There are many things you can do to inject a bit of life into your wardrobe. They don’t have to be dramatic changes; even the smallest alteration can make a huge difference.
For example, I invested in a new scarf not too long ago – a chunky waffle knit, burnt orange number from Fred Perry – which, when used in conjunction with my existing wardrobe, takes almost any look up to a whole new level. It isn’t a true statement piece, but flashing just the right amount of colour to catch the eye helps finish outfits off perfectly.
The double-breasted blazer is a fantastic addition to any modern capsule wardrobe and will subtly lift any of your existing smart-casual looks. Matt Allinson already extolled their virtues in his recent round up of the key pieces you should be holding onto from 2012, and I completely agree – the double-breasted blazer is back (although Matt never thought it had gone away) and here to stay.
We covered double-breasted tailoring in detail a couple of years ago when it was beginning to trend within the industry. However, we’ve had two plus seasons since it really began to permeate the high street and, as we all know, styles change – so it’s worth considering how double-breasted jackets now fit into our constantly evolving menswear schema.
Before we start, it is worth us breaking down a few key considerations you should make before investing in a double-breasted blazer:
Before we get into the meat of how to wear the double-breasted blazer for 2013, take a look at some of the recently released campaigns/lookbooks from a selection of designers and high street retailers:
We are entering that irritating too hot for a coat, too cold for just a blazer time of year. Clever layering is the key to dealing with our wildly fluctuating temperatures and it’s the perfect time to get experimental with your key items.
Opt for an unstructured blazer to allow yourself more room for layering underneath. In this instance a lightweight denim jacket (top tip – I have personally found that the cheaper the jacket, the thinner the denim) layered over a shirt and under the blazer is a great way to keep out the morning chill and stop yourself from becoming too hot during the day.
If you want to make more of a statement, try pairing a tie (or bow tie) with a simple Oxford shirt. Keep the textures bulkier to maintain a more casual aesthetic or leave the shirt open for a slightly more nonchalant approach.
A pair of bright chinos will provide a final flash of colour and with a couple of turns of the hem you can show off your ankle or some funky socks (weather permitting).
Wearing a double-breasted blazer doesn’t always require you to focus on formality. Almost any item of clothing (with a few exceptions) is only ever as formal as YOU make it; there is nothing stopping you from taking a dress shirt or suit jacket and completely transforming the aesthetic.
You can make your life a lot easier by being intelligent with your jacket choice. As with the first look, an unstructured version is the way forward. Look for one with a shorter length (in relation to traditional suiting) because the softer lines will help to keep the outfit a lot more relaxed.
A henley tee is a great under-layer and the perfect accompaniment to the unstructured jacket – just make sure you leave a button or two undone. A pair of slim cut indigo jeans are a timeless choice, whilst rugged worker boots help provide a masculine edge that might otherwise have been missing.
Make sure you give your trouser hems a couple of rolls to emphasise the fact that you’re wearing boots:
Of course, no FashionBeans article would be complete without a nod to our house style; timeless and modern. This time, why not take a step away from our Italian idols and opt for something a little more Gallic?
A camel double-breasted blazer is a great start and offers you the perfect statement piece for any bohemian-inspired look. Layer a dark roll neck underneath; not only is this piece on trend but it also shows off your knack for creative layering and creates a nice clash of silhouettes.
Black trousers are a brilliant way of anchoring the whole look, offering a stark contrast but reigning in the powerful aesthetic of the jacket. Finish off with some sleek black Chelsea boots.
To add a little extra flair, take note of another up and coming trend: the fedora. A dark coloured hat is an ideal companion to any aspiring bohemian and with a paisley pocket square stuffed in your breast pocket, you better perfect your moody stare:
So there we have a brief look at the double-breasted blazer; a versatile addition to any modern man’s wardrobe. Whether you want to channel riviera chic or bohemian quirk, double-breasted tailoring is the perfect way to develop your current style and stand out from the crowd.
But I want to know your thoughts. What do you think of double-breasted jackets? Do you think the style has developed enough in the last few years for it to now be considered an essential?
Let me know in the comments section.