Friday 18 October 2019

How to wear...the bright blazer

Whether you go single or double-breasted, fitted or slouchy, the statement jacket is the ultimate summertime cover-up, bringing personality to any outfit, writes Meadhbh McGrath

Lea Seydoux attends the photocall for
Lea Seydoux attends the photocall for "Oh Mercy! (Roubaix, une Lumiere)" during the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival on May 23, 2019 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
Lea Seydoux. Photo: Getty
Hot pink, €68 from Topshop
Green, €82 from M&S
Pastel pink, €195 from Kitri at Brown Thomas
Electric blue, €29.95 from Zara
Pastel blue, €62.50 from SimplyBe.ie
Orange, €65 from River Island
Yellow, €59.99 from Mango
Red, €290 from Marella at Arnotts
Dress, €49.99 from Mango
White bag, €79 from COS
Striped T-shirt, €25 from & Other Stories
Straw bag, €19.99 from H&M
Jeans, €40 from Warehouse

Meadhbh McGrath

With our winter coats packed away for another season, our attention turns to summertime cover-ups. King of them all is the blazer, and this year, the brighter, the better.

A colourful blazer is the easiest way to enliven your wardrobe, instantly freshening up any outfit, from sparkly party pieces to jeans and a T-shirt. For those who prefer to live in shades of black, white and navy, the thought of a vibrant jacket can be alarming. But don't worry: once you've found the blazer for you, your job is done, and your outerwear will do all the heavy lifting for you.

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On the catwalks, designers turned to the bright blazer for day and eveningwear. At Marc Jacobs, an oversized sky blue number gave a glittering prom dress an androgynous edge, while a lemon blazer added a zesty finish to roomy blue trousers and a pussy-bow blouse.

Escada, too, drew inspiration from 80s power dressing, contrasting bold shades of red, blue and green in one neatly tailored look and in another, punctuating a beige pencil skirt and a T-shirt with a mint double-breasted blazer, left undone.

For a more modern take, look to Oscar de la Renta, where a forest green blazer was employed to temper the froth and fringe of a white lace gown - a handy trick to avoid feeling overdressed at this summer's parties.

The high street has picked up on the trend too, with blazers in egg-yolk yellow, Pepto-Bismol pink and eye-popping electric blue.

At the Cannes Film Festival last month, Lea Seydoux stepped out in an ensemble adapted from Louis Vuitton's resort collection. The outfit nods to the 80s trend that's so prominent this season, simplified to create a cool, contemporary interpretation of the retro skirt suit. On its own, the shirt and skirt could come off too drab, but the blazer brings a spirited flair, nicely finished with simple accessories and a pristine red lip.

Event season calls for clever cover-ups and the blazer is a far chicer solution than a cardigan or bolero. The Danish stylist Jeanette Friis Madsen illustrates how well a statement blazer pairs with a summer midi dress, the boxy cut adding an effortlessness that rounds off the feminine floral print.

When you need to look smart, the colourful blazer is your best friend. A workwear staple, the bright versions bring personality to the most basic of outfits - there's a reason Angela Merkel has adopted it as her signature look.

But you can glam it up a bit, swapping the black slacks for an elegant pleated skirt or wide-leg trousers. At a conference in New York last month, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley dressed up for her turn as keynote speaker in a look from Jacquemus' autumn-winter collection. Jacquemus' sunny, carefree sensibility, inspired by his upbringing in the south of France, makes this outfit more suitable for summer days than the chillier months.

If you've already picked up some of this year's neutral toned pieces, consider the bright blazer your one-step tool to elevate them for summer.

Aside from neutrals, a statement blazer works beautifully when styled with analogous colours: red with pink, blue with green, yellow with orange. For a fashion-forward approach, try complementary hues, such as fuchsia with emerald, or turquoise with tangerine.

Or if that all sounds too daunting, keep things simple: break it up with white or denim - or even better, white denim - or neutralise it with shades of navy and grey.

Irish Independent

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