When you need to smarten up a little at work but still want to feel comfortable then the perfect choice is a knitted blazer. This is an item I've bought frequently with clients as it fills the gap between the formality of a blazer and the comfort of a cardigan, and therefore straddles the smart / casual divide perfectly.
You can wear it with jeans, chinos, tailored trousers and put a shirt, t-shirt or even a fine knit sweater underneath. I'm convinced once you've bought one you'll wonder how you ever did without it in your wardrobe!
If you like a clean cut classic look this one's for you. It's in a smooth texture so gives a sharp but easy look. Perfect to take on a business trip if you're not sure how smart you need to be and with the added benefit that it won't get creased.
Sunspel men's merino wool 'Milano' blazer £295
I have many clients who work in tech or marketing or in an office where there's no dress code. When they become more senior in the company they often ask how they can dress to show their added authority without looking out of place in the office. I think a knitted blazer is a great solution to this and replaces a hoodie but is doesn't look quite as smart as a tailored blazer might, which could be too much when everyone else is dressed in jeans and t-shirts!
Another great thing about a knitted blazer is that it can be worn year round. In winter layer it over a t-shirt and fine knit crew neck sweater and in summer wear with a t-shirt to pop on when the air con is blasting out a little too much, or you've gone out after work and the night air has gotten chilly.
This knitted blazer is at the higher end of the price scale, but if you love it and you wear it loads then it'll definitely earn it's keep. You can wear it casually with faded jeans and trainers, as styled here with a shirt and lighter chinos as a great transitional piece or wear it with a pale blue button down, tailored grey flannel trousers and a tie for more formal events. How versatile is that?!
Navy cashmere jacket - N Peal £695
I chose navy for all the blazers as it's so easy to blend with other colours. Pale blue, white, sand, black and grey are your probably your default choices for shirts and trousers for work but for casual you could try wearing shirts or t-shirts in burgundy, dusty pink, sea green or even violet - Pantone's colour of the year.
Navy merino wool blazer - Charles Tyrwhitt £99.95
(This post was updated on 21st September 2018)