Though it has deeply English origins, there's nothing that feel quite as American as a classic navy blazer. Whether paired with traditional grey flannels and khaki trousers - or a more modern denim or bright 'go-to-hell' pant, I find that one's wardrobe would never be complete without one.
I think we've all heard the story of the rowdy, motley crew of the HMS Blazer in the mid-1800's . . . and how the captain decided to put them all in matching dark blue jackets during their shore leave to smarten them up. Knowing first hand the ability of any one my own blazers to give everything from wrinkled chinos to lambswool-cashmere flannels a significant 'step-up' - I've always liked that particular tale.
|from Ralph Lauren.|
But, I also like the story of the Lady Margaret Boat Club at Cambridge - around 1825. It seems like the members were known for wearing bright red (or blazing red) coats before and after matches. Thus the term 'blazer' was used to describe a nautical jacket . . . and the 'navy' aspect of it evolved later.
|Michael Bastian, menswear designer. Photographed in his own home.|
|from Hackett of London, Spring 2010|
Regardless of its origins . . . the modern men's wardrobe would be lost without at least one navy blazer. Personally, I have five. A traditional wool single-vent blazer, a light-weight linen version for summer, a heavier wool one with 'school-boy' trim on the collar, a sturdy cotton chino blazer . . . and a snappy, wool-cashmere hacking style coat - all single-breasted.
|from DC's own style blog - Necessary and Proper|
So let's hear three cheers for our navy blazers. They keep us stylish. They can often disguise our rowdy behaviour. And though they have a history of making us look 'uniform' - nothing in the modern men's wardrobe could be more flexible.