A few English lads soak up America's swing music between races. Both the Cambridge and Oxford crewmembers sport their colors atop Oxford bags while the chappy on the right opts for the updated reefer blazer.
With blue and white as the imperatives of nautical dress, navy blazers and w hite trousers made a dashing sports out! it for the wealthy American man o! the 1920s. Being class-conscious, he adopted it as another means ol distinguishing himself from the masses. Whether in a solid color and piped at the edges or in hold regatta stripes, the lightweight blazer became a summer sensation.
By the thirties, the blazer began to be seen in different solid colors. The standard shade of dark blue so long associated with white trousers was now being overshadowed by brighter and gayer shades such as robin s-egg blue, deep medium blues, or purplish blues. W hether in one or the new blues or its second running favorite, dark green, the blazer became the bridge between worka-
day and weekend wear.
The blazer ranks in dressiness somewhere between a suit and a sport jacket, and its formality can be influenced by simple changes in modeling, detailing, or accessorizing. As the double-breasted blazer projects a slightly heightened aura of dress-up over the single-breasted model, so do flap pockets over patch, peaked lapels over notched, side or no vents over center, and dark trousers over light.
A roundup of some of Americas early blazers as pictured on Palm Beach's older and younger denizens.
The Blazer Button Emblazoned with its typical metal hardware, the navy blazer remains a hierarchical type of garment. While many men appreciate the gentility implied by the traditional oilt blazer button, in rodav's less ceremonial world some men feel
uncomfortable with such conspicuous display. While the dark brown horn button is usually the first nonmetal alternative considered, its dullish character lacks the personality necessary to olfset the dark jacket.
The most traditional blazer button is the brass or gilt variety. Unless your family has its own coat of arms or you are entitled to wear a distinguished club button, rhe classiest choice is the plain, flat. English gilt button with a shank that must be anchored into the cloth. Alternatively. men with gray hair or those planning to wear predominantly gray-toned trousers will often opt for the aforementioned button in a dulled nickel or silver shade. I11 the case of a brighter blue tropical wool or linen blazer, off-w hite mother-of-pearl burtons arc always an option.
As to the ideal number of buttons for rhe blazer's front and sleeves, personal taste tends to defer to tradition. To begin with, the number of sleeve buttons is related to the coat fronts button arrangement. With the most popular jacket model being the two-button single-breasted. four sleeve buttons are the norm, although two are equally proper. Three sleeve buttons 011 a tw o-button coat seem slightly out ol balance, w hereas with the three-button model, three or four sleeve but tons harmonize handsomelv.
Judging the correct number of buttons for a double-breasted blazer is guided first by its styling, second by tradition, and third by personal taste. The classic double-breasted blazer with flap pockets is traditionally trimmed with six front buttons, two that button, two that don't, and two upper display or dress buttons, a formation that pretty much demands four sleeve buttons, as illustrated by a preening Prince Charles.
I'he well-selected navv blazer offers an almost chameleonlike versatility. Whether in
> j the country or traveling around the world, w it h long or short pants, flannels or jeans, ascots or neckties, short sleeves or French cuffs, the classic navy blazer remains man's most accommodat ing tailored companion. 0f).
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