Every guy should have a few men’s blazers in his closet. Perhaps the ultimate menswear staple, the blazer is a simple, smart classic that goes with almost anything and adds a touch of instant cool to every outfit. You can dress them up or down, and even wear them in place of a jacket when it’s not too cold. And knowing how to style one will help you put together a great outfit on the fly.
A nice blazer can elevate a relaxed weekend outfit, making it easy to look stylish instead of sloppy. When you’re going to a friend’s BBQ or getting beers at the new craft brewery, cuff some faded men’s jeans and wear them with a pair of white sneakers and ankle socks. Add a hip tee and your favorite blazer. Put on your favorite watch, and if you need a bag, a sleek backpack slung over one shoulder will do.
A suit jacket is meant to be worn with just a shirt and perhaps a vest, so it can have a pretty close fit. A blazer, on the other hand, should be roomier so you can wear layers. So, when you’re shopping for one, try it on with other pieces underneath to make sure it looks good and still gives you enough room to move and stretch comfortably.
A blazer is perfect when you’re looking for the midpoint between casual apparel and formal wear. For dinner at a hip restaurant followed by cocktails, wear some dark wash jeans and a men’s dress shirt. Tuck it in and add a leather belt along with some oxfords or brogues. Next, slip a skinny tie around your neck, but knot it loosely to keep things looking chill. Finally, muss your hair a bit and you’re ready to go.
Suit jackets and blazers look very similar – they’re definitely siblings. But a proper suit jacket is more formal in its design, structure and finish, and someone with an eye for fashion will be able to tell in an instant if you’re repurposing one. This also means that a suit jacket will look too fancy for the casual feel you’re trying to create, so invest in a blazer that’s meant to be worn on its own.
The first crisp and cool days of autumn are a great excuse to break out your favorite men’s sweater. Wear it over a button up shirt, but leave the top couple of buttons undone so you don’t look stiff, and then put on some jeans, khakis or corduroy pants. Toss on a blazer and add a pocket square for a touch of color. You can also skip the sweater and wear a warm tweed blazer over your shirt instead. For a vintage look, go for one with suede elbow patches.
There are few fashion sins greater than an ill-fitting blazer, so look for some tell-tale signs to make sure yours isn’t the wrong size. When you button your blazer up, it shouldn’t strain or look baggy; instead, it should gently hug your midsection and flatter your build. The lapels shouldn’t look tightly pulled, nor should the shoulders seem baggy. And a little bit of your shirt should be visible around your wrists, but not the entire cuff, and your hands shouldn’t be buried under fabric, either.
Sometimes, adding one unique twist to an otherwise typical outfit can make it seem like you’ve got this style thing down pat. When you want to dress to impress, wear some wool slacks along with a pair of white sneakers and a button-up top and a black or navy blazer. Then, tie a sweater around your waist so it hangs down in back. This sophisticated combination adds texture and color to your outfit, but feels completely effortless. You can also try this look by subbing jeans and a plaid flannel.