LADIES & GENTLEMEN: Here’s Why You Need a Great Classic Blazer

 A Francis Cotes portrait of Admiral Harry Paulet ( metmuseum.org ), resplendent in gold-buttoned naval regalia. The modern blazer is a distant relative of 18th and 19th century British Royal Navy uniforms, its name believed to have been inspired by the frigate HMS  Blazer . 

A Francis Cotes portrait of Admiral Harry Paulet (metmuseum.org), resplendent in gold-buttoned naval regalia. The modern blazer is a distant relative of 18th and 19th century British Royal Navy uniforms, its name believed to have been inspired by the frigate HMS Blazer

The legendary men’s style author G. Bruce Boyer once wrote in The Rake magazine, “No question about it — easily dressed up or down, the perfect travel garment, the blazer is the most internationally civilised, adaptable, all-purpose and essential tailored item in a gentleman’s wardrobe.”

Per Mr. Boyer, the blazer is “the multipurpose jacket, at home in the boardroom or on board a yacht,” its greatest strength being the countless ways it can be styled.

Coupled with grey trousers, a crisp dress shirt and tie, and black oxfords, it is very much ‘the business’. Thrown on over chinos or jeans, with a polo shirt or OCBD (or even a plain t-shirt), the blazer jazzes up a casual ensemble, creating the perfect look for a weekend dinner. Rocked with a Breton stripe shirt, red pants and navy boat or driving shoes, it’s the epitome of Rivera chic. Sported with loafers, dark selvedge denim and a white shirt worn open-necked, the blazer forms the core of a tried-and-true uniform that will take you virtually anywhere.

The modern blazer is descended from British naval uniforms, hence the spiffy metal buttons and navy-blue hue that are key attributes of a quintessential blazer. For clients in sultry Singapore, our go-to cloth would be a lightweight Super 110s wool from Vitale Barberis Canonico’s Perennial collection. As for buttons, we offer an array from Benson & Clegg featuring a range of sporting, nautical, professional and military / nautical motifs, as well as plain gold or silver (some of which can be engraved for the ultimate in personalization).

To celebrate Singapore’s 200th birthday next year, why not have a blazer made with Bensons’ buttons [pictured here] carrying the crest of the British East India Company, Raffles’ employer when he founded the country in 1819?

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Concluding that same Rake article mentioned earlier, Boyer wrote, “In these parlous economic times, when even the most capricious of fashionistas have come to accept that we should ‘buy less, but buy better’, the one garment inarguably worth springing for is a fine blazer.”

It’s not just men who’d do well to invest in this versatile staple, either. No woman should be without a sharply cut blazer — coupled with a skirt or slacks and a shirt, it’s a workday wonder; with a white tee, faded jeans and a Chanel 2.55, it’s the very picture of Parisian sophistication. Unlike many tailors, I’m equally adept cutting for women or men, so please do pay us a visit to discuss your blazer needs, ladies. 

Until next week, go out in a blazer glory…

—Kevin