Three-Quarter Sleeved Blazers in Winter

How to Wear Three-Quarter-Sleeved Blazers in Winter | CorporetteHow do you wear three-quarter sleeved blazers once winter arrives?  Reader R wonders…

Now that the cooler months are approaching, I have a question about 3/4 length sleeve blazers. I have a belted one that is very warm and work-appropriate, but I never know what sort of shirt to wear under it. (Ditto for many cute blazers I see out there, especially tweed ones.) Is it OK to wear a long-sleeved shirt under a blazer with 3/4 length sleeves? If so, what color/fit guidelines would you recommend? It seems like a waste to have a blazer in a heavier fabric if your wrists and lower arms are going to be exposed to the elements.

Interesting question.  (Pictured above: Rebecca Taylor Raw-Edge Tweed Blazer, on sale at Last Call: was $395, now marked to $126.40 (sizes 4-8 only).) We’ve talked in general about what to wear beneath suit jackets, and how to wear a black blazer as a separate, but we haven’t talked about this.  For my $.02, this is how I’ve always worn them, but I’m curious to see what other ladies are doing:

  • With a very long-sleeved sweater or turtleneck beneath.  By “very long sleeved” I mean I generally look for sleeves that hit past my wrists, maybe even on the top part of my hands.  I almost never see these marketed as such — it’s just the kind of thing that you know if you’ve got it or if you’re trying it on.  (I’m a fairly short person anyway so it’s the rare sweater that hits perfectly at my wrist anyway.)  In this case, I generally would put the watch inside the sleeve, but would consider putting a bangle or any arm jewelry on the outside of the bottom layer’s sleeve.  (But I’m generally opposed to clanging bangles for the office anyway, so know your office.)
  • With a three-quarter sleeved sweater or shirt beneath.  Yes, this leaves your forearm exposed, but you can always buy long gloves to make up for the space if you’re outside.
  • With a wool sheath dress (or a short-sleeved wool or cashmere sweater) — so long as the underlying fabric is appropriately “winter,” it won’t matter that your forearms are exposed.  This can be an even warmer outfit in practice than the first one (because your turtleneck could be a thin jersey material).

I’ve never worn a blouse with normal-length sleeves beneath a three-quarter sleeve jacket, but I’m sure I’ve seen it done — it seems more like Fashion 401 rather than Fashion 101, though, so proceed at your own comfort level.

Readers, how do you wear three-quarter sleeved blazers in the winter? 


  1. I never wear anything longer than 3/4 sleeves, but to be fair I always wear a jacket over my blazer if it’s that cold outside. Anything else looks odd to me.

    • +1
      Unclear is the question is about wearing 3/4 sleeves in or outside.
      If we are talking about street wear, I’ll give a shout-out to long gloves. They are awesome generally and a lifesaver with 3/4 sleeved jackets or coats.

    • Orangerie :

      Yeah, same here. Blazers are not outerwear when it’s cold outside, so I layer a coat over it for my commute.

      Long sleeves under a 3/4 sleeve jacket would look really, really strange to me.

      • I feel like it can work if everything is exactly right – the length of the over and under-sleeves, the colors, everything. But it’s not going to work with just any long-sleeved shirt and any 3/4 sleeve blazer. (And even if it did work, it would be a more fashion-forward, not conservative office look, IMO.)

        I don’t care much for 3/4 length outerwear for this reason, but for the one 3/4 blazer that I have, I have folded/scrunched up/hidden the sleeves of long-sleeved tops under it pretty successfully. I totally agree that you need a coat if it’s cold.

        • +1

          The very long sleeved look can work under a 3/4 blazer, but it can have an artsy look.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’ve seen so many 3/4 length sleeves on what is supposed to be outerwear in addition to things like blazers this year. I haven’t bought any because I haven’t been able to style it right although these suggestions are helpful.

      I did see a woman last week wearing a coat with 3/4 sleeves that sort of ballooned out around the elbow. She paired it with long leather gloves and I thought it looked great.

    • I like to wear 3/4 sleeve jackets with 3/4 sleeve sweaters in the winter, letting a little bit of the sweater peek out.

  2. Turkey Turmoil :

    Well. I just learned that I’ll be cooking the turkey this year for T-giving. I’ve never done this, but I’m excited to learn. I’d prefer not to poison my whole family, so in light of that, does anyone have any links or tips or recipes w/r/t Cooking a Turkey When You Have No Idea What You’re Doing? Me and my loved ones thank you!

    • AttiredAttorney :

      The butterball page is a lifesaver for all things turkey, when your goal is just to safely cook a reasonably juicy bird. Follow their calculators for defrost and cook time and their method for preparation. And of course, you can apply their techniques to a bird from any supplier.

    • If it’s your first time, you might try a plastic oven bag. It won’t be brown and crisp, but it’s more likely to be juicy and not dry. It cooks more quickly, too, and the oven stays cleaner.

      The last few years I’ve been roasting the turkey without the bag. About 4 hours at 325 for a 12 pound turkey. Either way, put an onion in the cavity and sprinkle the top of the turkey with garlic powder or something similar.

      • PSA, I just did some quick internet research and found out that there are some concerns about whether the bags are safe, even though they are supposedly free of harmful chemicals. Just passing this along in case it would concern you. Personally, I doubt the amount of chemicals from a once-a-year turkey would do anyone any harm, but better forewarned.

      • Agree with this – cooking in plastic is less and less recommended these days. Even if you have BPA-free bags, there are concerns about other chemicals leaching into food, especially under heat. While you may only eat turkey once a year, I think it’s good practice to cut down on all plastic usage, especially when you’re cooking, because the effects of these chemicals is cumulative. Plus, you can definitely do without in this case.

        • Yeah but then I just read a scientific study recently that showed no conclusive evidence that reheating leftovers in the microwave in plastic containers transferred any chemical between container and food. I worry about the effects of chemicals on myself and my children, but so much of the research is really, really thin.

          • I almost convinced myself to use the bag this year – I am not worried about the chemical effect, myself – but my SIL might not want her kids eating the turkey cooked in plastic. So I am going to roast it open and hope for the best. It’s usually OK, but the oven bag is foolproof in terms of avoiding dryness.

        • You can use parchment papers instead to the same effect!

    • I think you’re supposed to brine it or something to make it moist. However, I’m a vegetarian so I have no clue what I’m talking about.

    • A Nonny Moose :

      When DH and I cooked turkey for the first time, we bought an “oven-ready” one from Whole Foods. It turned out GREAT. They give it to you fresh, seasoned, and with veggies floating around in the pan. We just stuck the whole thing in the oven, cooked it for 4 hours (check online for a weight-time in temperature conversion), took off the top foil, and cooked it for another 30-45 minutes or so to let it brown up. Make sure you have a meat thermometer and the thigh temp gets to 165 degrees.

    • I’ve used this recipe for brining for the past two years. Works great. I got a huge bucket for the dollar store for brining. When I’m ready to roast, I coat it with whatever spices I feel like and roast mostly br3ast down so that the juices collect in the br3ast. I flip it towards the end so that the br3ast browns.

      • Flying Squirrel :

        If it’s your first turkey, you might try a dry brine which should be easier to handle (that’s what I’m doing/have done so far) this year.

        Also, baste!! And don’t overcook. I think the Food Network advice is not to actually cook it all the way to 165. Take it out around 155 or 160, and let it sit covered. It’ll continue to cook in the heat retained in the bird.

        I think things come out juicier if instead of stuffing you fill the cavities with things that add moisture (like onion, apple, celery).

        And make sure you put a fat (olive oil or butter) either on the skin or under it.

        • I use this recipe from epicurious for a pancetta/sage butter. You rub the compound butter under the skin, put herbs (and I always throw in a cut lemon and an onion) in the cavity, and put more olive oil/salt/pepper on top. It turns out amazingly juicy and flavorful. Just be aware – the person with the smallest hands is usually the best person to schmear the butter under the skin.

          • I do this without the pancetta. I make herb butter with sage, rosemary, and thyme and rub both under and over the skin, then drizzle olive oil, salt & pepper on the top.

            So delish.

      • Actually, I only use this recipe for brining, not the actual roasting part. But good luck!

    • SoCalAtty :

      Always brine!! Also, slide some butter between the turkey skin and the breast before you put it in (be careful not to tear the skin!) the oven. Follow Alton Brown’s advice, and you’ll be in great shape!

      If you want to, you CAN cook stuffing in the cavity if you pre-cook the stuffing and put it in toward the end. That way your stuffing has already crossed the 165 degree threshold, and has maybe an hour inside the cavity to “marinate” but it isn’t marinating inside a raw turkey.

      • FWIW, although we don’t do American Thanksgiving, we always cook a turkey for Christmas, and our MO is to cook the stuffing in the bird right from the beginning. (In fact we do two kinds of stuffing – a bread stuffing in the bird’s rear end, and a sausage stuffing in the front cavity – because it’s All.About.The.Stuffing.) As long as you put the stuffing in the turkey just before you put the turkey in the oven, everything’s going to cook up just fine and no-one in my family has ever gotten sick from this.

        • To be clear, we saute the stuffing before putting it in the bird, so it isn’t going into the bird raw, but we don’t worry about waiting an hour or whatever before inserting into the bird.

        • +1. My mil has been cooking turkeys for years & years – usually at least 2 per year, often 3 or more (Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and sometimes just because) and her bread stuffing has tons of eggs in it (it comes out of the bird rather solid and needs to be sliced). She always stuffs the bird just before cooking (in one of those dreaded plastic roasting bags, lol) and nobody has ever got sick from the stuffing.

        • Yes!! My family has always done this (stuffing first sauteed in butter, then stuffed into raw turkey before it goes in the oven) and I am so bummed out by “stuffings” that are not actually stuffed in the bird – no, MIL, I love you, but your stuffing is not even in the same universe as my mom’s! Also, brining is awesome but not a must, you can totally get a delicious moist bird by basting and appropriately using/discarding a foil tent.

          • Yup, never in the history of my family have we ever brined a turkey, and they are always moist and yummy (well, except for that one time that the fire alarm went off….but that’s another story…).

    • If you’re serving a turkey of any size, it’s probably too late to buy a frozen one. Good luck!

    • Food Network is another great source – I think some of their specials are available online, but they seem to be running holiday cooking specials nonstop around this time of year. I’m personally a huge fan of Alton Brown’s turkey (brine in OJ with salt and ice water the night before and then use dry seasonings on outside of the bird).

    • Turkey Turmoil OP :

      These are amazing tips! Thank you all!

    • Jenna Rink :

      I cooked my first turkey last year using this recipe, and it turned out very tasty!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      This doesn’t help now but for anyone in a city that has Fresh Direct, they actually have a delicious Thanksgiving order package that is beyond easy to make. I was pleasantly surprised last year doing it for the first time. There are lots of side options, a few stuffings to choose from, and multiple dessert options and it all comes with an awesome instruction sheet. You figure out what time you want to eat and it tells you exactly when to turn the oven on, put in the turkey, change the temp and put in certain sides, etc.

      I’ve made the turkey myself once and used the cooking bag technique. It worked great for me. One thing to keep in mind is that you need plenty of time to defrost your turkey!

    • Brining will make the turkey very moist. I don’t have a cool place in the house so brine mine in the pan in the fridge, and then just flip it everyone once in a while. Remember to rinse the turkey well before baking though so it is not salty. Don’t worry too much about basting. Actually, America’s Test Kitchen recommends not basting because in their experiments, it does not do much for a brined turkey except keep the skin soft. The most important piece of advice though is to not stuff the turkey to avoid the risk of food poisoning. Good luck!

  3. AttiredAttorney :

    I think any top that extends past the sleeve on a blazer looks weird. I would wear something underneath the 3/4 sleeve blazer that’s sleeveless, short sleeved, 3/4 sleeved, or can be cuffed to the same sleeve length as the blazer.

  4. Boots question :

    Are either of these appropriate to wear in a nice business casual office with pencil skirts or suiting-type dresses?

    • Boots question :

      Reposting b/c the links got me stuck in moderation:

      Are either of these appropriate to wear in a nice business casual office with pencil skirts or suiting-type dresses?

      The “Shawna” boot

      The “Brickers” boot

      Both in black at www dot lacanadienneshoes dot com

      • I think the Shawna looks more professional. I’m not sure how formal your office is, but plenty of people in my more casual business casual office wear riding boots. If you want to play it safe, I’d go with a pair with a heel, like the Richie.

      • Oops, I posted my comment as a separate thread. Here it is:
        I think the Shawna looks more professional. I’m not sure how formal your office is, but plenty of people in my more casual business casual office wear riding boots. If you want to play it safe, I’d go with a pair with a heel, like the Richie.

      • I work in a business casual office (not law, not US) and I think both would be just fine.

    • kjoirishlastname :

      I love the Shawna boot. And I don’t know that I would wear it with suiting, but pencil skirts & the like–absolutely. I think a suiting-type dress would look a little funny with boots, but that’s JMO.

      But yes, depending on how “casual” your business casual is, they could be totally appropriate. For what it’s worth, wearing a pencil skirt with tights & boots is considered dressing up for my office.

    • The Shawna, yes, but I think the Brickers has too much hardware to be worn with pencil skirts. Incidentally, there are a lot of La Canadienne boots on sale now at Lordandtaylor dot com.

  5. DC Darling :

    So I’ve recently gotten onto a cooking/baking craze and have been stalking the interwebz looking for new cooking blog recipes to try. Currently in love with Smitten Kitchen, which seems to be a favorite around here, but am looking for something more meals and less dessert based.

    Also love recipes from Lorraine Pascale and Rachel Khoo. Highly recommend the latter for easy french food.

    • I’ve recently discovered Alexandra Cooks, which I really like – it’s all very rustic, homey food and I’ve had good success with her recipes.

    • Miss Behaved :

      Try this:

    • Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond) and Budget Bytes (also mentioned here previously) are two of my favorites. You could also try Pinterest, but plan on spending a significant amount of time there. Consider yourself warned.

    • Wannabe Runner :

      I use and make whatever tweaks the commenters suggest. All the recipes I search for have the name “Easy” in the title.

      Also, google Thug Kitchen. If you’re ok with some adult language, the vegan recipes there are actually great.

    • Need Tights :

      If you can stand the colorful language, try thugkitchen.

      +1 on simplyrecipes

    • westcoastjd :

      In addition to SK, I also like 101 Cookbooks (vegetarian) and Shutterbean (which can be heavy on the desserts). I also read Dinner: A Love Story. I’m going to try out Alexandra Cooks

      I agree that what is important is you find a site where you have success with the recipes. For me, SK fits the bill for that. I also have had good luck w/ Cook’s Illustrated recipes (I pick up the issues when there are recipes of interest, or search for variations online if there’s a specific dish I’m thinking of making).

    • Greener Apple :

      I like to scroll through the links section of David Lebovitz’s site. There are quite a few interesting blogs there.

    • Joy The Baker!!! Ooh I love her recepies and her “voice”. Youngish, hip, funny, KILLER food.

      • YES both Joy the Baker (her apple pie is my go to, and its always a hit. Her soups too!) and also love Big girls small kitchen.

        My other go to’s (more vegetarian but they do meats sometimes!) are Naturally Ella, Dishing Up the Dirt, OhSheGlows, and OhMyVeggies.

    • Equity's Darling :

      I really like Big Girls Small Kitchen and 101 cookbooks

    • Not a blog, but the recipes at the King Arthur Flour web page are incredible, along with the comments from the experienced bakers to each recipe. It’s my favorite place to find baking recipes.

    • Shopping Question :

      If you’re looking for some easier recipes (read: can be done after a full work day), that are on the lighter side, try skinnytaste. As a bonus, if you ever do weight watchers, the author has calculated the WW points for all the recipes (using both the old and PointsPlus system). This website was a lifesaver after I had my second daughter and was trying to lose the baby weight and still eat reasonably well.

      • DC Darling :

        Looking to drop a few so will definitely be checking this out! Thanks.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I always think the food on Nom Nom Paleo looks delicious (although I haven’t gotten around to making anything yet).

  6. So my partner and I decided to experiment with our Thanksgiving dinner this year and instead of making turkey, we are going for a duck. Anyone has a good recipe or hints how to roast a whole duck? I LOVE duck meat, but have never cooked it. It will be a small family dinner, so if we screw it up majorly, it won’t be the end of the world, but still, I’d like to give it a fair chance.

    • Try Peking Duck. It’s delicious even if you don’t get it as crispy as they do at the restaurant. My sister made it for Thanksgiving two years ago and they turned out very tasty. She didn’t bother with the bicycle pump though. Only caveat is that a duck has a lot less meat on it than a chicken.

    • If you’re a crock pot kind of gal, it’s super easy to cook a whole duck in a crock pot – similar to cooking a whole chicken in the crock pot – and its delicious, fall off the bone kind of food.

    • Look for a double-cooked recipe where you can braise or roast at a lower temp first to get the meat tender and the fat rendered, and then finish roasting at high heat to get the skin crispy. I find this the best and safest approach when cooking for a party, as I am not on a tightrope between getting the legs fully-cooked and keeping the breast pink, for birds of variable dimensions. Also much easier carving since the meat is cooked to fall-off-the-bone stage and the whole bird is fully-cooked – I can get 4 generous or up to 6 meaner portions per mid-sized bird, plus many nibbles of yummy crispy skin for the cook and/ or carver.

      Some places to look for recipes : Nigella Lawson’s original domestic goddess book, Amanda Hesser’s memoir about her life with Mr. Latte, an Aussie chef Neil Perry’s book about ‘food I love’.

    • Double Hoo :

      I’ve always cooked duck by slow roasting in the oven. These timings are for individual legs, not a whole duck, so you may want to look up a real recipe, but my method is to prick the skin with a fork so the fat can render, fry skin side down for 5 mins or so to get it started, then roast at 375 for 1 hour skin side down and another hour skin side up. I put a dry spice rub on usually too. Then my secret is to put all the rendered fat in with the rice I serve alongside, which makes it really savoury and good. I love duck!

  7. Thoughts on playing music quietly at your desk? I work at a small firm, and I have my own office. Other associates, secretaries and partners come in and out every now and then, but for the most part I am alone, and I would like to have some noise going while I work. Do you guys do this? I hear some of the secretaries sometimes doing this, but none of the other attorneys. I don’t want to seem unapproachable.

    • As long as (1) you have your own office, (2) you can’t hear the music if you are outside of your office, and (3) if the music has lyrics, they are office-appropriate, then you’re fine.

    • Diana Barry :

      I played music very quietly in my office and somebody STILL complained. So now I have headphones.

    • kjoirishlastname :

      We have our own offices (however, not all offices have doors, and none of the walls go all the way to the ceiling–it’s an old industrial building, and they wanted to leave all the ceiling-work exposed, plus daylight & air circulation; but the walls are all about 10’high) and we all use headphones. That way you can listen to whatever b!tchin music you want.

      If you don’t like headphones or can’t have them for some reason, you could always stick to instrumental stuff, be it classical or new-agey stuff.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I usually use headphones but will listen quietly on occasion. I don’t think it makes you seem unapproachable at all.

    • I’m a controller at a large international company in a regional office. I often play music quietly in my office. You can’t hear it in the hall, and I also don’t think they can hear it on the other end if someone calls.

      As long as the music is quiet & appropriate, I would think it would make you more approachable rather than less, especially if the alternative is headphones.

    • I used to listen to music on ipod speakers in my office all the time. I kept it low and just turned it off whenever anyone came in. I only use headphones in my new job because I broke the ipod speakers.

    • Anonymous :

      Unless you keep the door shut I would use headphones.

    • Wannabe Runner :

      I play classical music quietly in my office. I turn it off for phone calls, but not drop-ins. Be careful if you’re streaming anything over the internet – the office IT people may see it and discourage it.

    • Only ok if you shut the door.

  8. AnonInfinity :

    I wear long sleeves under 3/4 sleeve blazers as a casual look all the time. I roll the cuff on the jacket very slightly because I think it looks less harsh or something to have a transition between blazer and shirt sleeve. I think this could work at my office but maybe not a super formal office.

  9. single gal :

    I do like the look of 3/4 length jackets, but then I also think – what’s the matter, can’t you afford a sleeve that covers all of your arm? Also, when it’s cold, I want a long sleeve jacket, not a 3/4 one.