They used to be associated with barely-alive majors in St James’s gentleman’s clubs and appeared as a fashion item throughout the latter half of the last century. In 1971, Bianca Pérez Morena de Macías famously married Mick Jagger wearing a white one with wide lapels; in the 1980s, they acquired vast shoulder pads courtesy of American designer Nolan Miller.
But this spring, the blazer is back, arriving just when we have all become bored with the whole grungy knitwear vibe — the boyfriend cardi thrown over a dress, wrap/tulip/mini skirt or skinny trousers.
Instead, we covet tailoring. And while we have no wish to resemble Dynasty duo Alexis and Krystle (or a building society clerk, so please do not team a blazer with a matching pencil skirt), the hint of authority conveyed by a nipped-in waistline and a sharp shoulder is sexy and authoritative. It is truly fabulous with cargo, harem, peg-top and other hard-to-wear trousers, as well as with those tropical-flower or digital-print shifts and sensuously draped dresses.
And in a rare conjunction of what we want and what retailers want to sell us, there are endless versions of the blazer for spring, from preppy with contrast edging, to nautical with stripes and brass buttons, purist versions with single button and medium-width lapel, and long boyfriend blazers with sleeves pulled up. There are different colours, fabrics (including rose print and denim) and prices, from black satin with gold buttons by Lanvin at Browns at a breathtaking £1,815, to red with defined waist and white edge at £25 from boohoo.com.
Proportion is key to getting the 2010 blazer right. A short blazer works best with slouchy tailored shorts, a mini or on-the-knee skirt and most trousers except skinny ones. A long blazer works best over any dress that is between mid-thigh and knee length, over a drapey or curvy skirt — knee-length or shorter — and over skinny trousers or leggings.
Where to find brilliant blazers
Long black satin blazer with gold buttons by Lanvin, £1,815, and white cotton blazer with chiffon insert by Ann Demeulemeester Blanche, £730, both at Browns (www.brownsfashion.com); cream linen long blazer by Chloe, £1,054, and pale grey linen blazer with nipped in waist by Alexander McQueen, £995, both at www.matchesfashion.com.
Cashmere knit preppy blazer by Tania, £349, Paulie, Hinde Street, W1 and branches. All of the following can be found at Fenwick, W1: preppy single-button blazer in pale grey cotton jersey with navy trim by Paul & Joe, £479; pale pink double-breasted long blazer by Tara Jarmon, £319; silver grey silky shrunken single-breasted blazer by Schumacher, £339; white linen single-button crop blazer with three-quarter sleeves by Nicole Farhi, £300.
Navy jersey blazer with gold button trim by Sara Berman, £189, Paulie, (as before); short, curvy black-and-white stripe, blazer by Planet, £159, and pale grey, mid-length, single breasted blazer with sharp lapels, £169, by Damsel in a Dress, both at John Lewis; navy classic boyfriend blazer, £115, French Connection; black, nipped-waist, single button blazer, £199, Karen Millen; navy, long-line blazer with double lapels, £179, and navy-white cropped double-breasted blazer, £169, both from Reiss; white silk longer-line, one-button blazer, £89, M&S; 1940s blazer, £199, Hobbs; eco-friendly cotton stripy blazer, £85, People Tree (www.people tree.com); grey linen boyfriend blazer, £80, Great Plains; navy-white stripy boyfriend blazer, £75, Banana Republic; navy single-button blazer, £40, and nudeboyfriend blazer, £85, both Oasis.
Cream, shawl-collar boyfriend blazer, £65; pale grey, double-breasted fitted jersey blazer, £60, Monsoon; black boyfriend blazer, £55, Topshop; shrunken blazer in pale grey jersey, Betty Jackson Black, £50, Debenhams; floral print, short blazer, £55, and print boyfriend blazer £65, both ASOS (www.asos.com); black-and-white blazer with black piping, £40, Bhs; sharply cut navy blazer with cream edging, and navy-white fitted blazer with navy trim, both £40 Dorothy Perkins; striped nautical, one-button blazer, £34.99, River Island; white-navy blazer, £35, and denim boyfriend blazer, £45, both from Next; red blazer with white piping, £24, Boohoo (www.boohoo.com).