Thursday, January 30, 2014

Shopping Help: Blazers 101

I've received a few questions about blazers, so here's some help with them!

I personally love blazers because they are a quick way to sharpen an outfit.  Many people think you can only wear blazers if you are a working professional, but that's totally NOT true!  Of course blazers are great for an office or business look, but you can wear them casually or dress them up for going out, too.  Plus, with so many ponte blazers out there, you can find plenty of options that will serve a casual lifestyle better than one of a working professional.

Here's a scratching-the-surface look at types of blazers.  Blazer 101 tips are at the bottom!

These are affordable options for the kinds of blazers you'd typically think of wearing to an office.  (But, you can still wear these casually too!)  

Option 1 (Target) - Great, classic, twill oxford blazer, and it comes in 7 colors!  Green, maroon, khaki, black, navy, grey, and flamingo pink.  

Option 2 (Target) - A second option for a classic blazer that comes in navy, black, khaki, and red.  I'm not sure what the difference is between this and Option 1 because I haven't felt the materials myself, but Option 1 is twill while this one is a basket weave.  I'd imagine the cuts are slightly different too, so if you're in the market I'd say try both!

These could be more affordable alternatives to the very beautiful J.Crew Classic Schoolboy Blazer.

Option 3 (Target) - Double button option!  According to Stacy and Clinton, double buttons and buttons at a higher stance should help "lock and load the girls" if you spill out of blazers otherwise.

Knit and ponte blazers pretty much feel like sweatshirt blazers!  If you're someone who's said, "I don't need a blazer, I don't need to be that fancy," try a ponte blazer.  Some of them can pass for workwear while others look more casual, giving you a great option for having the sharpness of a blazer without looking overdressed in a casual setting.

Option 4 (JCPenney) - This is a knit blazer with striped lining.  I love when a blazer has striped lining because it's a cute little detail when you fold the sleeves back!

Option 5 (Express) - Great option for casual or going out!  Could probably be worn to some more casual offices too.  I love the curved hem at the bottom.

Option 6 (Target) - Ponte blazer that comes in navy and maroon too.  They actually show this with a pencil skirt dressed for a working professional, but don't be fooled--it should feel like a sweatshirt!

These are patterns on the "safer" side in neutrals--stripes and polka dots.

Option 7 (Old Navy) - Ponte blazer.  A great and affordable alternative to the J.Crew Factory striped blazer!

Option 8 (Target) - I've talked about this one before, but I like that this is more grey/black than white/black.  Target shows this with a pencil skirt for working professionals, but you can totally pair it with jeans and a tank for a cute casual look!  And because it's ponte you shouldn't seem overdressed in casual settings.

Option 9 - (JCPenney) - Polka dots!  Plus, the shape is really cute.

To change things up, go for a colored blazer.  It can be a bright color like bright pink or cobalt, or a more subtle color which works well in professional settings, like the forest green or maroon options.

Option 10 (Target) - Wear it to work or for a sophisticated, preppy, casual look!  

Option 11 (Kohl's) - Comes in pink, maroon, dark grey, and black.  This is great for a casual look or going out!

Option 12 (Target) - Same as Option 10 but wanted to show you the maroon.  

Random Blazer Tips
Someone asked where to start if you're just getting into the world of blazers.

It Doesn't Have to Be Black
Most would say start with a black blazer, but I would like to respectfully disagree.  Sort of.  I don't think it's a bad option at all--I have one--but I've found myself using my medium grey and navy blazers more than my black blazer!  Since grey and navy are softer neutrals than black I've found it easier to work those colors into a work look as well as casual looks.  

I'd say choose your first blazer based off of the other neutrals in your closet.  (Re: Choosing Wardrobe Colors from the Wardrobe From Scratch Series.  Black very well could be your best choice, but don't feel like it HAS to be!  Check your closet and see if medium grey, khaki, or navy might be more useful for you.

Determining Cut
Some blazers are cropped, some will hit at your hips, and some will be more of a boyfriend fit and be a little longer.  Also, the way the hemline curves or points or does whatever is important.  Some are curved more than others, some are only slightly curved, and some are pointy at the bottom (which I didn't show any of).  

I never paid attention to length or the hemline curve and bought a few blazers that I ended up getting rid of because I realized too late that I didn't like how the hemlines were shaped.  Figure out what you're looking for and pay attention to those details.

I typically like my blazers to hit at my mid hip, but that's not necessarily the best for everyone.  It totally depends on your shape!

Blazer Fit
I love this post by Alterations Needed on blazer fit.  Very helpful, so check it out!

If you've got stuff to add about blazers, please share it with us!  


  1. I really want to take a minute to thank you for this blog. It's literally changed my life! I'm 25, have recently helped my church start a school(formerly a grad student when I found puttingmetogether), and had really really been struggling with how to dress myself not only for teaching but also casually when going to classes. I hated looking in the mirror and was constantly frustrated with my clothes and my body! From BARW to your Style Tips I have learned a lotttttttt- so much that I actually LOVE to get dressed! I feel confident and my husband is so happy to see me NOT cry while looking in the mirror trying to get dressed. Being able to dress was a big deal for me personally as well as for my students. I love showing my students that they can dress tastefully and modestly. I appreciate you putting yourself out here for everyone to see and learn from and hope you realize how much you've helped ladies everywhere! There is NO other fashion blog that I look at every. single. day. You are so appreciated!! (P.s. I also told friends about you who now also follow puttingmetogether daily) THANK YOU!!!!

  2. Great tips! I've had to figure out what I like in a blazer through trial and error. Like you, I prefer the ones that hit mid-hip--the boyfriend length can make my legs look short if I wear it with flats, and the cropped versions hit me at my widest part (also not very flattering).

  3. Soooo, confession: I own almost 40 blazers. I CAN'T stop buying them. Some girls love chocolate and shoes. I love blazers.
    Some tips from a blazer hoarder:
    1. Typically, you can find a go-to store for your blazers. For example, I know I can fit in and look polished in almost every single size 0 blazer from LOFT. Conversely, I cannot buy xs/s/m/lg blazers from The Limited, but their size 0 blazers are usually better cut to fit me. It's helpful to know which brands/styles to keep an eye on as you're online/real-life shopping.
    2. Make sure that you can hug yourself without feeling like a seam will rip.
    3. Figure out what bottoms you'll typically wear with a blazer in order to determine length. I have cropped blazers in the colors I know go best with my dresses, skirts, and belted dress pants. I have longer, boyfriend blazers in colors I know will go best with skinny jeans.
    4. If you plan to roll sleeves, make sure the inside of the sleeves isn't ugly.

    I'm done now. I swear.

  4. Wow, Shari! I'm sooooo encouraged by this! I can't believe you used to cry from trying to get dressed. I'm really really really glad this blog relieved some of that for you, and I absolutely love hearing that you actually enjoy getting dressed now! Thank you for taking the time to write!

  5. HAHA OMG. 40? No one else has fessed up to how many they have, but I'm sure you win first prize. Great tips! I totally forgot to write about knowing what bottoms you're going to pair them with. I had a whole section in my head for that but forgot. I'm glad you said something!

  6. It's sort of a sickness, but I'm not sure there's a help group for that. Well, there is. It's called blogging. Okay, it doesn't really help because I just come down with a case of blazer envy every time I see a blogger in a pretty blazer.
    I am crushing on that polka dot blazer. I don't have one of those...

  7. Thank YOU! Puttingmetogether has helped me soooo much! You're the best!

  8. p.s. I not only enjoy getting dressed I hop around, sing, and dance while I get dressed now! HUGE difference thanks to you!

  9. Whitney Valentine-WaferThursday, January 30, 2014

    I've found that with blazers they are more of an investment piece for me, and that I can see a huge difference in the fit and quality when I buy more expensive ones. The H&M and a Target blazers I've owned just haven't held up long term the same way as say the J Crew ones.

  10. Domesticated Working WomanThursday, January 30, 2014

    Fantastic post! I loooove blazers. I'm dying to add a camel colored one to my wardrobe like the JCrew Schoolboy, but can't find similar affordable options. Suggestions?

  11. I have the option from JCPenny's. I asked my MIL for a black or dark gray blazer that I could wear with dress pants or jeans and this one delivers. Not so stiff that it looks stuffy, but a nice drape for wearing over tees and camis with softer slacks. I'm typically a size 8 with a bit of a pear shape and have long enough arms that long sleeves usually hit at bracelet length. The medium in this fits me perfectly including the curvey bits, so straighter shapes and ladies with average length arms may need some alterations.

    Thanks for the blog, Audrey. I always feel much better seeing nice outfits with items I can afford and have similar in my closet than seeing what the newest fashion magazines have.

  12. I love blazers. I have acquired quite a few over the years. They are a great way to change up an outfit. I'll be wearing a blue tweed one today with a brown sweater underneath it. Love me a blazer.

    Great post :)


  13. When I first discovered our lovely Audrey I knew I need a couple blazers, but didn't know where to start and didn't want to "waste" a bunch of money, so I went to Goodwill, etc and bought four blazers to start with so I could figure out what I like and didn't like about each before going out and buying a good blazer. And I still wear one of those trial pieces quite a bit too. I too have totally changed the way I dress, and the ease of getting dressed, thanks to putting me together! ((hugs))

  14. No problem, Priya! You weren't the only one who asked. It was a long overdue post :)

  15. There's a lot of khaki, but I can't find anything like the pretty JCrew camel either. I'll keep my eye out!

  16. I did a review of the Target Merona Oxford Blazer last year. I love them. Am obsessed with them. May have all the ones from this year's version at Target.

    Check out the post here: http://styleontarget.com/2013/12/05/target-review-merona-oxford-blazer/

    And I completely agree with you on the blue/navy blazer being the most practical. Looks great with jeans (all rinses) and with all kinds of dress pants/skirts/dresses.

    Love them!

  17. I have an awful time finding blazers because of my shoulders. A lot of the dressier ones that I found {I work in a pretty professional setting} all had shoulder pads or if they didn't, they were still really bulky in the shoulders and just made me look like a little girl wearing Mommy's clothes. The blazers I love are knit ones from Forever 21 or Charlotte Rouse that are really thin. But, those still "look" kind of cheap and more casual than I am looking for. I am also pretty short with a short torso, so finding one that hits me right is also pretty difficult. Any suggestions?

  18. Hey Jenny! How do petite sized blazers fit on you in regards to length? Also, I'm having a hard time understanding the shoulders--I get that it looks bulky in the shoulders, but is it because you have broad shoulders or shoulders that are too small and aren't filling in the jacket?

  19. You always look so cute in blazers! I am on the hunt for a greyish one, like the ones I've seen in your blog. I recently scored a JCrew École velvet blazer in dark olive green in my size! It was $5 at at a thrift store. Then I wondered how the heck do I wear this? I Googled lots of images and your blog as well. I'm going to try it tonight at an event with dark skinny jeans, heeled black ankle boots and a flannel button down.

  20. I want that Old Navy striped one, and just let my Old Navy cash expire on Wednesday! They are having 25% off though, so maybe...


  21. Nice post! I'm a huge fan of blazers with skirts, jeans, and dresses. They add a sharpness that a cardigan can't touch.


  22. I have a pretty athletic frame, so any kind of structure top has to make room for my shoulders. But, I'm petite at the same time. So I need the shortness of a petite size with roominess of a regular sizing. Does that make sense?

  23. I actually just tried on the navy blazer from Target last night and it fit funky in the shoulders. The shoulder pads go past the shoulder seams and so it just looks odd. Otherwise I was about to get it because everything else is basically perfect. I might go back and get it and see how it looks at home. Sometimes that helps ;-)

  24. Thank you so much for the shout out Audrey! What a nice Friday surprise. =D

  25. Thank you for reminding me that I need to get blazers back into my wardrobe! As someone who's slim in the torso but with heavy upper arms, I've had an awful time finding blazers that fit. My last JCrew blazer died when the material literally tore about 4in down from the shoulder seam. Do you know of any brands that tend to have wider sleeves?

    PS: Have been reading for over a year and making *much* better shopping choices since studying your blog! Thanks!!

  26. If you're looking for gray, the coral option from Kohls is also sold in gray. I have that one & love it.

  27. Ponte blazers are great and a very cheeky way to look the business at work while feeling like you are wearing you pjs ;) I have them in a grey 3/4 sleeve with a white rolled cuff boyfriend fit, hot pink with floral sleeve roll-up and coral 3/4 sleeved with tuxedo points at the front, all are great :)

  28. I second the advice that your first blazer doesn't need to be black. My first blazer was a gray tweed, then a lighter gray, collarless one, then a blue one and a yellow one, then another blue one.... Then my black one.

  29. Great post! I have been looking for blazers at Goodwill lately, but not too much luck. I am going to keep looking. I love how comfy the ponte blazers are, but I always hesitate to buy them because my experience in the past is that they look worn quickly (pilling) after washing. What has your experience been with how these wear?

  30. Hey Amanda! I don't, sorry. I would try getting blazers that fit in the arms and talking to a tailor about the cost to tailor down the rest of it to fit you.

  31. I haven't really had that problem. I usually air dry. The only other thing I can think of is quality if material.

  32. I love ponte blazers! They give you the look you need with a bit more comfort. A classic navy blazer is the perfect wardrobe staple!

  33. Thank you for all the great options!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  34. I recently bought Option 4 in Charcoal (My hubs and I both agreed it looked more casual and would go with more things). It was on sale for $29 and I used a coupon, so it ended up being about $25- talk about a win! It is very comfortable and I wore it to work paired with a solid lavender t-shirt, skinny jeans, and black ankle boots. I did find that it looked better with the sleeves rolled up- the striped detail really adds a playfulness.

  35. Option 4 comes in Charcoal, I have it and love it.


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