Blazer or not? We help you decide

Do you know when or how to wear a blazer? We tell you.

It has always been a point of slight confusion for most men: What really is a blazer? Is the upper half of a suit? Is it the same as a sport coat? Let us dispel your doubts. A blazer is not part of a suit. It is an independent jacket that you can team with your everyday ensemble. It is not required to match your trousers, and it is certainly not a sport coat.

These are the touchpoints you should look for when buying a blazer for men:

* Type. There are many types of blazers out there, and there are many options available online as well. But the most common ones are the double-breasted and the double button ones. These are classic men’s blazer styles that every man must have in his wardrobe. You can choose the type of blazer you wish to buy based on whether you want to wear it for casual or formal events. For the uninitiated, casual blazers have patch pockets, while formal blazers will normally be ‘structured’ around the shoulders with padding.

* Fit. The men’s blazer must fit just right; neither too tight nor too loose. So how can you tell if the blazer fits just right? If it’s too loose, then the shoulder stitch will extend beyond the natural shoulder line, and the chest area will look a little slouchy. A loose blazer will also have the cuffs extending past the knuckles and hiding the shirt cuff entirely. If the blazer is too tight, then it will pull at the shoulders and form an ‘X’ shape when you button it. Even the sleeves will pull away and form creases at the armpits. Look for these signs when you try on the new blazer you buy. Also raise your arms and move about like you always do to gauge if the garment sits properly on your body.

* Colour.Most men tend to go with sombre tones when picking blazers. This happens because they still view blazers as coats to go with their trousers. However, the rules of men’s fashion have evolved over the past few years, particularly in regard to men’s blazers. So coloured blazers – other than blue or black, that is – are in demand. However, it needs a fair bit of flamboyance on your part to be able to rock a green or red blazer, so choose the colour based on the general colour palette of your wardrobe. We suggest the season’s most popular picks: charcoal grey, cream, cobalt blue and brown. These colours will go with most of your shirts and trousers.

* What you can wear with it. The men’s blazer you buy must be chosen based on the clothing you already have in your wardrobe, and the clothes you will buy to complement its type and fit. A blazer for men can be worn with a variety of formal and casual options. For instance, a blue blazer can do double duty; wear it with a striped tie and blue trousers for a business meeting, then take off the tie and wear dark blue jeans with the same blazer for a date. Men’s blazers can also be worn with a light sweater in cold weather, or with a semi casual checked or striped shirt without a tie, and with fitted jeans. The options are endless – you can do a lot with mixing and matching.

About Kameron Carlton