Photo by Muffy Aldrich
The Modern Guide to The Thing Before Preppy

Monday, October 18, 2021

The Navy Blazer

Photo by Salt Water New England

Here are five reader questions about blazers.

  • Where do you buy your blazers?
  • Single or double-breasted, and when?
  • Sack or darted?
  • Do you have some form of personalization, such as buttons or pocket crest?
  • Do you find yourself wearing blazers less or more? 


  1. 1. Buy wherever there’s a good deal to be had, including thirft and consignment.
    2. DB is a universal coat. Where anywhere any time.
    3. tailoring depends on shape… and of course male/female
    4. Never
    5. Blazers and wool sport coats are mainstays this time of year and especially post-covid social occasions. Who doesn’t want to get dressed again???

  2. 1. Talbots, or sometimes vintage LLBean when they can be found on consignment.
    2. Single breasted - looks better on me
    3. Agree w/RCJH
    4. Absolutely not, but I do love a lapel pin or brooch!
    5. More! Perfect for this time of year, plus, I added several to my collection through online consignment when everyone was wearing pajamas to work last year, so I’m looking forward to wearing them!

    I would also add, more generally, that I am a big fan of Shetland blazers or wool/cashmere blends. As a female, I like having them in some different colors, and enjoy the easy polish and warmth they add to an outfit.

  3. As a man, my navy blazer has been practically my second skin since I started wearing them in middle schooI circa 1960. I have had two for many years, a flannel and a tropical worsted, both sack, 3/2, swelled seams, bright brass buttons, and patch pockets. O'Connell's has been my favorite source, but my current blazers are new, and I doubt I'll need more. I wear them regularly but less than when I was working. Retirement allows me to wear madras, poplin,, and seersucker in the summer and tweed in the winter, but the blazer is always in the mix, almost always with a school colors repp, but it could be either bow or four-in-hand.

  4. 1) Seeing my two blazers (Brooks and Ralph Lauren) mysteriously shrink over the past year or so, I recently got a new one in a larger size from J. Press, which is by far my favorite.
    2) I wear my double breasted blazer (which somehow still fits) when I'm feeling a little more adventurous. They're timeless, but a little flashier than single-breasted blazers.
    3) My J. Press is of course in a sack cut, but I don't mind darts.
    4) I'm not one for crests or seals or anything, but like Anonymous above, I'll wear a small occasion-appropriate lapel pin from time to time.
    5) I'll echo RCJH above: As the world (slowly, fitfully) reopens, I am eager for more excuses to wear more tailoring in situations that I might not have before. You only live once.

  5. 1. O'Connell's, J Press or the Andover Shop.
    2. DB only for formal occasions and parties.
    3. SB sack for normal wear.
    4. Club and Presidential inauguration buttons.
    5. Less due to lockdowns.

  6. My favorite look is a nice, classic blazer and it was my "uniform" for years. But as I get rounder and rounder, blazers no longer like me. More's the pity. So, wear them while you can!

  7. (1) J. Press still does navy blazers extraordinarily well, with all of the time-honored details. (2) Single breasted unless you own a white turtleneck sweater and want to look like a Russian submarine captain. (3) For men, never ever darted. (4) I have worn monogrammed blazer buttons for many years. (5) Wearing it more often than before, given the decline into near-oblivion of the suit.

  8. Two single breasted blazers, 3-2 roll, sack cut; J. Press of course.

  9. Female here. I have a late-1980s Laura Ashley double-breasted navy blazer that I still wear from time to time. It's 100% wool in a very fin, flat weave, made in Hungary. Instead of brass buttons, it has dark, subtly-iridescent disc shell buttons (with four smaller ones on each sleeve) and has some shaping, two flapped pockets, and two side back vents. Navy lining with "Laura Ashley" woven-in logo. Unfortunately there are two tiny moth holes in the top right shoulder but I don't care.

  10. J Press sack 3/2 here.

    I admire double breasted blazers but I cannot personally manage to wear them without feeling self-conscious. I either feel like a peacock fishing for a compliment, or if the setting is formal enough that it doesn't stick out, I am in a suit at that point anyway.

    No personalizations for me, I prefer staying more toward the subtle side.

    I wear a jacket of some sort every weekday, be it suit, blazer, or sport coat, so I'd say just about the same.

  11. I no longer do much of anything for which either a suit or blazer is appropriate, so that's that. But they're all still there, ready for the last day. I used to have a double-breasted blazer, which were never all that popular. I think mine came from Macy's. But it fit perfectly, then it didn't, so it went away. One disadvantage of a double-breasted blazer or suit jacket is that they really need to be buttoned all the time or they look like, as someone said, a taxi with all the doors open.

    I always saw a blazer as an "undress" garment, best for wearing to happy events. A suit was for serious events. Never wore tails or a tuxedo but I used to frequently wear highland evening dress. Even had the Mary Jane shoes.

    One thing about suits is that I miss the days when tan or khaki summer suits were still in style. Can't imagine wearing a white linen suit, though.

  12. I have a J. Press single-breasted sack, brass buttons with my club emblem, one in flannel for the winter and one in lighter weight for warm weather. I wear a blue blazer several days a week.

  13. Georgetown Univ. Shop Corbin (found in a thrift store); Besse-Clarke (Pittsfield, Ma. - closed 1994); Jos. Banks. All SB, sack, one has monogrammed buttons (gift). Wear often for work, receptions, etc.

  14. - Talbot’s and Brooks Brothers.
    - Years ago, I had a navy double-breasted from Haggar that was quite versatile, but it seemed dowdy on me after ahem, slight weight gain. Single-breasted is now easier to wear.
    - Tailoring depends on the style, I do not like anything ultra fitted.
    - No personalization.
    - I wear a wool blazer as a light jacket in fall, to dress up on an evening out, when going to church or some other such event, occasionally to work, and a seersucker one in the spring or on a cool summer evening. I love the polished look of a blazer. It is sad that so many opt to never wear one.

  15. I've got the button's from my father's last Navy dress blues uniform on my blazer. No one knows but me.


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