Basics: The Blazer
As you venture farther into adulthood, the blazer is a staple you’ll find yourself often. The jacket’s clean tailoring blends into your casual wardrobe but is still appropriate at the office.
If you’re looking to present yourself as a little more put together, this is the piece that will help. Not to mention, it’s such an easy wear you might yourself hooked.
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. Blazers are cut from heavy fabrics like worsted wool, flannel or fresco. This weight makes them well-paired with workwear fabrics like denim or khaki.
Investing in a blazer fills the gap between the casual structure of the sports jacket and formality of a full suit. The blazer is a great basic because of its transitional nature. It’s as easily worn during the workweek while also making an appearance on the weekend.
Keep in mind that it is an investment and even at the lower end, a quality piece is going to run you 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 and compliments the body’s natural shape.
A blazer’s tailoring will be similar to other jackers in the respect of the sleeves and fit throughout the torso.
The blazer sleeve should extend just long enough to touch your wrist bone while still allowing between ¼ inch to ¾ inch of your shirt cuff to be visible.
In the torso, your jacket should fit close the body, with it fitting snug but not tight when your top button is fastened. This is the most difficult to change. Buy your blazer around this fit first instead of expecting your tailor to make major adjustments.
When it comes to length, the edge of your jacket should go past your backside. If you’re under six food, the jacket should hit at mid-crotch and right at lower-crotch if you’re over six foot.
All these adjustments give an off-the-rack blazer a made-for-you look. Since you’re probably breaking out the blazer when you want to look a little more presentable, take the time to take this piece to your tailor — those small tweaks will end up making a big difference.
The soft blazer, also known as the unstructured blazer, is the more casual of the two tailoring styles. It is usually cut from a heavier fabric than a sports jacket and has more deliberate tailoring making it the more formal option of the two styles.
There are two major differences between the structured and soft blazer. The first difference is in the shoulder — soft blazers will run along the slope versus a structured fit which creates a squarer silhouette. Soft blazers also tend to be unlined, creating a slimmer line on the body and a lighter jacket. The closer fit gives the soft blazer a more casual feel. It’s also a great option for summer since the lack of lining allows some air flow.
Tailoring in the sleeves and torso will be nearly identical to that of a structured blazer.
This style can easily be worn in both business-casual and casual workplace settings without looking out of place.
Best Blazer Picks
A bold take on navy
Navy is the quintessential color pick when it comes to the blazer — it works in all seasons, looks great with a variety of fabrics, and just has a timeless quality about it. Our pick from Bonobos takes it a step further with a small scale windowpane pattern layered on top. This bold twist on a classic shape makes it the perfect spring layer.
Playing with texture and a vintage silhouette
J.Crew’s Ludlow fit is a classic for a reason. Not only does it come in three lengths to give you the perfect cut, its close to the body fit is going to make your get-up look modern instead of boxy. The casual fabric looks great with denim, making this style an A1 pick for date night or happy hour.
An affordable introduction for athletic builds
We’ve sourced this pick for all our taller readers out there. Target’s Goodfellow & Co. delivers a soft-shoulder style that won’t make it look like you’ve squeezed into your seventh-grade school uniform. Try the heather gray option with some olive chinos for a cool autumn combo.
A business-casual staple
This is a great starter blazer for anyone looking to build up a professional wardrobe. The herringbone fabric and structured cut of this pick make it the most formal of everything we’ve presented so far. This will pair easily with most of your chinos but might look a little out of place when paired with your denim.
Your Go-To Top Layer
When it comes to building up your basics, it’s all about adding pieces that will 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.
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.
Read Next: Sports Coat vs. Blazer vs. Suit Jacket