How to Style a Blazer

If you haven’t already figured it out, I love blazers! Not only do I love them but I wear them to work basically everyday regardless of if I am meeting with clients. What can I say, I’m hooked.

It took me a while but I finally figured out the proper “formula” for creating an outfit for work with a blazer. For those of you with blazers in your closet but don’t quite know how to style it for the office, or otherwise, I’m hoping you find this post helpful.

Long/Oversized Blazers

I would categorize a long or oversized blazer as one where the hemline falls past your hips. I used to struggle styling this type of blazer which is ironic because most of my blazers fall into this long and oversized category. The winning formula when styling a long blazer is to pair it with a bottom that hits at your natural waist or higher. These could be your tried and true work pants, high waisted “paperbag” pants or a favorite skirt that hits at or above your hips.

Long Blazer + High Waisted Pants
Long Blazer + High Waisted Skirt

I would caution you against styling a long/over-sized blazer with a simple sheath or shift dress. The combination of these loose and oversized pieces do little for the figure and the outfit looses all its movement which can creates a very dull look.

Styling Guidelines – Long/Oversized Blazers

Hemline: Hits at or below hips.

Embrace: Bottoms that hit at hips or higher.

Avoid: Sheath or shift dresses.

Fitted Blazers

In contrast to the long/oversized blazer is the fitted blazer. A fitted blazer should fit nicely through the shoulders and torso and have a hemline that falls to your hips. A fitted blazer is styled best with a high waisted bottom (work pant or skirt) or dress.

Fitted Blazer + High Waisted Skirt
Fitted Blazer + Fit & Flare Dress

The beauty of a fitted blazer is that it can be styled with all types and silhouettes of dresses including shifts and sheaths. For this reason, a black fitted blazer will always be a staple in my wardrobe so that I can mix and match to my heart’s content with different styles of dresses.

Fitted Blazer + Sheath Dress

Personally, I avoid wearing fitted blazers with work pants that hit at my hips. The combination of the pant line and blazer hemline both hitting at my hips draws more attention than I’d like to that area. This is a personal preference but something to be aware of when mixing these styles.

Styling Guidelines – Fitted Blazer

Hemline: Hits at hips.

Embrace: Dresses and high waisted bottoms.

Avoid: Bottoms that hit at hips or lower.

Cropped

A cropped blazer can be defined as any blazer that hits above your hips. This could means the hemline could fall somewhere between your hips and waist. For some reason, I have a handful of cropped blazers even though this is my least favorite type of blazer to style.

The reason I am not a huge fan of the cropped blazer is because the styling options are somewhat limited in an office setting. To make a cropped blazer work, you need to either pair it with a bottom that meets the hemline of the blazer at your waist, pair it with a blouse that doesn’t look sloppy un-tucked or a dress. I don’t own many pants or skirts that are THAT high waisted so my options most days are limited to dresses or tops that can be worn un-tucked and still office appropriate.

Cropped Blazer + High Waisted Skirt
Cropped Blazer + Peplum Top + Work Pants

Tops that look nice un-tucked with paired with a cropped blazer include tops with a peplum, lace or eyelet hemline. Once again, this narrows down the pool of tops that can be worn with a cropped blazer which leaves us with dresses.

Cropped Blazer + Shift Dress

From the dress front, a cropped blazer can go with any type of dress silhouette with the exception of a drop waist dress. Please do not try this at home!

Styling Guidelines – Cropped Blazer

Hemline: Hits above hips.

Embrace: Dresses and high waisted bottoms.

Avoid: Bottoms that hit a hips and drop hem dresses.

Printed

These next few blazer types are focused on the material or print of the jacket and is not specific to the fit of the blazer. It should go without staying but if I am styling a long printed blazer, I am going to follow the same styling guidelines for a long blazer.

When styling a printed blazer, it’s important to keep in mind the four elements that create a standout look. The punchline of that post is that less it more when styling an outfit. Whenever a blazer is added to an outfit, you are already creating varying lengths in a look. Adding in a print or texture leaves you with the option to go all in on color or add something unexpected. I personally always lean into adding color and will add a top or bottom that accents the print or makes it pop.

Long Plaid Blazer + Colored Pants
Long Plaid Blazer + High Waisted Pleated Skirt

Textured

A textured blazer should be styled similarly to a printed blazer following the same styling guidelines above. I tend to think of a texture or tweed as something more unexpected and therefore lean away from the three color rule and pick an outfit that is more mono-chromatic. But again, that is a personal choice, a textured blazer would look just as beautiful styled with a complimentary three-color combination.

Fitted Textured Blazer + High Waisted Pants
Long Textured Blazer + Work Pants

Colored

Saving the best type of blazer for last! You all know how much I love my pink blazers! Truthfully, I don’t own another solid color blazer besides pink so these style tips will be somewhat specific to this color but could be revised for whatever color blazer makes you the most happy!

When it comes to incorporating a color, it’s all about creating a cohesive color palet. For pink, I typically stick with the following color combinations:

  • Pink, Black and White
  • Pink, Navy Blue and White
  • Pink, Light Blue and White
  • Pink, Grey and White
  • Pink, Grey and Camel
  • Pink, Burgundy and White

Bonus points if I can include a fun print or texture!

Fitted Pink Blazer + Floral Dress
Long Pink Blazer + Tweed Skirt
Fitted Pink Blazer + Plaid Work Pant

Well there you have it, my blazer styling guide. This is basically the same as what goes on in my head every morning when getting dressed for work. I typically start with a blazer and build the outfit from there based on these styling guidelines.

I hope you found this helpful and that it allows you to build some new outfits when shopping your closet!

Happy Styling!

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