Having a great fitting blazer can speak volumes about you, who you are and what you’re about! I’ll get right into it…
Here are a few of the things I notice when I see someone, in a professional setting, wearing a blazer:
- “I mean business”- when you see someone who has taken the time to put on a well-fitting suit, including a tailored blazer, I automatically think that they are ALL business! This person has taken the time to present themselves in a way that will not only gain the respect from others but also position them as an authority.
- The details are important – focusing on the details such as fit, structure, colour and material of a blazer let’s people know that you care… care about yourself, care about your clients and care about making the right impressions. Employers and clients want to know that you (the highly respected and highly paid professional) are taking care of their needs. Focusing on the details is a great way to instantly let people know that you WILL do what’s necessary to take care of them.
- Time and effort – those that wear an impeccably-tailored blazer, are letting people know that they’ve taken the time and effort to present themselves in a positive manner. They understand that what you wear is more than just the clothes that you put on but rather a step towards inspiring confidence in others (back to my point on gaining respect and being the authority). When you take pride in yourself, employers and clients will be confident that you’ll also take pride in your work.
Now, I completely understand that you may WANT to achieve a more professional look, by having a properly tailored blazer, but may not KNOW how to do this. I’d like to share a few key tips on what you should look for in a blazer – either for blazers you already own or those you’d like to shop for in the future:
- The Fit – Wearing blazers (or any clothing for that matter) that are either too big or too small is doing nothing for your shape! When a blazer is small, it’ll be too tight around the shoulders, won’t do up properly and will crease all over. The blazer will pretty much look like you stuffed yourself into it – talk about uncomfortable! A blazer that is big just looks like your swimming in it! From an impressions management viewpoint, it looks like you’re wearing your Mom or Dad’s suit. I’m sure you don’t want people thinking you’re wearing your Daddy’s suit, do you? What you should look for is a suit that is closely fitted to your frame. If you happen to be really tall and thin, wearing a suit that is fitted (not tight… fitted!) to your body is much more appealing and attractive that one is hangs off your lean frame.
- The material – Based on your size and shape, you should consider the type of material you are choosing for your blazers. For example, if you are a plus-sized person, you’ll want to choose materials that are light weight (such as a thin wool blend) rather than one that is heavy (such as tweed). This will minimize the amount of bulk you are adding and will create a more streamlined silhouette.
- The shoulders – I put this as a separate line item from “The Fit” because I think it deserves special attention. This is an area that sounds pretty basic but is hard for many people to put into practice. To ensure that a blazer fits you properly, you’ll want to take notice of the shoulders and where they end. A well-fitting blazer will finish right at the edge of your shoulder. There will be no creases (from it being too small) and no “wings” (from the shoulder pads sticking out too far). Make sure that when your arms hang naturally at your side, the shoulder of the blazer falls straight. I understand that some people are into trendy, funky styles for the shoulders of a blazer. While I do think this is a good touch, I’d suggest that, for the boardroom, you keep the trends to a minimum (this will obviously depend on how conservative your office environment is) and focus on giving a stellar performance. We want to make sure that YOU get noticed, not your clothes!
- The length – You will need to consider the length of a blazer. This will help ensure that you aren’t wearing something that is either too short or too long/oversized for your body type. For men, there is a bit of help to understand the length of a blazer (and the length of the torso). Many brands have blazers that are either short, regular or tall cuts. You may need to try on a few different brands to figure out what cut is right for you. For example, if you’re over 6 feet tall, you are mostly likely going to look for a tall cut.
Whether you are in a corporate environment or are pursuing an entrepreneurial endeavour, wearing a blazer kicks up your level of authority, competency and credibility in the eyes of your employer and/or clients. I challenge you to think about how you can incorporate these tips into your professional life and find a blazer that makes you look and feel like the pro that you are.
Important Style Tip: To take a blazer from “just ok” to “the best garment you ever put on”, find a tailor that you love and trust. Working with a tailor to have a blazer fit you and only YOU, will set you apart from others. It is that subtle detail that others won’t be able to put their finger on…