The Blazer That Pulls It All Together

petite over 40 blogger

I may have relaxed my personal style this year, but I don't like to look schlubby. I often find I am wearing leggings or joggers and a tee and need to head out and just feel too casual… too close to sleepwear. I've put on a denim jacket and it helps, but when doing another closet edit and trying on clothes I haven't worn recently I saw how a blazer can really transform knits and make them look like a proper outfit.  I have been drooling over this green blazer at J. Crew for a while; if you've been following my Friday Shop posts and other posts you likely have seen me suggest it. Well, I took my own advice and ordered it and I love it.

wardrobe oxygen by alison gary

Blazer: J. Crew (14) | Tee: c/o More Than Your Average (L) | Jeans: Seine High Waist c/o Universal Standard (10 Regular) | Shoes: Forever Flat c/o Ally NYC | Bag: c/o Maxwell Scott | Link Necklace: Baublebar | Initial Necklace: c/o Jenny Bird | Bracelet: Metal Marvels | Ring: c/o REALM

jcrew herringbone tweed blazer

The first time I wore it, it was with my black Soma leggings and my Year of the Woman t-shirt when I had to go pick up my kid at an activity and was short on time. Without the blazer, I looked like I just woke up (well maybe I did, having a house to myself is a rare treat these days and should be celebrated with uninterrupted sleep). With the blazer I looked sharp. Another day, I wore it with my J. Crew Breton and my Athleta jeans, which I was wearing that day but everything had gotten rumpled and worn-in. With the blazer I looked purposefully rumpled. And here, well without the blazer, this outfit would be pretty boring. Having it green herringbone (there are little flecks of other colors like pink, gold, and blue in the wool) I think makes it a better choice than gray or black because it makes a statement while also being a very versatile color.  Envision with mustard or pumpkin, plum or navy, pink or coral. And I love it with stripes! 

alison gary

Because the jacket is a more relaxed fit, it's easy to slip on over lightweight sweaters and knits. It's long enough that you can wear it with leggings and not look half-naked, and the texture looks so good with faux leather leggings. Next time you see this blazer, I'll likely be wearing it with my Spanx faux leather joggers; how chic would they be with this blazer and a black turtleneck? I have very solid arms and shoulders but there is no pulling with this blazer. The sleeves are a hair long (what sleeves aren't for my 5'3″ self), but they're easy to push up and have stay up. There are two front pockets but also a breast pocket and the jacket is lined in blue and white acetate. Unfortunately, J. Crew only has this blazer to size 16; for an alternative Talbots has a Classic Shetland Blazer in Lilac and Harvest Sun which goes up to size 24 and gets great reviews. Also, this plaid blazer from Liverpool goes up to a 3X and has a slouchy vibe and blue color that will achieve a similar effect. 

universal standard jeans how do they hold up

The t-shirt is from my friend Mya who owns the online plus size vintage store More Than Your Average. She is selling these shirts and 50% of the profits she is donating to Feeding America. I love graphic tees like this that are a black font that have a message but are also like a pattern looking sharp peeking out of blazers and cardigans. The shirt comes in unisex sizes S-4X. 

universal standard seine jeans review

These are the Universal Standard jeans I wear all the time.  Size down with Universal Standard Seine jeans; I am a 12/14 everywhere but these are a 10 and still super comfortable. One of my favorite things about Universal Standard jeans is the front pockets; they're so deep that this day while running around town I had a bottle of hand sanitizer in one and my large iPhone in the other!

ally shoes forever flat review

I have halfway written my review of Ally Shoes' new flats and hope to have it up tomorrow. I continue to love these flats and find them comfortable and supportive. And like this blazer for being able to pull a look together, I find by adding these flats and this bag it can make any casual look a bit more elevated!

Maxwell Scott The Medolla

As for the accessories… The bag you have seen several times lately; I am only using it or my Dagne Dover Epic Crossbody when out and about.  The ring is REALM and a favorite because it makes a statement and also because it fits; it's so hard to find cool high-quality rings that go over a size 8! The bracelet is from Metal Marvels and several years old; my two best friends have the same bracelet.

maxwell scott handbags review

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27 Comments

  1. Rachel
    October 22, 2020 / 8:10 pm

    This blazer really suits you – I may have to revisit them…. I think 41 is definitely old enough to no longer feel like I’m wearing my mother’s clothes when I wear a blazer ☺

    Also here for good sleep – lock that in whenever you can!

  2. Judy
    October 21, 2020 / 8:27 pm

    Love this on you, and I love a good blazer to keep me from looking so fall out of bed rumpled. Green and I are not on speaking terms, unfortunately. I need to find another color for my neutral alternative to grey, black or navy.

  3. Anamarie Reyes Kolden
    October 21, 2020 / 6:47 pm

    Influenced!! Funny, my husband just asked me what I want for my birthday. My answer was a blue wave, but I decided to buy this for myself! Thanks for the details, Allie!

    • October 22, 2020 / 12:57 pm

      My pleasure, hope you also love it!

      • Anamarie
        October 28, 2020 / 10:43 pm

        I got my blazer the other day – I love it! I ordered the same size as you and it fits the same. I’m a partner in a law firm, but my firm is very casual. I like wearing non-suit blazers with jeans on Fridays during normal times – I could get away with this any day I don’t have court during COVID times. I know this will look great on zoom as well. Question – how do you keep the sleeves up? They seem too wide for my forearms/biceps to stay up. I will probably resort to a hair tie or rubber band.

        Feature idea – I’m not sure how feasible this is, but I’m very intrigued by seeing a variety of bodies all wearing the same size. Maybe you can reach out to fellow bloggers, friends, readers, and feature a specific item styled in various ways on bodies of the same “size” to emphasize that size is truly just a number.

  4. October 21, 2020 / 5:57 pm

    Alison, I am afraid I am going to have to stop reading your blog. Why? Because I keep buying things you recommend, including this blazer! You are a bad influence on me. Ha ha. It looks great on you. Can’t wait to see how it fits me and the color. I adore green.

    • Anamarie
      October 21, 2020 / 6:48 pm

      RIGHT? Ha!

    • October 22, 2020 / 12:58 pm

      LOL sorrynotsorry? It is a great blazer, I hope you also love it!

  5. Lee
    October 21, 2020 / 4:51 pm

    That green is gorgeous & I just love the entire look. You look fabulous! This reminds me of the 90’s & I’m not mad about it—lol! I recently ordered a plaid boyfriend blazer from Old Navy to give this look a try (again). Now, you’ve got me wanting that green. So pretty & it stands out in good & comfortable way.

    • October 22, 2020 / 12:58 pm

      Thank you! And I agree it does have a ’90s vibe to it!

  6. Linda B
    October 21, 2020 / 10:10 am

    I adore that green blazer on you! And that shade of green is one of my personal favorite colors. For some reason, I love blazers–on other people. I own a few, and almost never choose to wear them. So weird, I know. Part of it is that there is a very narrow time frame in the desert SW where I live in which a blazer is comfortable–it’s too hot for half the year, and almost always during our short winter, I choose to wear one of my heavy handknit cardigans. That dynamic is only more entrenched now that I am retired, and with COVID, there is almost nowhere I go. . . Sigh. I will get vicarious pleasure out of seeing that gorgeous blazer on you, Alison! Wear it a lot, please!

    • October 21, 2020 / 1:41 pm

      I totally get why you don’t have blazers in your closet, makes complete sense! And thank you, I know I’ll wear this quite a lot!

  7. bubu
    October 21, 2020 / 9:48 am

    Love the look of this blazer, and get definitely see how versatile it is. A question for you: I struggle with blazers because I have pretty broad shoulders and a short neck, and then the added structure/padding of a blazer just makes me look very stumpy. I have one ancient CK blazer that was a soft material and no shoulder pads at all, which I love but is definitely showing its age. Does it generally work to remove the pads in a blazer? It seems almost all blazers come with them, and it means I end up wearing them solely for formal work settings, but not these kinds of more casual looks that I really like. thanks!

    • October 21, 2020 / 1:40 pm

      I have removed shoulderpads with success, but often they are under the lining and it takes some surgery to get them out and the jacket back together. This one has shoulderpads but they are really thin, I wasn’t even sure it had them. I think you’ll find that boyfriend style blazers are less likely to have the shoulderpads and have a more relaxed silhouette that works better for those of us with broad shoulders and short necks.

      • bubu
        October 22, 2020 / 9:15 am

        thanks! That is really helpful info.

  8. JenB
    October 21, 2020 / 9:32 am

    I found the J Crew Schoolboy blazer in the DC Junior League tag sale a couple of years back. It’s a shrunken version of what you have. I loved it, but it was a tad too small. Now you’ve got me wanting to find another. I love the J Crew tweeds.

    • October 21, 2020 / 1:23 pm

      Yes! It is a similar fabric but different silhouette; I love their Schoolboy Blazer!

  9. Leu2500
    October 21, 2020 / 9:19 am

    Well, I know what’s on my wish list now. The Green is still a neutral, but so much more interesting than black/grey/navy

    • October 21, 2020 / 1:23 pm

      Right? I’m over gray right now, this is a fun switch!

  10. Krista
    October 21, 2020 / 8:57 am

    I’ve never liked blazers. Even when I had to wear suits for work, I would dread it. Even when I was a size 8! With an ample bust and small waist they just never seemed to fit quite right. But I do like the look of this one and it doesn’t seem so “stiff” and “corporate”. And while I rarely ever need a coat, something like this can work in the winter here.

    • Lisa Dascaloff
      October 21, 2020 / 9:20 am

      I just received this blazer yesterday and it is as amazing as Alison describes. The look is amazing and it is quite relaxed. I would recommend you give it a try. Please keep in mind, I am just the opposite of you and a blazer junky and all about that third piece.

      • October 21, 2020 / 12:17 pm

        LOL I am so glad you also like it Lisa!

    • October 21, 2020 / 1:22 pm

      Yes, this is so much more relaxed I don’t feel like I am HELLO WORLD HERE IS MY CHEST like many blazers do!

      • Jackie
        October 22, 2020 / 4:37 pm

        I was just coming here to question how you felt this blazer lies over an ample chest (the blazer junkie in me has wanted a j crew schoolboy forever, but my chest won’t let me be great). On their site, I wouldn’t have given this another look because it looks so boxy – but it looks quite good on you! Do the sides taper in at all to help reduce the boxy shape?

        • October 22, 2020 / 4:47 pm

          It doesn’t really taper, but there is drape. If you go to my Instagram, I have a Highlight called Reviews and near the end (sorry have to scroll through a bit) you’ll see video of me wearing it to show how it drapes and isn’t boxy like many blazers.

          • Jackie
            October 22, 2020 / 4:53 pm

            Thanks – that’s very helpful! Not sure why I am not a follower already – I’ve been blog following you FOREVER (fixed that!)

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