Ever wanted to dress elegant – and casual, at the same heartbreakingly-impossible time? It’s all found in the unstructured blazer.
Perfect for winter layering or worn solo in the spring with jeans, the refined and comfortable suit jacket can be confusing as a formal-cum-casual piece. And, selecting the correct model – in fabric, colour and fit, adds another level of dillusion. Where do you start?
First up, we’ve compiled a simple guide for approaching the unstructured blazer. Then, flick your eyes above for ten of the best unstructured blazers on the market this season. Now, all you need is somewhere nice, but casual, to wear it.
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Compared to structured jackets – found in business suits and formal separates – unstructured jackets hold a less sever shape, void of the padding, inner workings and linings you normally find in structured jackets.
Unstructured varieties aren’t cut as sharply on the shoulder either, and instead follow the natural line of the body. This means they usually aren’t overly tapered in at the sides, like structured jackets, allowing them to drape more naturally, giving them a far softer, relaxed fit.
When scanning the shop floor on your next spending spree, unstructured jackets usually bear more casual design markings: patch pockets, working cuffs and exposed seams. Look for types with at minimum two or three buttons, with some hitting four; the higher the number the more casual it looks – the lapel diminishing as the buttons rise.
Made To Move
Adding to the jacket’s versatility and manoeuvrability, and indeed casual aesthetic, is the fabric. Void of canvassing, the blazers are often made of only a single layer of material, such as cotton, linen or lightweight wools.
Heavier varieties for winter come via canvas, denim and tweed with the weft of the yarn increasing in weight for extra warmth and sturdiness. Active and tech accents are popular fabric ingredients too, with some blazers made with increased Elastane for extra stretch and synthetic fibres allowing it to be worn as a rain coat.
Patterned Vs. Plain
The blazer is yours for the playing. Block colours are a failproof approach, and neutrals safer still: navy, deep red, dark green and beige big winners that will go with your current wardrobe. For summer, white is fresh, but avoid white chinos unless you’re somewhere coastal.
As for patterns, the classic windowpane and pinstripe are excellent choices, going wider and larger-scaled to create a more casual look. This season boasts for contemporary geo-prints too, stick to dark, neutrals so the impression is artistic, not brazen.
But whatever colour or pattern you choose, look for a blazer that appears a little worn-in, so you won’t feel like you’re committing sartorial sacrilege by rolling up the cuffs and messing up the lapels a little. Tastefully dishevelled is the styling tip of the day, taking a typically formal item and making it more casual.
High-and-low dressing – or the mixing of formal and casual pieces – is definitely the way to go this season.