The end of the year means it’s time to hand out some awards. No, there’s no little statues to pass along, but over the next few days we’ll still highlight some of the best in affordable men’s style from this past year. And it was a good one. Feel free to send in additional nominations here.
J. CREW’S NOT-NAVY-BLUE SPORTCOATS
Who knew that someone could have a “fresh” take on the color blue? But that’s precisely what J. Crew did with a couple blazers in 2014. Yes, they still offered a very traditional navy blue blazer, but their spring line was anchored by an Italian cotton, completely unconstructed blazer in something called “caspian sea” blue. A true blue that was lighter than navy, slightly punchy in brightness and saturation, but still far from neon or electric.
Their warmer weather, unconstructed Italian cotton blazer in “Caspian Sea”
They’ve since re-released this thing, in the dead of winter no less, and have included a black option for this run as well. It’s more suited for warmer weather, but certainly wearable year round depending on how you’re layering, or where you’re living.
They made a cold weather version for the fall and winter months out of an outstanding Italian flannel. No patch pockets this time, and unlike the spring version, this one was half lined. The color was slightly more muted than the cotton of the spring, with a tiny bit of flecking/marling in the mix, but it was still a nice departure from the somber navy most of us lean towards.
Their cooler weather, half-lined Italian flannel blazer in heather blueberry.
Limited sizes left. On sale for $149.99 w/ STYLE2015.
Yes, both had an awfully high retail price, but you know how to play the game. And playing that game got the spring version down into the hundreds, and the warmer winter option down in to the mid to low $200s. And until other retailers start figuring out that less lining, non-functioning sleeve buttons, nicer fabrics, and perhaps a slightly lower button stance is what most prefer (for now), then these are certainly worth the up-charge.
Also Receiving Votes: Banana Republic’s Tailored Fit Navy Cord Blazer, Joseph Abboud’s Made in the USA Barely-There Blazer, the return of JCP’s Stafford Camel Hair Sportcoat, The unlined J. Crew Factory Twill Sportcoat, Suitsupply’s Havana Fit Soft Tweed.