How should a blazer fit? That is the question. A blazer is one of those fashion items that can either make you look like a million bucks or it can make you look like a clown. The key is learning how to make a blazer fit properly.
First, why is it called a blazer?
According to Town and Country Magazine, the popularized term “blazer” goes back to 1952 when folks began to refer to the blazing red jacket as a blazer. However, the phenomenon of calling the jacket a “blazer” goes back much earlier than the 1950s. In the 19th century, universities like Oxford referred to their jackets as “blazers.” And because a blazer was often associated with a young generation of academics and athletes (e.g. rowers), the stylistic message communicated by the apparel was a tad more casual and free-spirited. However, the blazer was always intended to make the wearer look smart and sharp.
Blazers are surprisingly versatile and can work for many occasions from formal to semi-formal and casual. The key is knowing how to wear the blazer properly so it isn’t a fashion faux pas distraction to you and those around you.
How to wear a blazer
First: A blazer is not intended to be worn with matching pants. The color of your blazer should complement your pants, but not match your pants. Good idea: blue blazer and khaki pants. Bad idea: blue blazer with blue pants.
Second: The fit of the blazer should reflect the fit of your pants. In other words, if your pants are slim fit, you should wear a slim-fitting blazer (and shirt). If you get this rule wrong, you’ll look a little silly.
Third: The blazer should be wrinkle-free. You can do this by having your blazer dry-cleaned and hanging it between uses. Spot clean with something like a Tide pen or Melaleuca Pre Spot.
Fourth: When seated, always unbutton your blazer. If you do button the blazer, only button the top button and only do so when standing.
Fifth: The fabric of the blazer should compliment the fabric of the pants. If you have a heavy fabric blazer, don’t wear it with a very light linen fabric pant.
Sixth: If you want to go for a more formal look, avoid wearing unstructured blazers. Unstructured blazers are those that are softer and more flexible, such as what you might find at American Eagle. Structured blazers, as you’d find at a Men’s Wearhouse, are more suited (pun not intended) for formal occasions.
Seventh: Suit jackets typically do not work well as a blazer. The reason is they are just a little too formal and too structured. If you want to make your suit work for a semi-casual event, though, consider wearing the full suit with a t-shirt.