A reader writes to ask where she can find a good, all-purpose black blazer. You know the kind: you can wear it with jeans, to work, or on a date night.
My reader has a silhouette with narrow shoulders, so she especially needs a blazer that will balance out the widest part of her body, through the hips.
Blazer silhouettes that flatter the pear shape
So let’s start with that garment shape. First we want to add definition to the shoulders. The easiest way is with shoulder pads. Really. (Don’t worry, we’re not going to get all Alexis Carrington here–we’re talking light padding.)
And make sure the jacket fits here perfectly. The end of the shoulder seam should align with the end of your shoulder bone. In fact, a wardrobe staple like this one is worth tailoring to fit if needed.
Draw the eye upward with detailing around the collar. Or try a statement necklace or sassy scarf!
The jacket should also taper in at the waist, to emphasize your narrowest area and further create an hourglass shape balancing top and bottom. A boxy cut will just make you look bigger.
And watch out for pockets on the hips; square ones can add bulk while angled ones can be more flattering.
Finally, make sure the length is right: you don’t want the bottom of the jacket to end at the widest part of your body, which is most likely your bottom or your thighs. Look for one of two lengths: at or just above your hipbones (best if you are petite), or fingertip length.
7 black blazers for the pear shape
Here are 7 options for an all-purpose black blazer, in price points from Target to Platinum Card.
- Target Mossimo Women’s Fitted Blazer. A good, basic blazer in cotton. At this price, it’s good as a starter item or a backup. (Target.com, $30)
- LOFT Cetta Jacket. A better quality item, with peplum gathering in the back hem for a little more definition in the waist. (LOFT, $89.50, on sale for $59.99)
- The Limited Seam Pocket Jacket. In a polyester blend, this jacket should drape nicely and the front pockets are tucked into a seam. (The Limited, $138)
- Alice + Olivia Structured Leather Panel Blazer. I love the leather detailing and the unusual hemline. This is not your mama’s black blazer. (Alice + Olivia at Neiman Marcus Last Call, $173, marked down from $495)
- Ann Taylor Tropical Wool Stand Collar Jacket. Here’s a sleek equestrian-inspired silhouette with flattering seaming and a stand collar in wool. (Ann Taylor, $228)
- Ralph Lauren Devinne Wool Jacket. I like the subtle pinstriping in this jacket; it’s as versatile as a solid black blazer but with a little more visual interest. With a 30” hem length, this is best for taller women. (Ralph Lauren, $270)
- Reiss Ameris Jacket. This military-inspired jacket draws the eye upward with epaulets at the shoulder. It does have hip pockets, so you’ll want to try it on to see if it works on your body. (Reiss, $325, on sale for $162)
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