A Gentleman’s Guide

Eight Ways To Wear A Blazer

Sporty, subtle or standout? Whichever style you choose, cut a dash in this season’s staple

  • Photograph by Mr Tommy Ton

The advent of autumn may signal the end of summer jollity, but it comes with its own particular delights – the crunch of cinnamon-shaded leaves underfoot, the tang of cordite and cosy evenings by the fire. But, while these are all well and good, the real appeal lies in a return to a more structured wardrobe. The breezy shirts of August are packed away in favour of something more substantial. The autumn blazer signals formality – you’re back at work and you mean business – but it’s light enough to work fluidly with the transitional weather before a winter coat becomes a necessity. If summer is silly season, autumn is all about grown-up sophistication – and the blazer is your go-to garment. But how to get it right?

Get sporty

  • Photograph by Mr Christian Vierig/Getty Images

A blazer in light suede or cotton, perhaps in a half-canvas to allow a certain degree of breathability, is a wise investment for autumn. It acts as an everyday throw-on and cover-up, but isn’t overly cumbersome. Opt for one in a softer structure and wear it with knits or jersey sweaters with a loose-fit shirt underneath for a relaxed, athletic look. A blazer with the stuffing taken out, if you will.

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Roll with it

  • Photograph by Mr Jacopo Raule/Getty Images

The rollneck, once the preserve of dad golfers, has become a cult item among the well-Derby-heeled, and a viable option for evening, too. A lightweight, slim-fit wool number will look devilishly Mad Men-esque with a narrowly cut blazer, either in standard wool for daytime or in lustrous jacquard for after-dark elegance. The Milk Tray Man never looked so sharp.

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Try tonal

  • Photograph by Mr Daniel Bruno Grandl

Think beyond navy and experiment with colour. We’re not advocating game-show-host brights here, but a blazer in a rich hue, worn with accoutrements in a complementary shade, looks dashing and considered. Try a fawn jacket with a light shirt, for example, or a burgundy blazer with a brown shirt and raspberry tie. Dial down the accessories, such as pocket squares and tie pins, so the subtle tones do the work.

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Layer it up

  • Photograph by Mr YoungJun Koo/Lickerish

A peppy, preppy sports blazer will add a touch of vim and vitality to your outfit. It is generally made from a less traditional fabric, such as pliable jersey or rustic corduroy. It also employs certain touches, such as patch pockets or a basketweave knit, which immediately signal a more informal stance, especially when layered with contrasting textures. Keep it casual with chinos or sweatpants.

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Pad it out

  • Photograph by Mr YoungJun Koo/Lickerish

Lesson one from the Pitti peacocks (that rare breed who shake their sartorial tail feathers for the cameras in the biannual menswear showcase Pitti Uomo): invest in a gilet. Brands such as Brunello Cucinelli and Corneliani have long championed the teaming of a blazer and a gilet. It denotes a certain sportiness and masculinity while at the same time looking polished. A solid fabric such as tweed or herringbone will complement the outerwear aesthetic.

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  • Loro Piana Reversible Quilted Storm System Shell and Virgin Wool-Blend Gilet

Go indigo

  • Photograph by Mr Tommy Ton

Denim’s elevation from its rustic workwear roots is well charted, but it’s becoming increasingly acceptable as formal attire, too. Wearing denim with a blazer is a happy marriage of smart and casual, the one counter-balancing the other, while a neat blazer in a dark-indigo selvedge denim is a durable solution for inclement weather.

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Dial up the colour

  • Photograph by Mr Adam Katz Sinding

A blazer in a neutral or fawn shade will provide the perfect ally for vivid colour. Contrast a blast of coral or high-impact cobalt with a blazer in a more nuanced shade to temper its full force. A solid block of colour as part of a casual look can sometimes appear rather sophomoric; adding a blazer will lend some much needed structure and formality to keep things grown-up. As a general rule of thumb, camel shades work well with oranges, pinks and greens while navy and inky shades look on point with darker burgundies or regal reds.

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Double take

  • Photograph by Guerreisms

Every man should own a classic navy-blue double-breasted blazer. From parliament to Hollywood, Savile Row to the Sunset Strip, it denotes formality and exudes a handsome, timeless refinement. Double-breasted jackets tend to have a more traditional cut, so keep everything fitted and sharp to counteract that excess fabric. Strong shoulders, a nipped-in waist and a peak lapel will look suitably patrician.

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