Blaze Your Own Fashion Trail: How to Wear Spring Jackets in 2013

by - Thursday, February 07, 2013

What is a Blazer, Anyway?

In this spring season that offers so many options for outerwear—bomber jackets, quilted jackets, large chambray "boyfriend" shirts worn as a lightweight cover—2013 also seems to be the year of the colored blazer. The men's fashion magazine "Esquire" has to remind us that the "blazer has come to mean anything that has sleeves and lapels and is worn with unmatched pants."
In an unusual move for a fashion style, 2013 jackets not only vary their colors and patterns, but their fits as well. Within a single fashion season, a vivid sapphire fitted blazer is able to morph into a looser, longer light pink jacket with just a hint of padded shoulders.

How to Wear a Blazer

Blazers intrinsically add a degree of fashion formality to any outfit. This is not to be confused with black-tie formality. Rather, wearing a blazer gives you automatic fashion points whatever the outfit you're wearing or the occasion you might be attending. For this reason, it's a popular means of turning a pair of jeans, T-shirt and platform sandals into an outfit as opposed to just something you happened to throw on. Blazers are usually worn with casual pants or slacks of a solid color and occasionally with patterned casual pants or boho skirts—if you're certain the blazer color matches perfectly with one of the colors in your patterned piece. Add jewelry, like a bracelet or some sparkly earrings, to punch up the look.

Where to Wear a Blazer

Because of the extra fashion points a blazer adds to any outfit, feel free to wear one to most informal or casual occasions plus a smidge more. They would, however, not be appropriate for most job interviews or weddings—whether or not you happen to be the bride.

Blazer Colors This Season

  • This season's colored blazers are more formal than ones with a print—unless that print is pinstripe. Fitted blazers are considered more formal than looser, longer styles.
  • In addition to the new Spring 2013 colors of vivid Poppy Red and Tangerine, there are loads of green blazers to choose from that won't make you look as if you should be marching in a St. Patrick's Day parade. The lovely, pale Tender Shoots green with a hint of yellow is available in addition to the Grayed Jade combination of light turquoise green. For those who prefer richer colors, try out a jacket in Emerald to treat your spring fever.
  • Pink and coral blazers are also very hot this season and range from the palest of pink to neon corals.

What to Wear with a Blazer

You will be hard-pressed to make a fashion faux pas with a solid colorful blazer of any cut. However, here are some tips to keep in mind:
  • Don't even think about a button-down blouse. Most of these jackets are worn over an unpatterned, neutral-colored T-shirts or other pullover tops. In other words, solid blacks or solid whites. If you truly are a fashion diva, wear a top of the next lightest shade of your blazer. This requires, however, a keen eye and extra shopping. Patterned tops are iffy as you don't want them competing with the blazer for attention.
  • Think of the solids—top, blazer and pants—as this year's version of color blocking.
  • If you crave some sort of decoration or pattern, choose a colorful brooch to pin on one of the lapels or tie a smaller scarf artfully about your neck, leaving the jacket lapels exposed.
  • The looser the cut of the blazer, the more boho you can be with your accessories, makeup, jewelry and shoes.

Blazers Make Sense

For penny-pinchers who would eschew a blazer as an unnecessary garment, remember: These pieces actually do make sense. Wearing one can allow you to wear summer wardrobe staples a few weeks earlier than planned or even help to make a winter outfit more spring-like.

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