The Navy Blazer

If you happen to wonder what item of a gentleman’s wardrobe would allow one to seamlessly combine different pieces of clothing and elevate the most casual look to the appropriate level of dressiness, I sure have an answer for you.

Okay, are you ready? Ta-da! It’s a navy blazer! And it’s something every guy must have in his closet. Really, it’s a lifesaver!

Say you’re chilling at home like a boss, having spread yourself evenly over the couch, Netflix is on and your evening is full of wonderful possibilities: Italian takeaway and Game of Thrones or Thai and The Real Housewives.

And then this happens. Just when you’re least expecting it, you get a call from your best friend saying that he’s driving to your place right now, and that he’s expecting you to be downstairs in two minutes and sixteen seconds, because he’s got a spot for you at some posh dinner – not too formal, but fancy nonetheless. A 32-course degustation menu, a personal chef from Belgium, and the most promising company. What could be better?

And you suddenly realise that this is it. This is that chance you’ve been waiting for – the moment you finally get to turn your shitty life around. This is the moment of truth. The light has started shining upon you and you’re hearing the horns of angels.

But then you find yourself mumbling. “Dude … Impossible. I’m in my jeans and a tee-shirt. There’s no way I can dress appropriately in two minutes and sixteen seconds.” And he’s like, “Goddammit! C’mon, buddy! Don’t you have a navy blazer or something?” And then it dawns on you. “Holy crap. I do. I DO HAVE A NAVY BLAZER!”

You jump off the couch like a seasoned athlete, grab your beautiful, well-cut jacket, and put it on top of your white tee. Then you quickly pin-roll your Acne jeans, put on a pair of brown loafers, and that’s it! You even have fourteen seconds left to add a white pocket square to the mix. You now look like a real prince and start singing Pretty Woman while flying down the stairs towards your orgastic future, the Green Light, and all that other Gatsby stuff.

Who would have thought that a simple navy blazer could have such an impact?! For this guy everything was quite easy. He’s just put his amazing jacket on and got completely transformed. But a big work was done before he’s got this blazer in his wardrobe. And that's our business. Serious menswear business.

If you’re a good menswear retailer, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to choosing the right kind of navy blazer. It could be made of fine wool, pre-washed cotton, or even linen. You’ll be able to find styles with a well-structured shoulder, softer ‘Italian’ shoulder, or with no padding at all.

Nowadays, the fabrics, construction, and variations of this garment are close to countless. Ideally, you want to have a style that would match most of your stock. And when I say ‘most of your stock’ I really mean it. Beige, white, and brown chinos; button-down, cut-away, and band-collar shirts; plain tee-shirts; and simple knitwear. All these garments are quite different, but they too can be put together with the help of Mr. Navy Blazer.

All you need to do is come up with the best suitable style. That, of course, depends on the selection you have, but generally you always want to aim for the golden mean. 

The style of blazer that I consider the most versatile includes the following characteristics:

  • Soft shoulder padding – not too strict, but with a good shape;
  • Some kind of structure – either half-lined or fully-lined;
  • Made of thin, good quality wool – for all-year-round wear;
  • The fabric is obviously plain, but the weave of it might be quite interesting. For instance, hopsack would do.
  • Patch pockets – which give the garment a certain level of casualness, making it seem different when compared with a suit jacket;
  • Slightly shorter in length than a suit jacket;
  • The option of adding elbow patches. I’d probably stick with the same fabric – again, for the sake of versatility;
  • Interesting buttons. I personally like dark brown leather ones, similar to those that have been used on traditional English hunting and countryside jackets. Natural horn is a good option as well. I wouldn’t recommend the metal ones ­– they are a little bit too old-school.

If all of these points are ticked and you’re happy with the outcome, oh my, you’re gonna sell a lot of those navy blazers. I can promise you that. But, most importantly, you’ll make a lot of your customers happy. And that’s something, right?

Vlad Tichen
Stylist, Men’s Style Blogger