny, straight-leg or boyfriend, a beautiful middle ground is struck that can take you just about anywhere.
3. Add a Scarf
The accessorizing of a scarf is simple and classic. Again, when you have a neutral blazer, you can have fun with the scarves you choose and the statement is immediate. (View The Francophile’s Style Guide: The 14 Essentials, podcast)
4. Flats or Heels
Depending upon your preference, the event or what looks best with your outfit, flats or heels work well with a blazer. Especially if you are wearing a boyfriend blazer (more oversized and longer), pairing with a stunning heel is a balance of masculine and feminine looks that works quite well.
5. Shorts Too
If you’ve got the gams, wear your shorts, but don’t forget the blazer for more dressed-up affairs. Whether it’s a romper or a pair of tuxedo shorts, the addition of the blazer provides the finishing touch to get you into that four or five start restaurant without the host causing a stir.
6. Layer Over a Dress
Perhaps you are wearing a sleeveless sheath or you have a few summer dresses that would work well in the fall if only you could cover a bit more skin. Add a blazer. Even a boyfriend blazer is a brilliant idea as you can still cinch the waist with a belt that ties it all together.
7. Pair with Tees
Whether you want to have some fun with statement tees or just want to run errands and wish to pull a quick stylish look together, selecting a t-shirt is a simple pairing with a blazer. Always have few on hand in the neckline that is most flattering for you and without fail, you will look effortlessly chic.
For a touch dressier look, layer your blazer over a beautiful silk camisole. Light-weight, a camisole under a blazer can be worn during any season of the year as you can add more layers if necessary or just adhere to the basics.
9. Over Stripes
And the fail-safe, wear with stripes. Due to stripes’ neutrality, you can wear just about any color when it comes to blazers, and you will look casual, yet pulled together.
As you can see, the options for how to wear a blazer are seemingly infinite. Depending upon your signature style, your profession, your daily lifestyle, you can make the blazer shine for you in a way that will be completely different from someone else. I have done a bit of shopping for you below with many different price points and brands. Most of the blazers are neutral in color, but you can always have fun with that detail as well. The key is to choose something that you can wear with many different outfits in your capsule wardrobe adding depth to what you already have. Happy shopping!
My blazer of choice ~Theory ‘Gabe’ Stretch Wool Blazer (multiple color options)
SHOP FOR BLAZERS:
~Making the bed with Euro pillows, four of them to be precise. What? I know, it seems like a lot, but for less than $30, you can pick up 26″ square Euro feather pillows and stack two behind your two standard pillows and two in front (optional). It makes a full bed that begs to be slept in.
Inslee Fariss, the illustrator of all the images found on TSLL shared this image on her instagram (@inslee), and I couldn’t help but be reminded of why Euro pillows make such a great statement.