Though there are many ways to freshen up our winter wardrobes, we are particularly excited about one of the season's most accessible transitional pieces: the printed blazer. Adored by stylish ladies like Margherita Missoni and Whitney Port, these high-impact jackets are festooned with everything from elegant floral patterns to cool graphic designs. This must-have essential instantly elevates any cold-weather ensemble-you can use one to punch up an after-hours outfit or give your nine-to-five mix a modern update-and still looks chic come spring and summer! Versatile and with sartorial longevity in spades, it's no wonder why we're spotlighting the printed blazer in today's Trend Report.
While the designer references for today's sartorial report are vast, there are two Resort 12 collections that illustrate it perfectly: Celine and Balmain. For the former, designer Phoebe Philo showed a vibrant, oversized floral-print blazer-specifically the Fantasy Jacquard Fitted Jacket-paired with the Logo Crew Neck Mens Fit T Shirt ($405, 304.866.1888) in White and the Silk Crepe Cady Double Pleat Wide Pants also in white. The outerwear's vibrant print not only livens up the solid-colored separates, but its tailored shape perfectly balances the relaxed, loose-fit trousers and casual t-shirt. Over at Balmain, new designer Olivier Rousteing kept with the French fashion house's famed rock 'n' roll spirit by teaming a cropped, eagle-print Printed Jacket ($6200) with matching Printed Shorts ($1800), the Bull's Head Buckle Two-Tone Leather Belt ($1020), and cap-toe suede boots (the Suede Swarovski Crystal and Studs Boots ($2271) are a similarly embellished style) for a cool, tough-girl take on the trend.
In addition to the aforementioned designer examples, it's also worth noting that we've spotted a few well-dressed ladies working some knockout blazers into their daily mix, and the results are equally on-point! As Whitney Port and DJ/eco designer Hannah Bronfman so aptly demonstrate, printed blazers are an excellent way to punch up your after-hours ensembles. Port looked party perfect at a Crest holiday soiree in New York this past November when she upgraded her strapless WE by Whitney Eve dress (a piece that is sadly no longer available) with a blush pink, floral-print Zimmermann Speakeasy Jacket ($650, 310.285.9680). We love how the silk outerwear accentuates the dressiness of the designer's outfit, while offering the look a truly memorable finish. A few days later, at a release party for photographer Raphael Mazzucco's new book Culo in Miami, Bronfman showed off her playful sensibilities when she gave her sky blue mini dress an intriguing, artsy twist via a silky graphic spaceship-print jacket.
While printed blazers offer a foolproof way to amp up your more understated pieces, daring dressers will certainly appreciate Margherita Missoni's bold styling choice too! The Italian heiress/designer/master of prints pleased onlookers at Zac Posen's S/S 12 show with her fashion-forward mix, which consisted of a spotted Alexander McQueen navy and white blazer, Alaia flower-print top, and of-the-moment Chanel houndstooth skirt. The combination of patterns makes for one high-voltage outfit, don't you agree?
Now that you're up to speed on how both designers and tastemakers are addressing printed blazers, we'd like to help you invest in a couple of must-have options. When it comes to ultra-chic and bold botanical styles, we're crazy for Zara's multi-colored Floral Print Blazer ($129) and ASOS' Blazer ($118) in Floral Print, as well as River Island's ladylike White Floral Print Blazer ($54)! If it's a wild animal print you're after, we recommend picking up Topshop's Metallic Animal Print Blazer ($130)-the grayish hue tempers the playful pattern, making it a chic choice for the office-or Tibi's Cheetah Print Blazer ($420). We're also smitten with Topshop's Black Star Print Blazer ($130), which looks like it came straight from Dolce & Gabbana, but for a fraction of the price. Finally, for those of you who'd like to invest in a designer version, Thakoon's Chevron Print Blazer ($1450) is quite stunning and will take you well through the summer months. As for how to wear each of these pieces, be sure to let today's featured looks be your guide!-Jessica Baker
Photo of Whitney Port, courtesy of Getty; Photo of Hannah Bronfman, courtesy of Billy Farrell Agency; Celine Resort 12 image, courtesy of Karla Otto; Balmain Resort 12 image, courtesy of Balmain.