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Where to buy first blazer?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
OK, so I'm just getting started to pay attention to style and I'd like to buy a blazer.

I'm thinking something along these lines:
- Mostly to go with jeans
- Lightweight fabric
- Close fit (I'm 5'10" and 145 lb--I take a 38R as far as I can tell)
- Probably not plain (boring) blue. Either subtle pattern or black/charcoal gray.

Willing to spend around $150-$200.

So the question is, what's a good store to go to? I've read pretty bad things about Men's Wearhouse and Jos. But then again, I haven't heard good things about Macy's, Banana Republic, and such.

Is Nordstrom Rack a better place? Any other recommendations? It would help if the sales people knew their stuff and could help me find something rather than just ring up the sale.

Thanks!
post #2 of 25
do you want to wear the blazer in a more casual or formal setting? JCrew or Banana Republic might be a good place to start. you can also look for good deals in the Buying and Selling forum. chorse123 and edmorel seem to be able to get their hands on very nice merch although their prices for blazers might be a little out of your range. Yoox, Bluefly, STP, Polo.com are good online options if you're just starting out since they have generous return policies. you might get a better (or at least different) response from the Streetwear and Denim forum. also, don't expect sales people to know their stuff. pre-SF, i went to a Nordstrom Rack and the tailor sold me two suits that were a 42R. post-SF, i found out that i was actually a 39R. so at the very least, know your own measurements (which it sounds lilke you do). -Jeff
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Gamelan,

Thanks for the suggestions. I had in mind "semi-formal" occasions, like going out to dinner or to a classical music concert. Something that you don't have to wear a sports jacket, but I thought it would be neat to.

As for the store recommendations, I really want to stick to B&M stores so that I can try things on since there's no way I know how to buy a good fitting blazer online. Also, being in California J.Crew is out.

I have a Banana Republic nearby, so I'll check them out (unfortunately I hear they cut things quite wide, and I'm looking for a slim fit). Any other recommendations?
Thanks.
post #4 of 25
If you have outlets nearby, you might score a few deals - Nordstroms rack, Saks off-5th, NM Last call (although doubtful on the price range). At the moment, thin seems to be in, but try on a number of jackets to get the fit right. Jackets from different mfr's fit differently, so one maker's 38 may be another's 40.

Be sure to budget for tailoring - you'll probably need to have the sleeves shortened, the neck might need to be raised or lowered, or the sides taken in. A good tailor can do all that, but probably better that you find one closest to your fit before dropping the $$$.

Finally, check the resale / consignment shops. This will take some legwork, but you can score some killer deals. Too many people buy a really nice jacket, wear it twice, and then send it off.
post #5 of 25
Don't automatically eliminate "boring" blue. It's the most versatile blazer option. You can dress it up or dress it down with jeans. It goes with more than the other options you discussed. (Incidentally, black and grey jackets are sportcoats and not blazers.)

If you are really set against blue, check out the discount stores for Theory blazers. They tend to be slim cut and are fairly fashionable. Discounters like Filene's Basement (no idea if they have them in CA) sell them for around $200. I picked one up at Century 21 (I know that doesn't help you in CA, though) for $130.
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by amdi8
Gamelan,

Thanks for the suggestions. I had in mind "semi-formal" occasions, like going out to dinner or to a classical music concert. Something that you don't have to wear a sports jacket, but I thought it would be neat to.

As for the store recommendations, I really want to stick to B&M stores so that I can try things on since there's no way I know how to buy a good fitting blazer online. Also, being in California J.Crew is out.

I have a Banana Republic nearby, so I'll check them out (unfortunately I hear they cut things quite wide, and I'm looking for a slim fit). Any other recommendations?
Thanks.

Why is J Crew out here in Cali? There are still quite a few stores that have men's stuff, or are you talking about it being out for stylistic reasons?
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by drizzt3117
Why is J Crew out here in Cali? There are still quite a few stores that have men's stuff, or are you talking about it being out for stylistic reasons?

You're right, they have stores in California. I got confused with some other clothing store that had no California presence.

I actually have an outlet mall very nearby with stores like Theory or Banana Republic, so I'll definitely check them out.

Thanks for helping out a total newbie :-)
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
OK, so I went to the outlet mall and there were quite a few stores (Theory unfortunately only had women's clothing).

Man, it's *hard* to find a blazer like I have in mind that fits me well!! Most of them are apparentl cut for people with beer bellys. My size is definitely a 38R, but I have somewhat broad shoulders and a thin waist and no extra fat around my belly at all, so most of them are quite loose and shapeless when I button them.

I found one that fit me well, but the sleeves were too large. And another one also fit me well, but they didn't have my size in the color I wanted. Blah.

In the end, I found a pretty cool blazer that fit me just right, but ended up not getting it. It was a three-button one (not crazy about that), but most importantly, it had a stripe pattern (cross hatchs, making squares) which would mean I would have to wear plain color shirts without any stripes.

Who would have know it was so much work? :-)

This week I'm planning on going to another further away mall that has Nordstrom Rack and Old Navy. Maybe I'll have more luck there.
post #9 of 25
go to nordstrom rack and get one on clearance. I just got a wool/cashmere Hugo Boss blazer retail $600 on sale for $200. Hugo Boss doesn't get a lot of good publicity in this forum but I think it fits really well and the quality is certainly WAY better than anything you'll find in a regular mall.
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by amdi8

Man, it's *hard* to find a blazer like I have in mind that fits me well!! Most of them are apparentl cut for people with beer bellys. My size is definitely a 38R, but I have somewhat broad shoulders and a thin waist and no extra fat around my belly at all, so most of them are quite loose and shapeless when I button them.


i would try a brand that is known for a slimmer fit like Costume National. otherwise, find the closest fit and take it to a tailor.

-Jeff
post #11 of 25
A few points:

A blazer normally refers to a sportcoat that is navy blue. To be totally correct, many people on this forum also intimate that it have metal buttons as well. What you're looking to purchase is a sportcoat, not to be confused with a suit coat, which is the top half of a suit. That said, a suit separate in solid black or charcoal still may be what you are looking for, or a patterned sportcoat.

I doubt he's going to find Costume National at the malls he's referring to, but boss (especially red label) may have some items that are a bit more slim fit. You may also find Theory at the Nordstrom Rack.

Where are you located in California?
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by drizzt3117
I doubt he's going to find Costume National at the malls he's referring to, but boss (especially red label) may have some items that are a bit more slim fit. You may also find Theory at the Nordstrom Rack.

Where are you located in California?

I'm in North San Diego County. Some of the stores mentioned are only available in LA (H&M), but we have a pretty decent selection otherwise.

And yes, thanks for the clarification on blazers vs. sports coats. I didn't realize it at first, although I'm seeing that the terms are used a bit mixed (I see stores that have a "blazers" sign on sports coats for example).

Quick question: Is Nordstrom Rack is the outlet version of Nordstrom? It turns out what I have nearest to me is a Nordstrom Store. Is that worth checking, or should I go to the further away Rack?
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by amdi8
Is Nordstrom Rack is the outlet version of Nordstrom? It turns out what I have nearest to me is a Nordstrom Store. Is that worth checking, or should I go to the further away Rack?
I prefer regular Nordstrom stores to Nordstrom Rack, but the deals aren't nearly as good.

Concerning fit, if you find something that works in the shoulders and arms, it's not hard to get it taken in at the waist. When I was skinny, I used to get clothes altered all the time to fit me better.
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by amdi8
I'm in North San Diego County. Some of the stores mentioned are only available in LA (H&M), but we have a pretty decent selection otherwise.

And yes, thanks for the clarification on blazers vs. sports coats. I didn't realize it at first, although I'm seeing that the terms are used a bit mixed (I see stores that have a "blazers" sign on sports coats for example).

Quick question: Is Nordstrom Rack is the outlet version of Nordstrom? It turns out what I have nearest to me is a Nordstrom Store. Is that worth checking, or should I go to the further away Rack?

To be honest, I think your best bet would be to make the ~45 min drive to Orange County and hit the mecca of South Coast/Metro Pointe/The Block at Orange... which would have everything you could ever want in terms fo selection. Yes, NR is the outlet version of Nordstrom and you will find much lower prices at NR but a larger selection at regular Nordstrom.
post #15 of 25
StevenRocks is right. Find a fit in the shoulders and make sure the chest is not too full. The waist can be taken in by a decent tailor, and the same for the sleeve length. Go to the Polo department at a better department store. They might have a Navy blazer with side vents. If it has brass buttons, buy some horn buttons and have a tailor change them out. Your $150 - $200 budget is the greatest challenge. If that is all you can spare to purchase the garment, then find the fit in the chest and shoulders, and spend the rest on alterations. At your budget you can't be too picky. Be creative and make a silk purse out of the sow's ear you will have to buy -- I am not trying to be ugly, but that is the reality of your situation. What are your sources for styling influences? If they are the usual suspects of men's fashion magazines, check the prices on what you like. You can't expect to get a $1,000 blazer for $200.00.
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