True or False: A blazer must only be worn at formal outings, such as a jaunt to the Henley Regatta or a Centre Court occasion at Wimbledon.
False. Faux. Falsch.
In the contemporary world in which we live, the blazer is a wardrobe essential. In fact, the versatility of a blazer cannot, and should not, be underplayed, so long as you nail the details.
When it comes to wearing a blazer, quality always overpowers quantity. You should view this as a significant wardrobe investment and not a swift purchase to be used as a pulling tool come the weekend.
We’re all aware of the everyday man’s go-to smart-casual look (blazers + oxford shirt + beige chinos). If executed well this combination definitely works but it’s just a bit samey.
All I’m saying is don’t think that’s the only functional use for one of your wardrobe’s most prized possessions.
Do as the Italians do, and by that, I don’t mean an espresso and a cigarette for breakfast. Be Brave, Be Bold, Be Bright and dress down those formalities.
Embrace and blend vibrant colours and textures, and be prepared to cross the intimidating threshold of combining sartorial style with soft shoes.
You won’t hear me say this too often but forget the traditionalist visions of Savile Row and instead welcome pastel colours and celebrate the separates. Devise an outfit that endorses work, fun and play by mixing up your top and bottom half.
You may feel like Neil Armstrong (one small step for man etc.) but the Italians have been doing it for ages…Capisce?
A piece of advice; avoid overdoing the accessories – you don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard!
The Russian Doll Effect
In my opinion, a blazer should always be an outfit’s external piece but that doesn’t mean it has to forever take the glory. Indulge in textural alchemy and blend together a winning arrangement.
Please remember; details, details, details – I.e. don’t just chuck anything underneath and expect it to work. Try these for size…
Linen – It’s not just for bed sheets!
In terms of word association, as soon as you hear sun’s out, linen should come into your head a millisecond after guns (we’re all guilty).
Again, I’m adopting a quintessential Italian trend but it really does work. Save yourself the embarrassment of lugging that tweed blazer over your shoulder on a ‘hot’ summers day. Instead, lace yourself in linen, and while you’re at it, swap your shirt for a white t-shirt, and your loafers for a white trainer (Axel Arigato is a personal favourite). Tinie Tempah has been nailing this look for years!
I’ve spoken a lot about dressing around your blazer; it’s time to choose one that deserves to be your outfits showpiece.
Checks offer the ideal day to night transition and can be taken straight from the office to an evening soiree. They’re often more likely to fit an Autumn or Winter ensemble, however, if you get the pattern and colour combination right, it won’t look out of place at a cute little garden party.
Again, get those details right to ensure you’ve turned up for the correct season.
One final note: Once you’ve created your perfect silhouette and are looking sharp AF, don’t ruin it by having pockets filled with ‘stuff.’ Chuck the old receipts, swap the wallet for a slender cardholder and if you require essentials, purchase a suitable day bag – we’ll get on to these at a later stage!