Known for championing the two-button jacket and popularising the polo, President John F Kennedy is perhaps one of menswear's most iconic dressers. Whether he was being photographed with Mrs Jackie Kennedy at the America's Cup boat race or at a photo call with his children, the 35th president of the United States had an innate sense of how to mix both formal and casual, illustrated perfectly through his use of blazers as well as classic American sportswear. Paired with a tie and white trousers, or thrown on over a light knit, Mr Kennedy's blazer ensembles were an essential part of a wardrobe that would set a benchmark in presidential dressing. He also managed to give the simple polo an air of nonchalant sophistication.
Now, with a new mini-series The Kennedys - which has been called controversial, historically inaccurate and disrespectful before a single episode has even been aired - and starring Mr Greg Kinnear as JFK and Ms Katie Holmes as Jackie, reinvigorated interest in this American dynasty is sure to add fuel to the Ivy League revival.
Luckily for us, the blazer is not just the preserve of the privileged: from Mr Kanye West to the Duke of Windsor, via legendary hell raiser Mr Keith Moon, it has been adopted by a vast array of men who have courted controversy by defying convention. Even the origin of the garment garners a certain amount of debate. Some hold it was named after the jackets created for the crew of the HMS Blazer in 1837 whilst others argue it was christened after the oarsmen of Cambridge University's Lady Margaret Boat Club who appeared to set the water 'ablaze' with their red jackets when they raced. The commonly-held belief however is that it was named after the 19th century upper class practice of 'emblazoning' crests onto breast pockets for school and family events.
Whichever story floats your boat, the blazer is still one of the most versatile items in any man's wardrobe. Just remember, the cut is king (or should we say president), so be sure to choose a garment tailored close to your body for a streamlined, contemporary look that can take you from garden party to gig (and pretty much every occasion in between).