How to buy a blazer that will never go out of style
You want to buy an item of clothing and have to never buy it again. You want to buy something timeless.
In that spirit, we're going to start teaching you how to identify the classics. We'll start with a piece of clothing every man needs to have in his closet - a blazer.
A few things before we go point by point. The classic blazer is navy in wool or cashmere, with high contrast buttons (think gold or silver).
It is not a sport coat, which is less formal and usually in a tweed or some other pattern. Historically, blazers were used for sailing and tailored closer to the body, while sport coats were used for hunting and were cut more loosely.
Now that you have the context, for tips on how to buy a blazer that will always look fresh, we turned to stylist, Jessica Cadmus of The Wardrobe Whisperer.
"There's a lot of emphasis on gender fluidity in fashion right now," Cadmus said, "but despite the fusion of women's and men's clothing, every woman I know still likes to see a man in structured traditionally masculine garments like blazers. Experimentation with fashion is great but stock your closet with the basics. To quote the Dalai Lama, 'Know the rules well so you can break them effectively.'"
- When in doubt, go classic. In terms of color, this means navy blue. In terms of lapel, go notch. In terms of cut, go two button (versus double breasted or three button)
- Concentrate on fit. The shoulders are critical - the shoulder seam should not extend beyond the end of your own shoulder. If you are between two sizes, go with the smaller. Natural fabrics have inherent "give" which means that once you begin wearing them, the fibers will loosen and the garment will "grow" by 1/4"-1/2" and conform to your body
- If the torso looks boxy, ask your tailor to shape the body. Basically you should not be able to fit anything bigger than a baseball into the chest area when the jacket is buttoned.
- Make sure that 1/4"-1/2" of shirt cuff extends from the cuff of your jacket
- Vents are your choice (single or double) but the double vent is flattering on more body types
- Make sure the width of the lapel is moderate in size, too skinny or two wide will give away the year you bought it. Similarly, make sure the notch isn't placed too high - it should more or less line up with the shoulders or slightly below.
- The bottom of your jacket should fall roughly at the same place as your cuffs when you are standing with your arms resting at your sides. If you are 6'2" or over, you can select a jacket that covers more of your backside. If you are 5'6" or shorter, choose a jacket on the shorter side. This will extend your form.
It's all about how it fits people. Make sure it's right, and for the love of God go see your tailor.
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