Here it is! This is the post that most menswear enthusiasts would probably have used to kick off a series like this one. Essentials. Ask almost anyone who is involved in, or who simply enjoys talking about menswear what their most important piece in their closet is, and they will likely tell you it’s their navy blazer. Not grey. Definitely not black. Navy.
For me, it’s the easiest piece, and the easiest color to wear. It goes with almost everything else I own. I can wear it dressed up with a shirt and tie, and a pair of grey flannels, or more casually with a tailored chino and an oxford shirt, or even more casually with jeans, and a crew neck sweater. The way it’s shown above on the model is like a combination of the three. The navy blazer truly is the most versatile piece in a man’s wardrobe.
I get a lot of wear out of my blazer. Mine is the one shown above – the (no longer available) Ludlow Club Blazer from J.Crew. These days when I go to see customers, I will wear it in lieu of a suit. Most times there’s just no need to be that formal. Today I’m sporting it with J.Crew Factory Sutton Jeans, a Bonobos shirt, Polo Ralph Lauren tie, and Cole Haan cap toe shoes. Incidentally, these are a pair of shoes I’ll wear in the summer on rainy days. Today I threw them on with my Swims galoshes instead of the same, tired snow boots. It’s the perfect combination for the nasty weather, and for the industry event I am attending later this evening.
For spring, I may consider adding a second navy blazer. I’d like something that’s lightweight with a more versatile button. I know the Ludlow fits me well, but I don’t like that the sleeve buttons are only there for show. Sid Mashburn’s Kincaid No. 3 blazer is as classic as they come – sporting a full canvas, and surgeon’s cuffs – but is on the pricey side at close to $1,000. It’s not really in my budget for the spring, but it would probably last me a very long time. The Bonobos Jetsetter is also one to consider. It’s about $400, is minimally lined, and is made of a combination of wool, cotton, and elastane. It has plenty of interior pockets – perfect for travel – but like the Ludlow, lacks the surgeon’s cuffs. Brooks Brothers has a couple decent options, but none that knock my socks off. I could also hedge my bets on the Daniel Cremieux sample sale (assuming they have one) in May. At their Fall sample sale, I picked up two pairs of chinos, plus a lighter blue sport jacket that required zero alterations, and had the coveted surgeon’s cuffs. Blazers / sport coats were selling at two for $300, so the price is definitely right! There’s no guarantee they’ll have a blazer, but I’m also in no rush to buy one.