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Style Advice

Style SOS: What can I wear instead of a blazer?

Style SOS: What can I wear instead of a blazer?

"I'm not a huge fan of the blazer (makes me feel a bit stuffy), but I'm expected to dress smart for work. Any other jackets that will do the trick?" - Theo via Instagram 

We hear you, Theo. The blazer is a rare sight over here at Thread HQ because, as you so rightly pointed out, more traditional styles can feel too stuffy for today’s workplace – not to mention a bit uncomfortable if you’re still working from the comfort of your sofa. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t found other ways to still look presentable on our morning Zoom meetings. And don’t worry, none of them involve any oversized hoodies or khaki fleeces, so you can rest assured you’ll still look smart when catching up with your boss or colleagues. You never know, once they see how great you look in your new not-so stuffy work jacket, they may even follow suit. So, go ahead and ditch your blazer for these smart alternatives. 

The smart cardigan 

The unsung hero of knitwear, an elevated cardigan offers so much when it comes to your nine-to-five attire. It’s smart, comfortable, and means you can save on your heating bills if you’re WFH. Make sure you go for one with a fitted shape, v-neckline, and shawl collar, so you can wear your shirt underneath – this will prevent the look entering ‘grandad’ territory and instead feel more put-together and contemporary. 

A utility jacket

A utility jacket is the item you never knew you needed until you try one on. Then, it becomes everything you ever wanted from a jacket: smart but not too smart, functional (courtesy of multiple pockets), and style-forward. Pick one with clean lines, sharply fitted shoulders, and a collar neckline, and there’s no reason this jacket won’t serve both work and weekend looks. 

The jersey blazer

A blazer but not as you know it, a jersey iteration feels way less formal. Go for one in a soft cotton-stretch fabric with a slightly unstructured fit and it will help to smarten up a simple t-shirt, without feeling too corporate. We promise that this one will get the seal of approval from your boss.  

The Harrington jacket

The once dad favourite has shaken off its uncool reputation to become one of menswear’s star outerwear pieces. To make sure the look ticks the smart box, focus on the fit and styling of this piece – think well-fitted shoulders and a t-shirt and tailored trousers pairing. If you’re after something more substantial to keep you warm on the commute, look for a wool iteration. 

A blazer, with a difference  

Okay, so we know we ruled out the blazer, but hear us out. If you swap out your usual shirt for more casual alternatives, you’ll push your blazer in a more modern direction. Try it with a simple white tee or layer up with a crewneck cashmere or rollneck knit on chilly days. And if you want you to team it with your joggers on video calls, your secret is safe with us. Read on for even more tips on how to dress down your blazer.

Words: Ashlie Brombley
Illustration: Ryan Gillett