How to wear: a check blazer


Checks are very much in this season. This dress, for instance, is by Ganni, which all the cool girls are wearing, and it’s in the shops now. The jacket I’m wearing isn’t in the shops because I bought it from Topshop in August last year, when check blazers were just becoming a thing. So it’s technically three seasons old, although Topshop has several similar styles this season, including a navy windowpane number for £65, which I would be tempted by if I didn’t already have this one.

Although it’s well over a year old, I still think of this as my New Check Blazer. Partly because I swear a year zooms by in about five seconds – dry cleaning the curtains is only one of many jobs that have been on my to-do list for much longer than this blazer has been in my wardrobe – and partly because I am only now getting into the swing of wearing it.

When I bought it I was terrifically pleased with myself that I had sourced a check blazer within moments of 2017’s September issues proclaiming everyone must have one. I wore it with jeans and a white shirt, and vaguely expected someone to hand me a fashion medal. When, really, a check blazer is not that much of a big deal, is it?

A year later, I’m starting to get the hang of it. You know that thing about how you are supposed to think of leopard as a neutral – wear it with florals, wear it with stripes, stop thinking it can be paired only with plain pieces? It applies to checks, also. This blazer only really came to life when I had run out of blue denim, white and black in my wardrobe to wear it with, and started going for the clash.

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It turns out the blazer looks good over a fancy bright silk blouse with a tie-neck, or a ruffle, or a pussy bow. Worn with high-waisted jeans, the look is a bit like someone’s mum from a 1980s sitcom, which is very on-trend. It also works over florals, and I’ve wrung another fortnight of wear out of the loose midi-length dresses I wore this summer by wearing this blazer over the top. A chunky necklace and boots help bring an autumnal sobriety to dresses you flitted about in with Converse or backless loafers in the summer.

It has taken me a year to figure out that this blazer also works check-on-check. Like matchy-matchy, but more fun. Check-on-check sounds like a clash, but it’s a winner. Checkmate, in fact.

Jess wears dress, £220, by Ganni, from net-a-porter.com. Blazer, Jess’s own. Heels, £60, asos.com

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