The word ‘blazer’ conjures up many pictures. Think French Riviera with an open-top sports car, or by the water at Henley with a Pimm’s. A blazer is the staple of any gentleman’s wardrobe with a personality all of its own as no matching trousers are required. But that also means it’s extremely versatile and can be sported in all seasons and on numerous social occasions.
Although a blazer isn’t any substitute for a suit, it’s still de rigeur for formal events or evenings worn with a white shirt, dark flannel trousers and black shoes. For a less formal business occasion, simply combine with cotton chinos and penny loafers and you’re set to go.
‘Single or double-breasted?’ you’re wondering. Originally, the style was copied from the naval uniform and was dark blue double breasted with gilt buttons and two slits at the side. While a brightly striped rowing blazer may not be your thing, many gents opt for a preppy look with strong colours matched with chinos in paler shades of stone or sand. ‘To cufflink or not to cufflink?’ is yet another dilemma but it’s a great way to dress up a blazer without needing to wear a tie.
The ever-popular blazer featured in a number of SS 2015 collections by top names, with stripes and shades of blue dominating the fashion runways. Let’s take five very dapper gentlemen and see how they blaze in glory.
Nick Wooster in tweed
Image: via Lookastic.
If ever there’s a man with a brightly blazing fashion beacon, it has to be this man. A former fashion director of Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, Nick now describes himself as a ‘free agent’.
His CV reads like a guide to 5th Avenue: Barneys, Calvin Klein, Polo Ralph Lauren. He moved from buyer to designer twenty years ago, and his career has gone from strength to strength. Nick now creates his own line of effortless tailoring, in among heavy blogging and general dominating the world of social media as far as men’s fashion is concerned. This guy has one incredible wardrobe, that’s for sure.
This blazer in Harris Tweed is a great handshake with us across the Atlantic because only tweed woven in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland can carry this label. Nick, welcome to Britain.
David Beckham in corduroy
Image: via UpscaleHype.
He may be approaching 40, but these days David knows how to work a look that goes with his age.
This is a football icon who helped us win the bid for the London 2012 Olympic Games. This is also a man who knows how to do classic cool just as easily as street smart. He often favours a separates route with a bit of mixy-matchy. You need confidence to carry this off, which he has in abundance. David Beckham is often snapped sporting a two-buttoned blazer in grey, khaki or navy, with well cut trousers in black or navy teamed with brown shoes. (The rule for a two-button blazer is to keep the top button done up, which he never fails to deliver on.)
This corduroy blazer softens a look while adding warmth, making it perfect for springtime and early autumn. What could be better for doing the school run – or watching a football match?
He once said, “I like to think I’ve got my own distinct look which reflects who I am as a person.” We couldn’t agree more.
David Gandy in linen
Image: via thegoldendiamonds
A trim figure is needed when sporting a double-breasted blazer, so it’s important to ensure a good fit (no unsightly tugging at the button holes because of accommodating a frame that’s indulged in too many Easter eggs). This man not only looks good (male model) but also does good (charity ambassador) and writes rather well too (columnist). Is there nothing David can’t do?
He first wowed us for a Dolce and Gabbana fragrance campaign and became eye Gandy for women everywhere when he launched and modelled his underwear collection for M&S.
“The bottom line is, a gentleman sets trends; he certainly doesn’t follow them,” he’s stated. Here’s a guy who’s not only unafraid to team a linen blazer with a fine v-neck shirt (Simon Cowell, take note) but also add a flourish and finishing touch with that loosely folded handkerchief nattily tucked into the top pocket.
Very dandy, Gandy.
Idris Elba in check
Image: via thefashionbomb
Yet another classy dresser, Idris does love a strong pattern – as witnessed in this striking grey blazer with red check accentuated by those red chinos and tie. He isn’t always quite so flashy though and looks equally manful in more sombre tones.
Born in Hackney, Idris went to the States and earned his crust as a doorman and DJ. His break came on The Wire and he’s continued to dazzle us ever since. Who could forget his portrayal of Nelson Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, which earned him a nomination for a Best Actor Golden Globe?
No wonder he was hailed as Essence ’s ‘Sexiest Man of the Year’ in 2013 and runner up in People’s annual Sexiest Man Alive list. Rumours have been flying recently that he’ll take over as the next James Bond but he’s strongly denied them.
With such suave style, you’re more than able Elba.
Daniel Craig in slouchy
Image: via brincandodediva
You know those days when you just want to grab something on to nip down the shops for teabags and a paper? Life isn’t always about ramping up style factor: sometimes, even the best of us need men’s fashion to be the equivalent of a duvet day. So there’s no hiding behind Ray Bans for Daniel Craig, seen here looking casual yet still a dapper chap in a tatty-but-natty blazer. (Who can blame him after having to wear all those tuxes, 007 style?)
He once declared, “I’ve always loved to dress up a bit and show off.” And how it shows. Over the years, the dividing line between Craig and Bond has just about disappeared. We can’t wait for his fourth performance as James Bond in Spectre this November, once again directed by Sam Mendes.
This is a man who knows how to do suave – even on a dress down Friday or a quick trip to Tesco’s.