Q&A: How to Wear a Blue Blazer, Part II

October 18th, 2007

Q:  I have recently recevied a blue
blazer as a gift and I was wondering what I could wear with it to keep
the young look and what colors would go best with it.

 Ben Sherman \'Weathered\' Velvet BlazerBy John Liu, sartorialist

A: 
A big part of keeping the blue blazer “young” is fit.  Older gentlemen seem to prefer those bigger, boxy cuts, and we associate these looser styles with “old.”  The way to fit a jacket—any jacket—is by the shoulders.  Why? Because the shoulder is the one area a good tailor, even a great one, can’t fix (if your tailor says he can, run).  How can you tell if the shoulder fits?  Stand sideways straight up against the wall – if the jacket’s shoulder pads hit the wall before the meaty part of your upper arm, it’s too big.
   
The length of your sleeve should be measured such that it hits your wrist bone; your shirt should be about ½ inch longer.  Have your tailor take in the sides for a cleaner, more streamlined fit.
   
The length of the jacket usually shouldn’t have to be altered - you should be able to cup the sides with your hands when your arms hang straight down.  Now, there seems to be a movement towards shorter jackets (thank Thom Browne), but at the very least, it should cover your butt.

Now that you know how to fit a blazer, learn what to wear with one in How to
Wear a Blue Blazer, Part I
.


Pictured: Ben Sherman ‘Weathered’ Velvet Blazer | $269 at Nordstrom.

Have a great tip about how to wear a blue blazer?

Share it with us in the comments!

Style question?  We’ve got answers.  E-mail us at tips at omiru dot com, or leave us a comment with your question.

Entry Filed under: Men's, Q&A

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. John  |  October 23rd, 2007 at 1:16 am

    There were a few more points that were edited due to length. If you’re picky like me, here are the next few things you can ask your tailor to do:

    1) Narrow the sleeves. Get rid of all that extra fabric hanging down from your sleeve. Don’t narrow your suit sleeve as much if you ever plan on wearing french cuffs.

    2) Taper the elbows. A great fitting jacket actually is tighter at the elbows, causing the sleeve essentially to hang down from the elbow.

    3) Have your buttons realigned. For those ULTRA picky sartorialists out there, you’ll appreciate this one. No one is symmetric. As a result, when you put on a jacket, the button holes, which are more or less right in the center of the jacket, don’t QUITE line up. Have your tailor realign the button holes to make it just right

    4) Go Italian. Many stylish Milanese have functional buttons on their jacket cuffs and they sometimes leave the last one (last meaning the one closest to your hand) undone. This one is purely a style thing, not a fit thing. In fact, if your jacket sleeves are really streamlined, DON’T have this done, because it will cause your sleeve to look flared out at the wrist.
    Also, traditionally the “last-button-undone” thing was a sign for those with bespoke suits to show off their suits (i.e. show that their suit is a bespoke). FYI, “bespoke” is just a general term for clothing that is made for you. “Custom-made” would be the analogous term for jewelry. Bespoke suits are expensive, but they fit you PERFECTLY. Some say people unbutton their cuff to pretentiously display their expensive bespoke suit; I think it’s more a style thing, but I see the point.

  • 2. Chalan  |  February 6th, 2009 at 9:29 am

    A blue velvet blazer would be awesomely worn if you wear a white shirt under it, with black pants, and a silver/grey ascot!!

    Tip: this look would be a lot more bad-ass with a glass of scotch in your hand! :)

  • 3. Daria  |  March 8th, 2013 at 5:14 am

    That’s a beautiful dress! I have the same prolebm with a velvet, smocked, baby doll, strapless tunic. Ugh! I keep trying to layer it with different things, but no luck so far. Not so sure I have the figure for the baby doll silhouette anymore, anyway, but I keep trying! Maybe I’ll stumble upon something. That’s usually how it happens.Yay for sewing up a rip and regaining a jacket! I have several items needing small alterations or ironing right now, also. It’s so fun adding them back into your wardrobe. =)

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