When we think of blazers our mind typically goes straight to the office. They’re a powerful style statement – versatile, appropriate, and forever classic. However, while they work wonders as corporate attire, blazers have a much broader range. As Vogue puts it, the blazer ranks among a wardrobe’s greatest assets and can adapt to nearly any occasion. This is especially the case for the relaxed silhouette that is deeply in vogue right now. Wondering what to wear with a relaxed blazer? In this post, we’ll dive into all the outfit inspiration you need. Plus, we’ll unpack a few design principles key to rocking this on-trend piece in a fresh, feminine way.
This season menswear is made for women!
Before we discuss relaxed blazer outfits and how to style them, we need to talk about choose a flattering relaxed blazer. As a petite woman (4’11), I speak from experience when I say it’s easy to get swallowed up in an oversize blazer. Consequently, you need to shop with both proportion and occasion in mind.
Will you be wearing it primarily to the office, or a mix of corporate casual? Do you intend to layer it with knitwear or bulkier tops underneath? With that in mind, we can now consider fit. Oversize or relaxed blazers tend to appear a size or two larger than a typical jacket. Because of this, I look for cuts that are relaxed not oversize. I like pieces that fall gracefully, allowing me to maintain some definition in my frame.
Some blazers have very strong, dominant shoulders. Therefore, you want to consider your unique size and shape. Do you have slim shoulders with larger hips? Look for a relaxed blazer with some padding at the shoulder. This cut will work wonders in balancing out your frame.
Alternatively, if you have muscular or broader shoulders, seek out a relaxed blazer without padding. As for length, you are looking for styles that sit at the top of your thighs. The sleeves should sit at your wrists and not be overly fitted. Half the fun of this style is the ability to roll up the sleeves as you pull together a barrage of relaxed blazer outfits! Here are a few related blog posts I’ve written that might also be helpful…
The style I settled on is White House Black Market’s relaxed blazer in navy w/ pink pinstripe (PS – It’s on sale right now!). Unlike traditional jackets, this one does not meet in front, so you get a sleeker silhouette. It fits slim to your body, while retaining the “relaxed” look we are after. For petites, this one is a gem. And WHBM carries it in petite sizes, yippie!
For sizing reference, I’m wearing the petite size 2. The petite jacket is 29 3/4″ in length while the regular is 30.” There are matching wide leg trousers for this one.
While my denim (the Mariner jean) leans more formal, jeans are a great way to strike a more casual tone with relaxed blazer outfits. Because of the oversize nature of the jacket, you’ll want to think about balance as you are choosing your denim and top. I find straight lighter wash ankle jeans or flared jeans look amazing. Relaxed, jogger style jeans can work too – if you’re taller. At my height, two relaxed silhouettes in the same outfit tends to be a little overwhelming.
Your top is the part you don’t need to think about. Simple choose a sleek turtleneck or tee and you’re good to go. I prefer neutrals, but if you’re a color lover – this is a fun place to add some flair.
Tired of wearing pants but still need some warmth as we head into cooler months? My style formula involves repeating this relaxed blazer outfit over… and over… and over. There’s something super polished about a knit dress tucked under an oversize blazer. The juxtaposition of the blazer with a more structured dress serves up a smart, sophisticated look.
While I went neutral with my dress (a petite-friendly Target find), further defining my waistline with a belt… relaxed blazers also look amazing with small scale prints, such as micro floral. Since my blazer has pin stripes it is best paired with neutrals. If you’re styling a cream, tan, or black blazer, the dress world is your oyster. There are so many options.
Finish the look with a sleek heel, or add warmth with knee high boots – complementing either the tone of your dress or the blazer.
A great way to balance out the volume of a relaxed blazer, is to raise that hemline! Styling is meant to be fun. Go ahead, embrace the playful vibe of a mini skirt, adding sophistication with a chic white top. You can do the same thing with shorts. It’s an excellent way to visually lengthen your leg line.
Since we’re rocking a mini, you’ll want your footwear to be more conservative. Wider boots, loafers or ballet flats tend to look great with this combination. And don’t think you have to relegate this pairing to your off-duty hours… When carefully styled in monochrome with classic accessories (I recommend all-black), it can also be office appropriate.
As an “always cold” person, this is one of my favorite ways to style! However, it requires having a truly relaxed blazer. The piece I’m wearing above is too slim fitting for a chunky knit. Consequently, if you plan on rocking sweaters under your blazer, definitely size up. Better yet, test this out in the fitting room, so you can get the balance just right.
Knitwear adds textural depth and interest to relaxed blazer outfits. It is particular beautiful in creamy hues, paired with lighter denim and a corresponding jacket. Again monochrome silhouettes can really feel sophisticated and elegant.
Finally, the most obvious pairing – a relaxed blazer with your favorite trousers. When choosing a blazer, it’s always advantageous to scoop up any matching pants that are available. This helps increase the versatility of your jacket, providing tons of mix-and-match potential. However, you can also break free and add some vibrancy.
To add some fall flavor, I paired my blazer with wide leg trousers and a textural sweater that matched my handbag. The orange hues provided a bit of punch and liveliness. The pairing is equally lovely in more subdued hues though.
Hopefully this post has given you a dose of inspiration to push your relaxed blazer to the limit! Truly, these can work for nearly any occasion. Best of all, they’re the type of classic piece you can reinvigorate season after season by shopping your closet for new ways to wear it. I find it most helpful to spend some time in front of a full length mirror testing things out. Don’t hesitate to be inventive!