December 26, 2017

A couple of weeks ago we gave you the ultimate guide to decide whether your suit jacket can be worn as a sport coat/blazer. In the guide we suggested you consider investing in a versatile sport coat or blazer. Now, we're going to show you a fantastic option for your first non-suit jacket purchase: the classic, stylish, versatile, easy-to-wear, navy blazer.

To illustrate our point, we put together 5 looks with a navy blazer, on a scale from most conservative to most casual.

Navy Blazer Versatility Scale

 See! Versatility! Now for let's take a look at each outfit, individually, and dig deeper into why it works and what changes wouldn't work.

Look #1 - Most Formal

How to dress up a navy blazer

Why it works: This look has the most formal details for a jacket / odd trouser combo. These include: silk tie, white shirt, plain white pocket square, low contrast between the jacket and trouser, dark brown oxford dress shoes.

What wouldn't work: Changing out any of the subtle, formal details will slide the look toward the casual end of the scale. Most notably, would be to change the shirt to a patterned cloth.
Where it works: This look works in all but the most formal (read: important) business meetings. 

Look #2

Navy blazer with flannel trousers
Why it works: Drop the formality a notch by adding a patterned shirt in a more textured cloth -- in this case a striped oxford. The formal silk tie is swapped for a more casual knit, the cream trouser creates a greater contrast with the jacket, and finally, loafers replace the oxfords.
What wouldn't work: Not much. A bolder patterned tie in wool or a textured silk (i.e. grenadine) would work great. You could even sub in a bolder pocket square than we used.
Where it works: Anywhere you feel a tie is appropriate, but a suit might be overkill. The office holiday party, perhaps?

Look #3

Navy Blazer worn casually

 Why it works: This is middle of the scale. Subtle blue denim shirt, no tie, somber pocket square. Trouser of a fine cotton chino cloth. Minimum contrast between jacket and trouser. The fancier loafer from before, is changed to a suede double monk in a slightly darker chocolate contrast.

What wouldn't work: Again, lot's of wiggle room here. A striped or checked shirt, in a more casual pattern also works here, just don't go too stark in the color contrast. The chino could also be substituted for a darker grey and a navy suede monk would work well, too.

Where it works: Wear this to a nice dinner, on a winter evening.

Look #4

Navy Blazer with casual shoes
Why it works: A bold striped shirt, replaces the monochromatic denim look and a v-neck cashmere sweater is added for layering. In this case the jacket is used just as much for the extra warmth as the look. The sneakers work because of the higher quality leather and the low contrast brown.
What wouldn't work: You wouldn't want to attempt a tie with this. The tie with the sneakers would be a little too peculiar. 
Where it works: Anywhere. Even with the jacket you still fit in most business casual environments.

Look #5 - The Most Casual

Navy Blazer with sneakersWhy it works: This is advanced tailored casual. A striped oxford provides the casual base. The cashmere cardigan in the bold green adds the right amount of playfulness to pair with the well worn denim and plain white trainers. 

What wouldn't work: For this look, it's all about that cardigan. Too somber of a tone would look out of place with the sneakers and broken in denim. 

Where it works: Anywhere that casual appropriate, but you have more style than that.

Convinced yet? A navy blazer can be one of the most important purchases in your closet. A well made, well fitting one, will make you find reasons to wear it. Now you know how.

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