By Trish McQuillen
After we graduated from college, my best friend and I moved to Manhattan to start our new careers. I was lucky enough to get my first job in the women’s division of designer Perry Ellis while she was hired by a French investment-banking firm. While my daily attire consisted of “cutting edge” fashion, hers was filled with blazers, skirts and panty hose…everyday!
Times have changed quite a bit since then – casual Fridays for many employees eliminated the need to wear blazers everyday – and thank goodness, even panty hose have fallen by the wayside! The blazer has come a long way since the power suit jacket of the 80’s and 90’s with the shoulder pads less pronounced and the fit more relaxed. Designer, Giorgio Armani mastered the perfect fitting women’s jacket that kept the silhouette, but added the soft, feminine drape. He took the jacket hemlines from waist length to the extreme of gently grazing mid thigh.I must admit I’ve always loved the look of a blazer at any length.
Quite often I’ll toss on a cardigan to keep cozy, but I really feel a jacket gives a more polished and completed look to many outfits. This year I’ve added a few more to my closet finding that I can wear them with anything from jeans to a cocktail dress.My style is unique let me introduce you to it…it’s simple and mostly monochromatic. So adding an ivory jacket to an ivory dress is how I feel most comfortable. But don’t get me wrong; there are many ways in which to add the once classic, now contemporary, silhouette to your wardrobe.
Anthropologie Nepal Linen Jacket
316 Evergreen Way
South Windsor, CT 06074
Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-9pm, Sun 11am-6pm
The Nepal Linen Jacket combines the shape of a classic blazer, but adds quite a few fashion elements to the silhouette. Four buttoned – patch pockets, epaulettes, tab cuffs and a front tie closure allows this piece to update any basic bottom, from Leah Wash Wide Leg jeans from Joe’s Jeans to a sateen slim skirt from Banana Republic. A printed scarf or a chunky necklace will complete the look.
Vince linen and cotton blend 3-button blazer
Carried at Mitchell’s
670 Post Road East
Westport, CT 06880
Hours: Mon – Wed, Fri 10am-6pm; Thurs 10am-8am; Sat 9am-6pm; Sun Closed
Carried at Erika Kin Darien
1049 Boston Post Road
Darien, CT 06820
(203) 655 8088
Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-5:30pm, Sun Closed
This casual but stylish jacket adds a slightly masculine complement to certain feminine styles. Pair this with a striped cap-sleeve Parisian inspired dress from French Connection, found at Lord & Taylor – just finish with a black open weave belt. Or try a printed or textured soft skirt like the Tulle Frill skirt from Zara and a simple, sleeveless tank. The jacket is also a more polished partner to a Vince draped, pleated short. You can easily pair this “short” outfit with an animal print flat sandal from Aldo.
Schoolboy Blazer in Eyelet from J. Crew
20 Killingworth Tpke Ste300
Clinton, CT 06413
The schoolboy blazer adds a fashion forward texture to a boyish classic. You probably wouldn’t wear it with an eyelet dress as that would be way too redundant, but you’ll love wearing it as the focal point to a clean white jean like the Stevie from AG Jeans and a skinny Plaque belt from J.Crew.
You might want to try a 3.1 Phillip Lim Cuffed Short with belt from La Garconne for a more tailored, but trendy approach to a suit. A Bettye Muller Tell All Espadrille from Endless Shoes takes this outfit to new heights.