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A Guide to the All-American Blazer

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It’s September, the perfect time to bring the blazers out. These jackets are great for transitional weather and are damn good at transitioning from dressed up to casual. Yet, many men neglect these sartorial workhorses when building their wardrobes. So we’ve put together this guide to blazers. Below you’ll find four essential blazers for fall (though they look good any time of year) for four different guys.

The Ivy Leaguer

You don’t need to have an Ivy League degree on your resume to look smart in a preppy blazer with traditional gold buttons. The buttons are a nod to this jacket’s clubby roots. Today they’re mostly decorative and add a bit of shine to a subdued dark jacket.

The trick to pulling off the traditional preppy look is not trying too hard. Pair this jacket with pink pants and a tie with whales on it and the whole ensemble starts to look like a costume. Instead, pluck one item from the preppy wardrobe and style accordingly. In this case, we used the ultra-preppy blazer to lend a certain New England prepster vibe to this jeans and shirt look.

The Southern Gentleman

If sipping a little bourbon while tailgating at an Ole Miss football game sounds like a little slice of heaven to you, then this look is for you.

The jacket is light in weight, so it’s perfect for the warm fall weather down south, and heavy on style. The check pattern makes this jacket a little sportier than a solid sport jacket, thus it’s great for transitioning from the office to weekend wear. This blazer is easy to throw on with a pair of jeans but be careful not to match the shade of the jacket and jeans too closely or you’ll look like you’ve got on an all denim suit. Pair it with a simple solid shirt and jeans, like we did below, and you’ve got an easy combo of dressed up and casual.

The California Dreamer

The West coast has a style all its own. Though known for working in casual offices (complete with ping pong and foosball tables), stylish left coasters still sport blazers to dress up a casual look. But, the warm temps and bright sun make old-school dark blazers look (and feel) a little stuffy out West. Instead, opt for a lighter fabric and lighter color like the Solid Tan Tropical Wool blazer below. Fight the temptation to couple this laid back tan with a black shirt or bright solids that pack punches of color, instead let details below the waist show your playful side.

The Modern Midwesterner

The Midwest is where East coast traditional meets the West coast’s free spirit. From the Great Lakes to the Great Plains a mix of the old-school blue blazer in a charcoal fabric will keep you looking dapper yet down to earth. Further accentuate your rugged good looks with a pair of khaki chinos that perfectly balance the jacket’s dark hue.

How are you wearing your blazers this fall? Leave a comment below.

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6 thoughts on “A Guide to the All-American Blazer”

  1. Hi Black Lapel, I’d love to see a more casual blazer instead of just having a suit jacket that looks like it’s missing the pants. Specifically, something with patch pockets instead of the flap and maybe something in hopsack? I just bought my first suit from you and am anxiously awaiting the results. If all goes well, I’d love to be able to pick up a blazer as well (OTR suiting never fits right). Also, the wool used in your suit blazers seems a little too formal for denim. Do you think you’d ever add a cotton sports jacket to your collection to pair with denim? I don’t need many jackets, but am looking to pick up 1 or 2 solid suits, a navy blazer, and a cotton sports coat. 1 down, 2 to go! Thanks!

    1. We hear what you’re saying, Chris. We, actually, have some casual blazer options in development right now. We haven’t set a launch date yet, though, so keep your eye on The Compass.

      In the meantime, we hope you’ll enjoy the fall fabric collection that will be coming out soon.

  2. Technically there is a difference between a blazer and a sport jacket, and you guys seem to have combined the two here. It might be helpful if you defined each and their respective roles, and why a suit jacket may not (or may?) be worn alone as a sport jacket.

    1. You’re right, Larry, technically there is a difference, just as, technically, there is a difference between a suit jacket and a blazer. Still, most of these old definitions and differences do little more than make dressing well seem more confusing and less approachable to modern men (seriously, when was the last time anybody out there reading this wore a sport jacket to go quail hunting or wore a blazer to cheer on their favorite boat at a regatta?). Their origins may be different, but their role in many men’s wardrobes today is essentially the same, to make you look great.

  3. thomas harper says:

    Very nice look you’ve put together.

    1. Thanks, Thomas. Let us know what’s your fave.

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