The Blazer Gets Comfortable
Five new jackets for the year ahead that look sharp yet feel suitably chilled out
The blazer – flattering, smart, a perennial menswear companion, but not always the easiest item, with all those darts and linings, to sling on in freezing January, when you really need to pile up the layers. Especially when your midriff may be feeling the effects of that one mince pie too many. Or so you might think. However, recent developments in the blazer research-and-development divisions of international brands from Tomas Maier to Oliver Spencer have resulted in a slew of soft, unstructured and decidedly slouchy examples that not only deliver a high level of smart-casual sharpness, but can be easily worn under your jacket and/ or coat; and, come summer, they will also come in handy as a relaxed outer layer. Opt for one of the following picks for a cool, crinkle-free start to 2015.
1. For bedroom to boardroom
Exclusive to MR PORTER, Oliver Spencer’s new Loungewear range achieves the seemingly impossible by marrying supreme comfort with the sleek aesthetic of the British brand’s impeccable tailored main line. The knitted fabric of this key piece from the collection combines wool for warmth with a stretchy cotton jersey that minimises creasing and moulds pleasingly to the shape of the body. Wear it with a long-sleeve T-shirt or fine-gauge wool turtleneck.
2. The winter warmer
This knitted blazer by NN.07 features a three-button closure, meaning you can fasten it right up to the neckline should the weather outside be particularly nasty. Its neutral colour makes it eminently layerable, but the rough, slightly grizzly texture of its boiled wool fabric makes it equally valid as an outerwear piece. Pair it with a textured wool sweater for extra warmth and comfort.
3. Barely there and without a care
Tomas Maier’s eponymous menswear collection is a masterclass in effortless minimalism. This poplin blazer is a case in point, extremely lightweight and with a slightly rounded, unstructured shoulder that makes it hang with the utmost ease. Bring this with you to retain a modicum of style when travelling – with the addition of a crisp white shirt you’re ready to go.
4. Make it a double
The Milanese always tend to wear their clothes with a little bit more of a “so-what” attitude than their counterparts in Paris, London and New York, especially when it comes to fine tailoring – a concept as firmly ingrained into the Italian psyche as the notion that cars should be fast, or that cocktails should be strong. This coral-coloured blazer from Boglioli is testimony to this attitude, mixing an unlined construction with a pleasingly off-duty flecked cotton fabric. Pick this as a jolt of colour to snap you out of your January gloom. A pair of light-coloured chinos will add a further breezy, Italian touch.
5. The trusty corduroy
Massimo Alba’s latest take on the unstructured blazer is garment dyed (soaked in dye after it’s been assembled), ensuring a rich, subtly wavering hue that adds a bit of flair to its sturdy corduroy fabric. Warm, foldable and hardy, this is an indefatigable option that’s as well suited to the vagaries of travel as it is the perfect companion to a bracing January stroll. Keep it casual by matching it with a collarless shirt.