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