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7 Ways to Wear a T-shirt and Blazer

7 Ways to Wear a T-shirt and Blazer

Many a fashion expert has demonstrated the art of day-to-night outfit transitioning, which often involves an unrealistic host of modifications, or a substitution so subtle it hardly qualifies as a change. Swapping layers of your ensemble (because who doesn't want extra laundry?), having wardrobe depth on par with Solange Knowles, and accessorizing elaborately all qualify as unrealistic in my book. (I particularly enjoy when these tips are framed as easy on-the-go tricks that are made possible because women carry magical purse-bags of holding.)

Enough of this nonsense. I am supremely lazy when it comes to both shopping and dressing myself, so I aim to get maximum mileage out of my clothes without bulking up my wardrobe. As mentioned here, a plain blouse and blazer are a great starting point for a quick, put-together look. Pairing a chic t-shirt with the blazer further minimizes the net outfit effort (since t-shirts are easily laundered).

To demonstrate the versatility of my favorite closet staples, below are seven outfits that require changing only pants and shoes.

Featuring the same plain gray t-shirt and faux-leather trim blazer, these outfits quickly and easily take a simple basic and tailored jacket all along the spectrum from casual to formal.

7 pant + shoe combos to pair with a t-shirt and blazer:

  1. Denim boyshorts (similar here) with d'orsay flats (similar here)
    • Weekend casual: good for hanging out with friends.
  2. Patterned high-waisted shorts (comparable options herehere, and here) with cognac leather wedges (similar here)
    • Weekend polished casual: good for hanging out with friends.
  3. Ripped white jeans (unripped version here) with nude (faux) Birkenstocks
    • Polished extra-casual: good for hanging out with friends, or an extra-informal (ahem, west coast) work environment.
  4. Dark skinny jeans with crisp white sneakers (similar here and here)
    • Polished casual: good for an informal work environment, including conference-going.
  5. Distressed slim boyjeans with studded patent leather flats (similar with a heel here)
    • Polished casual: good for an informal work environment, including conference-going.
  6. Slouchy black joggers (similar here and here) with nude heeled sandals (similar here and here)
    • Trendy formal: good for going out at night.
    • Swap in closed-toe heels to make this suitable for a formal work environment.
  7. Navy pencil skirt with nude patent leather pumps (similar here and here)
    • Semi-formal: good for work events such as lecturing, interviewing, or presenting at a conference.
    • For an interview-appropriate look, swap the t-shirt for a blouse.

 

Factors to keep in mind

One of the most important considerations when choosing your outfit is to dress for your body. One reason I am a proponent of structured jackets is because regardless of your body type, they do some of the work for you: they can create the illusion of a perfectly shaped torso, even in the absence of one. In the shoulder region, blazers add definition to the dainty and synergize with the athletic. Similarly, they can create the illusion of a narrow waist or accentuate an already defined one. 

Everyone has unique struggles when finding flattering clothing. The outfits pictured above work well for narrow hips and can certainly be rocked by curvier ladies, as well. However, if you're looking to draw attention away from the hips and thighs, the following substitutions can help:

  • Swap the pencil skirt for an a-line version (this pleated midi strikes the same business-appropriate tone as a pencil skirt. Also, it's fabulous, and I want it).
  • Ditch skinny jeans in favor of straight- (such as these or these) or wide-leg (such as these).
  • Opt for looser boyfriend jeans rather than the slim boyjean (a.k.a. girlfriend) fit pictured.

Finally, make sure your clothing fits you properly. You may notice that the blazer pictured is actually a touch small for me in the shoulders. I opted not to size up because doing so made my already broad shoulders seem brawny, and I felt the snugness was subtle enough that no one would notice. So yea, I fully understand many of us aren't going to have a perfect fit all the time, but it should be close enough that it looks good.

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Be curious. Be smart. Be wrong.

Be curious. Be smart. Be wrong.