The Complete Guide to Choosing and Styling Relaxed Blazers with Notch Lapels

From the office to the bar, relaxed blazers with notch lapels are the versatile closet heroes you’ve been missing. Ditch the stiff suits and say hello to these laidback jacket staples that make looking sharp completely effortless.

With their roomy, casual cut and signature v-shaped collar, these blazers perfectly straddle the line between business casual and weekend cool. They instantly pull any outfit together, whether you’re pairing them with jeans and a t-shirt for a day of errands or slipping one on over a cami and slim trousers for cocktail hour sophistication.

In this comprehensive guide, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about relaxed blazers with notch lapels. You’ll discover the top blazer brands on the market, learn how to find your perfect fit, get expert style tips to take your outfits to the next level, and find answers to all your burning questions.

So grab a coffee, put your feet up, and get ready to become a relaxed blazer pro. Let’s dive in!

The Best Relaxed Blazers with Notch Lapels

When it comes to relaxed blazers, quality is key. You want to find pieces made from sturdy, structured fabrics that maintain a tailored silhouette without being stiff and uncomfortable. The top brands balance effortless cool with impeccable craftsmanship. Here are five of our favorite relaxed blazers with notch lapels.

1. Everlane The Linen Blazer

For a relaxed blazer you can wear all year, Everlane’s linen option is hard to beat. The lightweight linen fabric is breathable enough for warm weather but substantial enough to transition through seasons. The relaxed fit drapes beautifully without appearing boxy.

We love the range of versatile neutrals like black, navy, and bone. And the notch lapels are slim for a refined touch. Wear this stylish blazer over dresses, button-downs, and t-shirts for instant polish.

Pros: Lightweight linen, range of colors, minimalist design Cons: Dry clean only, fits very oversized on some body types

2. Banana Republic Soft Wash Blazer

This relaxed cotton blazer from Banana Republic is perfect for laidback refinement. The soft washed cotton fabric has natural stretch for incredible comfort and just the right amount of structure.

The shirt jacket-style is looser in the body and arms with no shoulder padding. Notch lapels keep the look sophisticated. With flap patch pockets, center vent, and a variety of urban-cool colors, you’ll want one of these in every shade.

Pros: Soft broken-in fabric, shirt jacket cut is very relaxed, lots of cool colors Cons: Slimmer fit, less oversized and slouchy

3. Todd Snyder Stretch Italian Plaid Blazer

For something bolder, check out this Italian plaid blazer from Todd Snyder. Made from a stretch cotton blend, it has comfortable four-way stretch. The fabric is lightweight but substantial.

We love the combination of the relaxed cut with the eye-catching large plaid pattern. And the notch lapels and flap pockets keep it refined. Drape this blazer over a white tee, dark jeans, and loafers for a sharp weekend look.

Pros: Eye-catching print, Italian stretch fabric, tailored details Cons: Dry clean only, slim arms

4. J.Crew Ludlow Relaxed Blazer

This refined wool blazer reimagines J.Crew’s beloved Ludlow suit in a relaxed silhouette. The Italian wool fabric has just a touch of stretch for all-day wearability. The roomy cut is slightly oversized in the body and arms without appearing disheveled.

Notch lapels, chest welt pocket, and front flap pockets keep the sophisticated menswear vibe. And it comes in a range of neutral solids from navy to camel. We love it as an elevated office option.

Pros: Fine Italian wool, range of neutral colors, impeccable tailoring Cons: Dry clean only, only available in standard US sizes

5. Aritzia Wilfred Milton Blazer

For the perfect weekend blazer, try Aritzia’s Milton style. This relaxed crepe blazer has ruched sleeves and seam detailing for subtle flair. The crepe fabric is lightweight with fluid drape.

The foldover notch lapels give it a laidback vibe while the front welt pockets and double back vent keep the tailoring sharp. Throw it on over jeans and a tee or wear it to the office with trousers. The versatility can’t be beat.

Pros: Lightweight crepe fabric, stylish seam details, office to weekend versatility Cons: Sizes run small, delicate fabric requires dry cleaning

Now that you know the top brands to look for, let’s talk about how to find the perfect relaxed blazer to flatter your body and style. Fit and proportions are everything with these jackets.

Finding Your Perfect Relaxed Blazer Fit

The right relaxed blazer should skim your frame without drowning you in excessive fabric or pulling uncomfortably across your shoulders and chest. Follow these tips when trying on different options to find your ideal tailored relaxed shape:

Focus on the Shoulders and Length

Relaxed blazers should still fit properly in the shoulders and sleeves. Make sure the shoulder seams hit right at the end of your shoulders. The sleeves should end around your wrist bone without running short or long.

For length, the blazer should cover your backside with the front falling just below your hip line. Size up if needed for proper shoulder and length fit.

Size for Your Chest

Relaxed blazers are meant to skim the body without clinging. Choose a size where you can comfortably fit a shirt or sweater underneath without restrictive pulling at the buttons. Err on the larger side if between sizes.

Look for Room Through the Body

There should be comfortable room through the chest, waist, and hips without excess billowing fabric. You don’t want anything too oversized but it should not pull or hug your midsection.

Make Sure the Arms Have Mobility

The tailored relaxed cut features fuller, easy fitting sleeves. Make sure you can move comfortably. The arms should not feel tight, especially if you plan on layering knits and sweaters underneath.

Play with Cinching the Waist

Unlike stiff suit jackets, relaxed blazers are perfect for belt cinching. Try adding a belt to define your waistline and promote a sharper silhouette.

When in doubt, size up. Oversized is preferable to too small and tight. The right relaxed blazer should feel comfortable, breathable, and effortless.

Now let’s get into the fun part – how to style these versatile closet heroes for seriously sharp looks.

Mastering Effortless Relaxed Blazer Style

Once you’ve found the perfect relaxed blazer, it’s time to have fun playing with effortless styling. Here are our favorite ways to wear these versatile pieces:

Over Tees and Jeans for Weekend Cool

Keep it casual for running errands or meeting friends by pairing your blazer with dark jeans and a classic white tee or breton stripe top. Finish with clean white sneakers or low-top leather kicks.

Roll the sleeves up a few turns for a relaxed vibe. Pop the collar of the tee underneath to let it peek out. So chic and simple.

With a Tank and Trousers for Cocktails

For an instant evening look, wear your blazer open over a silky camisole tank and high-waisted trousers. Heels dress it up while keeping the vibe chill.

Add bold earrings and a cocktail ring for flair. You’ll look so pulled together with minimal effort.

Over Button-Downs and Chinos for Work

Stay polished at the office by pairing your blazer with a crisp button-down shirt, chinos, and leather loafers. A simple watch and leather bag polish off the professional ensemble.

For variety, try crewneck sweaters, polos, or knit polo shirts instead. The blazer keeps them office-appropriate.

With Joggers or Shorts for Weekend Vibes

Try wearing your relaxed blazer with cotton joggers or chino shorts and a graphic tee for a streetwear-inspired edge. Finish with chunky sneakers for weekend plans.

For cooler weather, swap the tee for a hoodie layered under the unbuttoned blazer. Simply throw it on and go about your day in cozy style.

Cinch with a Belt for Definition

Cinch in the waist of your blazer with any outfit using a belt. This styling trick defines your silhouette and uses the belt to add a styling focal point.

Try contrasting colors and textures like a braided brown belt over a gray blazer and black jeans. Or match black on black with a chunky buckle belt for edgy flair.

Roll Up the Sleeves

Instantly relax the vibe of your blazer by rolling up the sleeves. Two to three rolls creates a casual, devil-may-care feel perfect for weekends and after-hours fun.

This works with any outfit from button-downs and trousers to graphic tees and joggers. Pop a watch and bracelet on the exposed wrist for added polish.

Layer with Knits for Texture and Color

When the weather cools, layer chunky knit sweaters or scarves under your open blazer. Choose a turtleneck in a bold accent color that complements the blazer shade.

For extra flair, let the scarf hang long underneath the front of the jacket. The peek of color livens up any monochrome outfit.

Play with Patterns and Prints

Don’t be afraid to have fun mixing and matching patterns like plaid blazers with striped tees, polka dot button-downs, or floral tanks. Anchor patterns together with black or blue denim on bottom.

Try pairing different prints like a paisley blazer with a breton stripe tee. The contrast looks effortlessly put together when styled with simple denim and accessories.

Relaxed Blazer Styling Essentials

Finish off your relaxed blazer outfits by keeping these versatile styling essentials in mind:

  • Sneakers like white minimalist leather low-tops, Stan Smiths, Jack Purcells, or Vans slip-ons instantly casualize blazer looks.
  • Loafers like Gucci horsebits, penny loafers, or snaffle loafers lend a preppy and polished vibe for work or events.
  • Sunglasses take any outfit up a notch. Go classic with Ray-Ban Wayfarers, oval frames, or aviators.
  • Leather bags like crossbodies, totes, or briefcases complement the tailored vibe. Opt for neutral shades like tan, brown, olive, or black.
  • Great watches pull looks together. A stainless steel chronograph, diving watch, or mesh bracelet style adds that finishing touch.

By playing with fit, silhouettes, and versatile mix-and-match styling, your relaxed blazer becomes the versatile powerhouse of your wardrobe. Now let’s dive into some frequently asked questions:

Relaxed Blazer FAQs

Have more questions about how to wear and style relaxed blazers? Here are answers to some of the most common FAQs.

What is the difference between a blazer and a relaxed blazer?

Traditional blazers have more structure in the fabric and construction with defined shoulder padding and a slimmer fit. Relaxed blazers use lighter fabrics with minimal shoulder padding for a roomier, laidback silhouette.

What colors work best for relaxed blazers?

Stick to versatile neutrals like black, navy, olive, gray, bone, khaki, or tan. These pair well with most closet staples from denim to trousers. Bold brights and prints can look dated quickly.

What fabrics are ideal for relaxed blazers?

Lightweight breathable materials with stretch like linen, cotton, jersey, and wool or poly blends balance comfort with structured drape. Avoid anything too heavy or stiff.

What is the best relaxed blazer lapel style?

Notch lapels are the most versatile for both dressing up and casual wear. Peak lapels have a retro 70s vibe. Shawl lapels lend a sleek black-tie feel.

How should relaxed blazers fit?

Size up for a roomy, oversized (but not huge) silhouette. The shoulders and length should fit properly while the body and arms are looser. Define with a belt.

Can you wear relaxed blazers casually?

Absolutely! The relaxed cut and fabrics are designed for wearing these blazers dressed up or down seamlessly. They’re perfect for weekend wear.

What shirts pair best with relaxed blazers?

Polos, button-downs, tees, tanks, camis, and knit tops all balance out the polished blazer nicely. Play with untucked vs tucked-in styling.

What pants go with relaxed blazers?

Jeans, chinos, joggers, shorts, trousers – the possibilities are endless. Match the formality of the bottom half to the occasion. Blazers work with any pant style.

Are relaxed blazers warm enough for winter?

It depends on the fabric. Wool blends will be cozy but linens will need layering. Wear over chunky knits and long sleeve shirts and scarves to keep warm in cold weather.

The Takeaway

With their laidback tailored cut and easy styling potential, relaxed blazers with notch lapels are must-have closet staples. Now that you know how to shop for the perfect fit and pull together polished yet effortless outfits, you are ready to make these versatile pieces work for everything from office hours to happy hour.

We’d love to hear how you style your favorite relaxed blazers. Share your sharp looks and outfit ideas in the comments. And don’t forget to bookmark this guide to refresh whenever you need a blazer refresher. Happy styling!

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