If you're looking for that one thing to upgrade your style - the best place to start is with a blazer. Even if you're not a layering kind of guy - it's worth a try if you want an image update. And here's why:
• A blazer pulls together your look like nothing else can, and instantly dresses up a simple outfit.
• Blazers are the ultimate in versatility - they work with jeans, khakis, and dress pants. They take you from casual Friday to Saturday date night to Sunday brunch to Monday business formal.
• You can wear them with a tie or without - or even without a dress shirt (see below).
• You don't need a big blazer wardrobe to reap the benefits.
If you're a novice with blazers - you can get by with just a few and your wardrobe will feel brand spanking new. If you're looking for a few classic ways to wear a blazer, and what to buy - check out our recommendations and blaze a trail of your own.
BLAZER, SHIRT, JEANS AND A TIE
Pairing a shirt, tie and blazer with jeans is a classic dressed up casual look - perfect for date night or a cocktail party. It's got that laid-back dressy vibe that's ideal for when the dress code is oddly vague. Be sure to grab some dark-wash jeans - they're the dressiest kind - and wear your leather dress shoes (socks optional based on the weather).
YOUR FIRST BLAZER - SEASONLESS NAVY
A navy blazer is where you should start if you're new to wearing a blazer not as part of a suit. A lightweight wool or similar fabrication will be your sartorial best friend - it works almost year-round. The only time you'll have to opt for a cooler option is in the deep heat of summer. And in winter, it's the ideal layer under a topcoat.
BLAZER AND A SHIRT (NO TIE)
A blazer with just a shirt (no tie) is (one of) the definitions of business casual. The ideal addition to this look is a pocket square - it can add that hit of pattern, texture or color to keep a solid shirt and blazer from looking bland. And we can't tell you what it does when the blazer or shirt (or both) is patterned!
YOUR SECOND BLAZER - SEASONLESS GREY
A grey blazer is where you go next when building your blazer collection. Stick with a seasonless fabrication (again, lightweight wool is perfect), and go for one in the mid to lighter range of greys. You've already got your dark navy blazer, so you're covered for the more serious occasions. And the best part? Grey is just as versatile as navy.
BLAZER AND NO SHIRT
No, we don't mean going completely shirtless - we just mean you can lose the shirt in favor of a t-shirt (in warm weather) or a sweater (when it's cool). This is the most casual way to wear a blazer, which means it's good for a casual party, dinner and a movie, etc. Wear it anytime you're not sure if you need to be a little more dressed up - you can always toss the blazer in the back seat if you feel it's too much.
YOUR THIRD BLAZER - IT DEPENDS
For your next blazer, you can go one of three ways - pattern, seasonal, or both. This means opting for another seasonless fabrication in a stripe or plaid; going for a season specific fabric (lighter cotton or linen in the summer, heavier wool or cashmere in winter); or both - a patterned season specific one. Any way you choose - you're already got the basics covered with your seasonless navy and grey, so now it's time to have a little fun.