Shopping For Boys Blazers

Forever on the blazer hunt, I’ve returned to looking for a good fit in schoolboy-esque styles for fall. The curse of a narrow shoulder has put me in the predicament of having to tailor many of my women’s blazers in the shoulder, which isn’t the best course of action if you can help it. Thus, I’ve ventured into the world of boys blazers looking for a better fit in the shoulder, and maybe even some details which aren’t available in many women’s options.

Always haunted by the J.Crew women’s Schoolboy Blazer, I had to try it just one more time. I believe this makes the fourth time I’ve ordered this blazer, and just like every time before, it’s not a very good fit for me. Below is size 00P:

jcrew-womens

On me, this blazer would need the shoulder taken in, the torso slimmed, and the sleeves slimmed…not very exciting prospects. I do appreciate the outside, as well as inside pockets, extras that not many women’s blazers have, which is I think a heavy factor in why I keep coming back to look at this blazer.

jcrew-womens-pockets

However, as I noted in this post, women’s blazers do not have the pocket room that mens or boys blazers have. Women’s blazer pockets usually aren’t very wide nor very deep, so it’s much more difficult to stuff them full of junk like I’d like to.

So I turned to boys blazer, mostly looking for a smaller fit in the shoulder. After some research, it seems when any media suggests a boys blazer for women, it’s the Brooks Brothers two-button blazer. I’ve seen it everywhere from Lucky Magazine to Marie Claire to Ellen’s back to even the current September issue of InStyle. I ordered two sizes to try, the best of which is shown below:

brooks-brothers

brooks-brothers-pockets

This blazer is a much heavier weight than most women’s blazers I’ve worn, and the sheen is very indicative of a dressy men’s blazer fabric. I was surprised to find a thick padding in the chest, (I assume to keep it’s shape) and nice deep pockets that will hold anything from sunglasses to my beloved pocket squares easily.

I wish there were more inside pockets, as there was only one (above the Brooks Brothers sheep logo), and I wish the outside pockets were besom, since I’m not a big fan of patch pockets. I would size down for a better shoulder fit, but haven’t gotten around to ordering it yet.

Alterations it would need: slimming and shaping of the torso, slimming of the sleeves.

The next attempt was J.Crew Crewcuts in several sizes:

jcrew-boys-10

jcrew-boys-8

Size 10: has a better fit for me in the shoulder than the women’s blazer, a nice sleeve length (just enough for the cuff of a long sleeve shirt to peek out), but a bit long in overall length.

Alterations it would need: slimming/shaping of the torso, slimming of the sleeves.

Size 8: has a much more “shrunken” fit and is more flattering on me in terms of the shoulder and overall length. The sleeves have now gotten short, which is fine if you’re going for a “shrunken” fit, but some people may not like (a little fold of the cuff and pushing up of the sleeves looks pretty cute). The sleeves are also much slimmer, which means they may not need slimming, saving on alteration costs.

Alterations it would need: slimming/shaping of the torso. Maybe a little sleeve slimming.

I much prefer the pockets on the J.Crew Crewcuts blazer over the Brooks Brothers blazer, including the plethora of inside pockets:

jcrew-boys-pockets

Boys blazers in review:

Boxy fit – expect boys blazers to fit boxy in the torso, which is very different from women’s blazers which usually have at least a small bit of waist-showing shape. Some women like a boxy fit for a “boyfriend” look, but if you want some shape brought to the torso, expect to have to tailor it.

Smaller shoulder relative to overall length – on me, the size 8 boys blazer had a similar overall length to the women’s petite 00, but with a much smaller shoulder.

Shorter sleeve length relative to overall length – the sleeves are much shorter than a women’s blazer of similar length and size.

More padded construction – both brands of boys blazers I tried had noticeably more padding in the chest than women’s blazers. This may feel uncomfortable when buttoned for anyone with a busty figure.

Bigger and deeper pockets – if you like to stuff things in your clothing pockets, this will probably come as a welcomed feature.

Blazers shown in this post:

 

So, I thought I had made my decision on which blazer to keep, but after putting together this post and examining the photos, I’ve become very indecisive. I’d be curious to hear what you ladies think about these blazers and which you would keep if you were to keep one. =)

33 Comments

  • Reply August 20, 2012

    Michelle

    Hey Kelly!

    If any of them, I would go with the Crew Cuts size 8 because it has the least amount of work needed. Will the pockets get in the way of slimming it as much as you need to?

    A no on the Brooks Brothers because I think the sheen is too much.

  • Reply August 20, 2012

    Petite on a Penny

    I definitely like the Crewcuts size 8 or 10. The sleeves on the 10 are perfect, the material looks great, and with a little torso slimming either the 8 or the 10 would be awesome. The shiny Brooks Brothers material reads a bit strange to me, while the matte JCrew fabric is a bit more versatile. I’d say keep that one!

  • Reply August 20, 2012

    butta

    not a fan of the sheen neither. Crewcuts 10 seems to fit. Size 8 shelve is a bit short?

  • Reply August 20, 2012

    Mary Ann

    I love the material of the Brooks Bros. I’d go with that one and do the alterations, and even sew in more inside pockets if needed, haha! ;-)

    • Reply August 21, 2012

      Alterations Needed

      Thanks Mary! I got curious enough about the next size down in the Brooks Brothers blazer that I finally ordered it. =)

  • Reply August 21, 2012

    Carrie

    Either of the crewcuts blazers … probably the 8 because it seems to fit you the best, as long as you don’t mind the shorter sleeve.

  • Reply August 21, 2012

    Ashley

    I think the boys Crewcuts seems to the best on you. I’d go with the 8 or 10 depending on the look you want. Thanks for reviewing because I’ve been wondering the same thing about Brooks Brothers blazers.

  • Reply August 21, 2012

    respect_the_shoes

    Thanks for these reviews! I personally prefer the Crewcuts in 10 and just get the torso shaped (or maybe not, if you may wear it with layers underneath or open most of the time). It’s got the right sleeve length to wear as-is (or rolled up) and doesn’t look too shrunken. The Crewcuts 8 may fit better in the torso, but the overall smaller fit seems to make it more apparent that you’re wearing a kid’s jacket and it doesn’t seem very versatile for the sleeve since it sounds like you’d still need to cheat the sleeve a bit.

  • Reply August 21, 2012

    Janki

    I have a seven year old son and think its so crazy that soon I’ll be able to wear his clothes! I like the crew cuts size 10 but will the reverse buttons bother you? My mom had some shirts hand made for me when they visited from India, but the tailor put the buttons on the other side (like menswear even though she gave them a sample). It bugs me so much when I put it on.
    I just got a navy blazer that needs tailoring. You’ve inspired me!

    • Reply August 21, 2012

      Alterations Needed

      Thanks Janki! No, can’t say that the buttons on the other side bother me. I have a few boys button down shirts and while it was a little tricky to get my fingers to work the buttons at first, it’s not something that would deter me from purchasing a really nice item from the boys department. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to shop for your son and yourself in the same purchase…hehe. =)

  • Reply August 21, 2012

    Lisa Bass

    I like the crewcuts in the 10. Just alter it in the torso a bit for more slimming.

  • Reply August 21, 2012

    Ana

    Have you considered trying the Crew Cuts two button blazer for girls? I noticed that they have it online and that might be better structured for our girl shape. Plus, I love the lining of the girls vs. the boys one. Of the ones you reviewed, my favorite was the Crew Cuts size 10 because the sleeves can be worn both long or pushed up and you would just need to shape the torso. Great review!

    • Reply August 21, 2012

      Alterations Needed

      Thanks Ana! Yeah, I looked at the girls version but it looked a bit squat in shape and didn’t have those great sleeve buttons like the boys blazer does. =)

      • Reply August 21, 2012

        JB

        I’ve purchased the girls version and it is very boxy in shape. Don’t waste your time on Lands End petite blazers, they don’t flatter at all. I ended up getting the crew cuts boy blazer in a 10 and it has been hands down, my go to navy blazer. LOVE it!

  • Reply August 21, 2012

    New Petite

    How about the girls blazer? They might have some shape to it while being on the smaller side. However, I dont think you’ll get chest pocket there.

    Have you tried this store called Love Culture? Their sizing runs small and the blazers fit the best for me. Also did you try the Ponte academy blazer from GAP? I feel that blazer is so you!

    • Reply August 21, 2012

      Alterations Needed

      I looked at the girls blazer but it looked shaped a little funny (maybe too squat?) and it didn’t have the sleeve buttons like the boys blazer did, so I never even tried it. Yes! I tried the Ponte Academy blazer from Gap in size 0P. It was cute, but it needed to much in alterations (torso slimming and sleeve slimming) for such a cheap blazer that is already so similar to my Esprit one so I returned it. Never heard of Love Culture. I’ll look them up…thanks! =)

  • Reply August 21, 2012

    sydney85

    I like the Crew Cuts size 10 blazer for the best fit.

  • Reply August 21, 2012

    The Petite Edition

    I actually keep the JCrew women’s Schoolboy Blazer hung on the back of my office door at all times (along with a black jacket, suit, the list goes on!). However, at about 5’2″, I am a bit taller than you, which probably accounts for the difference in fit. For those of us on the “taller” (can’t believe I’m using that word as a description for my height…) petite side, I would recommend trying on that style. Either way, the navy, boy-style blazer is a great staple – and, perfect way to dress up a casual outfit for an impromptu meeting or presentation!

    • Reply August 21, 2012

      The Petite Edition

      Also, I agree with the other posters below that the size 8 looks too shrunken. As Amy mentioned, as such a versatile blaze, you’ll want some wiggle room so you’ll be able to wear the blazer over various styles of clothing.

  • Reply August 21, 2012

    Shamelessly Overdressed

    Love the informative post! If you’re looking for a blue blazer, I have a very similar blazer from HM (featured in my most recent outfit post) in case you want to check that style out as an option, too. Wishing you a fruitful blazer hunt! :)

    Love, S
    http://shamelesslyoverdressed.blogspot.com
    I’m hosting a giveaway at my blog in case you’d like to enter! :)

  • Reply August 21, 2012

    Amy

    I’m 5′ and 92lbs… close to your size I guess and I recently purchased the J.Crew Schoolboy (women’s) blazer you pictured first in the 00P as well. I absolutely love it! I personally don’t want it to be super fitted so I can wear crew-neck sweaters and such under it but yet, I still find it be the best fitting (most tailored) blazer I own. I love the longer collar lapel on it compared to the boys version you tried on. Excellent post! Loved all the reviews!

  • Reply August 22, 2012

    Linda

    This is such a great, detailed review on the blazers. Looking at the pics, I like how the Crewcut Sz 8 fits on you. The Sz 10 looks to loose in the torso area and like you said, a bit too long in length. It’s not exactly a boyfriend fit length and not a regular blazer length either so it looks a bit awkward. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply August 22, 2012

    alice

    The crewcut size 8 looks the best in my mind. I love bracelet length sleeves myself and you often seem to roll up your cuffs anyway. I think the size 10 is too long in the torso, and since you’ve mentioned in the past that people are usually viewing you from a greater height, the length issue might appear more exacerbated. Definitely no on the Brooks Brothers though, way too shiny.

  • Reply August 22, 2012

    The Petite Edition

    So, which blazer are you going with?

  • Reply August 22, 2012

    Shan

    I love the fabric of BB, but think the one that looks best on you is the CrewCuts 10. However all the sleeves for the kids sizes seems just a tad too short on you. Have you tried on the BB Women’s Navy Blazer in 0p? It is a little longer but surprisingly when tried on elongates my frame and fits well. BB also offers free alterations or a very small fee depending on the type of alteration.

  • Reply August 22, 2012

    Katherine

    This is a toughie! From studying the pictures for a while, I think the Crewcuts fit you the best and have the best tradeoff with cut/style/etc. I love the BB but the heavy fabric I think makes it less versatile. Let us know what you are keeping – which one did you THINK you were going to keep before taking these photos (I read your Twitter!)

  • Reply August 23, 2012

    Karen

    I think the Crewcuts one in sz 8 fits the best so far!

  • Reply August 25, 2012

    Franziska

    Ugh, why is it so difficult to find that perfect blazer? I’m not a “petite”, pretty much on the other side of the spectrum (size 10-12), and blazers are hard to find on that side too! I tried the J.Crew blazer last night and was very disappointed. It felt so cheap. The buttons weren’t solid, there was a lot of stretch, and it just had an awkward cut. Disappointing, especially for a $200 blazer.

  • Reply August 27, 2012

    lisacng

    Personally,
    I like the sleeve length on blazers to be longer rather than shrunken. And I
    also prefer a less shiny material, so it’s more versatile. Thus, I’d choose
    Crew Cuts size 10. Good luck choosing though! These are just my thoughts :).

  • Reply August 30, 2012

    typed_for_miles

    I think the CrewCuts one looks great, so it’d look even better with a few alterations! I had a hard time finding a navy blue blazer, but I got lucky last year when Express had blazers that were supposed to look kind of shrunken, which meant they just looked normal on me. However I want one in a different color now, so this post was helpful.

  • Reply August 31, 2012

    Julie

    I love the styles at J. Crew but it seems like they don’t have a good feel for what “petite” means. I am 5’4″ and 130 lbs. and J. Crew petites still make me look like a little girl wearing mommy’s clothes. I can’t picture whoever it is they are designed for.

  • Reply September 8, 2012

    Jamie A

    I love the brooks brothers one! The sheen on the fabric is an especially nice touch!

    I had the same problems trying to find a boys blazer a while back. I ultimately settled with a boys Ralph Lauren one that looks pretty similar to the brooks brothers one!

  • Reply December 13, 2012

    Helen

    Amazing post!!!! Incredibly useful.

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