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I’m pretty frugal, so when it comes to considering new purchases I like to know they will have longevity. Since fall is just around the corner (ack!), what’s one piece I can pick up now that has the potential to look sharp into the coming months?

A unique, multifaceted blazer will never steer you wrong as you transition between seasons, especially in the tricky time between sultry days and increasingly cooler nights. The benefit to these toppers is that they can be paired with everything from pencil skirts to flared trousers to cropped denim.

I was inspired by Zero + Maria Cornejo’s elegant tie-front blazer – how effortlessly chic it looked when worn with matching pants; but I also imagined it donned untied (and unfussy) over a button-down shirt and denim. You see, to truly embrace the power of style, sometimes you’ve gotta think outside of the prescribed way of wearing something. I’ve always maintained that style rules are made to be broken.

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When you’re in search of versatile garments, consider fit and fabric and you’ll be mixing it up in no time. For example, J.Crew’s sweetly scalloped linen blazer would look smart paired with office wardrobe essentials such as sleek pants and ballet flats. Because of the inherently summery feel of linen, make sure to pair a piece such as this with options that have more weight – cotton, a light knit or a heavier silk, for example. A boxy blazer from Phase Eight can do double-duty with lighter weight tops and high-waisted bottoms, whether wool or something more adventurous such as velvet. And Ted Baker’s prim blazer-meets-sporty-bomber-jacket will look great off-duty with cropped jogging pants for casual dates or errand running, or on-duty with tried-and-true black slacks.

Consider your options and exercise them.

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