How to thrift the perfect essential blazer

Blazers elevate any look from leggings to a suit, they require minimal thought or effort when getting dressed in the morning, they are timeless and therefore readily available at any thrift store, and they are great to have on hand for any occasion.

Black blazer for work: Target pants, thrifted shoes, thrifted shirt.

My go-to tips for thrifting blazers

Find out how your store organizes blazers. Some places stick them with jackets and outerwear, others with suits, or they will be in a section on their own. Blazers have a designated section at Goodwill Akron stores.

Stay focused and pick a simple, structured, and classic style first. It’s very easy to get distracted by cute vintage styles, funky colors, boxy boyfriend styles,  or cool embellishments (trust me, all of those are my weaknesses). These styles are great, but you won’t get much wear out of them. Maybe incorporate one of those into your wardrobe later on, but for now focus on buying an essential, practical blazer in black or navy.

Look for an all-season blazer. I like the ones with a little stretch. There are several beautiful wool blazers at the thrift store but those limit you because you can only wear them in cooler temps.

Don’t be afraid to get them altered. It’s important that your blazer fits well. It’s supposed to hug you in all the right places. You don’t want one that droops too much in the bust, but you also don’t want it to be too tight. When you try it on, hug yourself to make sure you have enough room to move around or act like you’re driving because nothing is worse than wearing a tight jacket behind the wheel. If you find one you absolutely love at a great price, buy it and research your local tailor to see how much they’d charge for minor alterations. Thrifting an all-season blazer for say, $20 after alterations is an excellent deal.

Look for durable and trusted brands. I’m no label hunter but do believe in a good quality piece. Durability is so important when it comes to something you’re going to wear all the time. Skip out on the fast fashion brands and stick to ones that are known for durability.

Forget the fashion “rules.” I like to keep my blazers open, I also like to roll up my sleeves or fold the hems. I mix and match blazers with different textures and prints. I always check the suit section to see if I can a nice blazer that’s part of a two-piece suit that can be worn on its own. Do what makes you feel comfortable.

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