Fashion Forward: Cool and stylish uses for the modern blazer
Gen Z's modern approach to a timeless jacket
By: Matthew Cornell
Versatility is something we all appreciate in a product. Whether it’s versatile as intended or because more uses were discovered after its creation, we rarely complain about something being too useful. The concept of versatility is especially important in the area of fashion, where shoppers look for pieces of clothing that can be styled in several different ways. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the history and modern style of an item that has become a must-have due to its versatility: the blazer.
The blazer is a jacket that was popularized during the late 1800s in England, with later versions eventually appearing in the United States. Town & Country magazine shares that blazers originally served as jackets for boating teams, keeping members warm while also identifying them with their bright colors. As they began to be worn around by the teams, the look started to take off. According to the magazine, the name was applied to the “blazing red“ jackets of Cambridge's Lady Margaret Boat Club, but later was applied to any jacket of similar style. The jacket later came to America and has gradually morphed into the jacket we know and love today.
Today, the blazer has departed from its historical role and has become a staple in many peoples’ wardrobes, regardless of occupation or occasion. While it used to be (and continues to be) a piece worn by men in formal settings, the blazer is now worn by everyone in a wide range of settings, from an important business setting to a lazy day out and everything in between.
In men’s fashion, there are many different ways to style a blazer that go beyond the formal setting of the past. Australia-based men’s lifestyle magazine, D'MARGE, presents several ways to wear a blazer, which includes looks for several different levels of dress. The magazine shares that men can wear blazers made out of a variety of different fabrics suitable for different occasions and styles. Wearing a blazer with a t-shirt and jeans, over a shirt or sweater with chinos, or with a turtleneck are some of the options that exist for men. Additionally, an article from The Trend Spotter shares that men can also pair the jacket with a polo shirt or even shorts.
In women’s fashion, there are even more ways to wear a blazer than there are for men, fitting every level of dress. InStyle magazine covers many different styles for women that incorporate a blazer. Some of the styles include wearing a blazer over a dress, several different kinds of skirts, over a jumpsuit, or with pants like joggers or leggings. It can also be paired with dress pants and a blouse for more of a formal or business look.
What Gen Z has to say about the blazer
To find out what Gen Z had to say about the blazer, I asked questions from those wearing them within AGENZ PR. The results I found were quite positive and in support of wearing blazers more often.
“I think a blazer really elevates a simple look,” said Client Manager Katelyn Stevens. “It's an easy piece you can just throw on with a pair of nice dress pants, a nice shirt, or even jeans or a mini dress.” Katelyn can often be found at the agency wearing a blazer-cape hybrid, as shown.
Jon and John also can be seen rocking the blazer look.
“I really enjoy wearing blazers due to their ability to shine in both casual and professional situations,” said Jonathan Stewart. “I often wear a blazer while out on the town, as there's something alluring about how sharp they can look.”
Samantha Mills, a former intern at AGENZ feels similarly, expressing positive feelings about the blazer.
“I feel empowered, like the power suit kind of thing. I enjoy wearing blazers,” she said. “For work I wear them a few times a week. And sometimes I'll try and ‘dress up’ a casual outfit, depending on what I'm feeling and what the occasion is.”
A blazer can be dressed up professionally, dressed down casually, paired with dress pants, leggings or jeans. No matter the combo, the blazer always seems to look good and shine through. Of the many items in an individual’s wardrobe, the blazer is a stylish, versatile and timeless choice. It’s a must-have, especially for members of Gen Z.
(Photos shot and edited by Grace Davis)
About AGENZ PR
AGENZ PR is a student-led public relations agency at University of North Texas at Frisco. It’s comprised of some of the top PR students from the Mayborn School of Journalism. AGENZ’s focus is on diverse, digital, data-driven public relations that allow clients to better reach Gen Zs with innovative communications. For more information, visit the agency’s website at www.agenzpr.com