My Best Vintage Find + How to Style Blazers
Blazers, to me, are one of the most underrated pieces of clothing. While so many people I know find them stuffy and uncomfortable, I've always loved them. I was that weird kid in high school who wore blazers at least once a week and owned a bunch of them in different, funky colors.
For a while now, I've been on the hunt for the perfect black blazer to replace all of the colorful ones I once wore. I wanted one that was long, had more of a boyish cut to it, and was simple enough to the point that it didn't look like a blazer. I know that may sound incredible contradictory, to look for a blazer that doesn't really look like a blazer, but hear my out. Now that I've gotten older, and especially since I live in the Bay Area now, I don't necessarily want to look like just another business-casual techie walking around The City. I'd been eyeing some on Zara and Reformation, but couldn't afford to spend $120 on a single blazer right now. So, I took to one of my favorite places to shop: Depop.
I talk about Depop a lot on here (no, they don't sponsor me), but it's because I seriously can't get enough of them. For those of you who aren't familiar with Depop, it's basically Instagram, but if Instagram were an online thrift shop. People from all over the globe can upload pictures of their new or gently used clothing on the app, and people can purchase it. I've managed to snag some great pieces for incredible deals, and I know quite a few people who have been able to find genuine designer items on there for hundreds of dollars off.
So I logged on to the app and, low and behold, guess what I found? The exact Zara blazer I had been eyeing, but instead of $120, it was $7. Yes, you read that right: $7. I couldn't believe it! I was even more surprised when it arrived to me, only three days later, in near perfect condition. Just goes to show that sometimes, one of the best ways to shop is to thrift. Not only can you end up finding what you want for way cheaper, but it's also significantly better for the environment. You can read more about that here.
So once you find that blazer you love, how do you even wear it?? When I suggest that friends try out blazers, they're often scared by the idea that they'll be restrictive, stuffy, and way too dated. And this can certainly be the case, if you layer your blazer with say, pearls and a turtleneck. Not that there's anything wrong with that look, but it's not exactly the epitome of a hip, cool style.
Instead, I recommend keeping it casual. Pair it with your favorite tee (major bonus points if it's vintage), some leggings or skinny jeans, and some kicks. Use the blazer to "dress up" your ordinary jeans-and-tee look, while still keeping things modern and current. Since I was headed to a business event this day, I opted to swap my Nike sneakers for these Hush Puppies booties (which are so comfortable, by the way. 10/10 would recommend).
You could also totally pair a blazer with a swing dress and boots for more of a dressed up look, or with sneakers for a more casual-cool vibe. I like to think of blazers- especially oversized, loose ones like the one I'm wearing- like a jacket. If I would have no problem layering a long wool jacket over my outfit, then I should have no problem layering a blazer over it. In a lot of ways, in terms of cut, style, and versatility, they are extremely similar. I think by approaching it from this mindset, it makes it a lot easier to style this piece, rather than if you just thought of it as another piece of workwear.
I hope this helps you, next time you're tasked with styling a blazer! While that may seem absolutely ridiculous, trust me when I say that at some point in our lives, we're all going to have to put one on and make it work, whether it's for a job interview or gallery opening or even just for meetings. Sometimes, we just have to dress to impress, even if that means slapping a blazer over our leggings. Who says you can't be comfy and professional, right? ;)
Blazers aside, comfy leggings are also fantastic for when you go to meetings that involve food. Today, I went to an event at Sweetgreen in San Francisco (which, oh my god, I was so happy about. I loooooove Sweetgreen) and I ate way too much food. They just kept giving us bowls and bowls of free food, and my Sweetgreen-loving self enjoyed it all too much. Definitely patting myself on the back for wearing these leggings. There's another tip for you: if you find yourself at a food-based event, whether it be a brunch meeting or an event like this where you literally just eat food the whole time, always, always, always wear (or pack) leggings. Trust me when I say you will be thanking yourself later.
And now, to go slip into a food coma. Brb...