The blazer is one of the most essential pieces of the male wardrobe. Descended from greatness, it’s a great piece of clothing that all too often gets relegated to the back of the closet as ‘too dressy’. However, it’s not as if you need to constantly be wearing a full suit to be able to make a blazer work for you.
With that in mind, EveryGuyed has compiled a simple list for ‘How to Wear a Blazer’, that should serve you well, and hopefully inspire everybody out there to experiment more with this oft misused, and maligned garment.
The blazer is a true gentlemanly piece of clothing. It’s been worn by everybody, from great heroes like Washington and Bonaparte, to great dandies like Brummell and Wilde; and while they might not have called them blazers, their ‘surcoats’ were the spiritual ancestors of the blazer, as we know it today.
Originally a gentleman’s only piece that became a part of everyday clothing, the blazer is cut similarly to the jacket component of a suit. The difference is that the blazer is typically a little bit more casual, and the designer is given a lot more latitude in construction. Details like shank buttons, peaked lapels, and other little flourishes are often characteristic of a blazer.
With Jeans & Dress Shirt
Sort of the schoolmaster look; this works best with a tweed, or navy blazer. Looking every bit the academic, you’ll be evoking memories of fall afternoons on the college quad.
Plenty of girls love that semi-academic look, so pair your blazer with a pair of slim Levi’s and a white dress shirt with the collar undone. A tie here is optional, but if you feel the need to wear one, pick a necktie with college stripes or crests to carry the theme. Don’t forget that perfect final touch, a dog-eared copy of your favorite English lit book.
Plenty of girls love that semi-academic look, so pair your blazer with a pair of slim Levi’s and a white dress shirt with the collar undone
With Black Slacks Or Tan Khakis
This is a combination that can be surprisingly tricky to pull off. Many men buy a blazer then spend the rest of their life trying to find matching slacks. Here’s a tip: they don’t exist. Blazers are made as blazers, and suits are made as suits, so don’t worry about it. The goal here is a casual look, so go for more contrast rather than entirely matching.
Try this on for a look; navy blazer, tan khakis, and a crisp white dress shirt. Not feeling it? Try a tweed blazer, black slacks, and a crisp blue shirt for a Nat King Cole inspired look. Have fun and play around with different arrangements until you find some looks that works for you.
With a Sweater & a Button Up Shirt
A classic fall option, it’s as essential to autumn living as scarves and playoff baseball. The button up shirt gives your blazer the structure it needs, while the sweater keeps you warm and builds layering.
Grab a pair of nice jeans (no holes or distressing here), a plain wool sweater, and a button up shirt. Wear them. Dead simple, but if this option feels a little conservative for you, liven it up with a pair of Chuck Taylors to add youth to the look.
The button up shirt gives your blazer the structure it needs, while the sweater keeps you warm and builds layering
With a Black Tie
Recently, fashion forward celebrities have made the blazer an acceptable black tie choice, and for once this is an instance where the average guy can pull it off with confidence.
Pair a tweed blazer with a pair of black slacks, formal shoes, a crisply pressed white dress shirt, and a black self-tied bow tie for a very modern, high class look. While it’s not entirely acceptable for the most staid of black tie functions, it’s a brilliant choice for formal night on the town, or for those dates where a simple sweater and jeans will not do.
With the Sleeves Rolled Up
With girls, this is called the ‘boyfriend blazer’ look. On guys it’s called awesome. While the title of the entry might have you skeptical, and envisioning Miami Vice, fashion forward men need not fear this option.
A larger, unstructured blazer with a flashy liner is needed for this look. Roll up the sleeves, to let the liner show, and wear it as a sort of jacket. Complete the outfit with sneakers, a t-shirt, slim jeans, and a disaffected look. Admittedly a very youth-oriented, fashion-forward combination, but on the right guy it looks great and really gets people’s attention.
- A blazer requires some forethought with respect to outfit planning.
- The various options suggested each tells a different style and story.
- Jeans & Dress Shirt: Young academic look.
- With Slacks / Khakis: Versatile choice with a lot of choice & freedom.
- Sweater & Button Up: A fall classic, great at any age.
- With a Black Tie: A very wearable, very stylish option for a night out.
- Sleeves Rolled Up: A difficult, more trendy choice with high risks and high rewards.
Still, the choices presented are only suggestions, so go on and experiment to find a great look that’s all your own.
Still have unanswered questions? Got a blazer that you simply can’t match? Use the comments box below to get involved and become a part of the EveryGuyed community!