About the Author: Stephen Knight is a photographer / videographer who founded Itsaknightslife. His mission is to tell the story of people through style, food, music, and dancing. Catch his stuff at itsaknightslife on Instagram and Youtube.
A couple weeks ago we spoke about how Amazon got things right with their merino wool sweater, and how getting the essentials right could make Amazon a real player in the style/fashion industry. Enter now the Buttoned Down (that’s the in-house brand name) Men’s Slim Fit Super 110 Italian Wool Hopsack Blazer. (Try saying that 5 times fast.) How does this essential stack up?
Size 38R Slim on 5’10” 170 lbs.
Slim has slanted, hacking style pockets. Tailored and Classic have straight pockets.
The first thing I noticed about this blazer was how “deep” the navy color is of the jacket. It gives it a more formal look, something that can be worn with a tie, although I would say this has the ability to be used in multiple scenarios. I’m not sure if I would wear it in the most formal of places, but for dinners and certain meetings, this will do just fine. This is something you can easily pair with dark (or light) pants or denim. From an overall standpoint, this is a good looking blazer, and I was very pleased with the way it looked on me. The notch lapels are slim. Quite slim. But they don’t draw too much attention in a weird, super-modern kinda way. They compliment the cut of the jacket. The jacket is fully lined in 50% viscose /50% polyester, so it looks fairly structured, and the padding on the shoulders is noticeable but not overbearing.
The “genuine horn buttons” (they don’t specify on the site) are a little darker than I’d like. I’m not a fan of navy with gold buttons, but something of a mid-toned brown note would resonate with me more. But that’s subjective. The length of the blazer is fine, it isn’t chopped and falls right around the mid to upper mid thigh. The upper pocket wasn’t stitched together, so no need to break out the scissors for this one.
Nice hopsack weave, non-functioning button sleeves.
Just like any hopsack material, the feel of this blazer is lightweight, and breathable. the outer shell has that tell-tale hopsack texture. For some, that texture can be polarizing. Either you love the texture, or you don’t. I have to be honest and say that I tend to not, and it’s the same for this jacket as well. If you DO like the feel of a hopsack wool, then you should feel right at home in this jacket. Wool is sourced from the Italian mill Reda, which is a tag I think most of us have seen on some pretty nice suits and sportcoats.
Despite the description on Amazon saying: “lightweight chest canvas forms to the body over time for a comfortable fit and natural look,” I don’t believe this blazer is a true, “half canvas” construction like, say, Suitsupply. I did the pinch test and compared it to one of my Suitsupply jackets, and there’s a noticeable difference. But that test is famous for not being super accurate. So while it doesn’t have that substantial half-canvas feeling, it is really lightweight. And plenty will like that.
Shoulder pads seemed to go just short of my shoulder edge, and I wouldn’t say the actual padding itself felt the most comfortable, but I don’t think that it was poor either, just middle of the road. The lining didn’t get in my way when moving around, and wearing this over the course of the day didn’t bother me, although this wasn’t as comfortable as a deconstructed blazer. Fabric weight is solidly three season. You’ll need to layer up if you run cold in order to turn it into a year round piece.
Slim fit without being too tight.
I went for the slim version of the jacket, and I’m not sure who Amazon is hiring to do the fittings of their clothing, but they need to keep doing what they’re doing. I said that their merino wool sweater was the best “fitting” sweater I’ve worn, and I have to give them the crown for the best “off the rack” fitting blazer. One of the first things I check for with jackets and blazers is the back, which usually needs to be taken in. This is the second time ever I picked up an item that didn’t need to be taken in, anywhere. The chest was close to the body, along with the sides. So my modern style wearers who like clothes fitting close to the body, the slim will be for you. If you have a little bit more heft to you or want some extra room to move around, it would probably be best to go for the “tailored-fit” version. Keep in mind I’m 5’10 ~170 lbs and exercise regularly.
At $269 at the time of posting, with fast Prime-backed shipping and easy returns, there’s a reason why it’s getting so many good reviews on Amazon. If it goes on sale (and I believe it has in the past, who knows if it will in the future) it’ll fall into the steal category for sure. The versatility of the garment is notable, but the real reason to get this is the off the rack fit, which saves you some tailoring money. I said last time that Amazon hit it out of the park with the merino sweater, and had a solid staple to add to their portfolio. With this hopsack blazer, you can make that two.