Since fall is now here, and I have multiple trips coming up in the next few months (Panama, Atlanta, Florida, and lastly Copenhagen!), let’s talk about a closet staple, and one that should almost always be in your carry on.
Blazers. The real reason I like blazers is because I can usually get by with jeans/ponte pants and a blazer for pretty much any occasion. Including work. A blazer helps to cover up otherwise comfy clothing, making you looked more pulled together and maybe less tired than you actually are. Isn’t that something we all need? No? Just me? Whatever. This Ironman training is getting to me.
I’ve acquired my fair share of blazers over the years, and I’ve found a few that I just love to travel with.
For the men out there…my husband has 2 Lululemon Non-Stop Blazers (purchased by moi, on sale, for nearly 70% off), that are perfect for travel. They are lightweight, slightly water resistant (but don’t look it), dry quickly, don’t wrinkle horribly, have buttons and a concealed zipper, and are pretty much the coolest thing ever. Hey Lululemon, why not make those for women?! We’d dig them. (You can stalk them on Poshmark or Mercari…no longer in stock, sadly.)
Let’s list the reasons why blazers are great for travel:
1. Not sure of the dress code on a work trip? A blazer can easily be used to dress up or down your outfit, or be thrown on for an impromptu meeting you didn’t know you had.
2. Blazers are perfect for a night out over a dress. Don’t look at me, I never wear that Patagonia fleece when I’m dressed up. Never. Have I told you my favorite season? Fleece season. Fleece…..
3. A blazer quickly pulls an otherwise boring outfit together…white shirt and jeans? Blazer. Shorts and a chambray button up? Blazer. Sheath dress? Blazer. Skirt and tank top? Blazer. You get the point here.
Despite the utility of blazers, they are persnickety little things. Some require so much care…they wrinkle. They don’t hold their shape. They require dry cleaning. These are not the blazers you want to throw in your suitcase for travel.
But I’ve found three blazers that I just adore and would love to replicate, so I’ve tried to find similar versions for you. These blazers are the best. Two of them are machine washable. What?! They look high-quality. They are durable and do not require special care like a live chinchilla. They are multi-functional. They do not break the bank.
The best all-around blazer: This Olivia Moon blazer is not only reasonably priced (and on sale!) it is also a great blazer when you aren’t quite sure what your trip will bring. It’s easy to throw on over almost any outfit, the knit fabric packs well, and it does not require a trip to the dry cleaner!! How exciting is that?! I particularly like this blazer because it is structured enough to look like a suiting blazer, particularly in the darker colors, but with the sleeves rolled up, can easily be thrown over jeans, shorts, or whatever you have on for an evening layer. It is also light and easy to pack. Find it here. If you are looking for something a bit more “polished” looking, I also have a machine washable TravelSmith blazer (newest similar style here) that is a bit more formal, but is just as multifunctional. Size down at TravelSmith, but its held up so well for quite a few years now.
The best work-trip blazer: I’m a huge fan of J.Crew blazers for the price point, and for their size ranges (petite and tall). As someone with a long torso, the J.Crew tall sizes are fantastic for blazers so you don’t have that awkward gap when you lean over between your pants/skirt and your blazer hem. I have quite a few J.Crew blazers and all have held up really well to lots of wear. They do have to be dry cleaned. For work, my favorite fit remains the Campbell Blazer, though the Regent is a close second. The Campbell is classic, never goes out of style, and works well with pretty much any business or business casual clothes. The Italian wool here is great for all 4 seasons, too. I also have a cotton version that works well most of the year, though I think the Italian wool looks a bit more polished.
The best vacation blazer: Ah, I love a fun, printed blazer! These Lilly Pulitzer blazers (here) just hit the mark for a vacation (and sometimes are available in great solids like white and blue, too). The print is fun, and perfect to throw over a dress or skirt for dinner. They call it the “Mindy Shawl Cardigan”, but with pockets and a collar, I’ll call it a blazer. It’s machine washable as well, which is awesome! It’s also a great weight for packing and for tropical locations. I know printed blazers can be a bit limiting, so be sure to choose a print you absolutely love or a solid color that is easier to mix and match. I love this one too, with a bit more structure.
Because my search for blazers is never complete, I also included a few blazers I’ve had my eye on, but haven’t purchased. If you have these, I’d love to know what you think…
- Athleta blazer very much like the Lululemon Men’s blazers I talked about (here)
- I love Ponte blazers so much (usually no wrinkles and super comfortable to wear), and don’t usually look at Talbot’s, but these look fantastic! (here)