If there’s one item every man needs to own in their wardrobe… it’s the blazer.
A well fitted blazer can dramatically change the formality of any outfit. Think about it… a white t-shirt, dark denim jeans and Chelsea boots is an outfit that appears more casual than formal. But the simple addition of a grey blazer and automatically the outfit is more formal than casual.
The immediate impact of a blazer makes it a must have item, but how do you get the most out of it?
What options do you have for wearing a blazer?
How much should you spend?
Everything is covered in this article as I team up with Arthur Shirtley and show you how.
Before we move on, here’s the blazer I chose for this article. It’s a lightweight, unstructured navy blazer from Arthur Shirtley.
It’s a classic two button blazer and made from 100% silk fabric which is woven in England. It’s a very versatile blazer, but the tonal mother-of-pearl buttons off set the colour of the blazer nicely and help create a subtle statement.
I’m going to show you 3 ways I styled it, but before I do, let’s talk about what to look for when buying a blazer.
What To Look For In A Blazer
The wrong choice of blazer can dramatically impact how stylish the overall outfit looks. Get it wrong and it could be something you wear once and hoard away in your wardrobe.
The blazer is also an item of clothing you’re likely to spend a bit of money on, and choosing the wrong option can be a waste of money.
To save time, I’m going to focus on the 2 main things to look for.
Of course, fit is easily the most important thing to focus on. A blazer that’s ill fitting won’t look good at all.
The blazer typically fits slightly looser compared to suit jackets, but that doesn’t mean you can get lazy with the tailoring.
Most blazers aren’t as structured in the shoulder area either, meaning they’re slightly more relaxed and perfect for smart/casual outfits.
When buying a blazer make sure it fits as well is it possibly can but focus on the shoulder area. Everything else (the sleeve length, the overall fit) can be tailored after purchasing.
The Arthur Shirtley blazer fitted extremely well without any alterations. Sure, there could be a few minor adjustments (if you’re fussy like me) but for a blazer bought ‘off the rack’ the fit surprised me.
If you want to find out how the blazer should fit download the free ‘Easy Guide To Fit’ below.
The other thing to consider is how versatile the blazer is. A red, silk blazer will make a statement but how often can you wear it?
Focusing on the fabric and the colour is important, because you want to make sure you can get a lot of usage from the blazer you choose.
I tend to always opt for lighter fabrics when buying a blazer as you can layer underneath in colder climates. I stick with neutral colour-ways but I like blazers that add a subtle statement… through finer detailing such as the buttons or lapel size.
You want a blazer you can dress up (with a shirt and suit trousers) but a blazer that also looks good dressed down (with a t-shirt and jeans).
It’s great to have one or two patterned or statement blazers in your wardrobe but don’t go for these without having the basics in place first.
Before buying any item of clothing (especially a blazer) ask yourself the question what can I wear this with?
How To Wear The Blazer
So now you know what to look for in a blazer and I’ve highlighted the blazer I’m going to be using for this article it’s time to give you some options on how to wear it.
These 3 options show you just how versatile a good blazer is but I could easily have shown you more.
1. Dress It Up
The obvious choice could be to dress the blazer up, which I’ve done here for the first look.
Now a blazer is similar to a suit jacket, but it obviously comes without suit trousers. Therefore it gives you the chance to rock ‘separates’, something I’m a fan of as it doesn’t look as corporate as a full suit.
This outfit is the more formal of the three and the possibilities of what I could have worn it with were endless. I decided to pair the blazer with these Stone coloured trousers that really draw attention towards the detailing in the blazer.
There more of a ‘casual’ trouser but because of the versatility of the blazer I could have easily opted for a more formal option, such as a pair of Charcoal Grey Wool trousers.
To keep the outfit formal I opted for a simple shirt and tie combination, again drawing the attention towards the blazer. I paired the Arthur Shirtley ‘West India Quay’ Shirt with a Navy Knitted Tie.
I decided to offset the blazer with a lighter tone of blue in the pocket square and completed the outfit with a pair of formal Oxford Shoes.
This outfit is perfect for formal occassions but it doesn’t look too corporate, something I wanted to try and avoid.
These photos really show you how well the blazer fits (considering it hasn’t been tailored).
2. Layer It
The second outfit takes more of a casual approach and also turns the blazer into a secondary layer.
This is why I’ve purposely chosen a lightweight, unstructured blazer to show you how it can still be used in the colder months. I’ve simply layered it underneath an overcoat for a smart/casual outfit.
I’ve chosen a ‘Mac’ but again the versatility and fit of the blazer means I could have opted for any overcoat in my wardrobe.
I’ve lost the tie from the first look and unbuttoned the shirt to keep it casual and paired it with some Selvedge denim jeans and some Double Monk Strap shoes.
This look almost represents the perfect outfit for ‘out of work’, something you could wear to a bar, casual meeting or date.
workIn this look I’ve layered it underneath an overcoat.
Again the blazer works well on it’s own with this look, so if you needed to lose the overcoat you could.
If I wanted to dress it down I’d replace the shirt with a t-shirt or sweatshirt and if I wanted to dress it up I’d replace the jeans with some chinos or wool trousers.
Ditching the pocket square also creates more of a minimal feel to the outfit, making the overall style of the outfit scream ‘effortless elegance’.
3. Lose The Shirt
Last but not least ditching the shirt and replacing it with either a t-shirt, a polo shirt, a sweatshirt or a roll neck (like I’ve done here) helps you dress the blazer down.
This is personally my favourite look of the 3 and also my favourite way to wear the blazer.
Why? It’s comfortable, it’s effortless and goes against the normality of dressing it up with a shirt and tie.
The grey wool flannel trousers dress the outfit up slightly and the Chelsea Boots add a rugged feel.
Again I’ve worn a tone of blue (navy) with the blazer to really compliment the colour and subtle detailing in the blazer.
Finer detailing is added through the pocket square, this time opting for a light grey pocket square with a subtle floral print which offsets the tone of the blazer.
It also works nicely with the colour of the trousers.
What Blazer Will You Choose?
So there we have it, 3 ways to wear a blazer alongside what to look for when buying one.
How many blazers do you own?
How do you wear one?
Share in the comments below and don’t forget to share this article with someone if you think it will help them.
Interested in the blazer I wore in the photos? Check out Arthur Shirtley for high quality, well fitted blazers and shirts.