How to Dress Down A Blazer: 5 Styling Tips

How to Dress Down A Blazer - Running In Heels

I love blazers, but sometimes I hate when they look too professional. I don’t want to look like I’m going to work whenever I wear one! On top of that, I’ve never worked in a business professional office, and have never been very comfortable in business clothing. It took me a really long time to find a way to wear blazers that I am comfortable with and still struggle with it from time to time. So if I wear a blazer, I usually try to dress it down. Now I have fun with dressing blazers down to see how I can style them that won’t make me look like I’m an old college professor or heading to an interview.

​​​​​​​This is a relatively new development for me, though. Blazers used to be something I reserved solely for interviews and then promptly hung in the back of my closet not to be seen until the next one. I’m sure the trends have something to do with my change of heart. The styles have shifted towards more casual options. Now, blazers are meant to look more stylish rather than professional. So, in addition to the styles changing, I also learned how to style them better so I don’t feel too stuffy. 

Now, I feel comfortable wearing a relaxed fit blazer casually out to events, drinks, or even date nights. It’s a great layering piece that both keeps you warm and keeps you looking super chic. The best part is, now that they’re in style you can find them at relatively inexpensive prices. My oversized blazer, the one I’m wearing in these photos, is under $35!

The History of the Blazer

Blazers were created long ago for men for functional purposes. They served as a layer of warmth for seamen, traditionally made of thick wool, they kept sailors warm and blocked out the wind. The men looked so sharp in their blazers, that they began to wear them on land as well. And so the trend began and still lives on today for everyone.

Since history repeats itself, and we are working our way back through the decades of fashion trends, I think we’ve about hit the 80s and 90s with today’s blazer style. Women have worn suits and blazers for a long time throughout history. But they really started to use them for fashion (over function or necessity) in the 80s. The idea of the power suit expanding outside of the office was supposedly thanks to the popular TV show Dynasty (rebooted in 2017 and now on Netflix). 

Later in the 90s, ​​​​​​​Clueless was another show that perpetuated the blazer trend. Cher and Dionne wore the best and most colorful blazers even in high school! Since fashions have gone back in this direction of the 80s and 90s, we’re emulating their styles with a modern twist. Instead of wearing matching suits, we’re dressing the blazers down more casually. 

I dressed my plaid blazer down with leather leggings and booties. I layered it underneath with a velvet cami and my favorite Free People bralette. This look is both casual and edgy. I wore it out to run errands and go shopping. I ended up at an event that night, and the blazer was perfect to transition from day to night and still looked so nice. 

How to Dress Down A Blazer

Choose an Oversized and/or Deconstructed Blazer

These styles are sometimes one and the same but lately have been diverging. Choosing a blazer that is oversized but not too big is important. An oversized blazer is made to be worn large. But you should not be sizing up to make a blazer oversized because you still want to keep it proportional. If you do size up, only go up one size.

A deconstructed blazer on the other hand allows for a more casual feel due to its lack of structure and lining. Your suit blazers will hold their shape on the hanger, and have silk or satin lining and oftentimes shoulder pads. The shoulders will be stiffer, and your lapels will stay upright. Unlike a deconstructed blazer which will hang more like a cardigan, and be a bit floppy. 

Style Your Blazer with Casual Bottoms

Causal bottoms will help dress down the blazer. So some blazer outfit ideas including a pair of jeans or leather leggings are going to be your best bet. I also love twill pants like these brown pants! In the summer you can even choose shorts or a casual skort. One caveat with shorts is that you should only be wearing shorts with an unlined blazer usually in linen or cotton fabric. The styles will not work well with a lined blazer or one with a heavier fabric.

The bottoms are the most critical piece of this outfit because aside from the blazer, they are the other main focal point of the look. If you choose casual pants or jeans you can go with any style, skinny, flares, wide-leg, or straight-leg jeans would also look great! 

Skirts are another great option paired with blazers. A midi skirt could be a nice look but choose carefully with the style and fabric because that can dress up quickly. I wore my blazer on a night out with a faux leather mini skirt recently and it was a great way to dress it down in a different style.

Stay Away from Blouses or Collared Shirts

To me, a collared or button-down shirt screams “interview” from underneath your blazer, so I typically shy away from those. The exception here is a more casual style, oversized, chicly cut, or chambray option. In my opinion, a T-shirt, cami, or even a crop top would be the best way to dress a blazer down. Graphic tees are the most casual option for a street-style look, but the key to choosing an option for underneath is to look at the fabrics. Cotton, linen, or even sweater material could be great, but you’ll want to stay away from a structured poplin, satin, or silk.

Wear Your Blazer as a Layering Piece

Instead of building your outfit around your blazer, use it in place of an outdoor jacket such as jeans or a leather jacket. This is a great way to wear a blazer in the winter! It’s sometimes awkward wearing a coat over a blazer, so instead, layer a top and a sweater then pair your classic black blazer over top! It’s an added layer of warmth and style!

In the spring or summer, you could do the same with a white blazer and carry it around to wear in the air conditioning! I always like a long-sleeves in summer moment.

Wear Lower Heels or Flats with your Blazer

I’m not opposed to heels, obviously. However, when dressing down your blazer you’ll want a more casual option than stilettos or pumps. Usually, that means lower or block heels, opt for a stacked wooden heel or a chunky rubber one. Stay away from pointy toes, pumps, or anything you’d wear to an interview. My favorite option is booties, or if you want to get super dressed down with your blazer outfit, try sneakers!

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Leave a Comment

19 Comments

  1. Mollie wrote:

    Oversized blazers and leggings are my jam right now! I love the dressed down look!

    xx Mollie

    Posted 12.18.18 Reply
  2. Cathy wrote:

    These are such great tips. I love how you styled your blazer!!

    XOXO
    Cathy

    Posted 12.18.18 Reply
  3. Rach wrote:

    I agree and I don’t like how blazers can look so professional. I love how you dressed it down! It looks so chic ad I like the oversized fit as well!

    http://www.rdsobsessions.com

    Posted 12.18.18 Reply
  4. I love how you styled the blazer. I also love the pattern of the blazer.

    ❥ tanvii.com

    Posted 12.18.18 Reply
  5. Great tips on how to style a blazer. They can be a tricky piece to style but you nailed it!!

    xoxo Sarah

    Posted 12.18.18 Reply
  6. Stephanie wrote:

    Blazers are one of my favorite pieces to style. They’re so timeless and they always add such a fun twist to any outfit. Want to dress down a dress? Blazer. Want to dress up graphic tee and shorts? Blazer. It’s a winner no matter what!

    Posted 12.18.18 Reply
    • I totally agree! They are perfect for so many occasions!

      Posted 12.18.18 Reply
  7. Rachel wrote:

    I love how you styled this blazer! Put together but still casual. I’m all for the oversize blazer trend right now. It’s just too good!

    Rachel
    http://www.hello-her.com

    Posted 12.18.18 Reply
  8. Lyddiegal wrote:

    I have so many blazers, and I love them, but it’s true I don’t wear them nearly as much as I should! They add a lovely bit of polish to a look!
    https://www.iamchiconthecheap.com/

    Posted 12.18.18 Reply
  9. You are rockin’ that blazer. I don’t think I can pull it off.

    Posted 12.18.18 Reply
  10. i love how you styled this blazer!! so chic!

    Posted 12.18.18 Reply
  11. em wrote:

    this is such a cute outfit! I love wearing blazers!

    Posted 12.19.18 Reply
  12. ashley hargrove wrote:

    You look so chic in that blazer!! I absolutely love a good blazer and think they are so versatile because you can easily dress them up or down!

    Posted 12.30.18 Reply
  13. Nataly wrote:

    That blazer looks so good on you! I can’t live without mine for the office!

    Posted 1.2.19 Reply
  14. Sohbet wrote:

    very very nice

    Posted 1.6.23 Reply