Blazing a New Trail in Tan or Gray

Now that it’s summer, you’re probably wearing lighter colors when you can get away with it. And many of you probably rely on that workhorse of your wardrobe, the blue blazer, for casual Fridays, non-client days and even some weekend events. The blue blazer has become a sort of uniform for us, hasn’t it?

Which is fitting. The blue blazer began life as a uniform. At least according to some sources, the captain of the HMS Blazer had them made up for a visit by Queen Victoria in the 1830’s. Double-breasted, eight buttons, blue serge. Things haven’t changed that much, although we at Leviner Wood typically suggest a DB with only four to six buttons.

(Image: Ask Andy About Clothes)

Not long after, the blazer was adopted by university rowing clubs, and a single-breasted version was born. Often in outrageous stripes and school or boating club colors, frequently with a club crest on the breast pocket, the blazer stood out at race days and still does.

(Henley Regatta. Photo)

Which is why we’re taking this opportunity to recommend that you stand out this year with a blazer other than blue. Especially for the warmer months when cooler colors are so desired and standing out from the masses isn’t a bad thing. Within reason. Consider blazing a new trail in a tan (or light gray!) blazer in cotton khaki, camel hair, cashmere or a lightweight worsted. Not a sportcoat, but a blazer with the traditional brass or even white (or gray) mother-of-pearl buttons so that no one will mistake for other than what it is.

From "Men In Style" by Hochswender and Gross, Rizzoli 1993

Pair your camel or grey blazer with white, gray, blue or black trousers a dress shirt and tie as you usually do, or wear it with jeans, a white open collared shirt and brown (suede or calf) shoes for a casual but very sharp look.

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