It is bizarre that most affordable retail companies don’t make a blazer like this, and it’s even stranger that it’s taken J. Crew Factory this long* to make one themselves.
A lot of us guys like wearing blazers. But we don’t want to wear a stuffy, fresh from the yacht club, totally structured, brass-button thing. Something less traditional, but still subtle (so, not some mixed-media eyesore from the Macy’s clearance racks). Easy to wear with jeans, or pair up with chinos. Something that’ll look good for a date, but doesn’t scream “this guy is trying too hard”. A lightly constructed or unconstructed dark cotton blazer with subtle buttons does all those tricks, and this is one of the better examples available now.
Yes indeed. It’s barely lined. Completely unlined on the back.
It’s the JCF Thompson fit for sure. Lowered button stance, 2.5″ lapels, and a tail that’s a bit shorter but not chopped. That might be the one drawback… that a shorter tail + lower button stance can = a slightly unbalanced look. But most won’t notice. Arm circumference is on the slim side (so you won’t have bolts of fabric hanging off your triceps), shoulders are soft instead of containing thick, rigid shoulder pads, and the mid section has some taper to it, but most will want it brought in just a bit more (size shown above is a medium on a 180 lb frame, and might need a bit of waist suppression, but not much). Buttons at the sleeve cuffs are non functioning, so tailoring should be super easy.
Prepare to steam! It’ll probably show up wrinkled as hell, out of the box.
Color is listed as “navy”, but it’s more of a blue/grey slate. Plenty of contrast between it’s shade and dark denim. The microstripe is a plus, and that tiny pattern gives the fabric a little bit of depth. It’s basically this thing, in a lighter shade, and less expensive. Unlike many of the mainline J. Crew S/M/L sized sportcoats, this JCF S/M/L sized blazer seems to fit a little trimmer? Maybe?
JCF has since corrected the description to read “partially lined” (it just said “lined” when it debuted). A more accurate description should read “barely” lined. There is no lining to the back. None. Not even a couple wings of fabric near the shoulder blades. The front side of the body is lined in a lightweight cotton, and the sleeves are lined in acetate, so your shirt won’t get hung up on the interior as you put it on and move about.
Close up of the micro stripe fabric. Also, sleeve buttons are non-functioning w/ no accent stitching.
Is it going to knock the socks off the #menswear street-style crowd? Hell no. There’s no flash to this thing. But that’s a positive. It’s a basic. It’s pretty close to perfect, and for some reason, the style & construction as a whole is tough to find elsewhere. It’s a better silhouette than UNIQLO’s shrunken blazers. Banana Republic lines the hell out of their jackets and the armholes can be low. GAP chops tails and sticks functioning buttons on most of theirs.
This one gets everything just about as right as it can, where most others get much of it wrong. Be patient and wait for a code, and if/when it dips under a $100, it’s a bargain.
UPDATE: And as of this morning (8/11/14) JCF has decided to run a 25% off everything code BRR that also gets you free shipping, no min, through today. Suiting is excluded, but blazers are fair game.
*Or, maybe this is a resurrection of a design they’ve made in the past. A totally unconstructed blazer in this color/fabric hasn’t been on their racks for at least a good long while, if memory serves?