Originated in the 1860s as a short jacket with patch pockets worn for cricket and tennis. In recent years, and the blazer has arguably never been so popular, or so versatile. Gone are the laddish days of the Nineties and Noughties when it was cool not to make an effort. Dressing with elegance is now very much the fashion, something that has resulted in a resurgence in British tailoring, hence the rise of the blazer as a key component in the modern man’s day-to-day wardrobe.
A blazer, particularly a navy one, is the skeleton key that unlocks several looks. It can be dressed up with a natty pocket square and worn with a crisp white shirt, silk striped tie, smart trousers and brogues. Alternatively, it can be worn smart-casually with a button-down chambray shirt, chinos and boat shoes, or dressed down with a plain or Breton-striped T-shirt, indigo jeans and white Jack Purcells. It befits men of all ages and sizes and suits a great many occasions.
Traditionally cut a little shorter than a suit jacket, a blazer is usually worn as a ‘separate’ – ie with non-matching trousers rather than as part of the informal suit Mr Amies mentions. You do see some men wearing a suit jacket separately as a blazer, but it doesn’t look quite right because it’s usually too long.
If ever there was a garment that cracks the tricky smart-casual dress code, the blazer is surely it.
- Dan Rookwood