A good blazer is a completely indispensable wardrobe item. Blazers used to be pricey buys that required much consideration but these days, it’s possible to find affordable, stylish blazers online for as little as $50, if not less. That said, you still want bang for your buck. A bargain is money wasted if the quality is less than ideal or the fit is so bad that you actually look worse wearing the item. So it’s worth spending some time and effort to get things right, because it’s entirely possible to get a sharp and flattering blazer online without breaking the bank. Here’s how.
Get the measurements right
When it comes shopping for a blazer online, the measurements are your paramount concern. You won’t get to try it on, so numbers are all you have to go by in order to make sure your purchase fits like a glove. The first thing to do is to get yourself measured. Barring the services of a professional tailor, you can rope in a girlfriend of a trusty pal. Alternatively, be independent. All you need is a soft tape measure and a straight-to-the-point YouTube tutorial.
Next is to find an online seller that offers exact measurements of his item. Clothing tag sizing is indicative at best, so what you want are the chest, waist, shoulder width, sleeve length and jacket length measurements to ensure a best fit.
Know your fit
That means deciding between standard fit, slim fit and skinny fit. Suits and blazers cut on the slim or skinny are considered the most modern at the moment, and work best on slender proportions. A standard fit blazer should skim the body naturally for a tailored look. Generally, if you wouldn’t describe yourself to be in the best shape, a standard fit should work in a more flattering manner. Also consider variations from the “standard”. If you have very broad shoulders and a narrow waist and hips, for instance, a slim fit blazer might look too much of a strain across the top.
Material is a crucial consideration, since you won’t be able to touch or feel it against your skin when shopping online. Here are some typical blazer materials and their pros and cons.
- Cotton makes a tough fabric that is breathable and thus suitable for both summer heat and heavy air-conditioning. It’s also very affordable, although it does have a tendency to crease.
- Linen is a lightweight, summer favourite. It’s a soft but resilient fabric. However, linen creases incredibly easily.
- Silk is comfortably soft and breathable, but typically pricey.
- You’ll find a lot of polyester out there at irresistible prices because it’s cheap and versatile. However, it can also look cheap, plus it’s not the most breathable of fabrics.
Check reviews and be sure you’re okay with the return policy
Reviews can be very helpful when it comes to figuring out if an item is true-to-fit, and if the seller’s images accurately depict things like colour and finishing quality. When it comes to returns, the point of doing all this homework and research is to make sure that it doesn’t come to that. Just in case though, you do want to know how flexible the seller is when it comes to exchanges and refunds. For instance, note that sale or heavily discounted items are often not returnable.
Find a good, reputable tailor
This is the guy that will make all your cheap buys look way posher than what you paid for them. Often, you can get away with buying an item that is slightly larger and bringing it to a good tailor for alterations. When it comes to a blazer, generally speaking, sleeve length can be altered without much fuss. The waist can also be taken in or out relatively easily. The chest and shoulders would required a highly skilled tailor, and it might be cheaper to buy a better fitting blazer in the first place than to pay for these alterations. The length of the blazer can only be adjusted up to a certain point so that the pockets don’t end up looking too awkwardly low.