Wardrobe Essentials Part Two
Navy Blue Blazer
A navy blue blazer is one of the wardrobe essentials today like a toga was around 100 BC. If you could only pick one item to up your style it would be a navy blazer. It can be worn with dark jeans and a t-shirt, or with chinos and a polo shirt or dress pants and an oxford shirt and tie…just to name a few. This is the second in our series on wardrobe essentials. The first discussed shoes here LINK
You can buy one used at a thrift store or on Ebay for as low as $5-$20, $40-$300 in a department store and the prices go up from there. I’ll assume readers of my blog will want to stay less than $300 (on sale). Cash is usually king, but in the case of style, fit is king. Better to buy something cheaper that fits well or could be tailored to fit well, than to to buy something expensive that fits poorly.
You can shop online if the store has a great return policy or if you know your size intimately, but I’d recommend going in person with an important item like this. Most men when they error on sizing do so by buying something too large. Frequently it is so large that it can’t be altered.
The most important part to check is the shoulders. The end of the shoulders on the blazer should be right on your shoulder bone. If you brush up against the wall and you feel as though you were wearing football pads, the shoulders are too large. A tailor can’t do much about sizing up or down here. Also make sure you can move around freely. You don’t want to have to pick up your coffee with your teeth.
The sleeve length should be long enough to show about a half inch of your shirt (the shirt would come down to your wrist bone). If the sleeves are a little too long, that can be altered. If they are too short, try another.
The torso should hug your frame as close as it can without restricting you. Imagine bending down to kiss Aunt Flo and hearing the sound of a fault line ripping up your back. Again this can be tailored if you are fairly close in size.
The length should just about cover your butt.
The lapel size should be around 2.5 to 3.5 inches. This size looks good no matter what the current trend is.
Buttons can be metal or plastic. I personally don’t like the gold or pearl buttons. They look a little too “Thurston Howell III” to me.
Get a two-button rather than a three-button jacket. Three-buttons are nice for really tall NBA players.
Usually double vents on the side are better, but a single vent in the rear is fine for most men.
If you can spare the coin, a wool blazer is great. Wool is both durable and breathable. Otherwise you’re looking at cotton or a cotton/wool blend. Also check the lining material. The more man-made it is, the less breathable it will be. You will be able to keep your large pretzel soft inside one of those.
1. Start by looking at your local thrift/Goodwill stores LINK . The prices are very good and you never know when someone might give it away after they’ve gained a few pounds.
2. If you’re young or just want something casual, get this one from Target LINK. It’s only $39 but wait for it to go on sale for around $29. I have both the Navy and Tan one. They fit nicely and you don’t have to worry about them getting wrinkled or dirty and they look really good with jeans, chinos, dockers…
3. This one from JCP is a little nicer LINK . Regular price is $200 but on sale it is only $80. Always wait for the sales.
4. Macy’s has this Tommy Hilfiger blazer on sale for $159 LINK
5. Here is a blazer from Brooks Brothers LINK . At the time of this post it is 40% off or $269. It looks a little tight on the model, but it is a good looking sport coat.
6. If you’re on the thinner side, this blazer from JCrew LINK is really nice, but also more money at $388.
Give your wife or girlfriend a heart attack by taking her on a date wearing a navy blazer with your jeans. Or show up for work wearing it and see if you don’t get several compliments.