If I look back through my wardrobe, there is one particular item that I have been wearing for years; blazers. In different colours and slightly different shapes, I add one in every year but am still wearing those bought eight years ago. That’s the joy of a great tailored jacket.
You might have noticed a renewed interest in blazers as of late. Not only were they on the catwalks and therefore “in” for spring (FYI they are also going to be popular next season), they really come into their own at this time of the year when it’s too warm for a heavy coat but not hot enough to do a Phil Collins (no jacket required).
Whilst you might be getting a few unwanted flashbacks of school uniform about now, I urge you to think again. A good blazer is one of the most useful things you can have hanging in your wardrobe. They work with denim, stripes, whichever shape of trousers float your boat, maxi/midi/mini skirts and over dresses. (If you’ve got a wedding this spring then think about going for a blazer as your cover-up jacket instead of a shrug/bolero type thing. Much more modern.)
This season you can take your pick from printed (very Gucci), oversized (very Celiné), cropped (very Saint Laurent) double breasted (very Chanel), as well as checked, coloured, belted or just good old classic navy and black. I’ve been and tried the whole lot on and rounded up the very best.
The one that will make you reconsider double-breasted
We can’t talk about blazer without talking about double-breasted – very 80s but bear with me. These were among the most popular on the spring catwalks and are surprisingly flattering. If you’re interested then head to Zara, the reigning champ of blazers. Whilst the quality is perhaps questionable in other garments, when it comes to blazers, they’ve always had it nailed. Some of my oldest jackets are from there.
I love this unusual bottle green number that has a great shape, is made from light weight fabric and the perfect foil for denim, white, black or navy. It comes in sizes XS - XL – I'm wearing the medium which is around a 12.
The checked one
Whilst checked jackets might be having a fashion moment right now, in real life they can look a little Countryfile. Avoid this by wearing one with a pair of trainers and a logo T-shirt. Very eclectic, very Gucci, but at high street prices. Alternatively, try one over cropped, straight trousers, a shirt and loafers for days in the office. And there in lies the versatility of the blazer.
This one from Next is the best version I've found. It comes up a tiny bit small, so if you are between sizes, size up.
The one that will make you feel like a French fashion editor
If you don’t have a navy blazer in your arsenal then I would strongly recommend you think about getting on. This one from Jigsaw is a slight variation on the classic with an inverted lapel and single button fastening. It’s on the pricey side but looks expensive and essentially turns you into the editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris, Emmanuelle Alt, as soon as you put it on. Go the whole hog with a breton, boyfriend jeans and stilettos. It does come up small – I have the 12 on here and it’s a not generous 12.
The one that works for weekend and office
How about a stripe? This well-priced boxy number from Next would work with pale jeans and a grey or navy T-shirt for a quick weekend uniform, or as a great work jacket over smart grey jogger-style trousers and a silky top.
The one worth shelling out for
This one is from the lovely Modern Rarity collection at John Lewis. Nipped in at the waist and with a fabulous cut-away detail at the cuff, it elevates a simple T-shirt and jeans to something a bit special. It’s available size 8-18 and is true to size.
The one with shoulder pads
There was one blazer I just couldn’t say no to; it sang to my inner Dynasty fangirl and won the keys to my purse. Navy, double breasted, military buttons, longline – it’s got the lot. It also has shoulder pads – yes, shoulder pads. Surprisingly flattering. Sizes run XS to L and here I'm wearing a medium.