The Boyfriend’s Back

polished casual look with a long collarless jacket. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

For the last few years, it’s been all about the cropped, shrunken, boxy, and bomber jacket styles. I prefer longer jackets, and am happy to see longer, more shaped, “boyfriend” and menswear-inspired styles making a strong appearance again.

Above: sunnies (similar) | scarf (similar) | top (similar) | jacket | bag | jeans (similar) | shoes


A jacket can be a great way to make a simple outfit look pulled-together. To avoid the “top half of a suit” effect, I like to mix a tailored jacket with more casual pieces, and wear it open. You can also add some feminine touches like a silk blouse and statement earrings to keep the look from skewing too masculine.

A Glen Plaid is always classic. (Reviewers recommend sizing up on this style.)

AYR long navy pinstripe jacket. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

If I didn’t already have a longer navy jacket, I’d be all over this pinstripe version.

Anthropologie long pinstripe jacket. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Here’s a budget-friendly option in a soft pinstripe, and linen blend fabric.

And this subtle houndstooth print would be a versatile wardrobe addition. If you’re hesitant about double-breasted styling, I’ve found that wearing the jacket open with a column of color and/or some longer necklaces to create a vertical line mitigates any widening effect. A softer fabric with good drape also helps.

Softer Styles

If you like tweed, but prefer a less-tailored style, this one’s a lightweight cotton-linen blend that’s perfect for milder days.

Halogen plus size plaid blazer. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

This jacket in Plus strikes a nice balance between and easy shape and classic plaid fabric.

In addition to the double-breasted style in the collage above, J.Crew also has this easy open-front navy blazer.

Do you wear blazers or jackets regularly? What styles do you prefer?

Stay in touch.

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  1. April 9, 2018 / 3:32 am

    I have quite a few blazers/jackets, and my trick is to roll up the sleeves to break that “half a suit” look. Even better, flip my shirt cuffs over the rolled jacket sleeve.
    Although I have some longish jackets, I think the shorter ones look better on me, since I’m short.
    That first outfit you show is perfection. The camel bag and slides are just different enough–not black–to make the ensemble interesting; red would look good, too, but risks seeming to try too hard. Camel is more subtle.

    • Susan B
      April 9, 2018 / 7:47 am

      I’m short too, but I think because of my proportions (short waist, long legs) longer jackets tend to work as long as they aren’t too boxy.

  2. April 9, 2018 / 5:37 am

    Reading Francetaste’s comment above I have to say I am fairly short too, and yet find the longer versions suit me better! I rarely wear a structured blazer/jacket but love long boyfriend sweaters: the dressier, cashmere type. I probably wear one every day! I feel good, they look good, and can be dressed up or down.

  3. Jeanne
    April 9, 2018 / 6:06 am

    Sometimes a 70ish woman (ahem) wants to wear slim trousers or jeans but despite being slim herself, knows that after a certain age there’s no reason to showcase her butt. That’s the one exception I make to “let’s drop the idea of age-appropriate.” The longer jacket is just right. Thanks for the ideas !

  4. April 9, 2018 / 6:44 am

    I do like to wear blazers when the weather cools down. I can’t wear the short style as, being long waisted, they finish just under my bust – horrible. Hip length or mid thigh for me. I just bought this linen blazer from H&M (I know, right?). It’s really heavy linen, hangs well, although I will have the sleeves taken in a little. Sold out online, but you may still be able to find in store

  5. Lily
    April 9, 2018 / 7:20 am

    I’m in Francetaste’s camp on this one. 5’2″ and I think I look stumpy in long jackets. I am wearing a “boyfriend” cotton shirt as I type this. I really love the comfort of a roomier cut.

  6. April 9, 2018 / 9:53 am

    It really depends on our proportions. I don’t take petites in tops or jackets (though the sleeves have to be rolled or shortened) but my legs are very short. I wouldn’t wear a very short bolero-type jacket because of my bust, but I love jeans-type jackets. Once I had a velvet one, but it wore out, and I don’t see any nowadays. We can hope!

  7. Rondi
    April 9, 2018 / 11:03 am

    I really enjoyed this jacket post. I am drawn to the light blue linen pinstripe. Even though I live in Florida it would be a nice alternative to sweaters when air conditioning is too chilly. What are your thoughts on wearing blazers with skirts or sleeveless dresses? I am unsure of the silhouette.

    • Susan B
      April 9, 2018 / 11:15 am

      Hi Rondi, I think you could absolutely wear a longer style like this with dresses or skirts that aren’t too full.

  8. Angela
    April 9, 2018 / 1:22 pm

    Oh how I regretted disposing of all my longer jackets. Thought they would easily be replaceable but it’s been a long time between drinks. Not so keen on tweed for me especially with New Zealand’s more relaxed style. Looking forward to looking through our new Autumn/Winter range.

  9. Lisa B
    April 9, 2018 / 2:26 pm

    I really love longer jackets and am so happy you shared the information with me regarding the Italian Scapa navy jacket. I get so many compliments when I wear it. I was looking for a similar style long black blazer and thought I’d found it on the EF website in the corded tencel jacket. Unfortunately it doesn’t come in petite sizing and the misses was much too long and large everywhere, sleeves especially. I’m done constantly altering clothing so if it requires more than a hemming it’s a no. I too am short waisted and have long legs so long jackets work for me.

  10. April 10, 2018 / 11:12 am

    Like you, I’m very happy to see “boyfriend” or mens wear inspired jackets returning. I kept a favourite grey one that I will definitely enjoy wearing again.

  11. Jill Ann
    April 10, 2018 / 7:09 pm

    I too love the longer jackets…I’m not short though, I’m fairly tall (5’7”) so I can carry the length. At my age (61) my butt isn’t too bad, but it’s my belly that needs disguising! Love a long jacket with a slim pant.

  12. April 11, 2018 / 8:35 am

    The pinstripe one is really nice. But size 8? (The largest size).. I think I might need a 10 and besides, my boobs would ruin the style of the jacket.
    But jackets I do really well. Like skinnies they are my “forté” haha.

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