Are Blazers Still Cool? A 4-Year-Old Trend, Re-Examined.

February 6, 2013 by Justine Schwartz
shefinds | Shop

I have a closet full of blazers – and so do you, right? $300 Theory ones that I justified as “an investment,” cheapie Topshop and Forever21 ones in trendy prints and colors like “winter floral” and last year’s Tangerine Tango. I’ve got neutral ones (black, navy) and #craycray ones, like Rebecca Minkoff’s big-shoulder, drape-y “Becky” jacket (Jessica Alba was a fan!). I’ve got boyfriend blazers, shrunken blazers, tailored blazers — even “sweater blazers.” Bottom line: I’ve spent a lot of time and money on this trend, which might explain my hesitation to give up on it. But the writing is on the wall: the trend had its big moment exactly 4 years ago, and all the stylish women I pass on the street in New York everyday seem to be rocking outerwear alternatives. And the final nail in the coffin was when, in the series finale of 30 Rock last week, Alex Baldwin’s character mocked Tina Fey for having a rewards card at Blazer Barn, “Manhattan’s largest out-of-business blazer dump.”

So, what’s a girl to do?

Before deeming them “uncool” and unloading my lifetime supply of blazers unto the Salvation Army, I’d like to re-visit this trend. Let’s start at the beginning (of recent history):

2009: A Trend Is Born

While blazers are an evergreen trend for men, they’ve only sporadically popped up in women’s fashion throughout the years (think 1980’s shoulder padded version). The current iteration of the trend, which I’ll be referencing in this post, popped up in February of 2009, when at New York Fashion Week, DSquared2’s runway collection featured a borrowed-from-the-boys black blazer. Later that year, in August, Drew Barrymore steps out in the “perfect blazer.” And in a September taping of  MTV’s “It’s On!” with Alexa Chung, Chung’s oversized blazer causes a stir, putting the Brit on the map as a worldwide trendsetter. College students want to learn how to style it.

Back at Fashion Week (this time for Spring 2010), D&G sends several box-y blazers down the runway for Spring/Summer 2010. Roberto Cavalli, Ann Demeulemeester and John Galliano follow suit. One blogger proclaims: “Go grab your boyfriend or husband trousers, blazer & jeans and wear them!”

2010: Still Burning Bright

In July, Lady Gaga, a rising star herself, performs on the Today show in a bejeweled white blazer. That summer, a slew of stars – from Katie Holmes to Victoria Beckham and Lauren Conrad – rock the trend. Blazer mania ensues.

In September, Gucci sends this oversized orange blazer down the runway for spring 2011. Camilla Belle is an instant fan. According to Wikipedia, blazers were also shown on runways of Charlotte Ronson, Cynthia Rowley, and Elie Tahari and “the trend continued into 2011.”

2011: Time For An Upgrade

Modelinia insists, “This season it’s all about the boyfriend blazer,” and cites a look from Agyness Deyn for inspiration. For Resort 2011, Donna Karan, Erin Fetherston, Yigal Azrouël, and Stella McCartney introduce the tuxedo blazer. By fall, Glamour declares the peplum blazer as “fall 2011’s most wearable trend.”

As the year comes to a close, WWD says blazers must have “edge.” So many ways to love you, blazers!

2012: New & Improved

The blazer continues to adapt with new seasonal trend.  In February, Redbook says neon blazers like Michelle Obama’s are a trend “anyone can wear.” In April, StyleBistro agrees that it’s all about the colorful blazer. Velvet blazers, floral blazers and drape-y blazers are still very much the rage. Until….

In September, ELLE declares that leather & boucle jackets are “fall’s new blazer.” This is one of many “____ is the new blazer” declarations.

2013: Down, But Not Out

The blazer trend is not as in-demand as current outerwear trends – like mixed media, varsity jackets or leather sleeve-jackets – but they are not gone forever. No longer the focal point of your wardrobe, experts insists you can still make use of the blazers you already own. Joe Zee tells ABC news that you should pair spring’s lace trend with a structure blazer.

There are over 7,000 blazers available on Shopstyle.


Editorial Director

Justine Schwartz is a veteran women's lifestyle editor; she's written extensively about style & beauty tips, health advice and wedding planning for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in New York Magazine, Huffington Post and New York Weddings. Justine has been with SheFinds since 2010; you can reach her via email at [email protected]

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