The structured jacket trend is one of my favorites right now. It’s a perfect completer piece, and a closet essential that every woman should own. Don’t confuse them with blazers — these jackets don’t have lapels, and they’re usually a little more cropped and boxy than a standard blazer.

I’ve seen them in all shapes and sizes, some patterned, some basic, some tweed, and they’re all amazing. BUT, they need to be styled properly to insure that you don’t walk out of the house looking like Professor Umbridge (especially if your jacket is tweed!)

photos by sara walk
1. Stay away from matchy-matchy. This is a sure way to get you into Umbridge territory. Also, it will give the feeling of a pant suit, which can look dated. So if you’re jacket is red, like mine, stay away from red bottoms (or any hue close to red). If your jacket is gray, be careful with black, gray, or white bottoms. You get the idea.
2. Add some contrast. I threw on some distressed jeans to create some good contrast against the structure and maturity of the jacket. They offset each other nicely to create an outfit that isn’t too structured or too casual. 
3. Add a touch of playfulness. Another way to add contrast, similar to the distressed jeans, is to add a playful piece, like a graphic tee, a baseball cap, or some tennis shoes.
4. Create balance in your outfit with nicer accessories. If your outfit is entirely casual, but you’ve thrown a nice structured jacket on, the jacket will look out of place and your outfit won’t have balance. Add some nice, sparkly jewelry, or a pair of heels to strike the perfect balance between dressy and casual. 
(and if you’re looking for a few good jacket options, I shared a few of my favorite structured jackets over on Babble)
jacket: c/o lulu*s
tee: made by me (tutorial here)
jeans: gap
heels: rock and republic (similar)
ray-bans: c/o sunglasses shop (similar)
bracelets: c/o the shine project (10% off with code ‘merricksart10’)


  1. Kimberly says:

    Totally agree with all your tips here – and this jacket is adorable!

  2. Love this! Gorgeous look!

    The Style Storm
    <3, Christina

  3. love this outfit! i have an odd question, how tall are you? I keep that in mind when looking at the items you share if i want to buy them πŸ™‚

  4. You are totally rocking it recently. Looking great yet again!

    ~Sarah of Sarah's Real Life

  5. Adore this look – such a perfect every day style. And I need these gap jeans!

  6. This jacket certainly is lovely and unique.

    And I love your first tip – no one wants to look like Umbridge. I dressed up like her for Halloween – a lot of people hated me that night. πŸ˜‰


  7. Stacey Werly says:

    Merrick, can I make a tutorial request?

    I love the fit of this dress, but I rarely spend that much money on a dress. Could you make a tutorial for it?

  8. What Jackets would you recommend for a pear shape? I never seem to find any that are flattering for my shape, or comfortable to wear and move around in. Thanks!

    Jana Stoneman

    • A boxy jacket is probably not be the most flattering shape for pear shape…blazers that are fitted at the waist and then flare out are the most complimentary for your body type.

      But if you do want to at least try the structured jacket trend, try ones that have a length that hits right above your hip bones — not cropped, and not long. This will be the most flattering length (and won't emphasize your pear shape or cut you off at the widest part of your body), and then you can wear pretty much anything you want with it.

  9. Paige Flamm says:

    I'm loving this jacket! The color, and they way you styled it are perfect!


  10. I pretty much want to wear every outfit you've worn in the past two weeks, just sayin! Also your legs look fabulous in that last picture.

  11. Tabet says:

    Beautiful pictures and a great outfit – amazing jacket and a good combi! πŸ™‚

  12. Alice Warren says:

    I am a sucker for blazers and use them primarily for work and is slowly learning to wear them on the weekend for casual wear.

    Great tips!


  13. I love this jacket on you! You look so great in structured jackets! Also, your blog is so cute!!! I love how creative you are!


  14. Raquelita says:

    Great tips! I think this may be one of my favorite outfits on you.. it's styled perfectly and you look oh-so gorgeous πŸ™‚
    XO Rach

  15. Monica says:

    You wrote this post for me–just bought a structured jacket from Gap ($8, originally $88–awfully happy about that!) but I have no idea how to wear it. Now, I do!

  16. Brittany B says:

    I never end up buying jackets because I don't want to look too dressed up. This post has inspired me to buy a jacket next time I see one I like!

  17. Agnes Mayer says:

    I love a great structured jacket. Gorgeous outfit. Love, love, love the jacket.


  18. i really appreciate and like all ways of style of structured jacket and Last day i saw a Flight Jackets styles in different ways. As comparative with flight your blog inspired me a lot. Keep it up and god bless you.

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