How to wear and style a Blazer - Do’s & Don’ts
It’s an undisputed fact that a blazer is one of the few items of clothing that every well-dressed man should own. The definition of what makes a blazer is a little less concrete and every tailor has their own definition. Most commonly,A blazer is any tailored jacket that comes without a matching set of pants. The signature features of a blazer are soft tailoring, solid colour and contrasting buttons and are usually worn with a contrasting set of trousers. The Blazer is the go-to garment for men because of its versatility; it’s a step up from the sports coat and a step down from the suit jacket.
With the right pairings, a blazer can cover all occasions and by buying a classic, you get more bang for your buck.
Browse our collection of Men's Blazers here
When to wear a blazer?
“The blazer is the single most important piece in my wardrobe.” - Tom Ford
There are several levels of formality in menswear; casual, smart casual, business casual, business professional, business formal, black tie and white tie and the good news is that a blazer can be dressed up or down accordingly to suit most.
Casually, The blazer can be worn with a t-shirt, denim, suede loafers or even trainers and it makes us look presentable and professional but also kind of fun. This is the perfect look for going for dinner, grabbing a drink after work or even for a weekend getaway.
For Business Casual, the blazer can be paired with a light knit or polo shirt and chinos- a look that says we get things done but that feels comfortable on our commute, at the desk or even on the shop floor meeting customers.
Business Professional might mean we need to dress up our blazer by wearing it with some slim fitting, contrasting tailored trousers, a long sleeve shirt/tie and some derby shoes or monk straps. This is ideal for when we are meeting our more senior staff, management or high-profile clients.
The Preppy look can consist of a soft shell blazer, denim shirt, knit tie and a tassel loafer for when you’re teaching a class, working in creative sectors and front of house in hospitality.
If you are invited to an event, for example, a friend’s wedding and you’re unsure what the dress code is, grab your blazer, your best formal shirt, some well-tailored slacks and some black shoes to combat any insecurity about looking the part.
Wedding Season is all year round these days and with that comes fast-paced changes in suiting so it’s important to have versatility in our wardrobes from suits to separates.
Picking the best blazer for you!
A lot of the success of a Blazer depends on how it fits. We look for a similar profile in a blazer as we do in a suit jacket. A suit jacket will be more structured and will have a pre-determined shape. A Blazer though is unstructured, unlined and overall gives a softer profile. When it comes to picking what style to invest in, you should consider the following:
- Colouring - colours that compliment your natural features like skin tone, Hair colour and eyes
- Build- our body shapes dictate what looks good on us. Check out our previous article below on how to decipher what cut suits your body type (How To Choose A Suit For Your Body Type)
- Wardrobe- items we already own i.e pants that will compliment the jacket, shirt and tie combos and footwear.
Summer Cotton Blazers
When we imagine a blazer, we picture the classic navy blue all-wool jacket but what about other fabrics? As a material, cotton is breathable and it’s super lightweight which means it’s a good jacket to grab if you need to look smart but don’t need added warmth. Its lightweight fabric usually comes in brighter tones than traditional wool too which is a welcomed break from our normal navy, greys and blacks. Cotton Blazers are unlined and are made with the same style sleeve as a shirt, this means our profile looks slighter and more “sleek” and because of the way that cotton is woven, the jacket allows air to pass between threads keeping us cool whilst looking cool. Our favourite summer weight jacket is the Jack and Jones Solaris Blazer Medieval Blue Super Slim because it mixes traditional design with more modern characteristics like its half-lined shell which means it won’t wrinkle while we’re getting things done.
Formal Suit Jacket
If an occasion demands more formal attire but you’re reluctant to donne a full suit then a blazer is a perfect choice. Pairing your classic charcoal suit jacket with contrasting pants is more interesting than the traditional suit and if you find yourself in your mid to late 20’s there’s a good chance you've several weddings coming up this year and to be honest the mix-and-match approach is a nice break from all the formality that Wedding Season brings.
This option also means that we get more value for money from our wardrobe as when we feel we might have outworn our favourite suit, now we see the potential to use it as a separate. The Mix and Match approach can work incredibly well and can also go terribly wrong but to avoid any faux pas, it’s best to stick to these rules of thumb. Your Suit Jacket should fit you properly and your suit pants should be made of similar cloth to that of your jacket. When it comes to colour, they should be a shade lighter or darker than your jacket. If in doubt think classic. The Italians call this look “Spezzato” or “ Pieces” and we reference this approach within our Harold and Simon collection at Spirit Clothing.
Pictured is Harold Blazer in Ice with Jonny Navy Pants
Linen unlike any other fabric out there genuinely gets better with age. As it is worn, washed and lived in, the cloth gets softer, and smoother and shapes to our physique- it grows with you. Linen is incredibly durable too and is up to ten times stronger than cotton and this adds to its lifespan. Flax from which linen is made is absorbent which means Linen jackets are somewhat stain-resistant and therefore easily dyed or washed. It works perfectly for grown-up parties, dinner dates or summer evenings in the city. We can’t get enough of A Fish Named Fred's Recent Line of Linen Jackets.
How To Style A Blazer
We’ve already mentioned the versatility of the blazer but how do we put that into practice? At this stage, it’s not so much what type of blazer you’re wearing but more so what you’re wearing with it. We’ve put together some styling tips for the fashion-forward gentleman eager to get the most out of his new investment.
Wear it with a T Shirt
Nothing says effortless cool more than the combo of a crisp white crew neck t-shirt against a rich blue blazer. It’s the perfect casual Friday office attire or the modern take on Sunday Best. At first, it feels counterintuitive, the combination of tailored clothes and untailored clothes but it feels casual while it looks contemporary and suave. If you’re the kind of person who wants to make a strong first impression but is also not afraid to show your fun side, then look no further.
For a modest look, we recommend plain t-shirts, textured t-shirts go well with textured blazers and graphic t-shirts give an outfit an edgy look and the longstanding Breton T-shirt has been a cornerstone of every well-dressed man’s attire since the 60s. Swap your lace-up derby shoes for a plain white trainer or a textured loafer or even a deck shoe like Dubarry.
Wear a Blazer with Chinos and Dress Shoes
The workplace can be monotonous when it comes to attire. For so long, we’ve settled for bland work trousers and button-down shirts and a lot of the time these outfits show no individuality. The easiest way to combat this is by incorporating a blazer and some dress shoes into your workwear. The Blazer can be thrown on in a hurry if you have a last-minute appointment, it makes you look professional while tending to everyday tasks and it will go with most of the office-friendly shirt and trouser combos we all love so much. I’ve included a brief guide to matching Blazers with Pants below to help you learn your way around mix-and-match combos.
Navy Blazers work well with :
- Med/Light Grey
Grey Blazers compliment;
- Other Greys
Khaki/Olive/Tan/Beige all pair well with:
Don’t hesitate to ask your tailor for their recommendations about pairing clothes appropriately.
When it comes to accessories, it’s up to you how extravagant you want to be but it’s important to remember that accessories are there to enhance your outfit not to take away from it. There’s a saying “ Worry about the cake, then worry about the candles”; the cake being your outfit and the candles being your accessories. If you’re reluctant to incorporate accessories we suggest starting small and by that we mean choose subtle, discreet but effective accents that will raise your outfits game.
Introducing a simple pocket-square to a shirt/blazer combo adds elegance, a boutonniere makes the outfit immediately more formal and debonair, a tie clip adds a certain level of professionalism to a business casual outfit and a pair of colourful socks take the serious edge off a muted outfit combo.
In recent seasons, the must-have accessory is a designer wallet and we all advocate wallets that match your belt and shoes as it shows attention to detail.
Neckwear can totally change an outfit from formal to fun and we encourage trying out ties and bowties in different textures, widths and patterns to help you find your sweet spot when it comes to accenting a blazer.
What we’ve listed above is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to accessorizing but there really isn’t a right or wrong way it just takes some time to figure out your style.
Browse our extensive range of Tie Clips, Socks, Cufflinks, PocketSquares and Boutonnieres on Spirit Clothing or call in store and ask one of our Tailoring Team; Arturs, Cian, Joe, Paddy, Peter or Shane.
Our Favourite Blazers
Here are some of our favourite blazers this season:
This is an all-rounder; perfect for work and play. The younger man’s favourite and available in all sizes to suit all builds.
Sand Linen Look Blazer
The classic Spring/Summer Jacket.
Dario Beltran Navy Ibiza Blazer
Dario Beltran is a Spanish Brand inspired by the elegance of the Mediterranean. Specialising in lightweight fabrics in an array of colours from basic to bold.
Discover our range of Blazers here
Spirit Clothing Ltd.
55 Main Street,
N39 E8D2 .
Phone: +353 43 33 48687
Hours: Monday to Saturday 10- 6
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