Thursday, June 18, 2009

Reader Question: How to Choose a Blazer?

Dear Thrifty,

Please help. I'm terrible at being able to pull off that polished look. I see so many women who wear blazers/jackets and they always look great. I however can never seem to find the correct style to go with the outfit. Can you help me? I'm 5'3" and pear shaped in build but not overweight.

Blazers are faaaaabulous-- the very best way for anyone with any kind of issues with their body (and that's all of us, right?) to look amazing and feel smokin' hot! Stacy and Clinton call it being "locked and loaded," because if you buy the right one it will flatter your figure endlessly and camoflauge any less desirable aspects..

For your height and shape, Dear Reader, you'll want to always look for at least two buttons (one-button jackets are for the straight-up-and-down girls), and single-breasted (unless you're trying to go nautical or military or something...), in a structured fabric-- that is, something that has enough weight and "stiffness" if you will (not meaning it has to be uncomfortable) to it to basically hold you in. We love a nice lined velvet, but lined wool suit jackets, corduroy, heavy cotton or cotton blends are all great, too. Avoid big boxy front pockets, but most angled or curved pockets (especially if they lay flat) are fine. You want obvious princess seams or tucks underneath the bustline to ensure that what's emphasized is directly under the ribcage, which is the narrowest part of your body. You can button one or two buttons, depending on which is more flattering. Make sure you're wearing a good, supportive bra to keep the girls up (they should be replaced at least yearly as they stretch irrevocably)! Look for lengths to the hip and no longer, or you'll make your legs look shorter. (Don't try to hide your bum! You'll just look wider at the hip.) Try jackets in the petites section-- they may fit better-- but if you hold your arms out straight and the sleeves come up past your wrists, it's too short. Sleeves should fall to the base of your thumb when your arms are at your sides.

Investing in a suit is a great idea if you really want to look really pulled together-- we got our Anne Klein suit at Filene's Basement (sort of like a Marshalls only so much more wonderful, for those who don't have one) for $30... always be on the lookout for a cute one in your size when you're in bargain shops. We love pinstripes, particularly in pink or baby blue!

You can, however, take it much more casual than a suit-- blazers look particularly incredible with jeans and heels, if you want to sex it up a bit, or with a cute fluttery skirt to romance up the strong lines of a structured blazer (or conversely, try a Victorian-esque blazer with some ruffling or another with interesting details with a straight pencil skirt-- yes, pears can do pencil skirts! If you emphasize that narrow ribcage, you'll look hourglassy!)

You can add a skinny belt over the top button at the ribcage if you're feeling adventurous... and always have fun with color! A pop of color in a shoe, scarf, belt or cami will add personal flair to a suit or other professional attire

Hope this gives you some ideas! Good luck finding the right fit!


  1. OMG, this is sooooo good. Thanks Thrifty Stylist. I'm bookmarking this page for sure!

  2. Great timing, I was just thinking that my wardrobe really could use a blazer and I think I'm a similar size/shape as the reader asking the question.
    I'd been toying with this Boden blazer in their new Fall collection - any thoughts?

  3. struggler, that blazer is gorgeous! what a color! between the price (yikes!) and the pockets though (unless the flaps can tuck in?) i'm not so sure it's the best one you could find... i'll keep an eye out for other options for you!

  4. well here's an amazing deal but it's for our skinny sisters... one-button velvet blazer for only $11.99! great colors, too
    i'll keep looking!

  5. I've had an "aha!" moment reading this post. I have a great olive green velvet blazer that I really love the look of, but it never looks quite right on me. It only has one button and is probably not making the most of my figure.

    I shall have to Ebay it and find a suitable replacement.

  6. This is a very great and useful blog. I hope that you will post more and thank you for sharing.


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