The backbone of any serious wardrobe, the blue blazer is probably one of the most versatile garments ever designed. Without a doubt, it is the one article of dress clothing all men should have hanging in the closet. the blue blazer is universally useful and chameleon-like when it comes to meeting your needs in a sartorial pinch. From casual cocktails to formal boardroom, a well made, well fitting blazer will get the job done.
When they hear “blue blazer” most guys tend to think of the classic brass button type found in a Ralph Lauren advertisement. Of course that version is the most traditional, but by no means is it the only option. Blue blazers come in a range of fabrics and styles that can work with almost anyone’s style – from lightweight linens to beefy flannels.
As the king of odd jackets, a blue blazer can fill the gap when you need to dress somewhere between a suit and a sweater, regardless of the season.
Styles vary as much as materials. Some blazers have horn or resin buttons and they can come with single, double or no vents. Single breasted jackets typically sport notched lapels while double-vented versions should have only those of the peaked variety.
With its nipped waist and dramatic massing of buttons, a double breasted blazer imparts formality. On the other hand, a single breasted sack jacket with no darting and patch pockets can give you a more casual “drinks at the club” New England look.
When it comes to shoulders, there are some cultural variations as well. American blazers often have a soft natural shoulder, while English tailors tend to prefer them padded and more structured. This is particularly true with double breasted jackets. American makers like Brooks Brothers are arbiters of the natural shoulder.
When shopping for a blue blazer, approach it as a major investment. This should be a jacket that can carry you for years to come and something that you are happy to reach for in the morning. A well constructed blazer made from good fabric will be as comfortable as your favorite sweatshirt and its classic styling will conquer the vagaries of many fashion cycles. that said, you do not have to break the bank when it comes to finding one that’s right for you.
Brands like J. Crew have spent years perfecting their version of the blue blazer and in the process have made it into a cool must have wardrobe asset. Online custom clothier Indochino recently launched its take on the classic double breasted blue blazer. For a mere $300 you can have a blazer made just for you. While this interpretation, geared toward a slightly more adventurous gentleman actually cuts a balanced and fresh look.
The blue blazer works because of its inherent versatility and balance between formal and comfortable. It’s one of those rare garments that has both stood the test of time and evolved to meet the needs of each generation.