Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Capsule wardrobe #19 - Style challenge navy blazer

As many of you may know, I very much enjoy exchanges and taking requests, and so I was really pleased when I got an email a couple of days ago with a style challenge.

The question was how to accessorize a navy blazer to get a casual, not business-like look.

I love wearing blue, and it was a fun process to put together an outfit. For the basics, I chose a tank top with a deep neckline, and a 3/4 length pair of jeans. Both are capsule pieces, and their cut and material very casual, hereby already avoiding an association with a business outfit or working uniform.

Next, the accessories. While a silk scarf is a perfect companion to a business look, it can just as easily go casual. Here the bright and happy colors, in combination with a more flamboyant version of the criss-cross knot, give the scarf a nonchalant appeal. The bracelet adds another little splash of color, while the look of the necklace worn in a single long strand emphasizes further the overall casual look.

Style Challenge: Navy blazer
Capsule pieces: ecru 3/4 length jeans and a cream tank top
Shoes:Two-toned ballet flats
Accessories: Tours de Clés 70 Carré, Farandole necklace, Bleu de Prusse Bolide 31, and Clic-Clac bracelet in Bleu Indiens.
Scarf ring: MT Collection, Moyenne Classique
Scarf tying method: Criss-cross knot (click here for a how-to), one end left longer than the other

I enjoyed this so much that I had a hard time choosing just one look and thought it would be fun to get a few more navy blazer style sheets together over time.

It could even be the start of a new series, taking on different style challenges and then finding a few different looks for each. What do you think, ladies? If you have any challenges in your mind, I would love to hear them. You could tell me about them in the comments box below, or drop me an email at


  1. MaiTai I love the idea and you did it again. The blue blazer with that scarf was on point. I am looking forward to what comes next. Have a great rest of the week :-) Blessings-P

  2. MaiTai, I love this look because a navy blazer is a wardrobe staple! It works well with jeans and a white shirt; white skirts and white tank; and very pale grey slacks and tops; and then adding in a splash of colour with a scarf or belt is perfect for all of these looks. The trick I have found is to make the base of the outfit a single colour (any colour complemenatry to navy blue) then add the blazer and an appropriate splash of colour. Definitely a wardrobe must have!

  3. Thank you MT! It's so exciting! I love the way you accepted the challenge, just beautiful!

  4. Hi, i love your style and the way you mix and match clothes and accessories.I suppose you know you could be a perfect stylist by profession.
    What I'm thinking of the navy blazer is that its formality could be broken by a boho style scarf, especially if its crinkly. Trousers could bring another style as well. If it's jeans, it's casual. If it's the white or blue impeccable linen trousers, then it's formal.
    Of course there are so many ways a navy blazer can be worn but what I think is that it's the trousers and the near-the-face and around-neck accessories that are essential for the whole style.

  5. Dearest Maitai,

    Simply brilliant! Love the idea of a 'style challenge series' - though nothing can be a challenge for you, my dear. Love the ensemble - so fresh and for me, outside the box! The TdC is a lovely, happy scarf - seems so versatile too. A big muwah for the full length shot - how you've made my day, thank you dear MaiTai! Hugs, xx
    PS I know you meant me, re the last reply ;-) Here is to Theme and Variations!

  6. What shall I say - when I look at your "navy blazer look" and compare it with something similar I wore in spring, then I just want to go and find a hole to hide in. LOL! You pull off my beloved classic (timeless) look in such an effortless manner, which leaves me "speechless" ;) almost every time I pop in here! Sending hugs, Macs
    PS: Starting a new series sounds like a lovely idea.

  7. Hmmm... very beautiful and functional outfit:) I especially like the 3/4 pants, they are so easy to wear, instantly add a casual vibe to a blazer, I need to get one in white :) they should go well with oxford shoes too. Dear Maitai, thanks for sharing again :)

  8. The next challenge will be to be able to look as stunning as you do! I loved this post & look forward to seeing some of the other looks you have put together.


  9. As always, a lesson in refinement, class and great distinction; even without accessories.
    Thank you very much, and warmest regards.

  10. My favorite way to wear a navy blazer...casual! Nonchalant is the perfect word to describe this effortless,elegant look you have styled.You could also pair it with dark jeans,push up the sleeves,add a great H stack and your Chuck Taylor's.
    It sounds as if you are wanting a little challenge.Go for it-Variations on a Theme by MT!
    Big hug,T xx

  11. MaiTai, I think you'll look lovely in a sack! I love how you put everything together. I tend to go for classic pieces which I mix and match in various ways to get a different look.

  12. Love this look, MaiTai - you are certainly up to the challenge! And this scarf is one of my favourites - just vibrant colours - fantastic with navy!

  13. What a brillant look, and fabulous you! I love how you took up this challenge dear MT, and wow, the blue blazer looks amazingly casual (I would never have thought it could be done). You made me pick up my blue longchamp today =) I would love to see this new series..Hugs to you xx

  14. Thank you Penney, so happy you like the idea! I think this could be fun. Have a wonderful weekend!

    Your concept is great, Rosalyn, and I think too that a neutral base works great. Very much like the pale grey suggestion, will definitely try it!

    All thanks to you, dear Birkinmary, this was such a great idea!

    Thank you, MaryKa, and welcome to my blog! Very much like the idea of a boho scarf, or a shawl. In fact it was torn between this look and the one I have posted, and I completely agree with you on the importance of the trouser style and scarf!

    Of course I meant you, my dear Scarf Enthusiast,sorry for the confusion. Note to myself, no more late night posting! Your lovely comment made my day too, and here’s a mwah right back to you x

    Oh, dear Macs, I simply don’t believe it! I bet your spring ensemble did look nothing short of super chic, but thank you for the sweet compliment regardless. Happy you like the idea of a series, I hope we’ll have fun!

  15. Merci, Samantha! You are right re the oxford shoes, that would be such a fabulous combination. Might have to get a white 3/4 pair too, it sounds so good! ;-)

    Lol, dear Katie, you are too funny and kind. Glad you like the look, and hoping you will enjoy the ones to come too <3

    Warmest good wishes to you, dear cecilia, and thanks so much for your kind and lovely words :-)

    Love the look you have described, dearest Trudye! The Chuck Taylor’s were a close contestant, I would have worn them with the boho scarf MaryK suggested. And I am all for the H stack, naturellement! Looking forward to posting the Trudye navy blazer variation one day soon. Thanks and hugs!

  16. Thank you, dear Chocolate, Cookies and Candies, but be careful what you wish for.. did I mention I love a challenge? LOL! :-)

    So lovey of you to say, my dear sushi queen, thank you. TdC hugs to you xx

    Happy you like the look, thank you my dear DD! Glad to hear you took the Longchamp out, here’s to casual navy, and good things in life! x

  17. MaiTai! Tu est magnifique! I love the pops of color with the scarf and enamel. Thank you so much for the wonderful outfit inspiration!

  18. Dear MaiTai,

    As Cecilia said, you give us a "lesson in class and great distinction"!This outfit is great and you look divine!
    May I suggest another outfit :to use the scarf as a belt together with jeans or white trousers, the blue blazer and ballerinas? Hug, M.

  19. MaiTai, what a great outfit, loved the way you put it together, the scarf is sublime, such vibrant colours, makes the navy less formal and the navy is a perfect foil for it; you must do more style challenges, your taste is superb, you never put a foot wrong! xx

  20. Merci, Samantha, so nice of you to say. Really like the pops too.. isnt’ it amazing how much a little braclet can do!

    Love your suggestion, dear Manuela, so nice of you to share your idea! Thank you also for the lovely compliment, hugs.

    Happy you like the look, dear Blighty, and thank you for your very kind words. This scarf has rescued me many times, it is such an instant pick me up. Hope the xmas campaing is coming on well!

  21. Greetings Maitai from the Great White North of Alberta Canada,
    First I want to thank you -it was upon stumbling upon your blog I began my descent down the "slippery orange slope" that is Hermes back at the end of Aug( and yes- slippery it is as I have since then acquired 7 lovely scarfs and several bracelets-both now a passion for me to collect!!)
    If it had not been for your amazinb blog I might never have recognized just how a "simple"(but of course stunning work of art)Hermes scarf could expand one's wardrobe(not to mention the accesories like the enamels,etc) beyond imagination. I truly do thank you for your terrific style and generosity in sharing it with us all ( and one day my DD will as well when she gets to inherit all Hermes that I plan to possess& yes- she is excited to know this :))
    Now I have a couple of questions that I hope you may answer:
    1. Would you be so kind as to tell who your wonderful bi-color ballet shoes are by( and the color- it is most difficult to tell from the photo) & in the same vein the lovely mesh ones you wore back in the summer- I have always been a ballet flat lover as well as now bonafide Hermes one and I am absolutely in love with both pairs you have? ( the Repettos were my well kept secret for many years-they are most constant companions and are particularly terrific for running around airports & traveling in general)
    and finally my last question is similar but would you be so kind as to tell us who your lovely light taupe jacket you recently wore with the black rollneck,jeans and riding boots was by?

    Please keep up this wonderful blog and I look so forward to your postings- they make my day

  22. Dear ABgirl, please forgive this incredible late reply to your comment and questions. I am so happy to hear you enjoy coming here, and honored to be part of your journey on the silk road. Congratulations on your fast growing colllection, and how wonderful to know it will pass to your daughter one day. You must have thought this comment got lost, as I saw you reposted your questions re the ballet flats and coat. Please find my response re the colours and coat here
    I bought the mesh ballet flats years ago in Germany, and can't recall the brand. The bi-coloured ones are by Kevin Dorfer, who has a little boutique in the 7th arrondisement, 80 rue du Bac. Hope this helps :-)