Style Battle: Two almost perfect fall blazers

Zara vs. J. Crew Factory in a battle of almosts.

Perfect is the enemy of good, but a deal breaker is a deal breaker.  Both of these fall-ready blazers have a ton of things going for them, as well as one or two flaws that plenty will see as fatal.  Two in-person breakdowns follow, and feel free to cast your vote for which you’d take in the comments.

Zara Brushed Cotton Checked Blazer – $129.00

Size shown:  40R.  Remember that Zara runs very trim.

The Good: The fabric and fit are nothing short of incredible.  It’s a 98% cotton / 2% elastane blend, and it’s got a brushed flannel feel to it that’s outstanding.  Plaid with a subtle orangeish-red windowpane.  For the fit, this is Zara so remember that their stuff runs tight.  You’ll need to size up and even then it might be on the slim side for some.  Jacket shown here is a 40R and it would need zero tailoring.  Sleeves are trim too.  Dual vents on the back look and move extremely well.  It could be a little longer in the tail, but for a casual blazer you can wear with jeans and it looks just fine.

The Not So Good:  The elbow patches are awful.  You have to think that it would have been cheaper to leave them off, but nope… they’re there and they are obviously pleather.  Elbow patches are just fine if they’re real suede or self-fabric or whatever, but never the fake stuff.  The plastic embellished buttons also look cheap, but they’re ignorable and easy to replace.  Those elbow patches though.  Damn.  This thing would be nails if it weren’t for them.

J. Crew Factory Tweed Sportcoat – $148.00

Size Shown: Medium.  Button stance can look extremely low sometimes.

The Good:  The off the rack fit is something the guys at jcp should take note of.  Nice and contoured at the sides.  The 70% wool / 30% nylon tweed fabric is decent (more on that in a second) and the medium grey color is as versatile as it gets.  It’s half lined and it moves easily.

The Not So Good:  The button stance is very low.  So much so that from certain angles (see the top pic) it can look downright odd.  And the fabric, while decent, is nowhere near as good as the tweed from last year’s J. Crew Factory tweed blazer (if memory serves).  This year’s version is much thinner, and just doesn’t have as good of a feel to it.  Was going for around $110 – $120 during recent extra 30% off sales, but this last one wasn’t applicable to J. Crew Factory items.

Your turn guys.  Who’s the winner?  Do you own either and have some additional observations?  Leave it all below.