A blazer is an essential, staple wardrobe piece that everyone should have in her (and his) closet. It can be layered with anything and paired with jeans, skirts, dresses and slacks. As the weather cools just enough to need a jacket but not so much that you need a coat, it’s time to bring your blazers to the front of the closet.

Are you in the market for a new one? Here’s how to buy a blazer so you get the best fit:

  1. Look for sharp shoulders.  This is the area of fit that matters the most.  It should look smooth, with no pulling, puckering, or bagginess when you wear it.  You can always modify the sleeves and take in the waist but if the shoulder seams sit too far in or too far out, it will cause the puckering or baggy appearance.
  2. Choose narrow lapels.  This is a timeless style and creates a neat, flattering line that makes you look slimmer.
  3. Look for a two button closure.  This is also slimming and never goes out of style.  If you find a two button jacket you love and it fits well, but the buttons look a little cheap or plain, you can ask your tailor to change out the buttons.
  4. Choose a blazer with flap pockets.  You can leave them out or tuck them in, which makes the jacket look slightly dressier.
  5. Select one with a nice lining.  If the lining has a fun pattern, it will give the jacket more versatility.  A rolled cuff will show the lining such as a stripe or a print, and it will look more expensive.
  6. Look for functional buttons on the sleeve.  Some blazers’ sleeve buttons don’t actually unbutton but finding one that does will make cuffing easier.  Being able to cuff your blazer’s sleeves will allow you to wear it both to work and dress it down for the weekend.

If you get the details right when you buy your next blazer, you’ll have this essential item for years and years.

Do you have a favorite blazer?  Share with us where you purchased it.

– S.O.