They give you more places to put things
Like your phone. Or business cards. Or a pen. Or the number of that devastatingly cute individual you chatted up at the bar. As pants have gotten slimmer, and the daily-carry-list seems to have gotten longer and the items larger, having a few extra pockets up at your torso can help.
They dress up Jeans
So you love jeans and don’t really like chinos. Yet wearing a suit to work, or on a date, is way too over the top. Yet jeans and a button down doesn’t seem sharp enough. The answer is to put on a sportcoat. Whether it’s a casual chino blazer or some tweedy wool thing, a blazer or sportcoat (not some slicked up hard shouldered suit jacket) looks great with jeans, and you’ll be taken just a little more seriously.
The T-shirt and blazer combo is (allegedly) back in?
Page 121 of the March issue of Esquire. A navy linen sportcoat, a t-shirt with some simple stripes, and medium blue jeans. Looks terrific. Esquire points out: “when you’ve got the right blazer (unlined, textured, lightly structured) and the right T-shirt (fitted but not tight; substantial without being thick) it looks casual and considered, laid back and luxurious.”
There’s so many more casual options than there used to be
Thanks to less shoulder padding, more subtle buttons (read: not brass), and more casual fabrics, the blazer = stuffy & snooty is a thing of the past. UNIQLO makes sportcoats. So does Target and other dirt cheap retailers. Of course, Brooks Brothers will forever and ever make their traditional, brass button blazers. And they should. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t much, much more casual options that are incredibly easy to wear, even with classic canvas sneakers.
Cotton blazer, chambray shirt, & jeans doesn’t exactly scream “I just came from the yacht club”
You can stink at ironing
So you’re not the best at ironing. You can never quite smooth out the entire back of your shirt, especially by the box pleat or over by the shoulder. A blazer covers that all up.
They make you look slimmer & stronger
Jackets, with their v-shaped lapels and often darted in sides (whether off the rack or due to a tailor) make the wearer’s waist look smaller, and his shoulders & chest look broader. And guys who look more like Vs instead of Os usually have a leg up on the rest of the crowd. Of course, you can over-do it with waist suppression. It’s a blazer, not a corset. You want athletic. Not shrink-wrapped.
Actual height/weight of wearer: 5’5″ 355 lbs!***
They’ll force you to visit, as well as get to know a tailor
Bring up the sleeves. Taper the waist a bit. Most off the rack jackets, unless you’re super lucky, are gonna need a bit of work here and there. Practice makes perfect, and that goes for developing a good working relationship with your tailor as well. With every bit of work you send his or her way, you’ll get to know each other better. That kind of trust is style gold.
They hide underarm dampness
If you’re the type that’s just gonna get damp in the ol’ pit region, yet won’t go full Patrick Ewing and sweat through your jacket, then a lightweight blazer or sportcoat can hide those dark spots until the interrogation is over, or you move out of the sun. Of course, an extra layer is still an extra layer, so know when to draw the line.
Looking cool when it’s hot.
You can offer it to a chilly date
“Here, take my blazer” = instahero!
Their lapels keeps collars in line
Don’t like how your tieless (& button-less) shirt collar points pancake out as the day goes on? Just how good fences make good neighbors, a good sportcoat or blazer, and its lapels, help make for a good stiff collar. That, and some decent collar stays.
Lapels are to shirt collars as whistles are to Von Trapp children.
They can disguise an open fly
Yes seriously. Unless your fly is so open that it looks like you used a rib-spreader at the damn urinal, then chances are it won’t be that noticeable from a straight-on view. It’s the side view that often generates snickers and the “do I tell him or don’t I tell him?” conundrum. A blazer hides that angle. I wear blazers all the time, and sometimes I just leave my fly down for the hell of it.****
Investing in blazers & sportcoats can be an effective fitness motivator
You wanna eat your way out of all that money you’ve got hanging in your closet?
Note: All blazers in this post are shown unaltered, off the rack for review purposes (so you know what you’re getting). Thus, the sleeves are a little long on a couple of them.