Blazers exist at a crossroads; they’re a key component in bridging the gap between your casual and formal wardrobe and can be worn in a ton of different scenarios. The one keyword that will be true throughout is versatility, and it’s this versatility that makes them so essential to your wardrobe. Wear them with button-down shirts, wear them with ties and without, with chinos and denim, and even with tees. Here’s how to do it.
When narrowing down your casual blazer options there are few key points to consider. Don't just grab any suit jacket and throw it on with jeans and hit the club. Do start with an unstructured blazer. The biggest difference between structured and unstructured blazers is their shape and, therefore, their drape. Unstructured jackets hold less shape because they're typically semi-lined or unlined. Meaning, they've got some or most of the inner workings pared-down giving the jacket a lighter, softer feel. The great thing about the softer, more relaxed feel is that they're really versatile. You can dress them up on casual Friday, or at a more relaxed office, and wear them a bunch of different ways on the weekend. In terms of bang-for-your-buck ways to instantly and easily elevate your style, you can't do much better than the right casual blazer.
Keep it relatively short in the body. The fit should accommodate layers but without excessive room. The shoulder should still lay flat and the jacket sleeve should never hide the shirt sleeve entirely. At least a small band of shirt cuff should always be visible. All other suiting rules apply while keeping the underlying theme of comfort while maintaining a trim fit, in mind.
Be bold, be versatile. The casual blazer is an absolute homerun so consider many fabric options like cotton, canvas, linen, or wool, depending on the season. While a lightweight navy blazer in cotton or wool is appropriate in every season, try mixing things up with different textures and heavier fabrics as the seasons change. Look for a textile that has a more worn-in feel and allows you to dress down with a v-neck and jeans just as easily as it does dressing up with an oxford and a tie. Don't be afraid of patterns either, a solid check, plaid or houndstooth can add a nice vibe to solid denim, chinos, or dress pants.
Blazers can be considered the ultimate throw-on piece because they go with nearly everything…remember how we talked versatility? Style yours confidently with everything; a standard oxford shirt (tie or no tie), polos, knitwear, henley tees, or even just a crisp white t-shirt (trim and well-fitting, of course). If you’re new to the blazer club it’s best to pair your blazer with darkly-colored items, this will allow you to feel comfortable in any situation, from early morning meetings to late-night drinks. Blazers have a unique ability to keep you looking nicely dressed even when you’re not in the mood to wear a full suit. You’d be surprised how they are able to easily transition to and from any environment or occasion. Date? Yup. Wedding? You better believe it. 3-on-3 pick up hoops? Dicey, but hey, do you. In the end, the great thing about an essential wardrobe item like a blazer is that they make getting dressed extremely easy. Whether it’s a first date, drinks with the boys, or dinner with your boss, that sharp blazer will never appear out-of-place
Above all, embrace dressing up. Confidence goes a long way…but so does the perfect blazer.