Ask Belle: Blazer and Jacket Alternatives
Feb 18, 2016
What can I wear in a business profession environment over dresses that isn’t too casual. I have a terrible time finding suit jackets and blazers that fit me well (broad shoulders/bigger arms with a small waist). I typically default to cardigans but sometimes that feels a little under dressed or sloppy. Maybe I’m not finding the right type. Do you have any ideas for ways to look put together without a jacket?
Jackets are required in some offices, but if you can wear something more casual, there are a few options that I would suggest. I put together a few outfits to give you some idea how to style them.
Ballet Sweaters are an interesting alternative to the crewneck cardigan. They give the waist a bit more definition and look more pulled together. This softer, feminine version is a great piece. For something more affordable, BR Factory has a nice option.
If you’d like something with more structure, a chunky, belted cardigan is a nice option. I own the M.M. LaFleur Morandi cardi, and I wear it instead of a blazer quite often. I also love this BCBG sweater, and this chunky Vince Camuto sweater. Plus-size? This Knox Rose cardigan is a nice option.
Here, I layered it over a v-neck dress (love the complimentary necklines) with a flirty skirt. You could also wear it over a simple v-neck sheath. And how great is the mix of textures on these t-strap pumps? I more them. For something less expensive, try these affordable Dolce Mojo pumps.
Sleeveless Sweaters are a newer trend. At first, I wasn’t feeling them. What good is a sweater without sleeves? But then I saw how one of my favorite bloggers, Kat Tanita, was styling them and it changed my thinking.
For this outfit, I paired an inexpensive sweater with a blouse and trousers to create a look that is pulled together, but still relaxed. I like the BR sweater in the set because it’s got a cool shape. I also found this Ecote drop shoulder vest in two-tone knit. This Rafaella patterned vest also caught my eye. Plus-size? Try this Calvin Klein navy vest.
I wish these pants were still available. Occasionally, I miss what could be a great J.Crew item because I barely visit their site anymore, and it makes me sad. But when their wares fall apart and are poorly sized, you can’t love the rough to get to the rare diamond.
The gray top streamlines the look. And the long necklace pulls it together by mixing in a bit of metal, but also the foundation color of the tops.
Boyfriend Cardigans seem too casual for work on first glance. However, if you pair them with structured, professional pieces, they bring something new to the party. I own a very chunky grey cardigan that I wear over tailored dresses to give them a more relaxed feel.
This BR Factory cardigan is a nice option. I prefer cardis without buttons, so this Billabong Tripped Up Cardi and this navy Chaus open cardigan are my preference. If you like button- cardigans, this Daisy Cable cardigan has a cool look to it. Plus-size? This ASOS Curve oversized cardi is chic.
I wanted an ivory dress here to keep it in a similar color family. The oatmeal was a little drab, and I wanted to lighten it up. This Theory dress is gorgeous, but pricey. This Ralph Lauren cable-knit dress is a good option, as is this Forever21 v-neck shift.
Ivory and white dresses always get pearl earrings in my outfits. They bring an ethereal quality to your look. These very cool drop earrings are a must-have. I also added tortoise pumps because another color might clash, and the tortoise adds some texture. You could also go with an animal print.