Trust it to the multifunctional blazer
Look to your lapels, foot soldiers of menswear, for it’s time to smarten up. The new season is ushering in a more refined, smarter mood. Time, then, to dress like a grown up. And if one thing is going to make that happen, then it’s the blazer.
Here’s five reasons why.
It’s true. If you need smartening up then switch that un-tailored rain jacket (you know the one – it’s a bit shiny, kind of techy and doesn’t really go with your checked shirt and jeans combo) for a blazer, and suddenly you become much more respectable, stylish and trim. After all if you don’t take your style seriously, no-one else will.
TRY: Ditching the cookie cutter city suit and wearing Nicole Farhi’s plain charcoal blazer. Its fluid drape adds just a bit more texture than your average suit jacket can manage. Still smart, but less .
…But Also Casual
Once upon a time the sports jacket was not just casual but truly athletic. As in, people wore them to play sports. Like tennis, back when it went at a gentlemanly pace. Nowadays it performs a somewhat more complex style function, bridging the gap between smart and casual with cloth that is a bit more textured, a hang that is a little less formal and – be it plain or patterned – a look that will team with jeans and T-shirt.
TRY: Adding clean canvas plimsolls and sunglasses and you get to dress like a grown up while still basing your look on comfort and function. You couldn’t do that with a suit jacket, instead use Universal Work’s cleverly unstructured twill.
It gives you shoulders. It gives you an air of authority. It gives you the opportunity to wear a pocket square. It gives you texture, depth and a hotline to history that plugs you into the leading man mode populated by the likes of David Niven and Gregory Peck to Terence Stamp, Michael Caine and Robert Redford. No wonder the blazer is such a popular piece for men of all ages now.
TRY: The Polo Ralph Lauren multi pocket cord blazer, its country mood and rich tan color make it the perfect textured blazer, particularly with jeans.
Some people say dress for the job you want. We say dress for the life you want. If that's shack dwelling and surfing, fine. Go for knee shorts and a shaggy knit. But if you want to make an impression in both professional and private circles, then this season's unstarchy tailoring is the way forward. As well as giving you shoulders, a good blazer will also nip you in at your waist, even hinting at that legendary (or to some of us, downright mythic) V-shaped torso.
TRY: PS Paul Smith's corduroy blazer. This season you will see more men adopting the joy of corduroy and this navy version even teams well with a casual knit. Perhaps it will even work shore shack after all.
And best of all, it's Simple
You, Man! Yeah, you with the testosterone. We know you moisturize these days, and even use products that get rid of unsightly hairs. Good. But we also know that your hunter gatherer limbic system still craves simplicity. Efficiency, that's what you like. Well, in that case, put a blazer on your rails.
TRY: Making it dark and well fitted – but not too structured. You will have an item that you can throw on over a knit, a T-shirt, a polo top, a shirt and any combination of the above. Talk about magic. In a grey micro check and beautifully fluid cloth Acne's Drifter blazer does all of this and more.