Though wearing a blazer may seem simple, you can dress up your look with some strategic styling. Instead of just wearing your blazer as you would any old jacket, jazz it up with your own unique accessories. Pairing a blazer with different mixes of clothes can create almost any style from a casual, preppy look to a more modern, hip ensemble.
Blazer Vs. Sport Coat Vs. Suit Jacket
Before styling your jacket look, understanding what is -- and isn't -- a blazer is key. The fashion pros at "Esquire" magazine note that a blazer differs from a sport coat or suit jacket in what it is made from and how you style it. A blazer is, in essence, any piece of clothing that has long sleeves and lapels. Though a sport coat and suit jacket also meet those guidelines, a blazer -- unlike a suit jacket -- typically isn't worn with matching pants. Additionally, a traditional blazer has a breast pocket and may have a crest or patch as well. When it comes to the makeup, a blazer may have a light fabric blend; a sport coat typically features tweed-like materials; and a suit jacket is smooth and fine, made from worsted wools or similar materials. Although these are the "tropicals" for each coat category, you're sure to find variations in each style.
Spring and Summer Blazers
When the weather gets warmer, you don't have to trade in your blazers for tank tops and tee shirts. If you are looking for a slightly dressed-up casual style, the fashion pros at "Esquire" magazine suggest pairing a navy blazer with a light striped sweater and a pair of khakis. Choose a lightweight cotton sweater that matches your blazer, featuring the same navy blue or a complementary hue such as red. If you don't want to go for the blazer-sweater combo, consider trying a light-colored suit -- such as khaki or ivory -- that you pair with a patterned button-down. This will give your style a pop of color and visual interest while still creating a slick and polished look.
Adding the right pant to your blazer combo is essential in making, or breaking, your outfit. As blazers, unlike a suit jacket, typically feature a less dressed-up look, you can pair a casual blazer with anything from khakis and cords to jeans. Although you are going for a dressed-down look, avoid shredded, dirty or ragged-looking denim. Instead, opt for a dark or vintage wash in a slimmer type of fit. Pair your jeans with a tucked-in button-down shirt, and throw your blazer on to complete the casual look.
Don't let your blazer go without a touch of pizazz. Accessories aren't just for women's wear. Though you shouldn't pair your blazer with a lady-like necklace, you can add on a colorful pocket square or a patterned tie. Choose a color that goes with your overall look but provides a pop of visual interest. For example, add a pink pocket square to your navy-blue blazer. If your blazer is the more traditional type, featuring a crest or patch on the chest or the chest pocket, coordinate any additional colors with the already-embellished hues. Pick up the patch colors with a pocket square, such as matching a red square with a red-and-gold emblem. You also can accessorize a more casual blazer with a loosely wrapped wool scarf in a basic solid shade or a tartan-type print.