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6 Times You Should Wear a Blazer Outside the Office

September 06, 2019 | Filed in: Your Closet

A couple years ago, I found myself in a clothing rut. It was the end of a long winter, in that painful period of time when you are sick of everything you own and the weather hasn’t changed enough to merit swapping out your wardrobe for the next season. I’d open my closet doors and stare into the abyss, unmoved by every option, and inevitably settle for dark denim jeans, a button-up blouse, and a standby cardigan. I looked and felt the definition of “blah.” 

Then, one day, I was out to lunch when a jacket across the restaurant caught my eye. It was a deep navy blue, double-breasted, in a fabric I couldn’t place but appeared to be slightly stretchy. My need to know more rose above my hesitance, and I strode across the floor to the woman in the blazer. She was delighted to show me the label. She said that she wore the blazer on days when she wanted to look fresh and pulled together without too much work. I took that wisdom to heart and started hunting for my own version. 

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Now, I can triumphantly report that a blazer is my a wardrobe staple, too—the one I turn to whenever I need a shot of chic or to blow up my seasonal doldrums. The takeaway? The next time you can’t decide what to wear, consider brushing past the old faithfuls to the perfect blazer. Here are six scenarios in which to show off your new go-to garment, and styling tips for each one.  

The situation: parent-teacher conference.

You last ran into your kid’s homeroom teacher at the grocery store. You’d dashed in for a gallon of almond milk, most definitely wearing Uggs and pajama pants printed in tiny teddy bears. You have regretted the choice ever since, because when you bumped into each other, Teacher looked impossibly chic. Luckily, you have a school conference coming up so you can show her that you know how to dress like a grownup with a relaxed, cool mom vibe and an “effortlessly” pulled-together look. 

What to wear: The Ross blazer in deep indigo over the matching Ruth dress and the Ginger pump.

The situation: Casual Friday.

You work in an office that is super buttoned-up Monday through Thursday but goes buck wild on Fridays, to the extent that it makes you consider mounting an anonymous PSA against leggings-as-pants. You want to raise the bar, but don’t want to play fashion police. Instead of pinning a passive-aggressive note on the break room fridge, you decide to rise above and top your casual gear with a chic jacket. Cut to: Your colleagues see you as an inspirational style-setter and soon abandon their cargo shorts for more polished attire. 

What to wear: The Dietrich jacket with a pair of slim pants and low-profile white leather tennis shoes. 

The situation: date night at a cute new wine bar.

Congratulations! You and your romantic partner have managed to plan an evening that will require you to turn off Netflix and get off the couch. You’re going to meet up right after work, so today’s outfit will require some strategizing. You contemplate pairing your favorite cardigan with an office-friendly skirt and top ensemble… and think better of it. How about that chic blazer I wore to my last board meeting instead? 

What to wear: The Merritt jardigan in sandy beige with a pair of comfortable, relaxed-fitting pants. Swap in statement jewelry, like the Velma earrings, around 5:30 p.m. 

The situation: a weekend trip with your girlfriends.

You and your crew have rented an Airbnb, having decided to briefly relive your college years (only without the frat parties and crop tops). Your packing list is pretty short, but you know you’re going to need a layer or two. In the past, that would have meant a jean jacket. But you realize that the right blazer could transition from a farmer’s market to dinner at the elegant restaurant your BFF has been obsessed with trying. 

What to wear: the Woolf jardigan in taupe. Pair it with classic black pants or your favorite blue jeans in the morning, then swap in the Jessica dress and sandals for dinner.  

The situation: post-workout brunch on a weekend morning.

It’s likely you’ve found yourself in this situation before and worn a zip-up athletic sweatshirt over your yoga gear. While there’s no shame in the athleisure game, we challenge you to mix it up and go beyond Lycra. 

What to wear: Instead of a track jacket or hoodie, try the Moreland jacket, which was designed precisely to feel like a tracksuit. Pair it with the matching Cobble Hill skirt for the most polished brunch ensemble of all time.

The situation: when you need a confidence boost.

There’s a reason that blazers are half of the ensemble dubbed a “power suit.” Whether you’re meeting a potential new client, going on a first date, or trotting to the dog park, a blazer is the item that will make you feel instantly pulled together. It’s got superpowers that will relieve all your style anxiety—which means you can focus on the rest of your life and whatever else might land in your lap. 

What to wear: A top that makes you feel chic—whether that’s a fitted white tee or a silk blouse—with the Bansal blazer and the Shaw pant, both in scuba. Depending on the day, pair with leather sneakers, heels, or a boot that says “I mean business.”


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Elizabeth Kiefer is a writer and editor based in Brooklyn Read more of Elizabeth's posts.


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