Is there any piece more definitive in a man’s look than a blazer? The garment’s ubiquity in both SS13 and AW13 menswear collections shows that something as simple as altering colour, opting for a pattern or even relaxing the cut can completely transform the aesthetic of an outfit.
The simple blue, black or grey decision of just a few years ago has exploded – it’s no longer a choice of casual or formal, one neutral shade for another. The blazer is such a style-defining, character-hinting garment, a man’s likely to not own just one. Rather, his persona determines the type of pieces he owns in his wardrobe.
With this in mind, today we break down the key blazer styles you should be considering for 2013 and 2014…
When it comes to versatility, basic can’t be beat. For a single, situation-shifting garment, look no further than the one-button blazer. A neutral version with a sharp, defined cut distinguishes a man from the rest of his business-casual co-workers and, at night, marks him out as a gentleman who’s concerned but not overly-obsessed by his image.
If the one-button could convey a simple message, it would be: “I know what I’m doing and do it well”. Even a classic black trousers and blue shirt combination is instantly moved up a notch toward communicating confidence; there’s something about a seemingly suit-like ensemble that, even when worn in a casual manner, gives off an air of authority.
Recommendations: There are few garments a one-button blazer doesn’t pair well with – try matching it with everything from slim jeans and chinos to suiting separates.
On the conservative and cautious end, utilise a one-button blazer to breathe new life into your standard button-down and trouser ensembles. Or, for something a bit more experimental, try it with a pair of fitted shorts this summer.
- Topman Black Jacquard Skinny Blazer
- Topman Light Grey Oversized Blazer
- Selected Dogtooth Blazer
- Spencer Hart Partially Lined Textured-wool Blazer
- New Look Grey Contrast Piping Fitted Blazer
- Ted Baker Charjak – Suit Jacket – Blue
- Topman Premium Blue Suit Jacket
- Topman Selected Homme Sunny Blazer
- Austin Reed Ar Red Grey Puppytooth Blazer
What do you do when even the angular, slimming look of a one-button blazer appears too formal? You deconstruct it. Whilst slightly too laid-back for an office environment and formal occasions, an unstructured blazer communicates casual elegance in just about any other setting.
Sometimes casual is just… casual. The unstructured blazer, then, will effortlessly complete a trifecta of fitted denim and a t-shirt/shirt/polo. No individual piece outshines the other two, and rather than casual-slouchy, you end up being casual-cool – refined yet approachable, put together yet not off-putting.
Recommendations: Its loose, relaxed nature makes the unstructured blazer the perfect partner for a pair of skinny jeans or a fitted shirt. As the cut itself makes a statement, colour is ideally kept to timeless shades of black, grey, brown, creams or darker blues.
- He By Mango Unstructured Cotton Blazer
- Uniqlo Men Washed Cotton Jacket A
- Reiss Alfie Unstructured Blazer Grey
- Elbow Patch Button Blazer
- Reiss Ray Knitted Blazer Navy
- Zalando Collection Suit Jacket – Beige
- Asos Slim Fit Blazer In Cotton
- Ben Sherman Staples Unstructured Single Breast Blazer
- River Island Dark Grey Jersey Blazer
Key Blazer Patterns
We’re at a point in fashion where certain 1980s and 1990s trends have crept back into consciousness. Plaid is one of these. Yet this trend isn’t a polished up version of grunge-era flannel – consider it, instead, a masculine interpretation of mid-1990s Clueless cool.
Plaid is one of those patterns that is great in moderation: a single garment draws the eye, but it becomes headache-inducing when utilised all-over. In fact, even when paired with a simple t-shirt and jeans, it veers the ensemble onto an entirely different course, as the seamless interplay of blues, greens, reds and blacks begs for attention.
Recommendations: Plaid is too strong for the office, so consider the pattern a going-out style. When pairing it with other garments consider the palette and avoid clashing colours. This isn’t the type of garment you’ll want to pair with other bold colours, so, instead, consider staying neutral with the rest of your look.
- Asos Slim Fit Check Blazer
- Asos Slim Fit Check Blazer
- Tailored Plaid Linen Blazer
- Bertoni Suit Jacket – Brown
- Tailored-fit Blue Plaid Cotton Blazer
- Heritage Madras Linen Blazer
- Ted Baker Rolanew – Cotton Check Blazer
- Etro Slim-fit Plaid Wool Blazer
- Canali Capri Plaid Wool And Cashmere-blend Blazer
In menswear, floral is the new pink. A colour once deemed ‘feminine’ now infiltrates high-end collections and streetwear. Gucci’s latest SS14 collection went bold, with bright colours and big prints spread over blazers and pants, but floral patterns began appearing on shirts three years ago, roughly the same time paisley made a comeback – they’re just more ubiquitous now.
There’s something undeniably brave yet breathtaking about a well-placed floral pattern. Perhaps it’s the juxtaposition of feminine and masculine, making a floral blazer the ultimate androgynous garment. Or maybe it’s the pop of colour magnified. Either way, repeating bouquets or blooms convey a man has refined tastes whilst being comfortable in his own skin.
Recommendations: Keep in mind that a floral blazer isn’t a piece of furniture – you are looking for bold, not shabby chic. Realise, too, that the rest of what you wear will play second fiddle, so consider neutral shades to avoid jarring clashes.
- Comme Des GarÇons Vintage Vintage Floral Blazer
- United Colors Of Benetton Blazer With Floral Print
- Ted Baker Folies – Jacquard Blazer
Key Blazer Colours
Some trends have one foot partially planted in the present and another firmly in the past. In one sense, that notion aptly describes the blazer – one part embodying the modern, stylish gentleman and the other a staunch reminder of past trends, be it a 1980s revival or Great Gatsby-esque 1920s inspiration.
Pastels exist in a dual canon: lavender, aqua, rose pink and buttercup yellow hint at a summer spent in a refined Mediterranean town, complete with sun-drenched landscapes and azure waters; in another, they’re a separate colour palette stolen straight out of Miami Vice.
Recommendations: Of course, considering these two scenarios, how a pastel blazer fits into your look boils down to the character you want to convey. Blend it with other similar pastels or white for a look akin to classic Riviera style.
If you’re approaching the blazer from a retro angle, opt for skinnies or pegged pants and a pair of Wayfarers.
- Topman Cream Multi Fleck Suit Jacket
- Williams & Brown Cotton Blazer
- Asos Slim Fit Blazer In Oxford
- Selected Homme Percy – Suit Jacket – Green
- Cotton Blazer
- Manuel Ritz Suit Jacket – Red
- Asos Slim Fit Blazer In Oxford
- Kiomi Suit Jacket – Brown
- J.crew Grey Ludlow Striped Cotton Suit Jacket
With menswear, there’s really two ways to successfully pull off colour-blocking: one, select three pieces individually and compare how each of the shades contrasts or complements each other; or two, stick to neutrals for your top and trousers and throw a colour-blocked blazer on top.
The latter appears like the easiest route to trying out the trend, especially as the eye-popping effects of colour-blocking are best confined to a single garment.
Even then, keep in mind that some contrast blazers have a tendency to look a bit Gangnam Style. However, there’s more choice out there than white blazers with black lapels – opt for contrast sleeves or a two-tone top and bottom split. Starkness, as well, isn’t a must; a simple grey-on-black combination often proves to have enough eye-catching distinctiveness.
Recommendations: a contrast aesthetic has too great an experimental overtone for business-casual office wear. Not to worry, if you’re looking for a single piece that adds a change of character to the rest of your wardrobe, contrast blazers offer such potency.
- Topman Grey Checked Blazer
- Topman Navy And Black Blazer
- Asos Slim Fit Blazer In Blue
- River Island Navy And Black Two-tone Blazer
- Topman Grey Contrast Sleeve Skinny Blazer
- Lanvin Flannel Exposed Seam Jacket 164570
Blues and blacks, with the occasional tan or grey, make for a safe but nevertheless wallflower-like wardrobe. A man will often stick with what’s expected, but a point comes in which he stares down at his blue button-down and realises it makes him indistinguishable.
Bold colours – such as bright red, cobalt, emerald green and royal purple – are a wardrobe game changer, helping give your staple pieces an injection of confidence and showing that you’re not afraid to have all eyes on you.
Recommendations: the strength these colours possess has the potential to overpower a look. You don’t want a basic pop to suddenly become a sensory assault, so choose other colours carefully and create a foundation of neutrals and cool tones.
- Andrea Morando Contrast Double Button Blazer
- Topman Acid Yellow Skinny Blazer
- River Island Blue Slim Suit Jacket
- Topman Purple Velvet Skinny Blazer
- Paul Smith Single Button Jacket 156426
- Matinique Canley – Suit Jacket – Red
- Antony Morato Jacket With Pocket Square
- Big And Tall Designer Bright Blue Cotton Blazer
- Antony Morato Chino Blazer
From colour-blocking to floral prints and pastels, blazers present men with a bevy of options for SS13 and AW13 – some as a mere stylistic upgrade and others a character-transforming piece.
Ultimately, though, the garment’s preponderance across all collections and price ranges indicates it’s going to remain a key piece for the foreseeable future.
But now we want to hear your view:
- Which of the above blazers do you currently own in your wardrobe?
- Which will you be adding?
- What style, colour or pattern has become your go-to?
- Would you say the blazer is the defining piece of a man’s look?
Let us know in the comments section…