Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers
A black blazer elevates almost any outfit. Pop one on with jeans and a tee, or even a sweat suit, and your look goes from thrown together to effortlessly cool — instantly. And with fall (and a major prep resurgence) upon us, the time to invest in a black blazer is now. (We mean that literally — a few styles have already sold out, so if you see something you like, act fast.)
To help you sort through the many shapes, fabrics, and styles, we asked 14 fashionable women about their favorites and unearthed 18 blazers — some oversize and boxy, others tailored and classic, and even cropped ones. We included finds for petites, plus-size, and tall folks. And to make shopping even easier, we sorted these by price: under $100, under $300, and the over-$300 blazers worth splurging on.
Oversize blazers were our panel’s most frequent mention. This polyester-blend dad blazer is a favorite of petite fashion influencer Itzy Canales, who appreciates the classic look. “It truly feels like your dad or your boyfriend’s oversize suit jacket,” says Canales, adding that the lapels and shoulder pads are a nice touch. She says adding the blazer to nearly any outfit — from sweatpants to dresses — “makes it look pretty edgy or a bit more sophisticated.”
Leather and faux-leather blazers have become a hot-ticket item this fall. For an affordable way into the trend, Lauren Alexander, founder of LNA clothing, recommends turning to Zara. “Their faux leather surprisingly rivals some of the best I’ve seen,” says Alexander. Canales also owns a faux-leather blazer from Zara, which she wore frequently during New York Fashion Week, both dressed up and down. This blazer also has menswear-inspired features, with shoulder pads and an oversize fit.
For a more traditional blazer, Natalie Craig, a petite plus-size blogger, recommends this affordable option from Torrid. Constructed with a blend of polyester and spandex, the blazer hits the perfect balance between structure and stretch. “This blazer comes with me to every conference and trade show, and it’s in regular rotation for most of my office looks,” Craig says.
“As a tall and plus-size woman, I love the length of this blazer,” says former U.S. track-and-field Olympian turned tall plus-size-fashion influencer Dawn Ellerbe. Part of M.M.LaFleur’s collection for Dia & Co, the blazer has a classic tuxedo look that Ellerbe says is best for work. She does note that the “splits on the sides allow me to tie it in the front for a fun updated look,” which “adds a little pizzazz to my regular work looks.”
Alison Rogel, a six-foot-one influencer, likes that this already inexpensive blazer does double duty styled as a dress or longline blazer. She adds that the blazer’s linen-blend material “provides a comfortable and casual feel for warmer months.”
Two stylish women, writer Ashlee Mitchell and New York–based blogger Eni Popoola, recommended cropped blazers, especially for warmer months. Mitchell prefers wearing cropped blazers with more casual looks, like crop tops, while Popoola styles hers with everything from high-waisted jeans to a body-con dress. She appreciates the versatility of cropped blazers, like this one from Nasty Gal, because it “accentuates curves in a subtle way.”
Stefanie Martillotti, who works in men’s wholesale at Versace and is a fashion influencer, recommended this oversize menswear-inspired blazer. This Babaton Vogue blazer is more expensive than others mentioned, but that’s probably because this one is 95 percent wool, which Martillotti says is “very high quality” and “perfect for fall with a sweater underneath.” Martillotti adds that it can work for casual daytime looks if paired with Levi’s and a graphic tee or nights out if paired with a silk slip-dress.
Photographer and stylist Grace Bukunmi recommended an oversize wool blazer from Daily Paper that features its monogram print on one of the pockets. Bukunmi prefers juxtaposing this oversize blazer with lingerie and leggings. “It’s sleek and sexy yet casual and cool — the perfect trick to spice up any look,” she says.
Bukunmi also called out this vegan-leather blazer-dress from Apparis, which makes some of our favorite faux-fur coats. She likes the “luxe” feel of this “buttery soft” blazer. While it’s advertised as a dress, Bukunmi typically wears hers with jeans and a baby-doll crop top.
“A leather blazer is not just a blazer; it’s a statement piece and can also be worn as outerwear, and the leather makes me feel a bit badass,” says Ellerbe. While her favorite is a restored vintage one she found in her mom’s closet, she says this plus-size faux-leather Eloquii blazer stands out because of its oversize structure. “It is hard to find blazers in plus size that are not boxy,” Ellerbe explains. “While still a loose fit, this one provides a beautiful shape.”
[Editor’s note: The black version of this is sold out, but you can buy it in brown for the same price. We also found a similar belted option at the same price.]
For a fitted blazer, Rogel recommends this one from J.Crew that comes in petite, standard, and tall sizes. “Its sleek look and popped collar will add a sense of preppy sophistication to your closet,” says Rogel, who adds that it pairs “perfectly with a lightweight turtleneck, slim-fit cropped pants, and loafers.”
A slightly more affordable fitted option is this blazer from Zara that is under $150. Compared to the more traditional J.Crew blazer, this one has more pronounced lapels and shoulder pads, which Nana Castro, a fashion and beauty reviewer, appreciates and says “gives it a vintage feel and looks super-sleek.”
[Editor’s note: This fitted blazer is available in limited sizes, but you can find a similar (and less expensive) one with satin detailing available in all sizes here.]
“It’s worth investing in a blazer because you get so much wear out of them. They’re such transitional pieces,” says Alexander. What makes this Jacquemus worth investing in is its “impeccable construction, from the seamer down the front, the buttons, the lining — you really are getting an amazing piece,” Alexander says. She adds that the oversize menswear-inspired blazer has a nice, strong shoulder without looking dated: “It doesn’t look like you’re trying to wear an ’80s power suit. It looks modernized.”
Art director and creative stylist Juliana Salazar recommends the Wardrobe.NYC blazer because it’s “not too oversize, so it still feels very classic without being boring.” She also notes that it is made of 100 percent virgin wool, meaning “it has a great shape without being stiff.” She prefers wearing her blazer “over a very feminine, preferably white or slightly sheer, dress — this harsh contrast is my favorite.”
Two stylish women we spoke to — Her Campus deputy editor Iman Hariri-Kia and Rogel — recommended the Frankie Shop blazers. Hariri-Kia’s oversize-blazer pick is currently out of stock, but Rogel’s faux-leather option is still available. She likes that “the oversize fit and slouchy shoulders make it effortlessly chic.”
For a high-end faux-leather blazer, stylist and art director Vivian Chuang says this Nanushka one is “famously buttery soft, feeling as luxurious as a Proenza Schouler or Loewe counterpart at less than half the price tag.” She especially likes the “cool factor of leather,” while the boxy cut and wide shoulders “keep it fresh.”
If you’re wanting a real-leather blazer but you’re worried about sustainability, Deadwood repurposes excess leather from tanneries to create upcycled clothes, like this black leather blazer. (Even its lining is made from recycled materials.) Jewelry designer Sophie Monet says, “It’s a modernized classic ode to Gwyneth Paltrow’s ’90s wardrobe staple. The look still holds strong today.”
For a more traditional high-end blazer, Zahava Ryzman, founder of jewelry brand Sarah Chloe, says this Theory one “has been my favorite go-to blazer for years now.” She appreciates that it’s just slightly oversize, with a nice fit because of the tailoring and seams. The blazer’s crêpe fabric, a synthetic-fiber blend, “is the perfect weight for when it’s both warm and cool outside,” making it the perfect transitional piece.
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