(Style)

Don’t Sleep On This Preppy Fall Staple

Autumn’s wardrobe MVP.

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MILAN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 23: Deborah Reyner Sebag wearing checkered blazer is seen outside Max Mara ...

You don’t have to work in an office to know that there are few wardrobe staples more reliable than a boxy blazer. It’s settled smack dab in the center of a Venn diagram relating elegance and ease, which is essential now more than ever. It’s adaptable: The kind of piece you can wear with a casual t-shirt and jeans and one that you can also wear over a satin slip dress and heels.

“A boxy blazer always helps me create a polished look,” designer Anine Bing says. “I love how versatile they are. I can wear a blazer to drop-off, to the office, and then to dinner with friends.” The boxy blazer is also chic, in the purest sense of the term. “It gives a cool modern fit to a classic silhouette as if you borrowed your boyfriend’s blazer,” Almina Concept founder Angela Gahng says. That slightly oversized, insouciant shape is a defining reason why this jacket is considered an element of the so-called ‘French girl uniform’ — it’s effortless. Just look at the Fall/Winter 2021 Celine runway collection, the boxy blazer was the star of the show.

The Inspiration: Celine Fall/Winter 2021 Runway

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But regardless of whether your personal style resembles that of stylish Parisians or you pile on color and texture à la Iris Apfel, the boxy blazer is a rewarding investment for any closet. If you’re in the market, Gahng notes that a clean lapel line is important for the shape of a modern blazer as is the fabrication. “I love Tencel as the fabric for a versatile blazer as it can be worn all year round and is sustainable, but also comfortable as well,” she says. “The draping of the fabrication is perfect for a boxy blazer.”

Ahead, discover the best boxy blazer styles to invest in this autumn to lend your style polished effortlessness.

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Houndstooth Blazer

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A check blazer is among the more classic iterations of this staple piece and speaks to that ‘borrowed from the boys’ aesthetic mentioned above. For a modern spin, pair your houndstooth blazer with a contrasting plaid dress for a playful mixed-print outfit.

Leather Blazer

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Autumn is a perfect time of year to break out new textures geared to keep you warm, which is why a leather (or vegan leather) boxy blazer is a winning choice. It’s also a great piece come holiday party season. Try a colorful iteration, or if you go for classic black, style with bold hues for a seasonal pop.

Camel Blazer

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Camel hues are a luxe option if you want to stick with neutrals. Opt for a soft felted texture or something with a slouch, then style back to a classic button-down or seasonal plaid piece.

Classic Black Blazer

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It’s tough to surpass the timeless appeal of a classic black blazer. If you don’t own one yet, make this the year you change that. You can dress it up for a formal event (just add something sparkly underneath), but can be styled back to jeans and sneakers, too.

Velvet Blazer

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Swap out your velvet dress for a boxy blazer crafted in this cozy fabric. Bonus points if you wear it with matching pants, as seen on Camille Charriere above. Try adding a chunky knit for an extra cozy fall vibe.

Pinstripe Blazer

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Similar to houndstooth, pinstripes nod to a Savile Row aesthetic. For a subversive take on a traditional pattern, wear yours with a lace and silk slip dress and strappy sandals. For a preppy take, add loafers and high-waisted pants.