Men's Fashion Basics - Part 11 - The Blazer

Editor Note: With blazers set to be MASSIVE this Spring/Summer there couldn’t be a better time for Matt’s blazer basics article. All fashion newbies should have a blazer in their wardrobe as it is an ESSENTIAL piece of clothing, but with the added value of being bang on trend for this year. For background information about how important they are check out these articles: Men’s Blazers – New Season Collections | Men’s Spring Fashion Trend – Relaxed Tailoring | Spring 2010 Fashion Essential – The Blazer | Short Suit Look Book.
Cheers, Ben

Trail-Blazers

Moving on from last week’s article on leather jackets let’s talk about something a bit more cotton-based and formal, by which I mean blazers. A lot of young stylish actors and fashion designers can often be found in slim, dark blazers with a pair of jeans these days and it is definitely something that most guys can pull off with ease. It will bring your outfit together more and is a great piece for ‘anchoring’ more fashion-forward clothes around. But there are still some basic rules that need to be remembered.

One of the big problems that seems to crop up whenever a blazer is mentioned is ‘are they different from suit jackets?’ and is then usually followed by ‘…and can I wear a suit jacket by itself anyway?’. The answer to these questions is simple; the only difference between a suit jacket and a blazer is the matching trousers. I wear my suit jackets with a jeans and a tee shirt all the time and nobody is none the wiser. Don’t get so caught up in the nitty-gritty guys!

Well, ok, I tell a lie. There is one detail that should be remembered at all times and that’s the difference between a structured blazer and an unstructured one. The idea behind this one is simple; a structured blazer will normally have more defined shoulders, be made from a dressier fabric and hug your body a lot more creating a slim line to your frame. They are great for striking a more formal note whereas an unstructured one will help give off a more casual vibe, perfect for rolling the sleeves up and wearing with your beaten up denim. But in the end it will come down to your personal preference. I personally prefer my blazers structured because I love how I can throw one on and instantly look more put together and smart regardless of how casual the rest of my clothes are.

They come in all kinds of fabrics, from cotton blends to tweeds through to wool and corduroys and each material and style lends themselves to a particular look. Just always bear in mind the nature of the blazer. If it’s a brisk leafy Autumn Sunday outside and you’re off to grab some lunch, reach for that grey tweed blazer to put on over your striped shirt and jeans. Or if you’re on your way out to dinner and need something to smarten up your white t-shirt and grey chinos throw on a dressy cotton navy blazer instead.

Ways To Wear

And, as always, here are some fool-proof ways of wearing a blazer: -

  • Get yourself a fitted black blazer and wear it with a dark pair of jeans and your favourite tee or maybe even a thin black and red striped long sleeve t-shirt? In fact get yourself a black blazer and wear it with everything! You can’t go wrong.
  • Go full on prep and match a smart navy blazer with some sand cotton chinos, a blue collared shirt and brown loafers. Maybe even throw in a blue gingham pocket square or a brown and navy striped tie for good measure too.
  • For a smart take on casual Fridays, why not try wearing a tweed or corduroy blazer in a neutral colour with the standard jeans, t-shirt and jumper the rest of your work colleagues always seem to wear. Also, go for a jumper with am argyle pattern to mix things up a bit.
  • For those of you that have some coloured trousers lying around in preparation for spring (or at the very least some white jeans!), keep them anchored with a blazer too. Use it as the background that lets those loud chinos do the talking, just make sure the blazer is either in a neutral colour or a complimenting colour. You don’t want your bottom and top half to be clashing.
  • And finally, one for the summer. Go with a structured navy cotton blazer over a white t-shirt and some chino shorts. Round it off with a straw trilby and some brightly coloured boat shoes as well.

Until next week guys,
Matt Allinson

Basic Blazers

Topman

Upper Mini Check Blazer Grey Jersey Trim Jacket Navy Sports Skinny Jacket

Charcoal Herringbone Jacket White Skinny Trim jacket Black Skinny Trim Jacket

All Saints

Berwick Blazer Hammer Blazer Salzburg Jacket

Detract Jacket Milliner Blazer Kovek Jacket

ASOS

ASOS Tailoring Grey Pindot Jacket ASOS Check Blazer ASOS Tailoring Tipped Detail Blazer

Ben Sherman Harrow Blazer Diesel Black Gold Jannilu Four Button Jacket Unconditional Hidden Lapel One Button Blazer