Old Navy Twill Built-In Flex Blazer – $66.49 w/ HURRY ($94.99)
About the Author: Ryan N. is a professional web developer who keeps a close shave as to not be confused with his strongly-bearded twin brother. He plays guitar and drums, loves going to concerts with his wife, and loves being a dad.
Old Navy isn’t super well-known for their blazer hits. Truth be told, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot from the Old Navy Twill Built-In Flex Blazer. I’ve had some experience with Old Navy’s offerings, and usually left feeling like there wasn’t a whole lot to like. For years now it feels like their blazers have been suffering from the same odd combination that befalls many (but not all) budget sub-$100 blazers: wonky fits with arms, bodies, and tail-lengths that all seem Frankenstein-ed together from different sizes (skinny arms! boxy body!), and hard to tailor functional sleeve cuff buttons.
Welp.. not much has changed.
Black: Size XS | Navy: Size S
Both shown on Ryan who is 5’9″/160
Now now, put those pitchforks down. I’m going to hit a hard pause button, because as much as I wish the off-the-rack fit was better, there’s REALLY a lot to like here. In terms of fabric, we’re clocking in at a nice, stretch-cotton blend of 97% cotton, 3% spandex. The inner is completely unlined and breezy, with the sleeves lined in “taffeta,” per the website.. which turns out to be 100% polyester on the tag itself. Either way, it feels smooth and easy to put on and take off.
Unlined back except for a butterfly-style bit of lining for the upper shoulders.
Poly lined sleeves for sliding on and off.
This fabric is super cool. It’s not gauzy and light, but it’s not heavy and cumbersome, either. I’ve felt that way about some of the “affordable” blazers, like the Goodfellow jackets, that the fabric can be a bit on the heavy side. But not here. It’s a pretty perfect middleweight, light enough to wear on its own but substantial enough to not be a wispy one-seasoner.
Nicely weighted, 97% cotton / 3% spandex cotton shell.
The spandex in the shell is helpful, but only to a certain extent. Since the inexpensive poly lining doesn’t give at all, the extra stretch of the fabric is rendered moot for the arms (a point I’ve made many times before). The arms just don’t move well. They’re quite restrictive. As you can see here, sizing down makes the arms insanely tight — I’m far from Arnold, but you can see every muscle in my arm when flexing in a sized-down XS. It’s an odd template. Old Navy is as mass-market of a retailer as it gets. You’d think they’d be out to make garments that fit the most body types possible. Yet here they’ve made a jacket that has an accommodating body with… suuuuper slim arms? So… Spongebob?
Top: XS Arms are shirt-tight.
Bottom: S Arms better, but then the body gets boxy-ish.
And while the true-to-size arms are maybe a touch long, at least they don’t have the dreaded functional— oh, right. They do have functional sleeve cuff buttons. BLAST! Why do companies still do this? It blows our collective mind here at Dappered. Difficult to tailor, and your arms need to be basically the exact right length for them to look right. Sigh.
Functioning sleeve cuff buttons on inexpensive blazers continues to be insane.
Compared to (cheap) stitched-on buttons, it has to be more expensive to manufacture…
and it also makes the sleeves cost-prohibitive to have the length tailored.
Finishing out the details are a single vent back, two-button front, unstitched welt pocket (usually these are welted shut upon shipping so that the pocket doesn’t unintentionally bend or warp, but Old Navy decided “WE’LL DO IT LIVE!” and left it unstitched, and it arrived just fine!), and while the website declares two patch pockets on the front, they’re actually flap pockets, with nothing external. Between the unusually nice fabric and the flap pockets (which are less-casual than patch pockets), you could dress this jacket up a bit.
Off the rack fit for the torso = gets a little generous/flowy.
It’s not Barrel Man, but some (many?) might feel the fit is mis-matched with the arms.
So, I have to keep coming back to the fit here. It’s just.. I don’t understand it. I like SO MUCH about this jacket, especially the ease of wear and the unique fabric itself. But you’ve got to think that for most body types… if the arms are comfortable, the body ends up being boxy, and for the body to fit, the arms are suffocating. Why can’t Old Navy just smack the proverbial side of the chest-to-sleeve-attaching machine to put the Small arms on the XS body, and the Medium arms on the Small body, etc? It jut seems so.. fixable.
Center vent. Soft, easy wearing shoulders.
And then there’s the functioning sleeve cuff buttons, which means if the length of the arms don’t hit you just-so, most would put it back on the rack and move on.
If you like the arm length, and can deal with tailoring the body, definitely scoop this up, especially on a 30% sale. It’s a fantastic little blazer, but it’s a dang shame that it’s only going to be usable for a select subset of people because of the choices Old Navy has made, and continues to make.
Old Navy, you’re so close. It’s just clear you can do better. Please do.