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Style Advice

How to dress down a blazer

How to dress down a blazer

Remember the blazer? That formalwear staple we wore back in the days when people travelled into an office for work, and when a party meant more than a socially distanced park gathering with your ‘bubble’ household. But as summer weddings and face-to-face meetings largely went on pause these past few months, these once favoured jackets were relegated to the back of our wardrobes in favour of comfy knits and sofa-friendly sweats. (Because let’s face it, we’ve all let our style standards slip over Zoom.)

But now that lockdown is beginning to ease, it may in fact be time to dust off your blazer. Because, as our stylist Toby Standing explains, this handy layer goes with far more than just a Windsor knot. Read on for his five tips to help you perfect the dressed-down blazer look. How you dispose of your lockdown hoody is up to you.

Find the right fabric

“If you want your look to have a more laid-back feel, avoid the neater, shinier wool you might associate with your school uniform days. Go for a more distinctive weave to help the overall look feel dressed down. I’m not talking about your grandad’s tweeds necessarily, but a blazer with a bit of texture will work well.”

Opt for casual cuts

“The overall silhouette is important to bear in mind when you’re trying to strike the right note on dressed-down days. To create a relaxed aesthetic, let your blazer be the most structured thing in your outfit. I’d suggest styling it with crewnecks and casual trousers, as opposed to a top with a collar, and neat, tailored shapes.”

Keep your suit together

“If your blazer is part of a suit jacket and trousers duo, you may be tempted to just throw it on separately over a t-shirt for a smart casual occasion. My advice: don’t. It’ll look weird. The fit and style of a suit jacket is very particular, so by all means switch out your shirt for a white tee, but wear your suit separates together. They want to be a unit.”

Add interest with pattern

“A quick way to help your jacket feel more easy going? Choose one with a pattern running through it. Nothing flashy – traditional heritage patterns like a check or thin stripe will add some great contrast and interest to your look.”

Don't stop at two buttons

“There’s no doubt a two-button blazer is an easy entry-point into smart casual style. But in recent years, dressing down a double-breasted blazer has become common too. Worn over a simple knit or t-shirt, you’ll find that its distinctive silhouette brings some great structure to your outfit.”


Words: Victoria Ferguson
Photography: Jack Batchelor
Styling: Millie Rich
Styling assistant: Toby Standing