Our fashion editor Krissy is an expert in shopping smart on the high street. She knows which pieces are worth spending that bit more on, and in this monthly column, she’ll be making the case for investment staples. This week, she tackles shopping for blazers that you’ll wear forever.
‘Krissy, it’s literally the middle of summer, why would we be shopping for blazers right now?!’ I hear you cry. Well, lovely readers, any blazer fan in the know will understand that the hunt never stops.
That perfect fit blazer (you know the one – long arms, cinches in slightly at the waist, chic colourway and slouchy fit) feels elusive, especially on the high street.
I have more blazers than I’d care to admit in my collection, and I can happily say they each tick the boxes above. How? Because I’ve employed a failsafe fit checklist for when I shop for them.
Anything less than flattering and chic doesn’t deserve a place in any of our wardrobes, so here’s how to shop for a blazer you’ll really love and feel great in…
An oversized fit always looks better
Whether you’re wearing it with matching trousers for work, or over a pastel slip dress for a wedding, a slightly oversized style is always a safer bet.
Try yours on over both a short-sleeved T-shirt and a long-sleeved top if you can, and move your arms around, bending at the elbows.
Does it feel tight? Can you move freely? Can you pull the blazer at least an inch away from you? A roomy style will be more comfortable and when you’re comfortable, you look and feel confident.
Check you can push the sleeves up
When you’re wearing each of those tops underneath, try and push the sleeves up as close to your elbows as you can get them. A sleeve with some room in it ensures you can wear it under knits in the winter, too, (as no one wants tight Michelin man arms), and thus lowering your cost-per-wear.
If you’re going for a more casual look, scrunched or rolled-up sleeves help, so it’s a key component in the checklist.
You should be able to button it up
I don’t think I’ve ever worn a blazer buttoned-up as it just feels a little stuffy, but regardless of whether you do or don’t, the ability to do the buttons up is a must. It means the overall fit of the blazer will look and feel better since it clearly won’t be too tight.
For those with bigger busts, try toying with both single and double-breasted styles to see what feels right, as it won’t be as simple as sizing up so that you can tick this box as it may throw off the rest of the fit. Speaking of which…
Shoulder seam placement is important
The seams over the top of your shoulders should ideally end where your shoulders do. In some relaxed or fashion-forward styles, they might be placed further down the arm and in those cases the fit of the arms will have been adjusted to suit.
But as a rule, if the shoulders are too far down, you risk looking like you’re drowning in your dad’s work jacket, and we’re going for flattering and chic here, remember?
Investment Shopper’s top six:
Arket’s oversized blazer
You’ll have heard me wax lyrical on this bad boy before. I have it in black and camel, and it naturally comes in an oversized fit, so stick to your normal size.
Zara’s straight cut blazer
Zara does this classic cut in different colours every season, but its summery buttermilk shade is worth shouting about.
Because Of Alice’s belted blazer
How chic is a chocolate-coloured blazer? Size up in this so that you can really cinch it in with the belt.
& Other Stories’ relaxed blazer
Linen, slouchy… What’s not to love? & Other Stories excels at pastel coloured tailoring year round.
Na-Kd’s oversized blazer
Oat and pistachio offer such a stylish twist on classic stripes and this blazer will be the centre piece of a neutral summer outfit.
COS’ regular fit blazer