How to style a blazer: 8 ways to wear fashion's favourite jacket

Wondering how to style a blazer? These fashion fabulous ideas will breathe new life into this beloved staple

Three women showing how to style a blazer
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A wardrobe essential, once you've learned how to style a blazer, you'll wonder how you ever got dressed without this tailored masterpiece. Adding instant sartorial elegance to any look, a blazer will easily become your go-to jacket.

For many years, only high-flying corporate women donned the best blazers, but now this structured jacket has become an integral part of many a fashionable woman’s wardrobe. A building block for a capsule wardrobe, it’s hard to think of an outfit that wouldn’t work with a blazer. From traditional office wear to jeans, blazers have the knack of being able to pull any outfit together, even elevating a pair of leggings into something much more stylish. 

“Blazers work for everyone regardless of age, size or style, plus they can be styled in so many ways - dress them up with heels and tailored trousers to create a sleek smart silhouette or pair them with jeans and trainers for a great casual outfit,” says presenter and stylist Emma Lightbown when discussing a blazer's amazing versatility.

How to style a blazer - inspirational outfits from a fashion editor

Three woman showing different ways of how to style a blazer with a midi dress

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1. How to style a blazer with midi dresses

The best midi dresses are super versatile and can take you from work to cocktail hour, and, matched with a blazer, they can make your midi dress the hardest working item in your wardrobe.

There are so many ways to wear this look. An oversized blazer looks chic over a slip dress, whereas a shorter belted jacket gives a great vintage vibe to a print midi. While you may instantly reach for your trusty black blazer to throw on over your dress, try styling a blazer in the same tone as your dress for a sleeker and more directional finish.

A blazer and midi dress also make a great pairing for dressier events – especially if you shy away from barely-there party outfits. Adding tougher edge to a dress, utilizing a blazer gives a touch of androgyny to more feminine outfits, but will also help to shape your silhouette. Whether wondering what to wear on a first date or to a wedding, this combo will tick all the boxes. 

Styling tip: “The key things to consider when pairing a blazer with a midi dress are the shape of the dress and the length of the blazer”, says Emma.

“A slimmer fitting midi dress such as a simple tank dress or slip dress will look fantastic teamed with a longline blazer, which is great if you prefer that extra bit of bum coverage! If you have a smock or A-line dress, try a shorter or cropped blazer, as this will prevent too much bulk around your waist and hips.”

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Three woman showing different ways on how to style a blazer with trousers

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2. How to style a blazer with tailored trousers

If you’re stationed in the office more often these days, a blazer added to a pair of tailored trousers makes a smart, yet stylish, summer outfit for work.

While a suit may feel a little old-fashioned, matching your blazer to your trousers is actually a very modern option. To make it more contemporary, however - and if your job allows - ditch boring black and go for a zingy sherbet or pretty pastel colour. Alternatively, mix and match neutral trousers with patterned or coloured blazers. If your working environment is more corporate or you’re wondering what to wear to a job interview, neutral shades such as navy, cream or black are your best bet. To keep this look directional, pay attention to the tailoring and detail, opt for slimmer cuts to keep the look professional. 

But remember, this look isn't just for the boardroom, tailoring is playing an ever-increasing role in the fashion landscape for both casual and evening occasions. Try adding a graphic t-shirt and a pair of your best white trainers for a look that straddles smart-casual to perfection.

Styling tip: For a sleeker silhouette, wear either a slim-fitted shirt under your blazer or add a simple camisole or silky tee. The blazer should be the focal point - after all, you want to show you mean business! 

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Three women showing how to style a blazer with jeans

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3. How to style a blazer with jeans

When it comes to how to style a blazer with jeans, you can afford to be more playful as denim goes with pretty much everything. Try bright colours, eclectic patterns and interesting cuts, such as cropped blazers - as they highlight a waist - making them perfect with baggier mom jeans.

An oversized blazer meanwhile, works particularly well if you’re wondering how to style straight-leg jeans. The straight leg helps to balance the oversized blazer, but make sure to keep the rest of the outfit simple - a vest and chunky trainers or sliders create a super cool, relaxed look. 

A tan, navy or khaki blazer looks effortlessly chic when styled as part of a white jeans outfits, particularly if you've opted for a leg-lengthening wide-leg. The contrast of the neutral hues will really pop - particularly in the summer months. 

Styling tip: Celebrity stylist Natalie Robinson says looking for interesting accents can help your blazer elevate your look, without being too over-the-top.

She says: “When styling a blazer with jeans, for example, I suggest wearing one with colorful/leopard print lining together with a white t-shirt and jeans. Roll up the sleeves of the blazer to 3/4 length for a casual/smart look accentuated by a pop of color.”

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Women showing how to style a blazer with a pleated skirt

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4. How to style a blazer with pleated skirt

While pleated midi skirts have long been a stylish wardrobe option, it can often be difficult to know what to wear with a pleated skirt.

Pleated skirts are great for skimming figures, however, unless you tuck your tops in, they can cause excess bulk. If you normally wear the most stylish dresses to hide a tummy, then learning how to style a blazer with a pleated skirt will offer you another figure-flattering option. A well-tailored blazer skims a silhouette and adds structure to the floaty nature of the skirt, making you look pulled together and more streamlined for work or play. If you want even more structure, add a belt or belt bag around your blazer - a great trick for hourglass body shapes as it emphasizes the waist more. 

For a chic look, choose tonal shades, but if you want to have some fun, mix a patterned skirt with a block coloured blazer.

Styling tip: Don’t forget the one celebrity trick to instantly make you look more glam... Shoulder robing.  This is where you drape your blazer over your shoulders in a cape style, instantly elevating any skirt outfit or midi dress into pure A-list territory.

Women showing how to style a blazer with leather pants

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5. How to style a blazer with leather

Wondering how to style leather trousers? While leather trousers are the rock and roll version of a tailored pant, they can as such be styled in pretty much the same way and both work really well when it comes to learning how to style a blazer.

A black blazer will always look cool and timeless when paired with leather, however adding a pop of color and considering textured fabrics such as boucle will really elevate your look. 

To balance out the usually form-fitting nature of leather pants, try pairing leather pants with a boyfriend blazer, t-shirt, and trainers for a smart-casual look perfect for a more relaxed work environment or brunch with friends. Then swap the trainers for heels, throw on some statement jewelry and you’re ready to party! 

If you’re on the petite side, it’s best to choose a blazer that’s slightly more fitted to avoid being swamped by your clothes! 

Styling tip: “Play around with the texture or color of the blazer rather than just sticking to black,” suggests Emma.

“Also don’t forget to add accessories - a statement necklace works great with this style of outfit and really adds that extra bit of polish.”


Women showing how to wear a hoodie with a blazer

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6. How to style a blazer with sweater / hoodie

While a blazer may summon up images of the corporate world, they’re so much more versatile than that. In fact, they’re as easy to wear as your best denim jacket, replacing them in almost any casual outfit too (adding extra polish along the way).

Wearing your best hoodie or best cashmere sweater under a blazer instantly adds a dose of cool to any outfit. Layering up this way is also great during spring and fall when the weather can be rather changeable.

Most bottoms will go well with this combo - but it’s a sharp choice if you’re stuck wondering what to wear with black jeans, creating a chic, laidback look.

Styling tip: Natalie suggests keeping everything neutral when styling your blazer this way.

“Keep to neutral colours such as a beige, black or navy single-breasted blazer, for a minimal look, when styling it with a sweater or hoodie,” she says.

Street style images showing how to style a blazer with leggings

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7. How to style a blazer with leggings

.Like to feel comfy, yet well put together? Then team your blazer with your leggings for the ultimate in easy-to-wear.

Adding instant luxe to your look, such is the power of learning how to style a blazer, you can even add polish to leggings outfits, yes, really. 

For this look, you'll want a slightly oversized blazer - more boyfriend style than tailored, as this balances out figure-hugging, legging silhouettes. In the cooler months, wear a polo neck and boots, before swapping them out for a tee and flip-flops when the sun starts to shine.

While you can certainly wear this combo for meeting friends and weekend-errand running, it's a particularly chic combo for covering workout clothing. Throw on a hoodie, your blazer and choose one of your best tote bags for all your gym essentials, to help your look feel coordinated - both pre-and post-workout.

Styling tip: An oversized style works particularly well with leggings for anyone wanting to skim hips or a bum and is great for balancing out pear body shapes.

How to style a blazer with shorts street style shots

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8. How to style a blazer with shorts

When summer hits, it can be challenging to navigate how to wear light, cool pieces without looking too casual. That's where the shorts and blazer combo works wonders. Although you may associate your favourite pairs of shorts with reading by the pool and your best beach bags, they are surprisingly wearable at home when styled with a smart blazer and some sophisticated sandals.

Styling tip: If you're wearing flowier shorts, don't be afraid to go extra boxy with your blazer. This will help to add dimension and structure to your look, but also give a slightly more formal edge if you want to avoid looking too beach-ready.

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Jayne Cherrington-Cook

With over 22 years’ experience in journalism, Jayne has written about a variety of subjects. She spent the start of her career within the world of film, interviewing Hollywood stars, attending premieres and lusting after red carpet outfits, and then moved into fashion, launching websites for big magazines such as Look, Woman’s Own and Wedding and working with top fashion brands such as Westfield, LK Bennett and Hunter. 

Career highlights include dressing up as Kylie (in gold hot pants!) for a national newspaper and working on big fashion events alongside Giles Deacon, Henry Holland and Naomi Campbell. 

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