How to dress like a grown up with Shane Watson: Be bold in a blazer of colour this summer
- Shane Watson says a coloured blazer is top of the list of wardrobe tweakments
- She suggests pairing a coloured blazer with smart jeans and boots
- British style expert reveals a selection of High Street stores offering the look
You probably don’t need reminding of this, but a lot has changed in the past year, including the way we feel about fashion.
We still want to look right up to the minute, but now we want to move our wardrobes on with clever tweaks (what the beauty industry coyly calls tweakments) rather than a seasonal facelift.
Wardrobe tweakments are what it’s all about in 2021 — our favourite clothes subtly adapted to give them new life and fresh possibilities — and top of the list is the coloured blazer.
We know all about blazers. We’ve been wearing them for a couple of years now, winter and summer, and we’ve rarely got so much value per wear out of anything. They smarten up jeans just like that, and make romantic dresses look ready for work rather than tea in an English garden.
Shane Watson takes inspiration from Kaia Gerber (pictured) for embracing this season’s coloured blazer trend at any occasion
This summer nothing’s changed — the blazer you want is still a little bit wide in the shoulders and long in the body, masculine and polished — except for the colour.
That’s the tweak: whether it’s candy-pink like the one in Victoria Beckham’s autumn collection (good news if you’re thinking of investing in pink is that it’s not just for summer) or lilac or lemon-yellow.
The blazer you have probably been relying on up until now is dark blue. Hold on to that, it’ll certainly come in useful.
But the one that’s going to be your 360-degree lifesaver, for the rest of the year and beyond, is bright and bold and anything but black.
It’s going to be this jacket that makes you stand out from the crowd in the day (have we ever felt less like a tan bag and neutral separates?) and it does the work of high heels and bling in the evening.
The only rule is avoid safe and wishy-washy colours. You will find there are a ton of jackets out there in pale peppermint and baby blue. Don’t waste your time. Go straight for bold and don’t look back.
JACKETS: THE NEW RULES
- Keep the hem long, even mid-thigh.
- Avoid wishy-washy colours. Go bold.
- Faux horn buttons are best.
- Wear with smart jeans and boots.
Personally, I favour flap pockets over patch, a strong wideish notched lapel over skinny and, for summer, a one-button style over double-breasted. But so long as your blazer fits well (long in the sleeve and lean but not tight in the body), you can take your pick. Sorry to go on and on about pink, but it has muscled its way to the top of the colour charts and has proved it works well as a tailored jacket option, either with jeans or a denim skirt, with red or with other shades of pink.
It’s no longer an ‘out there’ extrovert’s choice.
Take your pick from H&M’s cerise roomy style (£35, hm.com), Me+Em’s bright boyfriend jacket with contrasting white stitching (£275, meandem.com) or River Island’s slouchy double-breasted jacket (£65, riverisland.com) in peony pink. The black buttons on the latter are a bit harsh, but no reason why you couldn’t replace them with faux horn, by far the best fit with coloured jackets.
Lilac is the other colour that’s streaking ahead for this summer, and a lilac blazer works surprisingly well with bright sea blue and khaki (£34.99, hm.com). Yolke does a sunshine-yellow, 1970s-inspired, patch pocket jacket (£180, yolke.co.uk), and French Connection has a long-line boyfriend blazer in bright lemon (£99, frenchconnection.com), which would work best with white in high summer.
Dark oranges are easier to wear than red, as red tailoring can sometimes look like a uniform; instead, try Jigsaw’s tangerine blazer (£99, jigsaw-online.com).
Remember, it doesn’t matter what colour you pick, so long as you don’t let it intimidate you. The easy way to wear a coloured jacket is with something matching — get the trousers to match the pink Me+Em jacket perhaps (£165, meandem.com).
Another trick is to wear it with clothes in tonal shades — bright blue with a light blue shirt and denim, say.
But the easiest of all is your smart-casual fallback: blazer plus plain shirt, sleeveless vest or T-shirt, with cropped jeans. Add a belt, a heel and sunglasses for extra smartness. You can’t go wrong with this look.
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