Everyone needs a blazer or two. Instantly ‘posh up’ your jeans or add some slick chic to most outfits by throwing a tux over your shoulders. No, it’s nothing new or revolutionary, but Lady Diana’s go-to jacket is massive right now and if you buy well, you can be sure to have a wardrobe classic that you’ll be wearing for years.
For a long time my city ‘uniform’ has been jeans, a shirt or t-shirt, cowboy boots, brogues or heels and a jacket with the sleeves scrunched up and loads of jewellery. Occasionally I alternate the jeans with shorts, or stick the jacket over a short dress, but unless I’m in the tropics and it’s baking hot, generally there’s a jacket involved.
Like stylish safety blankets, they can be flung on, over anything to smarten up jeans/hide some lumps/toughen up a girly dress/bring together a print mix/get an upgrade (not happened yet, but they do say… and I live in hope) and I have arsenal of them in plaids, grey linen, denim, raspberry, camel, tweed, boucle, velvet, cotton, seersucker, sequinned, ice cream seller candy stripes… and 12 black ones. There, I said it; I own 12 black jackets. (coats and leather bikers not included).
Caroline de Maigret has a few jackets too…
If I were only allowed to keep three, I would have to choose my Hugo Boss Tuxedo (slightly oversized with a satin collar detail and the nearest I have come to Le Smoking thus far); the Skinny Fit Joseph Blazer (shiny black, shrunken fit, lightweight, good for any given day); my Emanuel Ungaro tweedy brocade (hip length, lined, warm, doubles as a coat in fall, looks like Chanel, brilliant with jeans, or with a slip dress); Vintage Armani (mannish, loose fit, hip length, two vintage moth holes, but if I keep my right arm down no one knows)… But oops that’s four – but I have mulled this over on a number of occasions and my selection often differs, and that’s why I can’t give any of them up and in fact usually end up acquiring another one, and why I’m not opposed to adding to my collection either, so I’m looking at 3 current Blazer trends to play with and maybe I can retire a few to storage for a while.
BLAZER AND BRALETTE /CROP
The crop or brallete works well with both close fitted, or loose ‘Borrowed from your Dad’ sized blazers, but the key is in keeping your pants or skirt high waisted.
Above from left to right: Altuzarra Spring Summer; Red! (Flo Ruffle); Helena Bordon absolutely owning Blazer & Bralette; Sneakers, print and knotted tee (Grace f Victory, Instagram); Altuzarra; White tux and black lace (Lookastic blog); Young and cute grunge with a woven plaid blazer balanced just at the hem of her skirt (Wild and Vintage); Kendal Jenner working luxurious textures in Balmain x H&M; and Lourde, a couple of years ago (See.. classic!)
HERITAGE CHECKS AND PLAID
Heritage is still going strong, but pep up your plaids with some edgy styling, a big bang of colour, or some clashing print (see Lou Doillon above for details)
Above from left to right: skinnies and emerald boots (photo, Sandra Semburg); the cult Zara blazer; Lou Doillon mixing it up French girl style; thigh high white stocking-boots and flared twist on the Blazer at Vetements; Beautifully balanced checks (pardon the pun) with sexy little ankle boots at Tibi; and Equestrian meets Motorcross at Margiela
Photos left to right from: Oversized Man’s tweed, cinched above the waist (by the super, super cool Maria Bernad on Instagram); Loving the turned up collar to expose the felting on this well fitted plaid jacket and red belt combo at Stockholm’s fashion week (Style du Monde blog); The Gucci belt everyone wants over their neutral separates – or anything else! (A Constellation) blog; Corseted grey plaid from LXUNYI; Kendal & Karl, another slash of fall/winter’s up and coming red with Louis Vuitton checks; Deconstructed tailoring at Monse
There’s definitely something in this belting business, especially with tailored jackets worn one size up, as it broadens the shoulders and draws the eye to the waist and it also brings the the exaggerated proportions together, creating a flattering silhouette. I’d suggest that this look works as an all-day or evening outfit, rather than for something like clothes shopping, as you don’t want to re-adjust the belt 100 times – or I know that I would abandon the belt after my second re-fastening!
Tips: Don’t stress about the size label, just have the silhouette you want in mind and try every jacket until it looks best. If you are going for oversized, think ‘mannish’ ‘boyfriend jacket’ ‘boss lady’ and buy one, two, or even three times bigger than your usual size. (the same applies for coats) or if you are aiming for a tighter ‘punky’ shrugged jacket, don’t worry about fastening the buttons – as long as the fit is good across your shoulders and the seams aren’t straining that’s great (will you really fasten your jacket anyway?)
And if all else fails, ask yourself ‘what would Maria Bernad do?’