Hi everyone :) Please excuse the poor picture quality - I was up for work extra early this morning and there was nobody awake to take my photo. When you're buying a sports jacket or blazer, it's very important to make sure that you have the right fit. Since everyone's body is unique, it's unlikely that you will find a blazer that fits right off the rack. Don't panic. Most women need to hem or tailor a purchase to make sure that it's just right for their figure. Here's how to find the right fit:
When you're buying a blazer, start with something that fits well in the shoulders. This will make life easier, since it's the widest part of your upper body (generally speaking). When you are having your clothes tailored, it's much easier to take something in than it is to let something out.
Your blazer should sit snugly against the curve of your shoulder. If you want a bit more definition to balance out a wider waistline or lower body, try a model with a little padding. If you want to minimize a wider shoulder, then go for a close-fitting (not tight) un-paded version.
Make sure that you can comfortably raise your arms until they are horizontal to your shoulders. A little bunching is normal, but if your blazer is too tight to raise your arms or if it pulls heavily under the arms, then go up a size.
Defining a waist is very important for showing off (or faking!) your figure. Look for seams that run down the centre of the jacket starting at the bust. Although they may not seem like much, these seams will help give your silhouette a flattering hourglass shape.
If you have a narrow waist, go for a jacket that cuts in close to show off the smallest part of your upper body. Have a tailor take in the waist or add extra darting to the sides if the off-the-rack size is too loose. If you are trying to hide a tummy, pick a super-structured model that cuts in at the waist and then floats away from the hips and tummy. This will create the illusion of a smaller waist, while camouflaging your less-favourite parts.
If you see bunching or ruching when you stand with your arms casually at your sides, then you need to go up a size or have the jacket let out a smidge at the waist. You want the waist of your jacket to skim your natural waistline without cinching it. Wearing a blazer too tightly across the waist can actually add extra pounds to your frame.
3. Buttons and Bust
Buttons can be surprisingly tricky, especially for women with larger busts. If you find that jackets don't close over your bust or that you can't comfortably raise your arms with your jacket buttoned, then you should fit the bust of your jacket first. Choose a large size (even a plus size) where the blazer can comfortably close over your chest. Then, take the jacket to a tailor and have the sides and back taken in. This will ensure that the largest part of your figure (in this case, your chest) is accomodated by the jacket.
You should also look for a jacket with at least two buttons, to make sure the girls stay in place. Avoid single-button jackets that clasp right below the cleavage, which will probably lead to gaping, as well as double-breasted models.
If you have a smaller bust, you may have to have the top of the jacket taken in a little bit to avoid any gaping. However, you have a bit more room to experiment with different button styles. Try double-breasted models and single-button jackets for a fun twist.
No matter your figure, you want the bust of your jacket to have a nice V-shape that is secured by a button at your sternum (where your bra cups meet at the front). This will elongate your torso, making you look longer and leaner.
4. Jacket Length
There are lots of different lengths to wear your blazer depending on the style and cut. A classic blazer should end at the top of your hip. If you have trouble finding the right spot, think of it this way: you should have about an inch and a half to two inches from the bottom of your zipper to the bottom of your blazer. This length is very flattering on most figures, since it emphasizes your waist. Make sure that the bottom edge sits loosely against your hip - you don't want any material bunching or pulling across your lower back.
If you are going for a cropped style, then you want a jacket that ends just below your waist. The extra couple of inches below your waist will suggest an hourglass figure, making you look leaner. If your blazer ends directly at your natural waist, it can interrupt the line of your body and risk making you look shorter than you are.
Another cut that is very on trend right now is the boyfriend blazer. This style is usually worn looser and longer than a traditional cut, but it's still important to make sure that your jacket is well-structured. Boyfriend blazers tend to end at the bottom of your hip (almost to the end of your bum). This style is flattering for people with slim lower bodies and longer legs, but is best avoided if you have a wider lower body. While you might think that a longer cut can camouflage your bum, it will probably defeat the purpose by making your legs looks shorter.
5. Sleeve Length
Sleeves are the easiest part of a blazer to tailor, but they often go unnoticed. Many stores carry blazers with extra-long sleeves (just like how pants tend to be very long) because they are modeled off of a taller frame. If you are mid-height or shorter, chances are that the sleeves of a blazer will fall too low on your hand. Thankfully, sleeves are an easy fix. All you have to do is hem them to the correct length (or have it done by a seamstress if you're nervous). Many upscale companies actually have free tailoring included when you purchase a suit, so be sure to ask the salesperson.
Jacket sleeves should end at the wrist, leaving your hands exposed and accessible. If your blazer has a patterned or coloured lining, then you can also cuff the sleeves to expose the bottom portion of your forearm. This technique is great, since it can re-vamp an old blazer in a matter of minutes. Try cuffing your sleeves for a more casual look and pair your blazer with jeans and boots.