If you’re a woman without a blazer in her closet, there’s no time like the present to add one to your wardrobe. Once reserved for politicians, new blazer styles have become a staple in stylish, professional women’s wear. But finding the right one isn’t always easy.

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Here’s a quick guide to help you choose your new must-have office attire.

Finding a Stylish Piece
You don’t want a blazer that makes you look like you just stepped off the set of Working Girl (1988). You want something that meets today’s modern trends. Take the comparison of celebrity blazers on Who What Wear as a standard. The one thing you won’t see is huge, padded, square-off shoulders, because today’s style fit the shape of the wearer’s body. Colors and patterns vary, but you can’t go wrong with a dark, solid-colored piece. Black, grey, and dark blue are safe choices for an office setting, and they’re versatile enough that they’re easy to pair with pieces from your existing wardrobe. If you want something a little more fun, you can try a brighter color, but stick to something that’s free of any patterns to keep the look professional.

Finding the Right Fit
Again, you want your blazer to follow the curve of your body, because you don’t want to look boxy. If you can’t find one that perfectly fits your shape, choose a blazer that’s slightly wider than what you need and have it tailored. As explained by Wall Street Journal, tailoring is the secret to a well-dressed woman. It’s certainly worth a couple bucks to make a quality piece look like it was specially made for you. You should consider alterations with the blazer’s length as well. You want it to fall a few inches past your hips, so when in doubt, opt for one that’s a little longer. You can’t make a blazer longer, but you can easily have it shortened.

Finding Pairing Inspiration
Do a little research to see what fits best under your new blazer. You can usually count on reputable fashion designers for ideas on the newest trends in upscale attire—aka looks perfect for the office. If you check out Lyst, you can find articles and collections full of stylish ideas for outfits perfect for a day at the office or a night out on the town, all from some of the biggest names in the industry. If you burn through all the inspiration on professional attire, try some of the posts on date-night clothes. With the right pair of tights or leggings, a camisole, and a cardigan or blazer, it’s easy to take a date night outfit and make it appropriate for even the most conservative offices.

For more ways to style your blazer, check out this post on layering outfits like a pro this winter.

Guest Post | Feature Photo by shrtstk/Creative Commons