One of the most frequent questions I receive from women is how to wear a blazer and look casual. I have a feeling that most of these questions come from women who have previously worn blazers and even suits when dressing for their professional life, so they struggle a little with seeing this classic jacket as a casual completer piece. So today – while I share two new favorite red blazers – I’m sharing a few thoughts on how to style a blazer casually.
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I’m sharing two new blazers in my personal wardrobe today. Red is really trending this year, and there are so many shades to choose from. You can certainly find warm red jackets, too, but both of these have cool undertones. I’ll provide links to everything I’m wearing in the captions of a few of the photos as well as in a shopping widget at the end of the post.
In both of these outfits I’m wearing a white tee and dark wash jeans, but you can create other casual blazer outfits, too, of course. I just kept the essentials the same in both outfits to illustrate my tips.
Tip #1 – Pair your blazer with jeans.
The easiest way to achieve a casual look with a blazer is by wearing it with jeans. Honestly, I believe you can wear absolutely any blazer you purchase or already have in your closet with jeans and look great. This outfit combo has been trending for well over five years now, and I don’t see it going out of style any time soon. The blazer elevates the jeans, and the jeans help the blazer feel more casual. Score!
Tip #2 – Use the 2X2 outfit formula.
Remember the 2×2 outfit formula I shared in this blog post? One of my favorite ways to work that formula is with a blazer and one other elevated garment or accessory plus two more casual pieces. In this outfit I’d say the blazer and pointed toe flats are the elevated pieces and the jeans and basic white tee are the casual choices. But you could also pair the blazer with elevated black trousers and then wear casual sneakers and tee. You get it.
Tip #3 – Add fun, casual jewelry.
Jewelry can really help set the tone of an outfit. So wear more casual but still classy jewelry with your blazer outfit. In the outfit above I wore a fun, glittery bracelet and an equally joyful giraffe brooch (no longer available). I think those paired with the simple coin necklace and hoop earrings help keep this blazer outfit casual, whereas something like pearls would elevate it.
Tip #4 – Wear or carry casual accessories.
In both looks I’ve carried classic, but casual leather handbags. And in the outfit below I’ve added a casual leather belt. Even these accessories help to keep this elevated closet staple looking more relaxed.
By the way, the berry red blazer above runs a tad on the large side or TTS; I’m wearing a misses 8. Right now it is 30% off for Talbots cardholders when you use your Talbots card. And later this week it will be 30% off for everyone. Let’s move on to the second outfit, which is quite similar. But this time I’m wearing a new Veronica Beard dickey blazer in azalea oxblood. I purchased this blazer with Nordy notes. Score!
Tip #5 – Wear your blazer over a simple, solid t-shirt.
As much as I love a pretty blouse or cashmere sweater, nothing looks more casual under a blazer than a simple, solid t-shirt. But this combination is very modern and elegant, too. If you’d like an even more casual look, reach for a graphic t-shirt.
Tip #6 – Choose elevated but casual footwear.
Again, I love wearing pumps with a blazer and jeans. But more casual footwear options will help keep your look more relaxed. I generally opt for flats, boots or sneakers. For some reason I’m not a huge fan of loafers with blazers…generally. That’s not to say I would never wear that combination, but I think loafers can make a blazer appear a little school girlish. Know what I mean?
Tip #7 – Wear a blazer with some casual details.
While I maintain that any blazer can look casual, you can ensure that your outfit looks more relaxed by wearing a blazer that has some casual details such as elbow patches (see above), faux wood buttons, corduroy or even raw edges.
Tip #8 – Wear an additional casual completer piece or dickey with your blazer.
These days you’ll find a variety of blazers with removable hoods or dickeys. But Veronica Beard has been creating these versatile blazers for years. I love the functionality of the dickey blazers. You can easily zip and button in a hoodie (like the one I’m wearing here), a denim jacket or a sweater dickey. That means you don’t add the heat and bulk of a whole jacket or sweater, just the parts that show. (NOTE: Those dickeys are sold separately, and neither the blazers nor the dickeys are inexpensive.)
And here’s my final and most important tip: Just wear your blazer and enjoy it. I think the second reason I get this question about how to wear a blazer and look casual so often is that many women are concerned about appearing more dressed up than their lunch partners or friends or sister, etc. But that’s really just a mental game we have to get past. If you wear your blazer…with the tips I’ve shared above…and then smile and laugh and be friendly, you absolutely will look casual and not over-dressed. Relax. Maybe that’s a big part of pulling off this look. Yes, stand up straight and walk with confidence. But also relax and enjoy showing up as a modern, well-dressed woman. That will put others at ease and achieve what you’re looking for.
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Blessed for My Day
This visit home I didn’t get to go to church with my parents because my mom has been a little ill. But often I go to her Sunday school class with her when I visit. I love those women. Many of them are the women who “raised me,” know what I mean? They were beside my mom as she raised me and my mom cheered them on as they reared their children, my friends.
At the end of each of their Sunday morning classes someone closes in prayer while they all hold hands. And then they close their time together by wholeheartedly and prayerfully reciting Psalm 19:14, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.” I think this is such a beautiful prayer, and worthy of passing our lips each morning as we begin our days. Oh, to always think and speak in a way that pleases our Lord.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer. ~ Psalm 19:14