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Where to get a "Young" Blazer or Sportscoat?

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Topic URL: http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/f...TOPIC_ID=18082
Printed on: 03/11/2006

Topic:

Topic author: Mentos
Subject: Where to get a "Young" Blazer or Sportscoat?
Posted on: 02/16/2006 10:03:49
Message:

I have a problem, and I want answers, darnnit. I want a blue blazer or blue sportcoat. I am a young professional guy--late 20's. As a personal matter, I want to look put together in a bus. cas. environment (law), but as far as work environment, I have a lot of latitude as far as defining "put together"--anything goes in my office except no jeans and no collarless shirts.

My problem is that everything I lay eyes on is either (1) too crappy and cheap (2) too crappy and expensive, or (3) too "old". Examples would be J. Crew, Boss, and BB, respectively. I really would like to spend ~$400, but I am now even considering custom from Asia.

So, the question is, how do you get a quality garment, in blue, that looks young but still professional? I read recently that to stay "young," you should go for one out of three on elbow patches, brass buttons, or db. Problem is that I can't get over feeling like I'm trying too look too old with any of these. Is that wrong of me? Is the advice sound? Most importantly, who is making these sorts of jackets? Do I need to go custom? If so, what is a good fabric for a three season jacket?

Any help is greatly appreciated. I searched for this in the SF a few times and never found any really good answers, so please dont feel like I'm just being lazy. Thanks.

Replies:

Reply author: Mentos
Replied on: 02/16/2006 10:06:45
Message:

First, sorry for all the typos.

Second, I should mention that I'm slim (38 chest) and I tend toward close-cut jackets. Sort of an urban look. So I think that a lot of lesser-known designers might be making things that would work for me--I just don't know who they are.

Reply author: j
Replied on: 02/16/2006 10:35:48
Message:

quote:Originally posted by Mentos

I have a problem, and I want answers, darnnit. I want a blue blazer or blue sportcoat. I am a young professional guy--late 20's. As a personal matter, I want to look put together in a bus. cas. environment (law), but as far as work environment, I have a lot of latitude as far as defining "put together"--anything goes in my office except no jeans and no collarless shirts.

My problem is that everything I lay eyes on is either (1) too crappy and cheap (2) too crappy and expensive, or (3) too "old". Examples would be J. Crew, Boss, and BB, respectively. I really would like to spend ~$400, but I am now even considering custom from Asia.

So, the question is, how do you get a quality garment, in blue, that looks young but still professional? I read recently that to stay "young," you should go for one out of three on elbow patches, brass buttons, or db. Problem is that I can't get over feeling like I'm trying too look too old with any of these. Is that wrong of me? Is the advice sound? Most importantly, who is making these sorts of jackets? Do I need to go custom? If so, what is a good fabric for a three season jacket?

Any help is greatly appreciated. I searched for this in the SF a few times and never found any really good answers, so please dont feel like I'm just being lazy. Thanks.



I think you should go for "none out of three" of those options. Here's what I would have made in your situation (and now that I think about it, I think I want one too).

Three-button ("2-1/2 button") close cut SB side-vented jacket with narrowish lapels (not nominal, but slim). Naturalish-tending-toward-built, narrow, slightly roped shoulders. High armholes, in a very dark blue mohair blend or subtle sharkskin for just a liiitle bit of sheen. Not shiny or you look too Vegas for business. Dark gray MOP buttons.

If you want to add a little nod to the casual/preppy blazer look, you could have the lapel topstitched 1/4" from the edge.

http://www.styleforum.net

Reply author: Holdfast
Replied on: 02/16/2006 10:58:42
Message:

As another guy in his late 20s, I have managed to avoid purchasing a navy blazer and have not experienced a social or business setting where I felt out of place not owning one. My reasons for avoiding one is that the last time I wore one, it was part of school uniform and also the "too old" concern you raise. You do need a range of other jackets though if you don't want to have a navy one.

If you really must have a navy blazer, I'd actually get a navy single-breasted odd jacket instead - steering clear of all 3 "old" items you mentioned.

Reply author: Long Way of Drums
Replied on: 02/16/2006 11:15:41
Message:

I wouldn't call J Crew crappy or cheap.


"Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein."

"Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take a boat in the air you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she oughtta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keels. Makes her home."

We will not walk in fear, one of another.

Reply author: Get Smart
Replied on: 02/16/2006 11:28:00
Message:

quote:Originally posted by Mentos

I read recently that to stay "young," you should go for one out of three on elbow patches, brass buttons, or db.




wow, that's the recipe for looking old.

I've seen some awesome Costume National Homme jackets in a dark blue with a sheen (not sharkskin but more of a tonik). CNH is generally cut slim and has a more modern, youthful silhouette. You could browse thru yoox and see if there is anything left from last fall that would work.

Reply author: Mentos
Replied on: 02/16/2006 11:29:28
Message:

Thanks for all the advice, already.

J, I love your advice--what you're describing sounds like exactly what I want, and I may take the email straight to the tailor. The fabric advice is esp useful, and the topstiching idea sounds great, as well.

One small question: what are "roped shoulders"? I've wondered about that and I can't find a good net definition.

As for going without a navy jacket, I think that I need to have a go-to while I'm saving up the bread to buy more jackets and suits. Nothing else can do as much.

As for whether J. Crew is crappy, their "legacy" blazer felt like no great shakes to me. At ~$225, it is very low-priced compared to other options and makes me suspicious that it won't be a good value for the money. I expect to wear this regularly for five to ten years. I have a outerwear coat from J. Crew that I bought for about that price and I am not impressed with the quality. I like plenty of JC, but not their jackets and coats. I'm willing to invest on this staple, well, up to about 700 dollars, which is what I think Asia custom will cost me.

Reply author: Mentos
Replied on: 02/16/2006 11:37:20
Message:

Thanks for the costume national advice. Does anyone know of other RTW designer options?

Reply author: Bradford
Replied on: 02/16/2006 11:49:19
Message:

I have a couple of Mani (Mani by Armani) sportcoats that I picked up on EBay for $70-80 each. One in dark blue and one in tan/brown.

They are slim-fitting, ventless, 3-button with high armholes and dark buttons. All in all, fairly similar to the style J is describing.

You may want to check EBay to see if they have any in your size. They seem to show up on a fairly regular basis.

Reply author: j
Replied on: 02/16/2006 11:51:12
Message:

quote:Originally posted by Mentos
One small question: what are "roped shoulders"? I've wondered about that and I can't find a good net definition.



Roped shoulders "bump up" at the top of the sleevehead. Hard for me to explain in words, but you can see it clearly in this picture (ignore the "detail" in the picture - look at the shoulders):



This is not to be confused with the "puffed" sleeveheads of a Neapolitan-style jacket, in which the sleeve is cut larger than the hole it is fit into and is tucked all the way around to fit it in. Roped shoulders are generally more formal and military-looking, while Neapolitan shoulders are generally more casual-looking.

http://www.styleforum.net

Reply author: gamelan
Replied on: 02/16/2006 12:36:42
Message:

quote:Originally posted by Mentos

Thanks for the costume national advice. Does anyone know of other RTW designer options?



i was going to second the Costume National recommendation. bought two blazers from CN off Yoox and they're great. not a bad deal at $168 a piece either. you might also want to try Martin Margiela (also very slim fitting) or Marni.

-Jeff

Reply author: thinman
Replied on: 02/16/2006 13:46:00
Message:

j, great advice on the blazer! I, too, may take your post with me, to W.W. Chan later this Spring, though I would tweak it a little since I only jokingly claim to be a 20-someting.

A roped sleevehead also feels literally as if it contains a little braided cord along the front of the sleevehead (where the sleeve attaches to the armscye). It gives the shoulders some structure.

Best regards,
thinman

"I criticize by creation, not by finding fault.""”Cicero

Reply author: Mike C.
Replied on: 02/16/2006 14:51:55
Message:

Look for a Doeskin flannel fabric, it's good for year round wear.

Reply author: Long Way of Drums
Replied on: 02/16/2006 19:44:39
Message:

quote:Originally posted by Mentos


As for whether J. Crew is crappy, their "legacy" blazer felt like no great shakes to me. At ~$225, it is very low-priced compared to other options and makes me suspicious that it won't be a good value for the money. I expect to wear this regularly for five to ten years. I have a outerwear coat from J. Crew that I bought for about that price and I am not impressed with the quality. I like plenty of JC, but not their jackets and coats. I'm willing to invest on this staple, well, up to about 700 dollars, which is what I think Asia custom will cost me.


You can't compare on sale prices at other retailers with full retail at another. J Crew's quality, in its price range, is generally quite excellent. On sale, they are very often incomparable. The styling can be overly bland or dull for a lot of people (myself included), but their quality is, usually, more than reliable. They do have higher end blazers that retail for $500 and $900 that are hardly low quality, though, in my opinion, if you are spending that much, you are likely better served by bespoke or made to measure from Asia, as noted.


"Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein."

"Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take a boat in the air you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she oughtta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keels. Makes her home."

We will not walk in fear, one of another.

Reply author: m@t
Replied on: 02/17/2006 03:09:02
Message:

i had my first navy jacket made a few months back and i love it. very similar to j,s description really, although a true 3 button rather than a 2.5. i went for a very very subtle windowpane cloth, and it does give it an edge over plain navy.

Reply author: johnapril
Replied on: 02/17/2006 04:37:31
Message:

For a sportcoat I would go with charcoal before navy, charcoal herringbone. The styling suggestions others have given are ones I would follow. I have gotten a ton of mileage from a black sportcoat as well, but don't tell anyone.

J. Crew is for farmer.

Reply author: Mentos
Replied on: 02/17/2006 07:14:26
Message:

I have done better than most people around here would have thought possible with a $75 black sportcoat from H&M. :-)

2.5 button jacket means that the shawl (is that the right term?) rolls such that the top button cannot be buttoned? Or does it mean that the jacket front cuts away such that the bottom button cannot be buttoned?

Thanks.

Reply author: shayhouston1
Replied on: 02/17/2006 07:18:19
Message:

A few other RTW options you might consider for a younger look are Theory (~$600), Paul Smith or maybe Etro (~$1000). Also, I recently bought a Zegna navy blazer which is classic but still looks young.

Reply author: Mentos
Replied on: 02/17/2006 07:21:20
Message:

I will agree that J. Crew jackets and outerwear, on sale, do offer good value. I have paid retail for their v-neck sweaters and consider them a good value, in certain colors.

Reply author: Get Smart
Replied on: 02/17/2006 07:38:56
Message:

re: J Crew, I just picked up 2 dress shirts for $78 that are actually very nice. 100s 2ply Italian cotton, slim fitting, MOP buttons, one is french cuff one is single cuff, and the patterns were exactly what I was looking for. Overall, they are starting to make more products that get me to open the wallet, albeit if the items are on sale.

That's cool you found something at H&M....they are finally opening 2 right near me in the fall (in Pasadena and LA), which is about time. Their clothes in general are cut slim and I like the offerings a bit more than Zara, for the same price range.

Reply author: thinman
Replied on: 02/17/2006 09:43:25
Message:

quote:Originally posted by Mentos

I have done better than most people around here would have thought possible with a $75 black sportcoat from H&M. :-)

2.5 button jacket means that the shawl (is that the right term?) rolls such that the top button cannot be buttoned? Or does it mean that the jacket front cuts away such that the bottom button cannot be buttoned?

Thanks.



I believe 2.5 button means the lapel rolls to the second button when the top button is left undone. So it's not impossible to button the top button, but it looks similar to a 2B jacket when the top button is open (except that I find such jackets have slightly rounded lapels that stands out from the front of the jacket, unlike a true 2B jacket, where the lapels are pressed flat. I find the look very attractive in a subtle way).

johnapril, when you suggest charcoal herringbone, do you mean a solid charcoal with a herringbone weave, or a something like a charcoal and white herringbone? I own a charcoal and white herringbone in addition to a navy blazer and I find they get equal use. The herringbone pattern looks like solid gray from a distance, so it _is_ very versatile. Both jackets pre-date my forum participation and are not high quality, so they'll be replaced, but they are servicable.

Best regards,
thinman

"I criticize by creation, not by finding fault.""”Cicero

Reply author: texas1L
Replied on: 02/17/2006 15:55:56
Message:

H&M is cheap and cool. But after wash, it's unsalvagable.

quote:Originally posted by thinman

quote:Originally posted by Mentos

I have done better than most people around here would have thought possible with a $75 black sportcoat from H&M. :-)

2.5 button jacket means that the shawl (is that the right term?) rolls such that the top button cannot be buttoned? Or does it mean that the jacket front cuts away such that the bottom button cannot be buttoned?

Thanks.



I believe 2.5 button means the lapel rolls to the second button when the top button is left undone. So it's not impossible to button the top button, but it looks similar to a 2B jacket when the top button is open (except that I find such jackets have slightly rounded lapels that stands out from the front of the jacket, unlike a true 2B jacket, where the lapels are pressed flat. I find the look very attractive in a subtle way).

johnapril, when you suggest charcoal herringbone, do you mean a solid charcoal with a herringbone weave, or a something like a charcoal and white herringbone? I own a charcoal and white herringbone in addition to a navy blazer and I find they get equal use. The herringbone pattern looks like solid gray from a distance, so it _is_ very versatile. Both jackets pre-date my forum participation and are not high quality, so they'll be replaced, but they are servicable.

Best regards,
thinman

"I criticize by creation, not by finding fault.""”Cicero

Reply author: Aaron
Replied on: 02/17/2006 19:28:14
Message:

quote:



Alright J you can't post an 8 button, mandarin collar band leader uniform (which may or may not have "J" monogrammed buttons and be made of denim) and not provide some sort of explaination. What is that?

A.

Reply author: j
Replied on: 02/17/2006 20:18:03
Message:

quote:Originally posted by Aaron

quote:



Alright J you can't post an 8 button, mandarin collar band leader uniform (which may or may not have "J" monogrammed buttons and be made of denim) and not provide some sort of explaination. What is that?

A.



Well I could do that, but since you asked, I guess it's some sort of recreator's Civil War uniform or something. I found it here:

http://www.quartermastershop.com

It was just one of the first things with a roped shoulder that came up using Google Image search...

http://www.styleforum.net

Reply author: brass4321
Replied on: 02/19/2006 10:03:13
Message:

love the jacket ideas - what do sort of slacks/shirts do you all wear with your blue blazer/sportcoat?

Reply author: jklu
Replied on: 02/19/2006 10:19:46
Message:

quote:Originally posted by brass4321

love the jacket ideas - what do sort of slacks/shirts do you all wear with your blue blazer/sportcoat?



The best thing about blazers/blue sportcoats are their versatility. I wear anything but black and dark blue (except denim) with them.

Reply author: johnapril
Replied on: 02/19/2006 16:27:42
Message:

quote:Originally posted by thinman

quote:Originally posted by Mentos

I have done better than most people around here would have thought possible with a $75 black sportcoat from H&M. :-)

2.5 button jacket means that the shawl (is that the right term?) rolls such that the top button cannot be buttoned? Or does it mean that the jacket front cuts away such that the bottom button cannot be buttoned?

Thanks.




johnapril, when you suggest charcoal herringbone, do you mean a solid charcoal with a herringbone weave, or a something like a charcoal and white herringbone? I own a charcoal and white herringbone in addition to a navy blazer and I find they get equal use. The herringbone pattern looks like solid gray from a distance, so it _is_ very versatile. Both jackets pre-date my forum participation and are not high quality, so they'll be replaced, but they are servicable.

Best regards,
thinman

"I criticize by creation, not by finding fault.""”Cicero



The charcoal herringbone I prefer is in shades of charcoal. No white. I am able to wear it with black or charcoal slacks, as well as jeans. I stuck with Isaia for this one, the Stewart model with two buttons. Nice thin lapel.

Reply author: SGladwell
Replied on: 02/19/2006 21:30:15
Message:

quote:Originally posted by brass4321

love the jacket ideas - what do sort of slacks/shirts do you all wear with your blue blazer/sportcoat?



The one time I've worn my blazer* I wore it with olive drab canvas cargo pants - don't remember whose name is on them, maybe Varvatos? - an untucked spread-collar shirt with thin stripes in browns and tans from Zanella, and Adidas Superstars in their 35th anniversary London colorway.

In general, I think it goes well with any kind of shirt (except for a black one), less formal pants such as jeans, cords, or moleskins, and any shoes or sneakers you feel like wearing. I would never dream of doing the grey flannels thing with it...

*Description of blazer finish and fit, copied from the "Oxxford's lapels" thread on the main forum: "It has antiqued brass ridged buttons, a nice 3-roll-2 lapel with a classic button stance, double vents, and a herringbone pattern to the blue fabric. It also follows some advice from GQ I had just an hour prior to this purchase laughed at upon encountering it in a GQ I picked up to occupy myself whilst waiting for my groceries to be scanned: too short and "a size smaller than I would normally wear". (42R, when I'm normally a 44L.) I bought it partially because I decided I don't mind the "new New York look" in sportcoats worn causally"

Reply author: johnapril
Replied on: 02/20/2006 04:39:08
Message:

At Saks I saw this Dolce peaked lapel cotton sportscoat, fused at only $1350. Save for it, don't buy, put your money in Pfizer stock.



Reply author: norcaltransplant
Replied on: 02/20/2006 06:35:28
Message:

Except that Pfizer has a few patents expiring in the short term. Watch the earnings for Lipitor go poof!

Sorry to be such a wet blanket. BTW, John, I'm sure you can buy the ripoff at Zara in a month or two for about 1k less. Still crap, still too expensive...

Reply author: johnapril
Replied on: 02/21/2006 04:36:54
Message:

quote:Originally posted by norcaltransplant

Except that Pfizer has a few patents expiring in the short term. Watch the earnings for Lipitor go poof!

Sorry to be such a wet blanket. BTW, John, I'm sure you can buy the ripoff at Zara in a month or two for about 1k less. Still crap, still too expensive...



Pfizer Inc PFE (NYSE) $25.82 $+0.01 +0.04%
Current Analyst Ratings
Strong Buy 8
Moderate Buy 10
Hold 10
Moderate Hold 1
Sell 0
Mean BUY

Yeah. When God drops you with one hand, he catches you with the other:

Exubera
Sutent

Reply author: j
Replied on: 02/21/2006 08:17:19
Message:

quote:Originally posted by johnapril

quote:Originally posted by norcaltransplant

Except that Pfizer has a few patents expiring in the short term. Watch the earnings for Lipitor go poof!

Sorry to be such a wet blanket. BTW, John, I'm sure you can buy the ripoff at Zara in a month or two for about 1k less. Still crap, still too expensive...



Pfizer Inc PFE (NYSE) $25.82 $+0.01 +0.04%
Current Analyst Ratings
Strong Buy 8
Moderate Buy 10
Hold 10
Moderate Hold 1
Sell 0
Mean BUY

Yeah. When God drops you with one hand, he catches you with the other:

Exubera
Sutent



When God drops Pfizer with one hand, Chuck Norris slaps Him with the other.


http://www.styleforum.net

Reply author: m@t
Replied on: 02/21/2006 08:21:47
Message:

quote:Originally posted by j
Chuck Norris slaps Him with the other.

how tough is Chuck Norris again?

Reply author: johnapril
Replied on: 02/21/2006 08:28:53
Message:

quote:Originally posted by j

quote:Originally posted by johnapril

quote:Originally posted by norcaltransplant

Except that Pfizer has a few patents expiring in the short term. Watch the earnings for Lipitor go poof!

Sorry to be such a wet blanket. BTW, John, I'm sure you can buy the ripoff at Zara in a month or two for about 1k less. Still crap, still too expensive...



Pfizer Inc PFE (NYSE) $25.82 $+0.01 +0.04%
Current Analyst Ratings
Strong Buy 8
Moderate Buy 10
Hold 10
Moderate Hold 1
Sell 0
Mean BUY

Yeah. When God drops you with one hand, he catches you with the other:

Exubera
Sutent



When God drops Pfizer with one hand, Chuck Norris slaps Him with the other.


http://www.styleforum.net



Pfizer will jump through your windshield and leaves his shoe print on your face and parts of steering wheel in your mind. HAhAHAHAHAHA!!!

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