My friend Theresa advised me against buying this blazer when I first saw it at Savemart, but surprise Theresa! I went back and bought it. Something about the check pattern, plus the collar and button details, called my name and after a quick shoulder pad-ectomy, it hung on the same rail as my other blazers and waited for its time to shine. Also it was approximately $9, so worth a venture.
If you follow along on Instagram Stories you will have seen my OOTD recipes, where I walk through how I put together an outfit, and you will have learned that it always starts with a single item. So it was with this outfit. I realised we were squarely back in blazer weather, and this blazer was finally back in contention. Next thing I know I was pairing it with white jeans and heading off for a Friday in the office.
It was only later that day that I realised I had fallen foul to subliminal inspiration – this time around, courtesy of the Princess Diana mania that is surging through the Northern Hemisphere in the wake of Meghan Markle joining the Royal Family. I could not give fewer fucks about Meghan Markle’s personal style (or that of Kate, for that matter, who in my opinion peaked style-wise during her break up from Prince William when she wore that series of great “are ya sorry yet” looks). However, I freely and willingly admit that Princess Diana’s style is worth imitating.
We’re experiencing a bit of 80s and 90s nostalgia (and who can blame us with the state of 2018), so it’s hardly surprising that the biggest style icon of that era would be looked to for some solid gold looks. Those big shoulder pads and that high waisted denim is the perfect posh lady off duty combination, and one that I now rip off regularly on weekends. I am still too scared to go full 80s shoulder pad, so I’m still gently opening seams to remove those big boys, but as with all things fashion my eye is slowly adjusting so stay tuned for the day when I start sewing them back into all these vintage blazers that I’ve cannibalised.
I’ve loved white denim for years (again, I realise this has been basic b*tch for years too – the heart wants what the heart wants). You may recall that I bought a men’s pair from ASOS earlier in the year, having given up on the shitty quality of denim used for women. Nobody needs a pair of jeans that are that stretchy and that transparent! The men’s jeans are perfect, and the pockets are massive. Are they a little roomy in the crotch? Some of these photos suggest yes, but what I will tell you is that they were super comfortable and I continue to worship high waisted jeans for keeping my entire butt and lower back safely under wraps.
As I wore this outfit on that fateful Friday, I thought about why Princess Diana might have favoured this look (apart from, y’know, fashion of the era). Would I have turned up to work in just these jeans and a plain coloured top? Unlikely, and not just because I don’t know when to stop with outfits – it’s because the blazer is a power move item. I’ve talked before about how a blazer makes everything feel more work-appropriate, but I think it’s true that a blazer makes a women feel more powerful. Undoubtedly there’s something in there about dressing like men to claim power in a patriarchal power structure, but also there’s something simple and animal in it. I make myself look bigger with a blazer. I’m my old cat Mulder, puffing up his tail so that he looks larger and so the completely disinterested cat from across the road won’t get the wrong idea.
While Mulder ultimately ran away from the neighbour cat (unprompted. The other cat continued just casually sniffing interesting things), you can imagine how a woman under the constant gaze of the world, like Princess Diana, might want the polished and protective layer of a blazer. Clearly, I did not know Princess Diana so perhaps she just really like keeping warm, or was purely into blazers as a fashion thing, but it does strike me as interesting nonetheless. Either way, my two or three retro blazers like this will continue to hold a firm place in my wardrobe (for work and for weekend), and if I accidentally dress like Princess Diana again – I’m okay with it.