No longer reserved for the English gent or regimented Navy sir, the humble blazer has played a star role in seasons past, since its debut nearly two hundred years ago. And, from the runway to the wardrobe, the blazer’s nostalgic roots only look to deepen this season. But first, get to know the blazer and its many facets before you pick your sartorial weapon of choice.
The structured blazer is all about the fit: cut super close to the body while maximising shape, helped out with the padding, linings and the inner jacket mechanics. Richer looking, the structured blazer requires quality fabric and engineering best seen to by a tailor or a reputable suit store.
It will normally carry more defined shoulders, feel luxurious to touch and hug the body to enhance the slim fit. At first glance too, the jacket will appear simpler, elegant, with minimal details and doesn’t discriminate against the lapel: peak, shawl and/or notch. Needless to say it’s a seamless pairing with ties.
The unstructured blazer is for those gents who are maybe more blue-collar or artsy in profession and don’t have the workplace ‘need’ to be traditional. Or, they prefer a relaxed approach to incredible style. These blazers are designed to mould to the body, are relaxed and boast a less rigid shape.
They still cut sharp on the shoulder and can hug close to the body of the wearer. But, unstructured blazers give a softer, relaxed fit – falling from the shoulder peak fluidly. Stripped bare, the unstructured jacket is just that – unstructured, so the typical inner folds and shapes given to retain a jacket’s shape, are gone. Casual details maybe be added though: front pockets, exposed seams, lack of lining, multiple buttons and sometimes buttons in contrast colour to the jacket fabric itself. Plus, they are more likely to be made from one piece of cloth, so they are thinner, making them great for winter layering or going solely as a light add-on for summer.
Uniqlo does indeed offer woollen blazers for such formal occasions, but for outright versatility, its the Comfort Jacket you're going to want. Looking every bit the formal blazer, the Comfort Jacket is in fact made from a cotton jersey material that gives it a much more casual edge. It's wrinkle-free qualities mean you'll never have to reach for an iron while quick-drying properties ensure it's fresh to wear every morning.
The Mill Blazer is a prime example of a well-made unstructured blazer. Made from a combination of cotton and linen, the Mill is available in a multitude of garment-dyed colours, expanding the breadth of your wardrobe. Its unstructured nature certainly leans it towards casual settings, but the classic silhouette and linen material mean it be the perfect formal jacket for summer formal events.
The company's Ludlow suit series has been going since 2008, so must be doing something right. Available in both structured and unstructured, guises, it's the latter we particularly love. Made from a woollen/cotton blend from British fabric mill Abraham Moon & Sons, this blazer can be worn in practically any way you can imagine whether it be over a t-shirt in summer or a cashmere sweater in winter. If you'd rather something a little more substantial, it can be in a twill fabric too.
This tailored double-breasted blazer can be had in dark blue or black, and will be the crowning price of any well put-together formal outfit. Made from a virgin wool-cotton blend, it exhibits all the classic qualities of a high-end blazer, including a rear double vent, straight hem and peaked lapels.
The Devetto Jacket is made from a wool-silk-cashmere fabric blend from Italian fabric company Loro Piana. The blend used allows for the Devetto to be incredibly breathable, yet owing to an internal lining, will provide warmth too. Lightweight yet durable, the Devetto will be at home in both casual and formal situations.
This unstructured blazer is made from 100 per cent Italian wool and be had in slim, athletic or standard fits. Bonobos says its perhaps better suited for warmer days, due to the fact it has minimal lining – except for something in the sleeves – but it can easily be dressed up when needed. A truly versatile jacket.
This unstructured slim-fit blazer is made from a virgin wool-blend seersucker fabric that has been cut to fit a more relaxed silhouette than some of the slim-fit jackets on this list. The lightweight virgin-wool blend makes it barely noticeable when it’s on, perfect for casual events.
The main baulk of Hugo Boss’ sports coat range is main from virgin wool, with pure wool and cotton thrown in for good measure. This particular blazer, however, is made from a blend of virgin wool and hemp, not only for its durability but because it will only become softer as time passes. It’s cut to a slim-fit profile and comes partially lined to help with airflow and, due to it being midweight, can provide a touch of warmth on colder days.
The navy herringbone blazer is made from a supersoft blend of lambswool and cashmere, sourced directly from Italy and put together in Canada. The designer’s own butterfly half interior lining is used for extra comfort, while the unpadded shoulders make it wearable all day long. Best of all, it will pair perfectly with suit trousers or dressed down with some denim.
We could, therefore, have chosen pretty much any blazer from the company’s catalogue, but have settled on this green Havana jacket, partly because we just love the colour. However, it has plenty of substance too, such as being made from a silk-linen blend fabric from Italian company Ferla. It’s an unstructured blazer too, so is best suited for spring and summer, with its slim-fit silhouette making it the perfect partner to a pair of tailored chinos.
The Chay blazer, shown here with the Prince of Wales check and finished in navy is the epitome of modern British sartorial. Cut in a slim fit that hugs the body whether open or done up, its form-flattering tailoring at its finest. The wool-cotton fabric blend is both lightweight and soft, and it’s fully lined, so can offer up some warmth.
Such as this single-breasted blazer in brown. Cut to a longer length than you may normally go for, it’s 70s style at its absolute best. The brown colour only adds to its retro credentials (it’s also available in yellow or a pastel pink) and its 100 per cent woollen fabric gives it the luxurious build and texture any modern gent will love.
This classic fit velvet trim blazer, for example, is made from a Italian-woven wool gabardine fabric (Burberry invented gabardine for the launch of the trench coat) and is framed by velvet on the collar, cuffs and sides. The use of several layers of horsehair give this blazer structure and Burberry even offers a pair of matching pants.