What is a "Blazer?"
By dictionary definition, it's a "sports jacket, usually a solid color or striped, having metal buttons and sometimes an insignia on the breast pocket, as one worn by a member of a club, school, or the like."
Many thoughts come to mind when someone thinks of a "blazer." People have different perceptions of what a "blazer" might look like. A politician wearing one with gold buttons, something blue you wear with khaki pants, or maybe that dreaded heavy jacket your mother made you wear to church. I guess by definition, it could be all of these things. In general, a blazer is a sportcoat, but think of it as a standard solid navy or black jacket (although we won't really get you a black one unless you are in the musical arts).
The blazer has been around for hundreds of years, but lets skip the history and focus on the modern blazer, for your sake. This is something every guy should own. What should it look like? fit like? feel like?
The terms American, European, and English get tossed around a lot with fit.
- American Fit- Lower arm holes, fuller sides, longer lengths
- European Fit- Higher armholes, slimmer sides, shorter lengths
- English Fit- A combination between the two above
At the end of the day, what fit you should be wearing relies on what body type you posses. An Athletic fit guy should be wearing more of a European fit while a heavier set individual probably will feel most comfortable in the American fit, leaving the average male looking best in English or also European. If you haven't jumped on board to the closer fitting garments, do so now, its not too late. Side note- if you are overweight, that doesn't mean you need to get a baggy jacket. With the right fit, it can help you look slimmer.
You can find all sorts of fabrics for your blazers. Worsted wool, wool flanel, hopsack, linen, tweed...they all have their place. If you were wanting the most verstile fabric, I would suggest to you a hopsack. This fabric has a depth to it, a weave you can see which if styled correctly can be worn casual to dressy. Below is a hopsack fabric
Whatever you styling options are, I will say this to you; no gold or silver buttons. Unless of course you are in a yacht club or are dressing like a very conservative elderly gentleman. Great options are mother of pearl, pewter, even ivory. Beyond the buttons, stick with a notch lapel and side patch pockets and of course side vents. As your collection grows you can style all of them differently to have impacts on different occasions. The left coat has your "normal" flap pockets, the right has patch pockets.
How to wear a blazer?
You can wear a blazer with just about anything! Jeans, Chinos, khakis, dress pants, even shorts (if you are headed towards that yachting experience). See the pictures below for some inspirations. Take note, if you choose to wear with jeans (or really anything), MAKE SURE THEY ARE PREMIUM DENIM! This is a critical point, don't think you can pair a blazer or sport coat with a thirty dollar pair or Levis or that U-shaped crotch Wrangler, it doesn't work now and it never will. Buy your self some nice jeans, darker preferred for basic casual blazer wear.