Blazers look great at parties and other slightly less-than-formal events all year round. As the seasons change, so should your coats. Certain fabrics and visual elements are appropriate for different occasions and time of year.
One part of the year can be tricky for choosing blazers: the late summer and early autumn. Should you hang on to those summer jackets as the days grow shorter or should you bust out heavier materials and earth tones as soon as possible? These are deep philosophical questions.
Probably the best answer is that, during the summer-to-fall transition, you should focus on summer rather than fall. After all, you’ll have several months for conservative cold weather attire. Until early October, there can be plenty of warm days and even a heat wave or two.Throughout late August and September, focus on those lightweight, colorful blazers and, at the same time, incorporate hints of autumn here and there.
Keeping It Light
When you’re looking for lightweight fabrics, cotton, linen and silk are fine choices. There are also some types of wool, often called “tropical wools,” that are comparatively light. The best lightweight blazers often weigh about eight or nine ounces. Any lighter than that and the jacket may not stay in place as you walk around and the garment will likely wrinkle very easily.
You’ll want a blazer that’s loosely weaved. Tight weaves don’t breathe very well. On hot days, they can quickly make you uncomfortable. Note that, when a weave is loose enough, the blazer is nearly translucent. Your lining material should be light as well and a half-lined coat is a terrific option. With this type of blazer, the sleeves and the shoulders have linings but the rest of the garment is unlined. As a result, the coat will be cooler and air can circulate more freely.
A Cut Above
A loose-fitting cut seems right for a late summer or early fall blazer. It won’t restrict your movements. If you’re heading to an outdoor event and it’s unseasonably cold, you could comfortably wear a sweater or a vest underneath. An unconstructed blazer might also be ideal for you. Relaxed fit jackets contain little in the way of canvassing and padding and have an easy, comfortable drape. Just be sure that your cut isn’t too loose. Your coat should follow the shape of your arms, chest and back.
Do Sweat the Small Stuff
During these weeks, families wind down their summer activities and many businessmen take their last vacations before the holidays in December. Barbecues are in full swing and there’s often a sense of idleness in the air. In short, it’s a stretch of time that cries out for casualness.
You can reflect that laid-back feeling by choosing casual details for your blazer. For instance, you might go for a single-breasted jacket rather than the more formal double-breasted kind. The former has fewer buttons and typically comes with a notch lapel instead of a peak lapel. Shiny tie clips and slanted pockets can seem breezy, too.
As the late summer foliage and autumn leaves make the world brilliant, your blazers can do the same thing. Bright blues and splashes of yellow can be perfect. Plus, your jackets could offer something of a fall preview if you add orange and brown pocket squares and lapel flowers.
Special Brands for Special Guys
After reading about summer-to-fall blazers, you might be in the mood to enhance your wardrobe. If you’re already daydreaming about looking in the mirror with a new blazer on, here are some of the best lightweight blazers on the market. Maybe you should whip out that credit card right now; each of these coats has most of the attributes described above.
For starters, a Bugatchi blue blazer will look sharp at any outdoor Labor Day function. The houndstooth pattern encapsulates the easygoing spirit of the season, but the jacket is still sharp and elegant. Likewise, the blue shades of this appealing Jack Victor sport coat will call to mind clear summer skies, yet this product also suits the beginning of autumn.
Next up is this Coppley gray and blue blazer, which boasts precisely the kinds of breathable materials that this time of year calls for. Finally, how about this Culturata “statement jacket?” It’s the essence of business casual, and the fit is loose but not overly so. Indeed, this blazer would look flawless on a yacht or at a semi-formal wedding in September.
For many people, the end of summer brings about a mild case of the blues. As the temperatures drop, the flowers wither and the birds fly away, you might pine for beach trips and Fourth of July fun. However, attractive end-of-summer jackets can help you battle those blahs. Your best lightweight blazers could make you feel fabulous and you might attend a slew of social events just to show off this outerwear. Instead of being a drag, this period could become an annual highlight. You could finish each summer in glorious blazers and a blaze of glory.