The little black dress is an essential piece in every woman’s wardrobe. Layer it with a jacket and pumps, and you have a conservative, business appropriate attire. It’s suitable even for boardrooms and business meetings. Adorn it with jewellery and stiletto heels, and you’re ready for cocktail parties and painting the town red. It’s a versatile piece of garment, appropriate across a wide range of the formality spectrum… But is there something equivalent for a man’s wardrobe?… Actually, there is – the blazer!
What Exactly Is A Blazer?
The blazer is a jacket, similar in looks and construction with the suit jacket and the sport jacket… Similar, but not identical. Of the three, only the suit jacket comes with matching trousers, hence the category “suit”. More often than not, it’s also the most refined, and meant to fit into the upper levels of formality.
Blazers and sport jackets are standalone jackets by design. They don’t come with matching trousers. They also both evolved from activity garments – nautical for blazers and shooting/hunting/equestrian for sport jackets. If we start splitting hair, they essentially fall under the “activity garment” umbrella. The only “difference” is that blazers are more “refined” than sport jackets. Sport jackets protect the wearer against outdoor elements. This contributes to their rough and tough appearance. You don’t really need well-padded and thorn-proof jackets to protect you against the well-polished decks of a yacht.
We’ve previously published this article, which goes into more detail of the difference between the three jacket types.
In conclusion, every gentleman needs at least one blazer in his wardrobe. Short of the times when you need to suit up, a blazer will see you through almost every dress code.
Styling A Blazer
For the sake of versatility, we’re only exploring the different combinations for a single breasted, navy blazer. The particular example below is a 3-roll-2 buttons, single breasted jacket, featuring notch lapels and contrasting gold-coloured buttons. Below are examples which cover everything from business informal down to watching football at the bar with the lads :-
(1) Business Informal
For the times when you don’t need to suit up, but still want to look elegant and well put together. It’ll look great for business lunches, informal business meetings, and even hosting business contacts at the country club.
(2) Business Casual
For the times when you can’t fully let your hair down, but still wanna inject some fun into your outfit. You crank your formality down a notch. Tone things down enough to appear relaxed, yet still remain business appropriate.
(3) Dressy Casual
You’ve clocked out for the day… or the week. The last thing on your mind now is work. But yet, it’s still not quite time to let your hair fully down. Perhaps it’s date night, or you’re planning to go out to celebrate your anniversary. Either way of looking at it, you still want to look put together, albeit without looking too wound up. It’s time to spice up your otherwise mundane casual outfit.
(4) Just Casual
Spending the evening just hanging out with the lads at the local watering hole? Perhaps catching up with football on the large screen television at the pub? But most importantly, wanna stand out as the best dressed bloke from the rest of half-drunk crowd of football fans? Either way the situation develops, there’s always an opportunity to include a blazer into your casual outfit.
Blazer: The Single Most Versatile Garment In A Man’s Wardrobe
A woman can’t complete her wardrobe without the quintessential little black dress. Likewise, a man can’t complete his wardrobe without the quintessential blazer. And whilst you’re at it, make it a single breasted, notch lapels with contrasting buttons, solid navy blazer. The blazer is indeed the single most versatile garment, which can compliment almost every outfit. And the icing on the cake?… It’ll make the overall ensemble look even better than without it.
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This article is part of Espoletta’s CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiatives.