The fashion industry is saturated with women’s clothing trends that borrow key elements of menswear for their designs. Women’s fashion continues to be inspired by styles worn by men, with everything from pants and military garments, to suits and jackets. Men-inspired features bring an edgy, tailored look to women’s clothing, but they always have just enough feminine flair for ladies to call them their own.
One of the hottest fashion trends directly influenced by menswear is the blazer, also known as a lightweight, semi-casual jacket for women. Commonly worn in the workplace, blazers are now worn by women to complement a variety of looks, including casual everyday wear and semi-formal evening wear. The blazer is perhaps one of the most versatile pieces of clothing a woman can own, and is widely considered a wardrobe staple in the fashion industry.
The History and Essence of the Blazer
Blazers look similar to sports jackets except they are a bit more formal, with a tailored appearance. Although this tailored appearance makes the blazer more comparable to a formal suit jacket, it still maintains a relaxed look, making it an appropriate attire choice for casual occasions as well.
The blazer’s popularity spiked in Britain throughout the early 1960’s and 1970’s, as the mod culture flourished. Icons such as The Rolling Stones and The Beatles wore them in the music scene, and striped styles were particularly in vogue at the time.
Historically, blazers have long been used for school or military uniforms, complete with naval-style metal buttons. They were also originally associated with notable boating clubs, and the term “blazer” was taken from Cambridge’s Lady Margaret Boat Club, the college’s famous rowing club.
The team members originally wore red coats, which were called blazers because of their bright red color, and today, the blazer label still applies to similar jacket styles. Additionally, the modern blazers we see women wear today descend from the double breasted jackets that sailors often wore.
Popular Blazer Styles Today
Somewhere along the way, the navy-inspired, mod-chic blazer evolved, contributing to modern styles for both men and women. While these modern styles slightly differ from their original predecessors, their core design remains the same.
Today, women’s blazers are worn with jeans, work slacks, and even dresses. They put a tough, vintage spin on any knock-around outfit, and they add a little tailored rock and roll sophistication to the most modest ensemble.
Whether the style is tweed, navy, or black or white, a blazer is like a handy fashion accessory that can be used to complement any casual or formal outfit, regardless of the season.
If you’re looking for the perfect piece to spruce up a t-shirt and some jeans, or you want to polish off your outfit for a night out on the town, a classic black or navy blazer is the way to go. Achieve a collaborative work of art by mixing this clean, masculine look with other fun, feminine trends.