3 Types Of Blazers Every Man Should Own

The right blazer (or two!) is a super-versatile item that no man should be without. In this video, we’re discussing our picks for the 3 types of blazers every man should own. Don’t forget to check out our blazer fit guide and all our picks below!

 

Navy

A classic staple that goes with everything. Get one in wool and you can wear it with everything; dressy, business casual and more.

Picks:

Zegna

Armani

Brooks Brothers

Bonobos

Banana Republic

H&M

Grey

Try one with some texture like tweed or herringbone or even one in cotton. This one is great for fall and the color can be worn with everything from jeans to slacks and a tie.

Grey:

Zegna

L.B.M.

Z Zegna

Polo 

Banana Republic

JCrew

Patterned

For a third blazer, try one with some pattern like a check, houndstooth or windowpane. It’s an elevated look that’s perfect with dark jeans or chinos.  This one also dresses up well and can stand in for a suit when worn with slacks.

Patterned:

Canali

Burberry

Bonobos

LBM

Brooks Brothers

Topman

Top 3 Outfits For Spring & Summer

The warm weather will be here before you know it so it’s time to start thinking about your Spring and Summer wardrobe options. With that in mind, here are my Top 3 Favorite Outfits for Spring & Summer 2018. All of these looks are super versatile and are going to have you looking stylish no matter what’s on your calendar. Don’t forget to check out all the info below for each outfit’s details.

 

 

Outfit #1

For this first outfit, I started with a lightweight blue suit that’s great for summer and paired it with a fun Hawaiian print shirt to add some extra personality. You could also try a floral or botanical print shirt, and it’s a great way to give your suit a whole new vibe. I then added a tipped pocket square that picks up some of the colors in the shirt and finished the look with penny loafers and a cool pair of blue framed sunglasses. For a relaxed suiting look like this, I also like having a slightly shorter hem on the pants to show a bit of ankle.

Outfit Details

Designer Suit: Brooks Brothers Suit

Budget-Friendly Suit: H&M Linen Suit Jacket and Linen Suit Pants

Floral Shirt: J. Crew Shirt 

Shirt Alternative: Topman Shirt

Pocket Square: The Tie Bar Pocket Square 

Designer Loafers: Prada Loafers

Budget-Friendly Loafers: Johnston & Murphy Loafers

Sunglasses: Warby Parker Sunglasses 

 

Outfit #2

For the second look, I went with an everyday monochromatic look that’s relaxed but still well put-together. This light blue shirt in linen very lightweight and breathable and I paired it with another summer staple, a crisp pair of chinos. I finished the look with grey suede driving loafers to bring it all together.

Outfit Details

Shirt: Uniqlo Linen Shirt

Chinos: J.Crew Chinos

Alternative: Uniqlo Chinos

Belt: Brooks Brothers Leather Belt

Shoes: Tod’s Suede Tie Driving Moc Loafers 

Loafer Alternative in Brown: Tod’s Suede Driving Moc Loafers

Budget-Friendly Loafer Options: Zappos

Sunglasses: Warby Parker Sunglasses

 

Outfit #3

For the third and final look, I went with another “elevated casual’ outfit that’s great for both the week or weekend. I started with a lightweight, unlined blazer and paired it with a relaxed mandarin collar button up and some green chinos for a splash of color. As I mentioned in my color matching article, I love pairing blues and greens together and the crisp white shirt is the perfect complement. I finish it with some fresh white sneakers to add a relaxed vibe.

Outfit Details

Blazer: Brooks Brothers Blazer

Budget-Friendly Blazer: H&M Blazer

Button Up Shirt: Topman Shirt

Chinos: J.Crew Chinos

Chinos Alternative: Uniqlo Chinos

Sneakers: P.F. Flyers Sneakers

Sunglasses: Tom Ford Sunglasses

The Essential Business Casual Details & Outfits

To me, business casual for men’s outfits is a loose definition, but it definitely has an upper and lower range of what’s appropriate. The only true way to determine what it means is by looking at it in relation to the current dress code of the company or function you’re dealing with.

Things to avoid in business casual

Ties

There are rare exceptions, but when in doubt, go without.

Shorts

These are too casual no matter how they’re worn and I’d argue that a man shouldn’t wear shorts in 95% of situations, anyways.

T-Shirts

While I love them, they have no place in a business casual outfit.

Not Tucking In Your Shirt

The sin of all sins for a business casual outfit, no matter your body type, is not tucking in your collared shirts. Polo shirts should only be worn untucked, but the exact opposite is true for collared shirts. It just looks sloppy.

Now let’s go over the typical outfits and when they’re appropriate to wear.

Standard Business Casual

For most companies, whether they require a suit (maybe no tie) or a blazer or collared shirt everyday, there are two types of business casual outfits. How close the dress code is to a full suit will determine whether you should wear a jacket or not. Also, depending on the time of year, you may go for lighter or heavier weighted fabrics for your jackets and pants. Hotter = lighter.

With A Jacket

If you are required to wear a suit and tie everyday, definitely go with this one.

Sport Coat/Blazer

Here’s another article I wrote about heavier sport coats/blazers for the Fall & Winter months. Please, whatever you do, don’t wear a suit jacket in place of this. The fabric is too thin and it won’t match the fabric weight of the pants you’ll be wearing.

Oxford Button Down Shirt or Semi-Spread Collared Shirt

Make sure either of these are tucked in to your pants. Definitely wear a belt that matches your shoe color, as well.

Wool trousers, Chino Pants or Dark Wash Jeans

The more formal the dress code, the more likely you should wear wool trousers. Chinos are a little less formal or more used during spring and summer, while jeans a little less so than chinos and typically used year-round. Never, ever – unless the suit pants are a very thick wool (similar to wool trouser weight) – should you wear suit pants without the accompanying jacket.

Oxford Dress Shoes, Monk straps, Brogues, WingtipsBoots (Dress or Chukka) or Loafers

The second you’re not wearing a full suit and tie, you can basically wear anything but sneakers with your business casual outfit. I’d default to Oxfords, Monk Straps or Loafers – either in suede or leather, but any of the options above are acceptable.

Without a jacket

If the dress code or occasion is slightly more casual, you can forgo the jacket and wear this business casual outfit, instead. There’s a few small points to consider.

V-neck sweater

If the weather is too warm, then definitely swap out the sweater for a blazer from the previous section, or, if it can be more casual, go to the next outfit, instead.

Shirt

Same as the previous outfit. You can wear a tie, like in the above picture, but it’s not necessary at all.

Pants

Wool trousers or dark wash jeans. Chino pants have a fabric weight that is too light to go well with v-neck sweaters.

Shoes

Same as previous outfit.

 

Casual Business Casual

This type of business casual outfit is appropriate if there’s a pretty casual dress code normally, or the event is very informal. If you see “business casual” as a requirement anywhere, this is the least formal outfit you can wear that is still appropriate for the dress code. Anything less than this is not business casual.

Harrington Jacket 

This is one of my favorite jackets of all time and fits this outfit perfectly. Obviously, only wear this if the weather is requiring a jacket.

Polo Shirt or Oxford Button Down

I’d probably default to a polo shirt unless you knew for a fact you were going to wear the Harrington Jacket or the weather is cooler. Unless you’re a slimmer guy, an Oxford Button Down worn without a jacket on top of it doesn’t look too good. No matter what, though, make sure the polo shirt fits like a glove or you’re going to look like a goofball and if you wear the oxford, please tuck it in.

Chino Pants or Dark Wash Jeans

Chino pants are the default in an outfit like this, but dark wash jeans are just as appropriate. I’d let the time of year or weather dictate whether I went with chinos or dark wash jeans. The colder it is, the more I’d lean toward wearing the jeans over the chinos.

Sneakers, Loafers, Dress Shoes or Chukka Boots

The more classy you want to make this casual outfit, the more I’d learn toward dressy shoes.

 

That’s it! Hope this is helpful!

How Should A Blazer Fit?

The short and honest answer for how should a Blazer fit is exactly how a Suit Jacket should fit, so if this article looks familiar, it’s because it’s pretty much the same advice.

How long should a Blazer be?

The length of your blazer will dictate how “balanced” your upper body is to your lower body. The blazer should end around mid to lower crotch. Mid-crotch if you’re under 5ft 9inches, lower than that if you’re taller than 5′ 9″.

A tailor can shorten your jacket up to an inch without messing up it’s proportions, but they can never really let much out because there’s no fabric there. Overall, you generally want this part to already be perfect when you’re buying a blazer, even off the rack.

Crotch Measurements

Blazer Sleeve Length

While wearing the blazer – when you bend your wrist, so your palms are facing the ground, the sleeves should be about ¼” above the top of your hand. A lot of people recommend that it hits the top of your hand, but that’s bullshit – then none of your shirt sleeve will be showing. This length allows for a little bit (¼”) of your shirt sleeve to peek through. If your sleeves are longer, a tailor can easily fix that. If they’re shorter by more than an inch, ditch the jacket, the sleeves can’t be let out enough to fit properly.

Sleeve-Length-Ashely-Weston-How-Your-Suit-Should-Fit

Shoulders

You want the shoulder seams of the blazer to end where your shoulders end – where they start curving down to your arm, basically. You should see no divots or wrinkles in the shoulders anywhere. The shoulders should lay perfectly flat, with no divots or rumpling or pulling on the shoulders. If you have more rounded shoulders, the seam should still end in the same place, you would just need a little more padding in the shoulders to make them appear less rounded. If the shoulders are too big or small, a tailor will have a very hard time fixing this, and it would be very expensive – if it was even possible. So ensure these fit properly when buying a blazer from anywhere, as well. 

RealMenRealStyle has this awesome graphic showing the proper shoulder fit.

shoulder fit graphic

Body

With the top button fastened (never the bottom button), the blazer should lightly hug your midsection, but not feel tight or constricting. It shouldn’t be pulling at the button, creating an ugly “X”. The X mean’s it’s too tight. If it’s roomy around your stomach/waist area, you can (and should!) have a tailor take in the sides of the jacket so it fits properly. This is a very easy and common fix for a tailor to do. Remember: For tailoring purposes, it’s better to have a jacket that’s slightly too big in the body than too small.

Suit-Jacket-Length-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Clothing-Fit-Guide

Collar

The collar should rest against your shirt collar, which in turn should rest against the back of your neck. All of these should touch lightly, without significant gaps in between. If there’s a gap, it’s too loose. If there’s bunching just under the back of the jacket collar, it’s too tight or the stance of the jacket is off.

Collar-Fit-Ashley-Weston

Armholes

They should be high, but not so high that they’re cutting into your armpit. The picture below shows where the armholes should be on your blazer. Notice it’s not cutting into his armpit? They should be large enough that you don’t notice them, but not so big that you have a few extra inches between your armpit and the bottom of the hole. The arms should be able to move somewhat independently of the jacket’s body during normal motion, but not excessively.

While I’m speaking about blazers and motion, a lot of guys who are new to wearing dress clothes usually complain that they should be able to move their arms more while wearing them. Let me tell you that a blazer is not activewear, so don’t think you should be able to do everything you normally do while wearing a blazer. It’s just not built for that purpose.

Armholes-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Clothing-Fit-Guide

Button Stance

The blazer’s second button from the bottom (aka the top button) should lie just above your belly-button, never below. My rule of thumb is no more than about an inch above and never, ever below. Otherwise it’ll throw off your body’s proportions and you’ll look really odd.

Button-Stance-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Clothing-Fit-Guide

The Best Men’s Blazer/Sport Coats

See my Navy Blazer/Sport Coat Essential Article for my favorite blazers that every man should own.

The Navy Blazer

The Navy Blazer or Sport Coat or Sports Jacket, whatever you want to call it (we’ll go with Blazer from here on out), is an essential because it’s the very definition of business or dressy casual. It pairs incredibly well with dark wash jeans, oxford or semi-spread collar dress shirtsOxford dress shoes and almost any other mix of dressy or casual wear in your Essential Wardrobe.

NOTE: A Navy Blazer looks horrible with a pair of tan chinos/khakis. This is the quintessential older, out-of-touch-guy-who-wants-to-dress-up uniform. Just. don’t – Ever.

Blazer vs Sport Coat

I see some resources online talking about how a Blazer is different from a Sport Coat/Sports Jacket and honestly, in all my years in the industry, the term is used so interchangeably that it doesn’t matter. They’re basically the same garment. If I have a hard time telling the difference, you’ll have an even harder time, so I say don’t worry about it and call it whatever you want.

Blazer vs Suit Jacket

The differences between a Blazer and Suit Jacket are constantly debated. A lot of sources say they’re the same, others say they’re different, but allow me to flex my teeny tiny muscles a bit, as I deal with these items day in and day out.

First and foremost, they’re not the same. A Blazer is made of thicker fabric so it pairs better with other clothing items of different weights, like jeans, for example. A Suit Jacket is made of lighter material and should only be worn as part of a suit.

You may not notice, but fabric weights can influence whether an outfit looks off or not. Blazers are not made of the same weight of fabric that a Suit Jacket is.

If you have a chance, go somewhere that requires a jacket be worn – like a business casual event or restaurant that requires a dinner jacket be worn – and I guarantee you’ll see some guys wearing suit jackets with jeans or khakis. I’m sorry to call them out, but older gentleman are the worst offenders here.

I want you to notice how it just looks… weird. The jacket fabric seems a little too “thin” and “flowy” compared to the pants because it’s too light of a fabric to go with a heavier fabric like denim or khaki. They don’t lay or move the same, so it looks weird.

The problem is that most guys see pictures of other guys wearing suit jackets with denim pants and think it looks great, which it does – in pictures. In person it looks bad due to the differing fabric weights. So trust me on this one – you need separate Blazers and Suit Jackets.

How To Tell A Blazer From A Suit Jacket

Here’s my patented 4-Step process to tell if a jacket is a Blazer or a Suit Jacket:

  1. If the buttons on the sleeves and torso are metal of any kind – that’s a Blazer.
  2. If it has matching pants – that’s a Suit Jacket.
  3. If the jacket is thinner or more delicate feeling – that’s a Suit Jacket.
  4. If it’s heavier, thicker or sturdier feeling – that’s a Blazer.

Fabric

I recommend you go with a heavier, textured wool fabric because its robust and you’ll get a lot of mileage out of this type of blazer. I like a fabric weight of between 8 to 10 ounces, depending on your climate (hotter climates, I like around 6 ounces). If you go heavier than my recommendations, then you’re getting into Fall/Winter territory and the lighter weight fabric would wrinkle pretty badly. This weight also looks best with the other items a blazer is typically worn with – jeans, wool pants, sweaters, etc. – basically everything else in your Essential Wardrobe. Lighter fabrics have very slim use cases and are a pain in the butt to maintain that they’re usually not worth the hassle.

The Best Colors for A Blazer or Sport Coat

If you read the title, you know I’m going to say navy :). The reason is because it will go with everything else in my Men’s Wardrobe Essentials list. If you already own a navy Blazer – great job! – then go with a Charcoal or Charcoal Herringbone pattern.

Vent Type

Ideally, you’ll want to go with a double vent. This style of vent has been around for quite a while and is flattering on every body type. With that being said, a single vent is not a poor choice, but it’s definitely second in my book. Just make sure that, no matter what, you never go with a blazer without a vent – it’s a horrible look.

How Should a Blazer or Sport Coat Fit?

Check out my Blazer/Sport Coat Fit Guide for details.

The Best Blazers or Sport Coats for men

Designer Option

I chose these blazers because they’re not only well-constructed, but they’re also made of a nice, textured fabric that has the perfect amount of weight to them. Each of these blazers has the 2-button, notch-lapel features that I love and that work on all body types. The navy Brooks Brothers blazer is only offered with gold buttons online, but they do have non-gold button options available in their stores. Stick with their Milano or Fitzgerald lines as they offer the most tailored fits. Ermenegildo Zegna and Z Zegna make incredible blazers that always makes me stop and touch them whenever I’m at the store pulling clothes for a client. Burberry is fantastic for slimmer men that are 5’10” and above.

Brooks Brothers Charcoal Milano Fit Herringbone Blazer

Brooks Brothers Navy Fitzgerald Fit Two-Button Blazer

Burberry Gray Slim Fit Travel Tailoring Jacket

Emporio Armani Navy Jacket in Textured Wool

Ralph Lauren Purple Label Navy Nigel Wool-Cashmere Blazer 

Zegna Gray Cashmere Blazer

Z Zegna Navy Drop 8 Two-Button Blazer 

Budget-Friendly Option

These are my go-to for blazers that look great, sport all the features I want to see on a blazer, and hit a more affordable price poin. J.Crew offers wool blazers for an extremely affordable price and their Ludlow line has a tailored fit that is fantastic and offered in a range of sizes, from Short to Regular to Tall. If you’re a slim to regular build, I love Topman because their cuts are the best! The material is usually a polyester-wool blend so it’s not the best, but it’ll get the job done and still look fantastic.

H&M Navy Blazer

J.Crew Navy Ludlow Legacy Blazer

J.Crew Grey/Navy Windowpane Ludlow Blazer

Topman Blue Slim Fit Jersey Blazer

Zara Navy Basic Blazer 

Topman Blue Wool Blend Skinny Fit Blazer

2 Best Ways To Wear a Blazer

Navy-Blazer-Sport-Coat-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Wardrobe-Essentials

Brooks Brothers Fitzgerald Fit Two-Button Blazer

Tommy Hilfiger Mens Twill Dress Shirt

J Brand Tyler Slim Fit in Bellow

The Tie Bar Outpost Blue Pocket Square

Gucci GG pattern Silk Tie

The Tie Bar Colored Tie Bar

Allen Edmonds Newland Ave brown belt

Baume & Mercier Clifton-automatic

Allen Edmonds Carlyle Plain-toe Oxfords

Navy-Blazer-Sport-Coat-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Wardrobe-Essentials-2

Brooks Brothers Fitzgerald Fit Two-Button Blazer

Brooks Brothers Merino Wool Honeycomb Crewneck Sweater

Brooks Brothers Red Fleece Solid Oxford Sport Shirt

Topman Selected Homme Grey Pants

Allen Edmonds Carlyle Plain Toe Oxfords

Allen Edmonds Newland Ave Dress Casual Belt 

Blazer or Sport Coat Outfit Inspiration

 

Credits

Photography: Justiin Charles
Model: Joseph Boyd at Wilhelmina Models
Hair/Makeup: Brendan Robertson for Exclusive Artists Management using Clarins Skincare and Kevin Murphy Hair Care