Since the late 19th Century, the navy blazer has been a vital staple piece in every well-dressed gentleman’s wardrobe because of its versatility, wearability, and classic lines. It is less formal than a dress suit, and slightly more formal than a sports coat, which allows you to dress it up with a striped tie and garbadines, or down with a simple oxford to suit any occasion. One may wonder where this classic piece originated. There are two schools of thought on the matter:
The HMS Blazer- One theory goes that in 1837, a ship in the Royal Navy called the HMS Blazer was to receive an imminent visit by Queen Victoria. Having no standard uniforms to wear, the commander commissioned solid blue, double breasted coats for his enlisted crew. The jacket was then named after the ship.
The Blazing Scarlet Coat– The second theory is born out of the Lady Margaret Boating Club at Cambridge University. In 1825, the members wore a single-breasted jacked in a red hue referred to as “blazing scarlet”. Other boating clubs adopted the trend, and although the colors muted with time, eventually settling on navy blue, the name remained.
If you are attending the country garden party or simply spending your days shopping in Soho New York, or Kensington London, you have so many options with the navy blazer.
I recently purchased a blue linen blazer with a white under collar and I must say it is the most versatile piece I have bought in recent years. Travelling allows you to dress it with chinos for a causal business meeting and allows you to dress it up with jeans for a smart causal dinner. Mixing the blazer with different shirts, pants and pocket squares provides several outfits with one blazer (perfect for the light traveler).
Regardless of its origins, the navy blazer is a quintessential part of any gentleman’s wardrobe. If you find yourself in the market for one, here are several options:
Casual Navy Blazer- El Ganso $185.00
3 Pocket Structured Blazer- Massimo Dutti – $245