The Hunt: Statement Blazers

three of the best statement blazers for work outfits

three of the best statement blazers for work outfits

Sure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

Which are your favorite statement blazers? Do you prefer to go with classic statement blazers, or trendy blazers? What are your favorite work outfits with blazers?

A few months ago, readers posited an interesting question: as everything gets more casual, and face time gets more rare, how do you make a statement with a minimalist wardrobe? After all, if you’re only going to have a few big meetings a year you don’t need an entire wardrobe. We’ve discussed power dresses for work — but another natural way to make an impact is the statement blazer.

{related: tips on creating a capsule wardrobe for work}

Three Easy Work Outfits with Blazers

For my $.02, the easiest way to wear statement blazers is with pants — the blazer + dress combination tends to be trickier unless they’re a set, especially for wrap dresses and flared dresses. For a more casual office, jeans can also work. Some simple work outfits for statement blazers:

1) the column of color look, where your pants and top are the same neutral, creating a column of color, and then adding the blazer on top of that.

2) the matched top look, where your pants are a neutral and the top matches or pulls out a color from the blazer. Example: navy blazer, navy blouse, gray pants. A variation on this: the shades of color look, where the top and blazer are shades of the same color. Example: dark gray blazer, light gray top, black pants.

3) the monochrome look, where your entire outfit matches the blazer (or the dominant color in the blazer if it’s multicolored). I feel like this is almost always a really powerful look. If the look feels too boring to you, make sure your outfit includes several different fabrics with noticeably different textures. Example: black tweed blazer, chunky knit black sweater vest, flat black pants.

{related: do check out our regularly updated list of wardrobe essentials for work!}

Note that if you wear a lot of black, the most versatile blazer for you will likely be another color, a print, or a heavily textured black blazer. I’ve always found that white, caramel, olive, and print blazers to be the easiest to wear as separates. I had a great gray leopard-print blazer I bought on deep discount and thought I’d wear once or twice, but I wore it all the time… if you’re more conservative, a houndstooth or windowpane or other menswear-ish print will be really versatile.

The Best Statement Blazers for Work

In terms of which statement blazers are best… this topic was a bit overwhelming even to me! There are a few that come to mind instantly as being pricey but consistently gorgeous; most have been around for years. The flip side is to go for things that are super trendy — e.g., the oversized boyfriend blazer is very in right now. Another way to do it: go for the “huh, I’ve never seen anything like that before” — think a very bold print, an unusual fabric, an especially dramatic cut — which sidesteps the trendy bit and might have a longer life in your work wardrobe.

We’ll add some links to stores for the second and third categories — but we’re going to focus on the classics that come to mind when I think of statement blazers in this post. Readers, I’d love to hear your thoughts! What statement blazers do you have in your closet? What are your favorite work outfits involving blazers?

{related: how to cultivate style (vs. trend, vs. frump)}

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Three Classic Statement Blazers for Women

blue statement blazer from L'Agence

The Chamberlain blazer has been around for several years — unless I’m mistaken, this is the first year I’ve seen it in neutrals like navy; all of the years prior I noticed it as being an amazing standalone blazer in interesting fabrics and colors. This bright happy blue version is stunning, but you can find a bright lime and a Pucci-esque abstract print as well as Nordstrom right now; Net-a-Porter has it in a baby pink. The blazer is just under $700; I’ve seen it on sale occasionally for under $400.

red statement blazer from Smythe

The Smythe Duchess blazer has been around for years (and years) — it first became big because Duchess Kate wore it. It has a distinctive square cutout on the back instead of double vents; it’s come in a zillion colors and fabrics over the years. It’s around $725 for most. You can find it at Nordstrom, Revolve, Neiman Marcus, Net a Porter and more.

yellow statement blazer from McQueen

The McQueen one-button blazer has been around for several years now; it seems to be called different things at different stores. Saks calls it the one-button blazer; Nordstrom calls it the leaf blazer, Neiman Marcus calls it the single-breasted blazer. (Interestingly the McQueen site calls it the “peak shoulder leaf crepe jacket.”) But it’s the same recognizable blazer at all of them: strong shoulder, fitted body, and slanted, high pockets. I think it’s a classic worth the steep investment: $1990. It’s often sold as part of a suit, but I think any color other than black can be worn as separate. You can find it at Saks, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and others.

A few other very pricy bestselling, long-standing styles: this Tom Ford velvet blazer, this Saint Laurent tweed blazer. You can get vintage Chanel blazers at Farfetch, and IRO has more affordable ($300-$600) Chanel-style jackets for work.

What statement blazers do you have in your closet? What are your favorite work outfits involving blazers?

{related: how to look great for work every day}

Where to Find Trendy Statement Blazers In General

{related: here are all of the readers favorites and most-bought items from last month}

2022 Update: Some of our favorite blazers to wear as separates include:

Pictured above: one* / two / three / four* (* available in sizes 00-24) — this one is also great! also check out our sweater blazer roundup!

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