Looking good is part art & self-expression and part math and science. For decades, I ignored the math and science part (like high school all over again) and just focused on the artistic and expressive side. And my wardrobe was a hot mess. Even at 20, I found it hard to put together flattering outfits without using some of the basic principles of flattery and proportion that I later learned. When I did learn them, they changed everything.
In today’s video, I show you how to style different types of blazers, and why some combinations work better than others. As I started shooting and compiling clips for this video, it just grew. Because there are many types of jackets. And many outfits to pair them with. Eventually, I narrowed it down to 8 jackets and 4 outfits, for 32 possible combinations. And I show you every one, and why it works (or doesn’t work).
You might want to take notes. 🙂 Here, how to pick, pair, and wear a blazer.
The Types of Blazers
There are 4 characteristics of blazers that we can take into account.
- Length: Cropped (around the waist), Classic (hip length-ish), and long (below the hip to mid-thigh)
- Fit: Fitted, Classic (tailored but not oversized), and Oversized
- The Fabric: Drapey and unlined or Structured
- The Waist: Defined or Undefined
The Rule of Opposites
While pants are generally easier to style with blazers than skirts, the Rule of Opposites makes styling blazers with outfits much easier. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Pair loose with fitted
- Pair long with short
- Pair structured with flowy
Structured with structured, however, works well, because structured pieces are inherently more flattering.
As you’ll see in this video and post, the hardest pieces to style are the oversized ones.
Blazers with Midi Skirts
Longer jackets are the hardest to pair with midi skirts. These are in order of flattery, with the Veronica Beard jacket, with its defined waist and tailored fit, working the best in this combination.
Shorter jackets are a more natural pairing with midi skirts (see the rule of opposites – long + short works well). Here are the jackets with this skirt in order from best to worst.
Blazers with Short Skirts
Shorter skirts (anything at or above the knee) look best with longer and more oversized jackets, especially if the skirt is fitted. (Rule of Opposites). They look especially chic and modern with a jacket that ends at the hem, or just below, as well as full-length coats.
Short skirts look less modern when paired with short jackets, especially when both pieces are fitted.
Blazers with Trousers
Trouser style pants have more volume through the leg and the tummy, but are also high-waisted, which helps with the flattery under blazers. Their length and their volume make them a natural pairing with shorter fitted blazers.
Longer jackets are a little harder to pair with these pants, especially if they are oversized, but they still work.
Blazers with Slim Pants
I chose a pair of jeans here to show how effortlessly blazers pair with slimmer pants. This is where the new oversized blazer silhouettes really shine.
Shorter oversized jackets work well with slim pants and jeans, but the more fitted ones look a little dated.