Saturday, February 11, 2012

On blazers, a bloviation

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a petite woman in possession of wide hips, must be in want of sartorial camouflage. And the easiest way, especially on a work day, is to toss on a blazer. So I've been on a bit of a blazer hunt lately.

I don't mind having blazers without matching separates*, because I like the slightly-different-but-not-too-much-so look, like a pinstriped black blazer over a grey skirt. (Yes, I do remember Babbitt complaining that wearing mismatched separates makes one look like a busted bookkeeper, or something, but his is not a mind that I particularly admire, anyway.) And pairing my grey striped blazer with a flame-orange circle skirt is one of my go-to favorites. (You may have noticed that my blazers and their accompaniments are not the most formal, but in my business casual workplace, I can get away with it.)

*My friend also points out that if you are in the habit of wearing matching suiting separates, well, separately, there is a risk that they will become ever-so-slightly mismatched. With some of her pantsuits, for example, the pants get so much more wear (and, by extension, dry-cleaning) than the jackets do. So they look a little more worn (e.g., faded color). It's probably not noticeable to most people, but still.

The most flattering blazers on me are:

Cropped blazers

It could be that cropped blazers on me hit where normal blazers would hit on normal women. (Zen koan, or a tongue-twister: Is a cropped blazer cropped when it's not that cropped on you?) Blazers this length somehow give the optical illusion of length to my woefully short legs & balance out my hips.

Swing blazers/jackets:
Banana Republic swing blazer; sadly out-of-season.
I usually wear these open, because the style doesn't play nice with my bust. And then add hips into the equation, and I get a silhouette that looks wide from head to toe. (Think: dirigible.) But left open, they're fine! Casual professionalism, if not quite casual elegance.

Single-button blazers:

The "X" shape is famously flattering, per ExtraPetite and AlterationsNeeded. With high-waisted me, it's a struggle to find blazers where the X does hit at my actual waist, even in the petite section. I suppose it's just as well for my finances.

Blazers with ruchable/scrunchable sleeves:

I'm lazy and can be stingy, so shelling out for sleeve alterations is anathema. Thank you, fashion industry, for bringing me blazers with sleeves that are MEANT to be scrunched up!

Tweed/jacquard/lace blazers:

It's probably a bit much for me to wear something like this from head-to-toe, but visually interesting tops are my best friend. The look can skew a bit evening-y, but if the rest of the outfit is low-key, I think they can work in the daytime.

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