Fashion Friday: When To Wear A Blazer

A couple of months ago, I asked readers of BlogCampaigning when it is okay to take off your suit jacket in a meeting. There was some great discussion around that topic, and I've decided to follow it up with what I hope is another question that can help me out:

When is it okay to wear a blazer?

Not being incredibly fashion-forward, my original phrasing of this question to a friend was, "What's the deal with guys that wear suit jackets with different coloured slacks? That just looks tacky." My friend quickly pointed out that these guys are wearing blazers, and that these are less formal ("sportier") versions of the suit jacket.

My take on it is that if you're going to bother putting on a suit jacket (sporty or not), match the pants to it. Otherwise, it looks like you just pulled out the first two things you saw in your closet. The fact that 3 of the first 10 results in Google for "When is it okay to wear a blazer?" are for how women should wear them doesn't instill a lot of confidence in me that this is an appropriate look. has an article titled Men's Blazers: 6 ways to wear them. In order, these ways are:

1. With a deep V-neck cardigan

2. With a plaid shirt

3. With a chunky patterned knit

4. With heavily distressed denim

5. With cargo pants

6. With combat boots

And none of these six ways seem like good ideas, despite coming from "The Number 1 Canadian Men's Lifestyle Portal".

So what's the right situation for wearing a blazer? Am I completely wrong to think that it isn't a professional look?

When Is It Okay To Take Off Your Suit Jacket In A Meeting?

I really don't mind wearing a suit and tie. When you're walking around, they're perfect. When you're sitting down, in a meeting, they're less perfect. I find that jacket always bunches up, and since most meeting rooms are at a temperature for shirt sleeves, I find that the extra thick layer of suit jacket always leaves me feeling a little bit warm.

However, you can't just loosen your tie, undo the top button of your shirt, take your jacket off, and roll your sleeves up in the first few minutes of a meeting.

In fact, I'm not even sure you can do any of those things in most meetings.

This normally leaves me with an internal dialogue as I sit across the table in a discussion: "Okay, we've been talking for fifteen minutes... Can I take my jacket off now? Or do I have to wait until someone more senior does so first? Or do I have to wait for a break in the conversation? Or should I wait until there is a break, and then just come back without my jacket, like nothing happened?"

Tired of this endless internal debate, I threw the question to Twitter and got some good responses.

Brad Buset and Greg"Blazer" Blazina both agreed that if you're the client, you can take your jacket off.

Buset also adds that if it is an internal meeting, and the senior colleagues their jacket off first, then it is appropriate.

I still feel like this leaves a lot of times when I'm going to be left sitting down with a suit jacket on.

Any other ways to justify taking it off in a meeting?

Suit-related etiquette tips also appreciated.