Wide-shoulder blazers, you say, eh? I do. Soz to be the bearer of bad news (again), but it’s time to channel your inner Krystle Carrington, circa 1982. Or, in my case, Pernille Teisbaek at Paris Fashion Week in a borderline ridiculous blazer with such wide shoulders it was all a bit NFL footballer. She has a lot to answer for, that bloody Pernille, aka the exceptionally well-dressed blogger, or, rather, Instagrammer (she closed down her fashion blog last year “because nobody reads any more” – cries a million tears). Words or no words, her Instagram account turns me into a major shopaholic. Like I need any further temptation. Thanks for that.
So, yup, it’s her fault that I went in search of an “NFL blazer”, but not her fault I couldn’t find The One, as I bet the blazer she wore to Paris Fashion Week isn’t even in the shops yet. Where she has designers walking over hot coals to dress her, the rest of us have the high street, and that’s exactly where I headed. According to retailers, the blazer is such a “key” item right now we’re buying them in droves. I swear the blazer trend is singlehandedly keeping the British economy afloat. All hail the Brexit blazer!
Blazers have been part of my wardrobe since the 90s; I wear them with everything – dresses, evening frocks, jeans, jumpers, weekend-y stuff, the lot. Owning more than one blazer has prevented many “Shit, I have nothing to wear” moments and I do genuinely think owning a black tux jacket that goes with everything evening is one of those elusive “investment buys” we so often read about, but somehow never find. Right now, I’m more interested in heritage checks and wool blazers that work with denim and flared cords, if I owned any flared cords – another Pernille Instagram situation. H&M, Zara, Topshop and & Other Stories all have a great selection of slightly box-cut blazers that remind me of the one my Uncle Steve used to wear to the pub on Christmas Day. Sleeves rolled up, fag in one hand, pint in the other, doused in Brut aftershave, gold chains everywhere, he was a total mid-80s legend. Minus the aftershave and fags, I wear mine in a not-too-dissimilar way – checked blazers look great worn over a T-shirt on a night-out “down” the pub. Ditto slung over shoulders in the manner of a 1980s TV star or, like my Uncle Steve, a gasman from Manchester…
I imagine Pernille’s blazer was donated by Balenciaga or Céline. Good job a few Saturdays ago, on my way to the car park, laden with Peppa Pig pants for my daughter, Martha, I took a shortcut through the menswear department. It was the fabric that first caught my eye – a perfect shade of dark grey with a subtle herringbone weft. With no clue how menswear sizing works, I chose the smallest-looking one on display, a size 38, and was surprised to find it fitted across my back, around the neck and even lengthwise.
Of course, the arms were four centimetres too long, but I shoved them up, just like Uncle Steve, and because a blazer designed for a man, is, generally speaking, too wide on the shoulder – TA-DAH! – the “NFL blazer” of my dreams. “I’m going to get this,” I said to Martha. “Looks cool, don’t you think?” “Looks like your other jacket, Mummy.” Yes, I thought, almost exactly like my other grey blazer, but this one has wide shoulders. This one looks just like Pernille’s