Is a Blazer “Professional?”


Photo: Pixabay

Working from home has many advantages, but the clearest one by far is being able to wear whatever clothing you want without fear. Now that I work from home most of the time, I have home clothes — nicer than pajamas, decent enough to wear out to get lunch — but they’re not the clothes I would wear to a meeting or to the office.

Were a very serious and impressive job interview to fall into my lap, I would be hard-pressed to find something to wear from my closet. I’ve culled the dregs of my “professional” wardrobe and now only have clothes. Just regular clothes. If I work in an office again for a company whose culture is slightly less casual than I’m used to, it sounds like I probably need to get a blazer.

This is the piece of professional clothing you need to invest in

It makes sense why blazers are sartorial shorthand for “professional” in the working woman’s wardrobe. They are essentially suit jackets with concessions in tailoring meant to flatter a woman’s body. A blazer is something you buy before your first “real” job to hide the fact that everything you’re wearing is from Forever21 and the “professional” section at H&M. Maybe you spend $50 on it — a big splurge, a purchase that takes serious consideration. Maybe you find one in a thrift store for a very reasonable $10 and it fits like a glove. However you come upon your blazer, you must own one. As a “professional,” it is your right.

The video that accompanies this article makes the point that a blazer should be an “investment” piece — something that costs a fair amount of money so that it doesn’t look bad. Most likely, I’m incorrect in thinking that we have moved beyond this sort of prescribed professionalism. But you tell me. What feels professional to you? What do you need to wear to feel “dressed” for your job?

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