The Power of the Blazer

Tuesday December 15, 2015
By JC Chi

Once the concept of “business casual” became mainstream and men’s office attire moved away from suits and neckties, many work places became over relaxed and a look of professionalism was lost. Top executives, mid-level employees and entry-level staff wore everything from jacketless suit pants to chinos to jeans. Shirts were collared or mock-neck, worn tucked or untucked and made of pinpoint cloth, woven cotton, polyester blend or flannel. There was a newfound clothing liberation, and for a while, the white-collar world became a visually informal mess, ill-defined, and each workplace had to self-govern what was acceptable as office policy. What was the single most powerful piece that seemed to bridge the gap between so many different looks in the work place?

The blazer.

No, not that solid gray or navy pinstriped suit jacket that belonged to a defunct pair of matching dress slacks. Though it took time for designers and retailers to navigate the general public toward an acceptable professional norm, it happened. The modern blazer was created with informally proportioned lapels (smaller), more shapely torsos (narrower), slightly shorter lengths, and a variety of light-weight fabrics including cotton, nylon, polyester, blends thereof, etc. Casual, form-fitting blazers in solids, stripes and plaids became readily available, and somehow it didn’t matter whether you wore slacks, khakis or jeans. You could shop for a blazer that looked good with every type of bottom, and as a result, the workplace got a facelift as did a man’s arsenal for a night out on the town. Today, a pair of jeans, distinctive top (T-shirt or collared) and blazer have become the cosmopolitan man’s uniform for happy hours, dates and dinner parties. And the key to the success of this look is, of course … the blazer. Below are some sharp and versatile options that can be found at The Avenue.

Modern Reversible Soft Blazer – Banana Republic

Herringbone Blazer – Gap

Signature Tailored Sportcoat – Jos. A. Bank

Joe Sport Coat – Men’s Wearhouse

Ludlow Blazer in Corduroy – J. Crew