How to A Wear Blazer and Jeans

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Nina from sharing a journey wearing a blazer and jeans.  This post is about how to style blazers and jeans

Have you ever wondered how to wear a blazer and jeans to get that casual chic look? There is no outfit so universally classic as a blazer with jeans. In fact, I would venture to say that a good blazer worn over an average outfit will take you almost anywhere. If you love an elevated classic look–or call it casual chic if you prefer–you should own a couple of great blazers and a few pair of good jeans. The beauty of wearing a blazer and jeans combination is that even though many people have the same pieces in their wardrobes, you can make the look your own.

In today’s post we are going to talk about how to wear a blazer and jeans, what a blazer is and how to choose a good one, as well as styling options for blazer and jeans outfits you can create from the clothing you already have at home.

What is a blazer?

A blazer is a tailored garment made with darts, shoulder pads, a lining, lapels, and, traditionally have three buttons at the front—though now we see double breasted blazers as well. While blazers are made of many types of fabrics, classic blazers are made of wool, cotton or linen.

People often ask what is the difference between a blazer and a jacket—a jacket is a term used for many styles of short, light weight overcoats, including bush jackets, moto jackets and of course, blazers.  A blazer can be sonorous with a suit jacket, depending on the style of suit jacket—a blazer usually has three buttons-suit jackets can be embellished and finished in several additional ways, such as a zipper or belt.

Blazers were once the providence of collegiate oarsmen as a part of their warm up kit—and were often made in bright colors, in fact, blazers got their name when members of the Cambridge Lady Margaret Boat Club turned up in blazing red jackets which were described as blazers.  The moniker stuck and blazers have become a part of most people’s wardrobes.  That’s also why people refer to this type of jacket as a sports jacket, even though people no longer wear this style for sport.

Tailored jackets for women began to make the mainstream for women when Coco Chanel designed a jacket and matching skirt in 1914.  In 1964, Andre Courreges created the pants suit  for women, which caught on slowly until the 1980s when women began wearing pants in public in greater numbers.  Pant suits continue to be popular for work attire today.     

In the 1980’s selling suits as separates became popular, which encouraged both men and women to wear their suit jackets with other skirts, and trousers in their wardrobes.  This allowed people to  create a variety of looks with just a few pieces.  In fact, building capsules around suits is a great way to create a great wardrobe.

Shop this Look: The Blazer shown here is pricy, but I have one and love it. It is beautifully made and fits like a dream. It absolutely goes with everything-so if you are considering getting a “forever” blazer, you should consider this one. I’ve shown it with a simple white t-shirt which is longer in back–a feature I love. I have these jeans and absolutely love them. If you want a long leg look, this is it.

B(air) Denim Jeans

Veronica Beard White Crew neck T-shirt

Veronica Beard Miller Dickey Blazer

Nordstrom Suddenly Slide

How Blue Jeans Became a Wardrobe Staple 

Everyone knows the story of Levi Strauss, the creator of blue jeans, and we all know that for many, many years, blue jeans were worn by workers and trades people because they were practical and inexpensive. When hippies began wearing in the 1960’s as a political statement,  blue jeans began to hit the main stream, though women were not allowed to wear pants to work until the mid 1980’s.  Jeans were not allowed in the work place until the late 1990’s when casual Fridays became popular.  While many companies allow jeans in the work place, financial and legal companies often do not.

In 1980, Calvin Klein changed the jean-scape by creating massive buzz around his expensive  and super sexy blue jeans.  Everyone had to have a pair and jeans soon became a wardrobe staple.  A garment that was once worn for yard work made its way into daily wear from date night to casual Fridays and are even worn to business meetings in some industries.   Be sure to check your company’s dress code before wearing jeans to work for the first time.

Shop this look:

Here I’m sharing a Carmel colored J, Crew Blazer, and light blue shirt, also by J.Crew along with Good American White Denim Jeans. I love the detail on the shirt which can be worn tucked in, out or belted.

Good American Classic White skinny jean

J Crew Blazer

J Crew light blue shirt

The combination of blazers and jeans or a sport jacket and jeans became popular in the 1990’s and carries through as a wardrobe staple to this day.

Before we go further, we need to get a few basics out fo the way.  To assemble the perfect jeans and blazer outfit, you need to know a little about yourself and how to find the right blazer and jeans for your body.  Once you have that sorted out, you can begin to collect and style them in different ways.  

The thing that make casual chic looks work is the attention paid up front to get really good quality clothing.  Not only will they give off that casual chic vibe we all go for but will also be better on your budget in the long run as high quality clothing tends to wear better and last longer.

How to Find the Right Blazer

Blazers come in a variety of lengths, silhouettes, and fits. Blazers can be as long as mid thigh, or can be cropped to a length just below the waist.  Longer blazers create a streamlined effect, and can often hide a wider hip or a tummy so long as the length falls below the widest part of the hip and the front buttons across the stomach.  Cropped blazers create a longer looking leg, especially when paired with a dark wash straight leg jean. Cropped blazers are great on petite women or those who want to create a long line, but aren’t great for people who want to camouflage their behinds.  To add shape to your body, look for darts that narrow at the waistline.  Thinner fabrics can reduce bulk, while thicker fabrics hold shape a little better.  

A good quality blazer will lay flat and smooth at the shoulders, along the sleeve and at the seams.  Patterns will line up across the front and at the side seams.  Good blazers are also lined and hang nicely from the shoulders. Button holes are finished, lapels lay flat, and there is no pulling at across the front when the jacket is buttoned.  The hemline should be even, straight and should hold its shape.

The boxy or oversized blazer became popular in the 1980’s and were often worn with skinny jeans or leggings.  The trend has re-emerged over the past couple of years and are now trending with wide belts to create an hourglass silhouette.  You will often see the boxy or oversized blazer in lighter weight fabrics to reduce bulk and this type of blazer has been shown with shorts as well as jeans in recent seasons.

If you have a suit jacket you love, you can easily use it when styling a jacket and jeans combination.  Take note of what you love about the way you look in your current jackets and suits and look for the same features in blazers when you shop.

Shop this Look: I couldn’t believe the price on this blazer! The whole outfit is super chic and very affordable.

J Crew Charcoal Wash

Nordstrom Blazer- Can’t believe the price!

Madewell Soft Cotton Shirt

Red Bootie

Finding the right jeans:

Jeans can not only be tricky to find size wise, they come in a wide range of colors and finishes which can be super confusing when you first start looking for your ideal pair of denim jeans.  I have written about this in a previous post you can read here.  

In short, hour glass and pear shaped silhouettes look great in boot cut and flair jeans, the longer and straighter the leg of the jean the longer your legs will  look.  Apple and straight bodies look best in a lower rise while pear and curvy look best with a higher rise.  

Once you have found the perfect jeans for your body type, you can play with color and wash.  For a classic look, a dark wash or a black jean is a great choice.  If you are going for a casual chic look, look for  jeans in lighter shades or maybe even distressed denim.  For a dresser look, I recommend dark denim, they look great for a variety of casual occasions and are especially good in the winter months.  Black jeans are also a great choice when you are going for a dressier look and are nice for a dinner date.  

What is the best top to wear with a blazer and jeans outfit?

  1. A white or blue shirt are great classic choices.  These shirts can be worn tucked in for a formal look, or can be worn out and slightly below the bottom of a blazer for a perfect look.
  2. A good quality white t-shirt whether v-neck or round neck always look great for blazer outfits
  3. Sweaters are also great additions to jean outfits as are silky camisoles if you are going for a smart casual look.  

Play a little with your wardrobe, these pieces along with a few great tops will create a range of different outfits and be sure to have a great time creating your own take on these beautiful pieces.

List of Wardrobe Staples for the best Blazer Jean Combinations.

  1. Invest in good suits and jackets-buy with the though of building lots of outfits around each blazer or suit.
  2. Invest in the best white shirts you can find.  White t-shirts, turtle necks, and button up shirts provide the foundation for a number of blazer outfits.
  3. Don’t be afraid to throw a wild card:  blazers with a graphic t-shirt, or an unexpected pattern looks amazing.
  4. Mix fabrics to create your own signature look, for example, a lacy camisole with a leather blazer, velvet with silk, knit with cotton.
  5. Layer your outfits-don’t be afraid to wear long white shirt under a shorter length blazer. 
  6. Play with length- a cropped blazer will elongate your legs, and oversized blazer looks great with skinny jeans.
  7. You can wear any type of footwear you love—great blazer and jean combinations are often punctuated with unexpected footwear, like cowboy boots, or a great pair of stilettos.  Equally good are a pair of white sneakers, combat boots or a pair of traditional loafers.

When building a modern classic wardrobe (you can read more about the modern classic style here) Consider starting by purchasing a great blue blazer, they look great with dark wash jeans as well as white jeans for the summer months.  A classic black blazer is also a great choice—they look great with blue as well as black denim.  

Blazers and jeans are a beloved outfit combination the world over.  I hope these tips will help you create great outfits.

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