There are some fall staples we return to year after year—ankle boots, jeans, cashmere knits—and we think it’s high time blazers be included in that list. They may have started as one half of a traditional office-ready suit, but blazers are now a layering piece all their own and can be worn to so much than just a board meeting. Read on to learn which blazer styles are trending right now and how to wear them for maximum chicness (plus one style that just doesn’t work for fall 2021).

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sweatpants how to style a blazer in 2021
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1. Pair a Blazer with Sweats or Joggers

Combining comfy pants with a structured blazer is pretty much peak 2021 aesthetic. But that doesn’t mean just any old combo will work. Stick with pants that cinch at the ankle rather than flare at the bottom, and leave oversize silhouettes for lounging at home. For the blazer, it’s all about finding that Goldilocks cut that’s neither too fitted nor too loose. Finish with a fitted tee or bodysuit and some easy footwear (sneakers, loafers, slides, etc.).

Shop similar styles: Baum Und Pferdgarten blazer ($489; $294); Warehouse top ($16); Nike sweatpants ($85); ON sneakers ($150)

cropped how to style a blazer in 2021
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2. Try Runway-Ready Cropped Cuts

This unexpected trend was all over the runways for fall 2020, but mid-pandemic, very few people were reaching for such structured styles. Now, a full year later, it’s finally hitting the streets as more affordable brands have put out their own versions of the trend. Pair your cropped blazer with some high-waisted, straight-leg or boyfriend jeans and a sharp shoe (like a pointy-toe flat or pumps) to keep your proportions in check.

Shop similar styles: Bershka blazer ($50); Reformation jeans ($118); Sam Edelman heels ($150; $60)

suit how to style a blazer in 2021
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3. Layer One Over Coordinating Wide-Leg Pants

Otherwise known as a suit, yes, although it doesn’t have to be. A monochrome look combining a wool-cotton blazer with jeans or silk pants in the same hue works just as well. The wide-leg silhouette keeps your look feeling more boho casual and less like traditional office attire. We prefer pairing a jacket and trousers with other low-key pieces, like an easy T-shirt, simple jewelry and a slouchy tote or clutch.

Shop similar styles: Reformation blazer ($75); Vince pants ($365); blouse ($29); Alexandre Birman shoes ($395)

leather how to style a blazer in 2021
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4. Opt for a Leather Version

Leather and faux leather are having a major moment for fall/winter 2021 with pants, dresses, skirts and, of course, blazers all in high demand. Looser cuts and oversize silhouettes are the way to go when rocking a leather blazer, but don’t feel limited to just neutral or even natural hues. Classic black may be the easiest to wear, but pale lilac is an unexpectedly chic choice. (P.S. Even though multiple leather pieces are currently en vogue, we suggest sticking to wearing just one at a time rather than piling them all on at once.)

Shop similar styles: Bardot blazer ($139); River Island turtleneck ($25); Mavi jeans ($118; $80); Marc Fisher Ltd. boots ($189)

jacket how to style a blazer in 2021
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5. Wear Your Blazer as a Jacket

Swap your go-to denim or moto jacket for a slightly longer-cut blazer as a chic alternative that will give your whole ensemble a more polished vibe. This look works best with midi skirts or dresses, jeans or mini dresses, but feel free to play around and see what works for you. You can even layer your blazer over or under another jacket for some added warmth once temperatures really start to drop.

Shop similar styles: Reformation blazer ($174); Collusion top ($7); Bardot skirt ($109); Sam Edelman boots ($170; $65)

plaid how to style a blazer in 2021
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6. Go Classic with a Traditional Plaid

Plaid blazers will never go out of style, especially for fall, and the best way to wear them is with other timeless classics. A plain white tee, blue-wash jeans and ankle boots that fit the trend du jour will always look good layered under a plaid jacket, even if the specifics of your pant leg or boot style change from year to year.

Shop similar styles: Madewell blazer ($168); Madewell T-shirt ($20); Levi’s jeans ($98); ASOS boots ($107)

how not to wear a blazer
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7. Avoid: Exaggerated Shoulders

There was a brief moment when this ‘80s staple was making a comeback, but thank goodness that’s passed. Power suit shoulders are just too linked to the era of bad hair and brick-size cell phones to look like anything other than a costume in our opinion.

RELATED: The 6 Rules of Wearing a Jean Jacket in 2021

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