ES Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Laura Weir, on the modern power dressing staple
Here’s a scene that a few of you may be able to relate to: A few weeks ago, I was having a friendly rummage through my friend’s wardrobe. My best friend is the best kind of friend, one who positively encourages me to take clothes off her hands and that’s when it happened. I opened her wardrobe and alighted on a navy blue blazer, double breasted with bold black piping and a chestnut button. It looked a little oversized, a touch of Annie Hall, a dash of that iconic trench that Jane Fonda wears in Klute. In short, simply by hanger view I knew she was perfect. Perfect for portraying a degree of that ever illusive: 'I glide through life,’ mood, that without the support of strong tailoring, evades me and my wardrobe.
So, I borrowed it (she had worn it to death) and now it’s on my back where it’s been firmly ensconced ever since. I’m convinced that the meeting I had with my bank manager a few days ago went particularly well because she admired it so (she even had the audacity to finger the fabric). The fashion front row approve of the blazer too, safe in the knowledge that they look quite smart and work well on top of almost anything – I could say that blazers are 'back,’ but the best thing about the perfect blazer? It never goes away. Worn long-line in the body with knuckle grazing sleeves and slightly oversized shoulders then teamed with jeans – oh, this is the uniform of the chicest women. Take French Vogue Editor Emmanuelle Alt, or Alex Eagle and her laid-black linen blazers, or Caroline de Maigret and her immaculately slick tuxedos. The right blazer imbibes a superpower, a certain swagger. It’s the signature of great tailoring, a piece of clothing that makes you feel like you can conquer the world. Don’t be afraid to upend convention with yours, the blazer is your best friend, don’t be intimidated by its formal appearance. Wear it over a casual t-shirt or lightweight sweatshirt when the weather turns. Even better, wear it with a rugby shirt, the collar popped-up underneath. Ah the blazer, a gift to women if ever there was one. It is one part power dressing-lite, offering all of the smartness of a suit without the tried-too-hard energy, and one part ultimate accessory.
The right blazer is a sartorial crutch that I couldn’t work without. The blazer (teamed with jeans or mismatched pants) is a look pioneered by Jackie Kennedy and distilled by Meghan Markle. Legions of powerful women are in the blazer squad; Angelina Jolie wears one when she’s changing the world via the UN, Amal Clooney wears hers when she is quite literally saving lives and when Emily Ratajowski rocked an oversized blazer with a pair of pedal pushers recently, Instagram stood still. The blazer purveys a sense of togetherness and are a joy for women who, like me, often find themselves in desperate, last-minute need of something to sharpen up their look. I have had my Tibi blazer slung over the back of my editor’s chair for as long as I can remember. If a last minute meeting arises, my old faithful is there, giving me the professional pep in my step that I require. Blazers are, quite simply, the best kind of battle dress.