In Person: Under $100 blazers from Stafford

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From the Mailbag:  How do the new Stafford blazers compare?

I went to see the new jcp brand in person this weekend, and was definitely very impressed.  Later on I was on their site and noticed that Stafford (of those boots) has a bunch of well priced blazers now.  Didn’t see these in person but they have some interesting plaid versions and slim fit varieties as well.  Maybe worth investigating?

– Scott

Every once in awhile it’s good to acknowledge that this website can sometimes (okay often) get a little bit long winded… as well as use ellipses and parentheses… with reckless abandon (right?).  So here’s the quick and dirty on these:

Close.  No cigar.

There are plenty of good steps in the right direction, but the main issue was the proportion of these jackets.  Suppose that’s not a surprise being that the same brand is making shoes a full size too big.  That, and they didn’t have an 38R for comparison’s sake.  All jackets seen below are 40R.

Stafford Slim Fit All Merino Wool Blazer – $80.00

Too much shoulder.

Yes shorter jackets are still in favor for plenty, but if you’re going to cut a jacket shorter, you best keep the shoulder pads minimal and the body well sculpted.  The tail is cut like a 38R with a modern, shorter drop, but from the buttons up it feels much more like a traditional blazer when it comes to the guts & construction.  The pads are absolutely noticeable.  The proportions just seem… off.  Points for the all merino wool fabric and the pattern.  Lapels are a nice width and the button stance is right on.  But despite the “slim fit” name and some sculpting at the sides, it has a dumpy silhouette thanks to the big shoulders and shorter tail.


Stafford Traditional Fit Corduroy Blazer – $55

Listing a bit to starbord?

Again, close, and there are some high points.  The corduroy is a very small wale.  Less lines of cord = less of that smushy, velvety 70s look.  And they’ve made some real efforts with contrasting under-collar felt and first button contrasting stitching at the cuffs.  First button works too, but the rest don’t.  Odd.  But the elbow patches are just unnecessary and cheap looking.  The shoulder pads are too severe.  Would need tailoring at the sides.  Does come in black.


Stafford Tradtional Fit Dark Check Lambswool Blend Blazer – $95.00

Great pattern. Not a great fit.

Mostly wool and a deep & dark pattern are once again the positives.  Drawbacks are those shoulders and how it lays.  It just doesn’t drape well.  Button stance is good, and even on this “traditional fit” it’s got some sculpting there.  But like the corduroy above, which also has a little bit of shape, it’d need to come way in.  And again, not a 38R to be found.

The use of natural fabrics like wool and cotton instead of all poly is a nice step.  But until those shoulders get slimmed and the tail lengthens out a bit on the slim option, these will set off most people’s “this-fits-wonky-ometer”.