Do you have a blazer that fits you well, seamlessly works with the rest of your wardrobe, and that you love wearing? A well-fitting blazer is a must-have in every woman’s wardrobe…it’s one of those wardrobe basics I talk about ad nauseam. You need the basics for your wardrobe to properly function. A classic blazer is one of the basics I wear the most and when you find the right one, it can be a game-changer! But finding the right blazer can be difficult. There are a few things you need to consider and pay attention to when searching for your perfect blazer. Below, I’m sharing your guide to finding the perfect blazer including how a blazer should fit, which blazers work for different body types, my favorite blazer brands, and more!
If you don’t already have your wardrobe basics checklist, make sure you sign up for our email newsletter to get those FREE recourses (and a lot more!). I also tackle the basics and everything you really need in your closet more in-depth in my Style Made Simple course if you’re interested.
How Should A Blazer Fit
How your blazer fits can affect your overall look and style. There are quite a few things to consider when finding your perfect-fitting blazer like sleeve length, button placement, hemline, and more. It’s important to note that we all have very different bodies and every designer fits differently. Finding the perfect blazer for your body shape might involve some tailoring for you to get your perfect fit…and that’s okay!
When you’re shopping for a blazer, the area you need to pay the closest attention to is the shoulders. Shoulder alterations can be really expensive so find a blazer that fits perfectly in the shoulders, and then deal with alterations in other areas.
The shoulder seam should hit right where your shoulder ends or where you can feel your shoulder bone. If the seam is closer to your neck, it’s too small. If the seam is past where your shoulder ends, it’s too big. Give yourself a hug, lift your arms over your head, or do whatever you need to figure out if the shoulders are too tight. If your shoulders feel restricted or the fabric is pulling a lot, try another size up. If it feels too roomy, a size down and/or tailoring can help. For a timeless look, avoid blazers with shoulder pads…while they are “in” right now, they won’t give you the most classic fit.
The next thing to consider is the sleeve length. This is a simple alteration but can still be expensive depending on the blazer’s construction. There’s nothing wrong with a three-quarter jacket sleeve but your blazer will be more versatile if it’s full sleeve length. The hemline of the blazer sleeve should fall between the wrist joint and your first thumb joint when your arms are by your sides. If you can’t see the top of your hand, it’s too long. If you can see more than half an inch of your shirt cuffs, it’s too short.
Depending on your bust size, this is where the fit of a blazer can get tricky. Ideally, you want to be able to wear your blazer buttoned and unbuttoned. Whichever way you wear it, the blazer should cover about half of each of your breasts without bunching or pulling. I typically wear my blazers unbuttoned so as long as the shoulders and sleeves fit properly, I personally think that if there’s a little bunching or pulling when buttoned, that’s okay. Unless you work in a formal office where it’s required that you have your blazer buttoned.
This leads us to our next blazer fit must-have…well-placed buttons! Most blazers have one, two, or three buttons. For the most classic blazer, look for a one-button blazer. It’s flattering, versatile, and modern. Don’t get me wrong…I love a double-breasted blazer, but for the most versatile option, start with a one-button blazer. As a rule of thumb, the more buttons on the blazer, the more formal the blazer is.
- On a one-button blazer, you will want the button to hit under the bust but above the belly button.
- On a two-button blazer, you will want the top button to hit just under the bust and the bottom button to hit just above the belly button.
- Then on a double-breasted blazer with three buttons, the key is to find one that has button placements that start wider and then taper in to create a waist-defining effect. If the buttons are straight down, you get a boxy look that’s not as flattering.
If you want the most classic fit, look for a blazer with a hemline that falls to your leg joint or about where your leg meets your hip. The more oversized, longline, boyfriend-style blazers are very on-trend right now, which means a longer length. They won’t be quite as versatile and can be difficult to wear if you have shorter legs proportionally. But, if you have long legs and a short upper body, a longline blazer could actually make you look more proportionate.
One last note I want to make is about the collar of your blazer. There are a lot of different options and it’s really about personal preference. There are peaked lapels, notched lapels, draped collars, contrasting lapels, shawl lapels, cloverleaf lapels, and many more. The most classic options and what you’ll see the most are notched or peaked lapels. Smaller lapels (in width) or lapel-free blazer collars will be better for more petite women.
Women’s Blazers For Your Body Type
There are SO many different types of blazers. And with every woman’s body shape being different, it can be difficult to say that one type of blazer is best for one type of body shape. Below, I’m sharing four of the most common types of blazers and which are (generally) best for each body shape…
If you do NOT know your body shape, make sure you read this post and find your measurements and body shape first!
Oversized or Boyfriend Blazer
First up is what’s commonly called the oversized, boyfriend, or longline blazer. It typically has a longer length, boxier fit, or straight silhouette. But again, because there are SO many different blazer styles out there, it can differ quite a bit. In general, a longline blazer is best for the Inverted Triangle body shape because they help soften the shoulders. If you have a Circle or Apple body shape, boyfriend blazers could help if you’re trying to streamline the midsection. An oversized boyfriend blazer with double-breasted blazer details (like the one in this post) could also be a great look for women with a Circle body shape. If you have a Rectangle or Hourglass body shape, avoid the boyfriend blazer because it will create an even boxier look without helping you define your waist.
If you’re interested in oversized blazer outfit ideas and how to style a white blazer (that’s oversized), make sure you check out this post and this one.
Next up is the opposite of a longline blazer…a cropped blazer! Cropped blazers can be tricky. They are best for Rectangle or Straight shapes and Hourglass body shapes because it hits right at your waistline and breaks up your top and bottom half. Wearing A-Line or flared pants, jeans, skirts, dresses, etc. with your cropped blazer will really help create the illusion of a smaller waist (if you’re a Rectangle or Straight shape) and accentuate your smaller waist (if you’re an Hourglass). Body shapes that should avoid cropped blazers are Circles and Triangles (a.k.a. Pear) because the length may hit at the widest part of your body, therefore drawing attention to it.
Note on Shoulder Pads: in the photo above, my cropped blazer has shoulder pads. They can be super flattering for Rectangle, Hourglass, and Triangle shapes because they play up your upper body to help create more shape. But if you have an Inverted Triangle body shape, you should avoid shoulder pads or any blazers with structured shoulders.
Single Breasted Blazer
The one-button or single-breasted blazer is the most classic option and a wonderful option for all body shapes…as long as you can find the right fit! As I mentioned previously, the perfect blazer may not exist for your body shape, which means a great tailor is your best friend! There are a few details to consider that will make a single-breasted blazer more flattering for different body shapes. Here are a few quick tips…
- Front flap pockets are less flattering for Circle body shapes because they draw the eye to the tummy area.
- Collarless blazers are best for Inverted Triangles because they don’t add extra volume on the top half.
- Blazers with peaked lapels are great for Circles and Triangles because they draw the eye upward.
- Colorful or printed blazers are great for Triangles because they draw the eye up and offset the lower half.
- Avoid shoulder pads if you are an Inverted Triangle. But wear them if you are a Rectangle, Hourglass, and Triangle or Pear shapes.
Double Breasted Blazer
The counterpart to the single-breasted blazer is…the double-breasted blazer. Double-breasted blazers are great for Rectangle, Triangle, and Hourglass body shapes. For a Rectangle, the double-breasted blazer is great for you because it’ll help create the illusion of a defined waist. Your perfect blazer would be double-breasted with shoulder pads, a nipped waist, and a peplum-type bottom to create an hourglass look. For a Triangle or Pear, go for a structured double-breasted blazer with shoulder pads that adds more volume to your upper body to help balance out your lower half. For an Hourglass, a double-breasted blazer will help accentuate your nipped waist even more. You could also wear a peplum blazer or tie waist blazer. Important note: Double-breasted blazers are not good for women with large busts, no matter what your body shape!
If you’re interested, you can find a few blazer and jeans outfit ideas here including how to style a double-breasted blazer, boyfriend blazer, and more!
Best Blazer Brands
If you follow the blog, you know that my all-time favorite blazer is the Veronica Beard Scuba Blazer. I’ve owned it for many years and change out the removable dickey all the time. It’s sleek, sophisticated, and versatile. It is a little pricey, but it’s been worth the investment for me. Two other high-end brands to look at are Balmain and Smythe. The Smythe Duchess Wool Blazer is a great option and I love my Balmain Double-Breasted Wool Blazer. Some other brands with great, classic options include Cinq a Sept, J. Crew, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, and Everlane. For very affordable options, look at H&M, Mango, and Express.
What did we forget? Do you have any additional questions? Let us know in the comments below!
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6 thoughts on “How Should A Blazer Fit? Your Guide To The Perfect Blazer”
Great article on blazers!!!! Especially the part of where the sleeve length should end.
So glad these were helpful for you, Susan! The fit of your blazer can really make all the difference. ~Erin xo
Hello I really enjoyed the information but I am size 18 or 20 . Yes I am losing weight but would still buy a least 18 . Which brand do you think is best quality brand .I have very good taste.
I’m so glad this blog was helpful for you, Gail! Here’s some specific styles that are available in plus sizes for you, all great quality that you would love. I hope this helps on your search! ~Erin xo
1.State | https://rstyle.me/+eVnhVihVHz9T3NespuqBgQ
Nic & Zoe | https://rstyle.me/+Z34e_dZ_Bw9GA3oiVYi_Ag (This one is slightly longer than the rest)
Halogen | https://rstyle.me/+hdmD8-EDFl45NTHY1ZcYQw
Vince Camuto | https://rstyle.me/+RuXDQYrlE143dbJIzOKw8g
Ann Taylor goes up to a size 18 | https://rstyle.me/+kfWi4uEFFeioQAVpczC8nA
J.Crew goes up to a size 24 | https://rstyle.me/+BsPzfUtsR1fllbsNO-42yg (Sorted to only show you sizes 18 and 20 on this page)