Blazers are essential for anyone's wardrobe. They are an easy way to either dress up or even dress down a look. We found a great article (Fashion Archives: A Look at the History of the Blazer) that gives a history on blazers (see excerpt below).
"The first iteration of the blazer existed about as far from the office as you could imagine. The jacket has roots as part of a uniform for a variety of boating and maritime activities. In fact, the name derives from a ship, the HMS Blazer. The crew of this navy vessel wore blue and white striped jackets, which wearers began to refer to as “blazers.”
A sturdy yet stylish jacket was not limited to only the military when it came to boating attire, however. In England during the second half of the 1800’s, rowing was a popular sport among university students. In order to keep the chill at bay, rowers wore loose-fitting jackets cut from thick flannel that acted as windbreakers. This style of jacket is what we would now recognize today as a classic blazer.
These blazers (named so by students at Oxford and Durham universities) were the stuff of prepster’s dreams. They came in a variety of styles; for example, some were subdued yet classic (the Oxford team’s navy jackets were the original “blue blazer”). Conversely, many were embellished with wide stripes, intricate patches and popping color palettes of forest green, deep navy, bright yellow, soft pink, etc. While these blazers were definitely statement pieces, the design of them had a more functional purpose than pure fashion. The bright colors and loud patterns helped spectators on the faraway shore identify which rowing team was which during a boat race.
Of course, these blazers were much too cool to be left in the closet when the rowers were on dry land. Much like a high school football team, rowers began wearing their blazers (i.e. team jerseys) around their college campuses. Like jerseys or letterman jackets, these blazers were something of a status symbol, denoting camaraderie and accomplishment. In fact, they became so cool that other sports began to want a piece of the sartorial action. Croquet, rugby, soccer and other sports all began to incorporate the blazer into their team attire.
With so many sports teams now wearing blazers casually, the the term started to be used much more loosely. It began to lose it’s close ties with rowing, and the word “blazer” would soon refer to any sporting jacket cut from a lightweight fabric. Ultimately, the blazer became so widely worn in Europe that it’s sporting connotations fell away, and it became a garment suitable for leisure and even work. Once the blazer became an established wardrobe item, it began making it’s way across the pond to the United States as well. There, it was popularized by none other than Brooks Brothers. Still a symbol of the elite, the blazer was worn by students attending prestigious universities such as Princeton, Harvard, Cornell and Yale.
Since then, the blazer has been a part of many fashion movements, styled a variety of ways. For example, it was widely adopted by the British Mod movement in the 60’s and 70’s. Women of the time preferred putting a edgy spin on the traditional Henley blazers by pairing them with drainpipe jeans. The blazer was a must-have piece in the 80’s, for both men and women. You may recall the 80’s “power suit” featuring large, padded shoulders. Today, you can find blazers in just about every style, although in general they are much more subdued."
Now that you've got a brief history, let's dive into Stephanie's look. As you can see, our beauty has unique hair so we wanted to make sure that we put together an outfit that would blend well with her hairstyle. With that said, after starting our search with her shoes, it was easy to pair her blazer with the boots. We don't like to be repetitive in our themes and we focus on inspiring our readers with new ideas every week. Although we have already covered boots, this week we're focusing on the trendy knee-highs and thigh-highs.
Black is always an easy pick for shoes but especially for boots. While there are many different colors/patterns out there, when in doubt, go black. The color seamlessly matches with any look you choose. With that in mind, here are a few tips for wearing blazers. Blazers with patterns (i.e. pinstripes, polkadots) are an easy way to directly add style to your outfit. However, it's always fun to keep things simple and stick with a basic color (i.e. black, red, navy blue). In relevance to size when purchasing a blazer, be open-minded. One can easily go with a blazer that fits and use it as outerwear or even wear it as a top. However, one can also go one, two, or even three sizes larger and wear it as a dress. Either way, remember that you have options. Don't limit yourself just by looking for your size, remember that you can get creative with your look.
To complete her look, we wanted to keep things minimal. Essentially, we could leave her look with just the blazer and boots but we loved how the cuff added a horizontal dimension with the vertical pinstripes on her blazer. Accessories can be key to any outfit but don't feel like you have to go overboard. Sometimes a simple watch, ring, cuff or necklace can do the trick.
Pinterest is a great resource for fashion/style ideas!
Challenge: Our challenge is simple: keep it simple. This week we want to encourage you to try styling with just one accessory. Pair your favorite piece of jewelry with your outfit and don't forget to #andieandaj so we can see too!
Till next week,
Andie & AJ
Find the look:
Blazer (H & M)
Arm Cuff (Beauty Supply Store)