A fashion and style blog for the over 40s covering body shapes, colour palettes, how to wear neutrals, style personality and capsule wardrobes. Come on in!


Shedding The Layers

Ah yes spring. My second favourite season because autumn will always be up there as #1. You know how swallows instinctively know when to fly back home from their extended vacation in South Africa (I think the technical term is migration), well, my body seems to know exactly when to start shedding those layers. Suddenly polo necks repulse me, Ugg boots are errrr ugly and big coats that served me so well last month seem far to heavy on the shoulders. Of course there are blips here and there. Snow in April for instance sees me diving full on back in to the winter woolies but this is merely a temporary measure. 

Anyway, things are certainly looking up because I've worn a blazer for 3 consecutive days and haven't felt the least bit cold. And tackling the mammoth ironing pile this afternoon with nothing else to think about but jackets, I came to the conclusion that notwithstanding style personality, a blazer sits very nicely in anyone's wardrobe. We just wear it in different ways. You can find your style personality here

So take a City Chic for example. She'll wear it in a simple way with dark jeans, breton and maybe loafers. A Creative might wear a heritage check blazer with a bright floral blouse, clashing skirt and leopard print boots. A Dramatic will squeeze those bell sleeves and ruffles into the arms of her blazer while a Natural will be all about the comfort factor so she'll be looking for stretchy fabric such as ponte. A Classic will team hers with matching classic pants or skirt and a Romantic will be all about the velvet because she loves touchy feely things. 

See, it's a versatile piece of clothing the humble blazer. And long time readers of this blog will know that I have a soft spot for this type of jacket. I don't care to count how many I have, far too many but honestly I wear them all. 

Just a small selection (please don't judge). 

And so, so useful too. Great for inbetweeny weather, I wore mine over the top of a thin knit today but I'll also wear it over a vest top on chillier summer days. One blazer can cover many different occasions too. Throw it on over a formal dress, wear with trousers and heels for a night out or pair with jeans and a t-shirt for a casual look. We are talking pence per wear. My Burberry one is 15+ years old. I cried when I parted with the cash but oh it's served me well. Mind you, you don't have to pay mega bucks. I have jackets from Mango, Zara, M&S, Next to name but a few. The key is in the fit. Make sure it's bob on, don't compromise on the fit. 

Here are my tips:

1. The shoulder line fit is the most important. Don't super size to accommodate your boobs or hips because it will always look too big on you. You'll probably not be able to fasten the button but is that a deal breaker? Nah...leave it open. 

2. Find your perfect length. Avoid the hemline finishing at your widest point. Go higher or lower. If you're long waisted (short legged), look for a shorter jacket that will give the illusion of a higher waist/longer leg. Conversely, if you're short waisted, you can go longer in the length. Petites should buy from the petite range as the jacket will be cut proportionally for your size. 

3. Most of us benefit from a little waist definition so take advantage of blazers that nip in. I use this lots to give myself an albeit pretend waist!

4. Double breasted always look fab in pictures but are so hard to wear in real life because they often don't sit right when they're undone. Far better to find a single breasted style. 

5. A classic blazer will always last longer than one that has been messed with. Zara I'm looking at you. Over sized lapels, embroidery, puff-a-luff sleeves, pockets linings stitched on the outside. Ok, I made the last one up but you get my gist. 

6. Similarly neutral colours (black, grey, brown, navy, camel, beige will last far longer and you will be able to do so much more with them than fashion colours. So if you're new to blazers, concentrate on neutral shades first. And then you can throw in a red or a pink or whatever later. 

7. I stay clear of linen blazers - creases do nothing for me. As soon as I buy a new one, I hang it up on the back of my wardrobe. If it's still creased after 24 hours, it goes back. 

8. Think of the blazer as a basic. It's what you do with it that makes it special!

Here are a few that have caught my eye. 

I have this one so can vouch for it. The Ponte fabric gives it amazing stretch so it's as comfy as wearing a cardi (will appeal to ladies who prefer a more relaxed style). And machine washable too! Also available in black and a fabulous drake (a greeny teal) which would make a wonderful neutral if you wear autumnal colours. 

A summer option from Mango. I've had a few jackets from here over the years and they've been more than fine for the money. White t-shirt, jeans and footwear of your choice for an easy win classic outfit that will never date.

Someone tell her she's forgotten to take her apron off. 

A little twist from Zara (they can't help themselves can they) but to be fair, I'd buy this if I needed a black blazer this year. The twin buttons are different without being out there. 

Love, love, love this one from Next. A brilliant option for summer. 

A longer length one now. A good bum-coverer-upper! 

And a shorter grey option with a stripey shirt under 👍

I know that I mentioned this one last time but I can't move passed it (arrrggghh, someone slap a Next ASBO on me now). 

And when you've finished filling up your wardrobes with neutrals, you can move on to proper colour. This is a bit special....

A close up is needed me thinks. Obviously I'd wear a top underneath. 

And here I am in one of mine today, an old one from Me&Em. 

Ok, I'm going to sign off now as Broadchurch is calling me on catch up. Do you have a blazer fetish? Which one is your favourite? 

Catch up later in the week. 

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