In times past, blazers were mainly worn by public school students and Oxford undergrads. But today, the humble blazer has undergone a huge revolution, transforming into one of the biggest menís fashion statements of 2012.
Thanks to its refined tailoring and versatility, this trend looks set to continue well into 2013. Not sure what all the fuss is about? Hereís a quick guide to why menís blazers deserve their new fashionable status, along with a few tips on how to wear them.
Why a blazer beats a coat
While menís coats often prioritise function over style, blazers offer protection from the elements as well as an effortless sense of fashion. Thatís not to say they should be worn in a blizzard Ė instead, they offer the perfect form of outerwear for spring and autumn, when the weather is in a transitional phase. Better still, theyíre also suitable for wearing indoors, as an alternative to a cardigan or jumper.
Another great thing about blazers is that they suit men of all shapes and sizes. Paired with fitted trousers, they highlight the lean shape of tall and slender men without over-emphasising a slim frame. Shorter men too benefit from the fine tailoring of a good blazer, because they help to define the upper body and make legs look longer. Men with a square or stocky frame, on the other hand, should pair a blazer with an open-collared shirt for a flattering smart-casual look.
Ways to wear a blazer
If youíre looking for a blazer to wear to the office, concentrate on serious colours like navy blue, brown or black. Pair with fitted chinos, a collarless shirt and brogues for an easy smart look thatís not too formal. For a more laid-back office vibe, swap the shirt for a crisp white t-shirt and wear boat shoes instead of brogues.
For a casual outfit that oozes contemporary style, look for menís blazers made from jersey. Choose a block colour and pair with a striped or gingham top for a striking informal statement. To add a dash of colour to a cocktail party, go for blazers in bright colours like emerald green, mustard or electric blue. Coloured blazers are a great way to liven up formal events that donít specify a black-tie dress code.
That said, blazers are appropriate for weddings too. Try switching your suit jacket for a tweed or velvet blazer and pair with your usual suit trousers and a tie or a bow-tie. Tailored blazers go well with kilts too and are a stylish alternative to the traditional Bonnie Prince Charlie jacket. Or make an elegant statement at a summer wedding with a pin-striped blazer and crisp white trousers.