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The Gentleman’s Blazer

We have been taking a few days to breakdown the difference between three types of jackets: the sport coat, blazer, and the suit coat.  Today we will take an adventurous trip into the land of the blazer.  I honestly think that one of the greatest fears “we” as men face is “not knowing.”  We hate having limited knowledge of certain issues and clothing is one of those areas, especially when it comes to our knowledge of blazers.  This article will help remove the intimidation factor and help you walk away looking and sounding like a fashion guru.

Ask yourself this question: “How often have I thought about wearing a navy blazer?”  If the answer is hardly or never, you should really consider it.  When it comes to building your core wardrobe, the navy blazer should be included.  Here’s why.  First the blazer closes the gap between the sports coat and the suite jacket.  Second, it’s extremely adaptable.  Keep in mind from my previous posts gentlemen that we always want to build an interchangeable wardrobe.  We want five core outfits that can be interchange among each other.

First, when you start wearing a blazer it should always compliment a pair of odd trousers.  Second, be sure that the fabric of the blazer and the trousers are not too similar.  Finally, do not attempt to substitute a blazer for a suit.  Remember that we are closing the awkward gap between the sports coat and the suit jacket.  If you’re looking to take your personal style to a new level of dapper, keep in mind that the blazer is actually more formal than light colored sport jackets.

Keep it simple of course, when adding a blazer to your wardrobe.  It can be easy to get overwhelmed with colors, ties, trousers, and pocket squares.  A good foundational start to dressing dapper would be to wear your blazer with a tie and a pair of dark trousers.  If you want to wear something more casual, then I would suggest a blazer with an open collar striped dress shirt of some color, khakis, or white trousers, and brown leather loafers or boat shoes.  A great pair of well fitted gray flannel trousers, white cotton slacks, and even denim will work.

The blazer jacket style comes in all types such as American, English, and Italian.  Let’s have a brief overview of each.

The American Style BlazerThe American style navy blue blazer will normally have two buttons and soft shoulders. Its pockets will usually either be patch or flap.  The lapel style will be notched.

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GQ American Style Blazer

The English Style Blazer The English style blazer is built around a more structured shoulder area and then suppressed in the waist.  These are made in either a single or double-breasted style.

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Ralph Lauren English Style Blazer

The Italian Style BlazerThe Italian style blazer varies from the other two in that the fabric that’s used is a lighter weight, and the entire jacket build has less structure. The shoulders are tremendously soft and a flexible with an inner lining. The lining actually allows the jacket to float on the individual’s body.

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Luciano Natazzi Italian Style Blazer

Another unique feature about the blazer is its buttons.  The most detailed part of a blazer in my opinion is the buttons.  These buttons can range from mother-of-pearl buttons to heavy solid gold buttons that have been passed down from generation to generation as heirlooms.  Most factories will make their jackets with simple generic brass buttons.  But this can be changed and the buttons of your choice can be added such as Mother-of-pearl.

So how should a blazer jacket fit?  It should always fit you in the same manner as a suit jacket and sports coat should.  Please consider the following.  First, always make sure you have room in the shoulders for full arm movement, but not so much that they’re bulky.  Second, when your blazer is fully buttoned, make sure there is still enough room left in the chest area, but not so much that you can slide your fist through.  Third, like any sports coat or suit jacket, your sleeves on your blazer should extend to your wrist bone and no further.  Fourth, the jacket length should always fully cover your backside.

Esquire

Esquire

Finally gentlemen don’t forget the little things. It’s not just about the blazer.  Be sure to add a pocket square, shine those shoes, iron your shirt, and press your pants.  Take some action today.  Add a navy blue blazer to your “A” list (Be sure to read my post on “The ‘A’ List”).  Set your budget, find your favorite blazer, and set a buying date.

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