Not a suit.
Not a sport coat.
What piece of clothing is this?
Gentlemen, the answer is simple yet overlooked.
This article of men’s clothing should be found in every man’s wardrobe.
If you are in a situation in which a suit is too formal and a sport coat too sporty, then your best option is to wear a classic, custom men’s blazer paired with trousers not of the same color.
The possibilities, while not endless, give a man options that a suit cannot.
A blazer can be matched with paisley, striped, checked, or solid ties.
For those men who can wear with confidence, a blazer with a bow tie makes for a manly impression that is often dismissed as old fashioned.
Sadly, this classic piece of menswear is seen just as that: out dated and only something men in their 50’s would wear.
With a dash of knowledge and a sprinkling of personality, you can wear the blazer jacket and will look good doing it!
Why invest in a well-tailored blazer?
Before you go out to the store and buy a blazer, please take into consideration this maxim: buy quality, cry once. Buying cheap just to have a blazer will not benefit you today, tomorrow or ten years from now.
It is understood, that being a young gentleman, you are careful with your money. You should be!
However, investing in a blazer tailored to your measurements will make you look better and will save you money. With proper care, a blazer of quality fabric, buttons, and stitching will outlast anything you buy off the rack.
How does a young, blazer-clad man stand apart?
Wearing a suit everyday is rarely called for especially when you are a young professional. Yet you should not feel liberated from being seen in public without wearing something over your shirt.
You should get accustomed to the feeling of having an extra layer on your shoulders.
A man wearing a tailored blazer with complementing trousers and shoes will attract more attention than a young, blazer-less man who struggles to keep his tie in front of him during those windy days. A tailored blazer will give you a better figure because of its cut and style.
There are two big styles in the blazer world: American and English.
The American style blazer
The American blazer style is leaning more towards the suit jacket, but with differences. The traditional American blazer will have 2 buttons and a center vent.
More often than not the American style will have notched lapels. The pockets are either flapped or patched.
The English style blazer
The English style blazer is different than its cousin from across the ocean. The traditional English blazer will be less boxy than the American counterpart. It will be cut so that emphasis is placed on the shoulders and chest.
You will find the English blazer style in single breasted, but double breasted is most common. This version will sport a double vent and, if double-breasted, will have peaked lapels and 3 buttons.
It is a matter of personal choice: American or English? Know the basic suggestions of what kind of style fits your body structure, and then decide from there.
If you are of a type that can wear double breasted coats, then by all means go for the English. In my experience, I have noticed that suit coats, blazers and sport coats with suppressed waists will make a man look less like a tree trunk and more like a gentleman.
However, that does not mean that the American style blazer is not worth considering. The American style is more versatile in that being single breasted, it can be dressed down more easily than the double breasted English blazer.
What to wear with your well-tailored blazer?
For this aspect, we will be using an American style navy blue blazer, 2 buttons, double vent, patched pocket, notched lapels.
Because that style will allow you to be formal when formality is required, casual when casual is to be desired-all with no sacrifice to style and function.
I could easily tell you that the combination and possibilities are endless, but that in my opinion is misleading.
As with any well-tailored clothing, you look best in certain fabrics, colors and patterns. Know what fits you.
Nevertheless, since you have a solid navy blazer, a suave combination is to wear a fine checked shirt with contrasting tie. Do not forget to compliment the blazer, shirt, and tie with a pocket square.
A pocket square helps break up the solidity of the navy blue blazer. You shouldn’t match the pocket square with the tie; depending on what shirt and tie you decide to wear, a white pocket square is always classy and will never go out of style.
Remember the steadfast rule that a blazer is not a suit coat; therefore, you should avoid wearing like-colors. A navy blue blazer does not and will not look good with navy blue trousers. Best is to wear trousers that are in harmony with the blazer: khaki and grey.
Khaki trousers are the quintessential partners to the navy blue blazer. These trousers give a man an image of freshness and “putogetheredness” when paired with his well-tailored navy blue blazer.
A word of caution: khaki trousers look great in spring, summer, and early fall, but should be put away during the winter months (assuming the young gentleman lives in a northern climate). Slush, salt, and melting snow will plague the man who wears khaki trousers. Wear grey trousers during the winter.
It will take some style know-how to avoid being drowned in dark tones. But that is the beauty and versatility of the navy blue blazer jacket: you can add winter-beating pop with a paisley tie or a vibrant pocket square and still retain style and your personality.
When to wear the navy blazer and how to make the jacket yours?
A fitted blazer is a great fill-in for when suits are too formal and sport coats are too casual.
If your profession does not require you to wear a suit, then consider a blazer as a nod to professionalism while not exceeding the office protocol.
For example, a friend of mine – a traveling salesman – keeps his blazer on its hanger in his car.
When the occasion calls for formality such as meeting potential clients, he puts on his blazer. It is a great piece of clothing to have and a navy blue blazer is a place to start.
Remember that you let your clothing reflect your personality. Sometimes you will see men who have replaced the plain brass buttons, with custom-made buttons with, for example, etched or stamped insignia, monograms, etc.
This customizing is an often overlooked method of putting your personality into your clothing.
Closing thoughts on the men’s blazer jacket
Gentlemen, I hope that this humble guide has brought the blazer to your attention.
There is a reason why the blazer has remained in style for near 100 years: it is versatile, functional, and looks great.
With a little bit of creativity and an understanding of the classics, you the young gentleman can impress your peers, your superiors, and the ladies with a well-tailored blazer. Clothing does not make the man, the man does, but his clothes sure do help.