Thursday, October 2, 2014

Closet Inventory Series: Blazers

In an attempt to curb my spending, I thought it would be interesting over the next few weeks to take stock of what's currently in my closet and see if I can pinpoint any wardrobe holes.

Last week I talked about my outerwear obsession. This time I wanted to take a closer look at the blazers in my closet.

Closet Inventory: Blazers
Here's the lineup:
(from top left to bottom right)
J.Crew Classic Schoolboy Blazer in Navy (old, this year's version)
J.Crew Hacking Jacket in Double-Serge Wool (old, similar)
J.Crew Schoolboy Blazer in Black Watch Plaid (old, similar)
J.Crew Fanfare Jacket (old)
J.Crew Lady Jacket in Double-Serge Wool (old)

Blazer Analytics
- Unsurprisingly all of my blazers are from J.Crew. In general J.Crew blazers fit me impeccably whereas some of their other clothing is hit or miss. I like that they're (mostly) made of natural fibers, and the classic silhouettes are reinvented every season in different colors and patterns.
- Over the years I have spent $513.80 on this collection of blazers, which comes out to an average price of $73.40 per blazer. If I remove the outlier (the black watch schoolboy) from my data set, the average price plummets to $58.65. Not too shabby considering blazers are generally expensive items and J.Crew blazers especially so. I was able to score these at rock bottom prices by taking advantage of seasonal clearance sales (the best time for snagging amazing deals) and stacking my student discount on top.
- My most expensive blazer is the black watch schoolboy, which I purchased last December for $161.92. My least expensive blazer is the fanfare jacket (also my first J.Crew blazer), which I bought for only $36.71 during the spring clearance sale a few years ago. The rest range from $55 to $76.
- My most worn blazer is the ever popular navy schoolboy, which seems to go with absolutely everything except dark jeans in that exact shade of navy. My least worn blazer is the white linen schoolboy, which I bought in the middle of summer when it was sweltering outside and the last thing on my mind was to layer. Maybe I'll have more opportunities to wear it now that the weather is cooler.

Blazer Regrets
I don't really regret any of my purchases. I was initially annoyed by the mint hacking and the black watch schoolboy, because they don't fit under certain coats (tight in the shoulders), and I was worried that I wouldn't get my money's worth in terms of cost per wear. My new solution is to simply wear them as light coats, which I can get away here because the winters are relatively mild.

Essential Blazer Recommendation
If you could only buy one blazer, I would recommend getting a classic navy wool one. There's a reason navy is the preferred color of choice for a gentleman's first suit. It's universally flattering, not too severe, and goes with everything. If you hate navy, then choose grey followed by black. It should have a classic silhouette, nothing too trendy, or it'll look dated in a few years. Here are a few options.
Blazer Advice
Make sure you choose a blazer that doesn't look like it's part of a suit. It should be formal enough to throw over a dress, wear with slacks, and pair with a pencil skirt, yet casual enough that you can also wear it with jeans. It should be made of as good quality material as you can afford and of an appropriate weight for three seasons. My last piece of advice is to not spend too much on the "fun" blazers. You probably won't get much wear out of them, because they're not as versatile as the classics.

Personal Conclusion
I've been looking for a grey tweed blazer for years, so that's my #1 priority. I would also consider adding a classic camel blazer, like this one.

What's on your essential blazer list?


  1. Excellent post! Love the wardrobe analysis, as well as the 'peek' at all of the blazers in your closet. I also own numerous blazers, most of which are from J.Crew. Like you, I purchased all of mine on sale, so the CPW is quite low on all of them. I foresee it getting even lower now that I live in a climate where I will be able to wear them for a much longer period of time, too. I have been on the hunt for the perfect shade of camel blazer for many years now. The one that J.Crew offered was not a good color for me at all, not to mention, it wasn't my 'ideal' camel shade. The one at BR looks quite promising. Have you seen it IRL? If so, is the color true to the online pic?

    1. Thanks, Melissa! It's been interesting to really reflect on my wardrobe and figure out what works best for my life. I haven't seen the BR camel blazer in person yet, but it was featured on Solo Lisa's blog. I already reserved one at my local store so I plan to check it out this weekend.

    2. Thanks for the link to Lisa's blog. That blazer looks really nice...much better than the J.Crew version that was out. Will you please let me know what you think of it when you get the chance to check out? Pics would be great too, if you get the chance, of course. :)

    3. I'm working on a review post so stay tuned!

  2. I love a good blazer just like you do, I think I have maybe 15 of them in my closet. They don't all get lots of wear but I think blazers are a great way to complete an outfit. I would definitely agree that a navy blazer is a smart purchase, black would be a good option too.
    I've gotten mine from the thrift store, sample sales, regular mall stores like Gap, Target. My absolute favorite is my J.Crew Hacking jacket though. It's a turquoise color that is probably not very versatile but every time I look at it, I smile and look forward to putting it on, plus it fits so well. I think that might be the only one I paid full price for though.

    1. The quality of the hacking jacket is impeccable, definitely the best from J.Crew in the past few years, so I can see why you bought it at full-price! I think I've seen the turquoise version on a few bloggers. The Tiffany blue color is stunning!