[Feature image by Jonathan Francisca]
The blazer is a staple you find yourself wearing more and more the further you mature. When you opt for whiskey or wine over a natty light, you’ve also probably graduated from hoodies to blazers (not that there’s anything wrong with a comfy hoody from time to time).
The blazer’s clean style and cut blends into casual wardrobe while being office-appropriate. This jacket is the piece that will effortlessly shape up your presentation.
Haven’t invested in one yet? Read on to learn more about this menswear essential.
What is a Blazer
The blazer is a tailored jacket with middle-of-the-road formality. Often they’re made of heavier fabrics like worsted wool, flannel or fresco. This weight makes them pair well with workwear fabrics like denim, khaki, or chinos.
A blazer fills the gap between a casual, lightweight sports jacket and the formality of a full suit. It’s a great basic because of its transitional nature, being easily worn during the workweek and on Saturday nights.
Keep in mind that the blazer is an investment, as even a budget-friendly quality piece is going to run between $150 to $300.
How They Should Fit
The structured blazer gets its name from the cut of the shoulder. The shoulder pad sits just past the sleeve head, giving the jacket a crisp silhouette that compliments the body’s natural shape.
A blazer’s tailoring is similar to other jackers in respect to fit of the sleeves and torso. The blazer sleeve should extend just long enough to touch your wrist bone while still allowing between ¼ to ¾ inches of your shirt cuff to be visible.
In the torso, your jacket should fit close the body. It should be snug but not tight when you fasten your top button. Buy your blazer based on torso fit first, instead of expecting your tailor to make major adjustments.
The soft blazer, also known as the unstructured blazer, is the more casual of the two tailoring styles. Although it has a more relaxed fit, it is still composed of heavy fabric and deliberate cuts.
Tailoring in the sleeves and torso will be nearly identical to that of a structured blazer. This style can be comfortably worn in both business-casual and casual workplaces.
There are two significant differences between the structured and soft blazer
The first difference is in the shoulders — soft blazers run along the slope, while a structured fit will create a squarer silhouette.
Soft blazers also tend to be unlined, creating a slimmer fit along the body through a lighter jacket. The close fit provides a casual feel, and it also allows for air flow, making the soft blazer an excellent option for summer. Tailoring in the sleeves and torso is nearly identical to that of a structured blazer.
When it comes to length, your jacket should cover most of your bum. If you’re under six foot, the jacket should end mid-crotch. And if you’re over six foot, it should end right below the crotch.
All these tailoring adjustments will give an off-the-rack blazer a made-for-you look. Since you’re probably wearing a blazer to spruce up your presentation, take the time to tailor it — those small tweaks will end up making a big difference.
Your Go-To Top Layer
When it comes to building up your basics, it’s all about adding pieces that blend into your wardrobe without much thought. A blazer does just that — it looks just as good over a t-shirt as it does over a button up.
Wear a blazer with a tee-shirt and cap-toe dress shoes.
Pair a blazer with a dress shirt, jeans, and Chelsea boots.
And whether you’re in the middle of a winter thaw or autumn chill, the blazer will have you looking put together throughout those tricky transitional times of the year. Dress casually without downgrading with this versatile garment.
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