Shopping For: Blazers

 – By Teresa Greenfeld – 

Blazers are like men.  There are those we buy impulsively, and while lovely to look at, are simply not worth the expense.  Almost immediately, the threads start to fray, hems come undone, and they end up falling apart when we need them the most.

There are those we hang onto forever, not because they’re particularly spectacular, but because they’re comfortable and serve their purpose.  We hang onto them, perhaps because we’re reluctant to spend the money, to really invest, in one that will be with us forever. What if we get sick of it? Or it gets stained?

Then there are those that, from the moment we see them, we know: we’ve found the one.  The one that makes all our other clothes look chicer, newer, even more expensive.  We find ourselves wanting to wear it all the time (it goes with everything), and we wonder why we ever bothered with all the others that came before.

Here’s your guide to finding the one.  Because behind every great woman is a great..blazer.  Ahem, ON every great woman.

Defining Thy Waist

For those that crave an hourglass physique, a blazer that’s nipped in at the middle creates the illusion of definition.When shopping, you’ll want to look for ones that flair out slightly at the bottom, like this Vivienne Westwood (right). Another great trick: add a belt around (or underneath) a boyfriend or looser cut blazer.

The Tallest in all the Land

If you’re of the vertically challenged persuasion, look for a blazer that hits higher on the hip. Too low, and it may cut the body in half, making you look shorter.  What to look for: petite proportions and vertical seams, like IMPROVD’s Rayne Jacket (left). The unexpected zip closure will also elongate your torso, making you look inches taller.

Objects in the (Too Big) Blazer Appear Larger Than They Are

When trying to hide a few extra LB’s, don’t think that the bigger the blazer, the smaller you’ll look in it.  It just looks sloppy, and you actually end up looking bigger than you actually are.  Wearing one that is slightly fitted, that skims the body nicely will look much more polished.

A Shoulder to Balance On

A structured, statement shoulder can balance out a pear shape.  Look for blazers whose shoulders keep their shape, even when taken off.  The jackets from Olivier Theyskens collection for Theory (left) are genius.  Not only do they have the perfect shoulder, but the ‘V’ cut on the back of the neck allows it to fall beautifully over the body.

It’s the Little Things

Trying to make your chest look bigger?  Look for wide, ruffled, detailed or embellished lapels. This will add inches with out adding bulk. Want to hide a little belly? The details matter.  They’ll draw the eye to, or away from, certain areas.  A blazer with pockets on the bottom or sides is great for the gal who wants to add curves, but not so great if you’re looking to minimize the hip.  Haute Hippie’s Suede Fringe Jacket (right) will be your new best friend- it’ll hide a multitude of sins with it’s curtain of fringe, and just reeks bohemian cool.

 Play by the Rules (especially the most important one):

Pay attention to buttons.  A blazer that fastens below your bust, like this Alex & Eli one (left), and forms a long, skinny “V”  will draw the eye down, elongating your silhouette, and is super slimming.

The most important rule: Love your tailor. Clothing is cut based on fit models, and then scaled up or down.  This means if you happen to be a different body type than the fit model, you will have to do up or down in size to fit certain areas.  Alterations are the saving grace in your wardrobe and can make even the most inexpensive item look like you dropped a mortgage payment on it.

The only way to find the perfect blazer (or man) is to try on as many as you can.  When you find the perfect one, you’ll know.

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