Once I left the corporate world of employment many moons ago, I said goodbye to the uniform. It’s not that I’m opposed to uniforms, especially when they come in the form of Firemen or Naval Officers! But having worn a uniform from Infant School to High School, throughout an extensive hotel career and then the corporate world of “wear what you like if it follows these guidelines”, I laid to rest my power suit, pantyhose and ever so prim shoes!
Fast forward eighteen years of living in the Arizona desert – now I’m surrounded by cheeky cut-offs that mimic knickers with frayed edges worn by teenagers AND their moms, flip flops somehow became acceptable for date night, and if I never saw another guy in a Tommy Bahama shirt I wouldn’t be disappointed! How did mermaids with fishing rods, sipping martinis become a good idea on the back of a man’s shirt? And, I don’t care that the flip flops may be Tory Burch, they have no place on a date! Alas, this is the desert uniform! But it has instilled in me a renewed vigor for suit style, let’s shake off the desert dust and awaken the power-look within… and gents, you can buy me a martini instead of wearing one on the back of your silk shirt, it’ll be a lot cheaper!
In my quest to merge a business-like style with the desert uniform, I opted for the blazer. Well, I certainly wasn’t going for the pantyhose, I never liked wearing them everrrr and I'm sure they're bad for your health! Timing was on my side, and just as I walked in the door of H&M there was a white blazer with a fine pinstripe. White speaks desert, pinstripe speaks business… ta dah, nailed it! For $49.99 it was worth the experiment, and I needed the practice having been out of the blazer business a long time. I had no plans to resurface rusty blazer styling skills on a costly jacket that could possibly turn my desert uniform into something worthy of an abstract art gallery!
For me, the smallest details create the greatest glee, in this case the cuffs, or rather lack of cuffs. No buttons, just an open split, think Cruella De Vil meets Miranda Priestly! This is edgy, laser sharp and tailored without being tailored! The tiniest bit of gesticulation and those cuffs are slicing through the air like a knife throwing contest!
The Arizona summer provides more than enough days to warrant knickers with frayed edges, but I choose not to share my bottom or perfectly lasered bikini line with the rest of Scottsdale, although both look passable if comparison were a thing – but women don’t compare themselves with each other, right! However, a modest pair of shorts with frayed edges – yes indeed! So here lies the fusion of desert uniform and business attire… shorts and a blazer!
And, just in case you’re not feeling the shorts, and let’s face it, not every day is for pulling the shorts straw – a summer blazer is just as cool with a pair of jeans or pants. Here, these fabulous platform sandals raise the style bar of the jeans and tee (literally), or perhaps I'm just reliving my youth, both I think, but I’m a firm believer in #wearwhatyouwant and #stylehasnoage!
Getting back to the shorts, the main concern is to ensure your shorts are just a tad longer than the blazer even if only by an inch or two. It looks seriously weird from behind if the shorts are hidden. Don't be surprised if you get tapped on the shoulder by considerate passers by who want to let you know that you forgot something... like your pants!
This blazer was a seriously lucky find. It fits me perfectly, is super light weight and looks and feels much more expensive than it was. It's currently on sale with only a few sizes left. I've linked it below as well as a selection of other chic summer blazers.
Here are some of the other pieces or similar that I paired with the blazer:
There are affiliate links in this post which means I may receive a small percentage of sales made.
Karen Serino is a life and style blogger, sharing fashion, fitness and fun for youthful women in their forties, fifties and beyond.
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Click the picture below to see my interview with the lovely Jonet Wooten from Fabulously Chic Over 50