Ask the Editor: Capitol Hill Committee Chic

Like many of you, I am closely following the proceedings of the January 6th Committee.  And like many of you, I watched Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony and thought, “Where did this brave American get those fabulous blazers?”

Oh, we’re going to pretend that was just me?  Not according to my inbox.

Hi!  I know this is not the point, but Cassidy Hutchinson’s blazers are fabulous. Any guesses on brand?

Thanks!! -KR

That e-mail and several more just like it (plus a handful of DMs) hit me by close of business on the day of the hearing.  Because what does Capitol Hill Style stand for if it isn’t the principle that one can be chic and do good for America at the same time?

And while I don’t know the maker of Ms. Hutchinson’s exact blazers, this might be a good time to talk about the hallmarks of a good blazer and where to buy them.

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Blazer // Not all jackets are created equal.  I’ve seen impeccable tailoring walking the marble halls of Rayburn and Dirksen, but I’ve also seen blazers that look like an intern pulled them out of the bottom of a hamper after a long night out at the Tune Inn.

First, a blazer should be lined.  Sometimes summer-weight blazers are unlined (“gutted”) or partially lined along the shoulders (“half-back”), but I prefer a full liner.  A fully lined jacket will hold its shape better and won’t wrinkle as easily.  It’s less important what the liner is made out of — most will be a poly material or rayon — but the heavier the liner, the smoother a jacket will lay on the body.

Second, a good blazer should feel a certain way both on the hanger and on your body.  I want the material to be on the thicker side when I hold it between my fingers.  I want it to feel nice to the touch.  I want to look at the stitching and see straight seams that lay flat (puckering and rippling are bad, but a lot of cheaper jackets look that way fresh out of the package or after a few wears).  And I want to put the jacket on and feel the weight of it, the construction of it.

Third, the cut of the blazer should complement the shape the body.  I know the trend right now is toward boxy cuts, but I like a blazer that has some form to it.  And even before tailoring, a well-sewn blazer should have a bit of shape.

As for the cut that works for your body type, this guide by the Girl from Panama is the most helpful one that I have ever seen. This guide from 40+ Style also has some helpful tips.  But try on a few styles to find which one most flatters your body.  As a girl with hips and a small bust, I find one-button styles that fall at the high-hip suit me best.

Fourth, tailoring can make a good or okay blazer a great blazer.  If I buy a really nice blazer, I always buy it one size bigger and have it nipped and tucked to fit.  A few darts, a slight raise in the sleeve length, even the smallest alterations can make a difference. Corporette has an older post on how blazers should fit.

Need a tailor in D.C.?  Cheryl Lofton on T Street was my go-to when I lived there (and for three years after when I traveled there regularly).  If you live in a city with a Nordstrom, they will tailor anything you bring them, but they sometimes charge handsomely for it.

Where to Buy Good Blazers // Recently, I’ve been buying blazers on Poshmark.  Why?  For a time when the pandemic was waning, you couldn’t find blazers in the store, and I was buying old Ann Taylor, J.Crew, BOSS, etc. gently used, sizing up because vanity sizing is real.  (It’s how I’ve gained 30lbs in 10 years and only one dress size.)

I’ve raved about this Double-Breasted Blazer from Banana for months, and I still love it as much as I did when I bought it.  Banana has some lovely blazers right now, including the same cut in camel, black or navy.  They keep trying to sell us linen, which I wish they (and every other retailed for professional women) would stop.

Iris & Ink is the in-house brand for The Outnet.  I own this twill blazer in china blue, and it’s a nice summer weight.  I&I will have great blazers for fall, but Outnet is one of my top places for finding designer pieces for less.  Their blazer section is a bit of an Easter Egg hunt, but I would buy this IRO blazer right this second.

Cinq e Sept makes a phenomenal blazer.  I’m showing their Khloe jacket in hot pink so you can see the details, but it comes in a wide array of colors.  They also make a boucle version, which I own in cornflower blue, and I adore it.  (One of my top five purchases of the past year.)

And now that I see Saks has my size in the off-white boucle, I will be buying that for winter.  Damn, this was an expensive post to write, but some opportunities cannot be passed up.

For a size inclusive, mid-price option, I hear excellent things about Good American.  I haven’t bought one of their blazers yet (I wanted this belted one from the Anniversary Sale, but it sold out), but I hear really good things about them from the right influencers.  You know, the ones who might actually wear a blazer to an office.

Lastly, if you like impeccable tailoring and simplicity, don’t sleep on Reiss.  I have two blazers from there, but I would have 20.


As for other places to buy a blazer — Ann Taylor is solid, the J.Crew Regent blazer is sublime in every color (runs to size 24) — but for me, I hit the sale sections at that posh retailers.  I want to see what Saks, Neiman’s, Nordstrom have on offer.  I also like to take a trip through Selfridge’s and Harrod’s because the Brits just do workwear better than we do.  And to round out this merry band, I like Rebecca Taylor though she’s not stocking as many blazers as she once did.

My last piece of advice for blazers is this: you should feel powerful when you put on a good blazer.  It should feel like a superhero cape.  If it feels ‘meh’, that’s because it is.

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  1. Ajt says:

    After a weird few years of dressing (pandemic, baby), I have been LOVING all of these posts on how to build a work wardrobe and going back to basics. Thank you!!

    July 26, 2022/Reply
    • Karen says:

      I totally agree! I am loving these posts and have been enjoying getting dressed for work because I have been inspired by this blog.

      Belle, the off-white boucle blazer is on Amazon for $204! I just ordered mine.

      I’d love a post on comfy boots for the office and how to style them.

      July 27, 2022/Reply
  2. Connie says:

    I love blazers. Love how I feel wearing them, love how they look in an outfit, love everything about them. But my office has gone to the casual side of business casual and the standard ensemble among colleagues is a shapeless cardigan, sometimes with real pants, often with leggings. I really want to incorporate blazers back into my work wardrobe, but all I can think to wear is jeans + graphic tee + black or navy blazer with sleeves pushed up. Do you have any other more casual blazer outfit ideas?

    July 26, 2022/Reply
    • Belle says:

      In fall, try some leather-look leggings. I also like a blazer over a casual dress. They can be really fun over a Madewell t-shirt dress with sandals. Over a casual jumpsuit might be nice, depending on the restroom situation. I would also try some more fun blazers — cool colors, collar accents, etc.

      July 26, 2022/Reply
  3. Mandi says:

    I’ve been meaning to ask for a while re: the Banana Republic blazer, do you keep this unbuttoned? Favorite tops for underneath?

    July 26, 2022/Reply
  4. A former Hill Staffer says:

    I want to recommend Argent for well constructed, professional blazers with a bit of interest. The material they use is better than others at their price point. They are a small company that makes jackets with thoughtful details (pen/tampon pockets, An interior pocket big enough to hold a phone but does not add bulk, elastic magic in the sleeve that does not pull but holds your sleeve up when you push them up). I have invested in 3, including the one I wore for my confirmation hearing, and they truly are my “I can conquer the world” cape.

    July 27, 2022/Reply
  5. Welfedfred says:

    There are several “convenience” Nordstrom locations not far from me. They receive deliveries and accept returns (Nordstrom & Rack orders only), and do very simple tailoring, free on Nordstrom & Rack purchases, price list on anything else. Yesterday, they refused to put a full zipper into a hoodie because it would “change the nature of the garment” — well, yes, that was the idea, to make it be something I could actually wear. I was forced to take “Home Ec” as a 7th grader, and trust me, this is a very simple operation. On the other hand, I wanted to insert a small dart on each side of a jacket to lift the shoulder line without having to remove and reset the sleeves. They had never heard of doing such a thing. So… pants hems only for the time being. Sigh….

    July 27, 2022/Reply
  6. TheLOOP says:

    My new job is fully remote and while I love not having to commute, I miss dressing up for work and especially miss wearing toppers and dress coats. I also don’t love staring at my closet full of work outfits and reaching for the same WFH pieces again. I need to go back to the blog’s 2020 and 2021 posts for some WFH inspiration.

    July 27, 2022/Reply
  7. Joanna says:

    I would add Theory here for great classic blazers. They have several styles and lots of bottoms to match. They also feel season less.

    July 27, 2022/Reply
  8. Elyse says:

    I love the cornflower blue Khloe jacket as well and Neiman Marcus has my size. At least I think they do…. I’m between a 4 and 6. How did you find the sizing?

    July 27, 2022/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Get the six. It’s a little slim in the arms.

      July 27, 2022/Reply
  9. NK says:

    Love it! I had the same thought when watching Cassidy Hutchinson! Even did some googling to see if anyone had done a “WornonTV” like article about her wardrobe! Thanks!

    July 27, 2022/Reply
  10. Emily says:

    Love the shoutout to the Tune Inn! (and the blazers of course.)

    July 27, 2022/Reply
  11. Naomi says:

    The blazers are wonderful – but how about the top she’s wearing under them? Is it a camisole? I love the tight fit; I think it works really well with the blazer. But I always feel a bit underdressed when wearing a cami to work, even under the blazer. Any suggestions for camis to purchase? Any styling tips?

    July 28, 2022/Reply
  12. Ana says:

    Great post on what to look for in a blazer. Very helpful. Reiss does have well tailored blazers, just note that they don’t do much vanity sizing in the brand, so it’s key to try them on.

    July 30, 2022/Reply