The Style Rookie – His First Navy Blazer

Tracking a younger guy as he develops his own style.

Christian Davis is a 24-year-old Los Angeles based writer who up until now has focused mainly on writing about video games.  Really.  He recently began wanting to dress better, and he’ll be cataloging his process for us here on Dappered.  He might be new, but he’s learning quick.  For more, you can follow him via his tumblr.  

In my opinion, everyone man should venture into menswear for a little bit. Before I got started developing my own sense of style, I was impressed with how well-dressed men used their clothes to broadcast a little bit of their personality to the world. That’s sort of what style is right? An extension of who you are as a person and your personality that you literally wear on your sleeves. I also think dressing better is a form of self respect. But despite all that, I personally still needed another bit of motivation to really get me going down the path of appreciating menswear…

How about a job!*

Yep.  A new job at a place where people dress nice.  Before I landed my new job, I had worked at video game companies which only required me to dress casually.  I’ve also worked at stores like Rite Aid which force you to wear beige slacks and a dark blue shirt. An office job required me to do the business casual thing: slacks, collared shirt, and a tie. That was a cool experience for me. Though it wasn’t required, wearing a tie everyday made me feel dapper as hell since I’d worn one an estimated total of five times in my life. It didn’t take long to realize that the generic office attire bored me to tears and I needed to do something else to boost my attire. Even my bosses wore the same thing as everyone else and I was tired of seeing the same shirt tie combo that you could purchase for $15 at Ross. I needed to change things up a bit and stand out. This was the perfect opportunity to do so, and I was off.

First Navy Blazer IndoorsBlazer – H&M.  Check Pants – Topman.  Shirt: – jcp Stafford.  Belt – Calvin Klein.
Shoes – Target.  Tie – Givenchy

Early on in my quest for sartorial knowledge, I learned quickly that a navy blazer is a staple that every man should have in his wardrobe for a multitude of reasons. No exceptions. With that new bit of information, and the fact that I was 23 years old and never owned a blazer, going for a navy blazer was an obvious first purchase.

I headed to H&M which is always my first go to store for more stylish clothing.  I’m on a pretty tight budget, it’s affordable, has some great variety, and I feel it’s a nice starting point for someone who wants to begin upgrading their wardrobe despite some of their quality flaws (which someone new won’t really notice anyways).

After walking into H&M, I went to the blazers immediately only to see a barren wasteland of deserted hooks. Just about everything was picked clean.  Damn.  Maybe this wasn’t going to be so easy.  Since I was already there I decided to browse around.  While looking around I found the last navy blazer they had tucked away under some jeans. Someone was clearly trying to hide it for themselves later….bastard. I tried this thing on and it was never more apparent that this article of clothing was meant for me. It fit perfectly ( discovered my size was 36R) and it was even on sale (not including the 15% off discount I had).

It was a good day.

I’ve had this blazer around five months now and it’s definitely one of the best things I’ve ever purchased. I wear it all the time, it’s so versatile that it’s always on the list of options for what to wear that day, and it’s just a solid buy all around.

The Good

The contour of the blazer is extremely nice right off the rack and the only bit I had to modify was the length of the sleeves (a bit too long like most of H&M’s products). I paid $49.99 ($10.00 off due to a sale) and also had a 15% off discount for signing up for their newsletter. Why yes H&M, I’ll definitely take advantage of all your sales and promotions at the same time.

It’s 100% cotton. So that’s good news for people who live in hotter areas since cotton generally doesn’t retain heat. I’m not saying you can wear it during the hottest summer in Las Vegas, but I found I could wear this when the temperature reaches the high seventies or low eighties (yes, it’s reached that high in LA already).  The lining is 100% polyester, so that doesn’t breathe the best.

The shoulder padding is also very minimal giving you a natural look.  It doesn’t appear as if the suit is wearing you or you’re smuggling football pads. The shoulders also don’t rise too high when trying to shake someones hand for example, keeping it’s shape.  This also has a notch lapel, the waist is pretty fitted, and there’s even a hole on the lapel for an accessory such as a lapel flower.   I’ve found that what they say about navy being versatile is absolutely true, and it goes with almost everything in my wardrobe.

HandM Blazer lapel

The Bad

It’s not a classic wool blazer, but I live in Los Angeles where its warm the majority of the year.  Meanwhile, in a past life, this blazer must have been best friends with two annoying friends named “hair” and “lint.” Definitely keep a lint roll handy when you’ve got this thing on. Keep it in your car, backpack, office drawer, or one in all three because hair and lint hang around like the two drunk guys who don’t realize when the party’s over. The blazer also doesn’t have too much extra fabric either, so getting this tailored isn’t really an option unfortunately.

Now there’s the availability of the product. H&M seems to move products through pretty quickly, so it might be long gone from your local store (H&M is going to offer e-commerce later this year)  I found something similar on their site for $69.99 and it’s primarily made out of synthetic material (7% wool, 60% polyester, 33% viscose).  I think I’d pass on that.  But there’s also a new linen version for summer with a second ticket pocket.

The Verdict

This Navy H&M Blazer is perfect for not only those just starting to improve the value of their closet, but also for the sartorially inclined who simply want a cheap alternative. It’s benefited me in every way possible. I’ve broken the mold of the generic office attire, I finally own a blazer that I’m in love with, it was an extremely affordable investment, and all the women in the office notice and love it.

Why the hell would I pass that up?

*I was already looking to work here, I didn’t choose a job just to dress better everyday. That would be silly.

Editor’s Note:  Any feedback for Christian?  What was your first blazer?  Do you think his pick of a cotton blazer over a wool blazer was the right move?  Leave it all in the comments below…