Haven’t we each had a plaid blazer at one time or another? A plaid blazer can be the best wardrobe item or the very worst piece of clothing ever. They remind some of us of hated school uniforms or anything else our mothers made us wear, and others of happy weekends shooting grouse or riding to the hunt in the English countryside (people do that, right?).
The very BEST plaid blazers: fit extremely well, complement the rest of your wardrobe, and function as perfect fall outerwear and as a sweater alternative in the winter.
The WORST blazers (and we’re experts on this, just you wait): usually too big in the sleeve, the length or across the chest, simply bad plaid and often made out of cheap fabric.
We have both had our share of plaid blazers. These two pictures are from the early 90s and could qualify as the ugliest plaid blazers ever. Kate was 8 years old here and Jeanne remembers that she was determined to wear this blazer for her school picture. It lives on in infamy in every photo collection and framed on the wall. She does look pretty darn cute though, right? Maybe being young can make even the ugliest style choices warm your heart.
Jeanne’s, we believe, was from Nordstrom Rack and she truly thought it was the height of fashion (she thinks, but cannot be sure, that it had a matching box pleated skirt). See her trendily wearing it with high-waisted jeans and a turtleneck. Both blazers hit the mark for WORST: ugly synthetic plaid, BIG shoulder pads, much too long.
Plaid blazers are back in style this year. The best ones are nipped at the waist and are a little whimsical, in our opinion. The memory of our last plaid blazers will likely keep Kate and me from buying one this year, but we have definitely learned our lesson for the next time:
- Make sure the blazer/jacket fits extremely well, even if you have to take it to be altered
- Match your plaid to your personal style – “English countryside” for the more faint at heart or “Gwen Stefani” for those of you who want to make a real statement
- Try to buy quality fabric and make sure your blazer is lined. In the general case of blazers, off price or deeply on sale is often better than simply cheap.
- Make sure you have a variety of outfits you can put together with your blazer: skinny jeans on the weekend, a dress (blazers look good belted too!) and at least one pair of good trousers.