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How to Buy a Gray Blazer

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Hey, guys, I am completely new to fashion, and I need your advice.  I recently bought a book written by a French fashion advisor called "Style for Modern Men" by a recommendation from a friend.  He lists 11 basics that all beginners must have when it comes to fashion and articles of clothing you must own.  A few of them that I am working on right now are:


1)  A Gray Blazer


2)  Gray Shoes


3)  A pair of raw denim jeans


4)  A winter coat


As of right now I have been shopping like a madman for a gray blazer specifically.  The writer of the book says that a gray blazer is very versatile and works with a ton of outfits, as it is a neautral color and adds a little bit of class to casual/a little bit of casual to class.  The thing is he recommends going for quality when looking for a gray jacket, and I don't know what quality is.  I also don't have a very big budget at all and am going to have to scrape around in the savings account to acquire these 4 essential articles of clothing--especially if they have to be expensive and of quality.


The reason I have chosen to focus on a gray blazer first is because I think this simple garment will improve my confidence and outfits significantly, and the quickest of all of the other 11 essentials for a beginner's wardrobe.  I have also chosen the blazer as a first priority because it is fall now and cooler, so I thought it would function as a light jacket for the time being, and I would go onto more wintery investments as the temperature drops.


But as of right now, I have been to practically every store in the city I live in and have tried on pretty much every gray blazer on the market.  Some of the brands that have stuck out for me are Paul Smith, Comme Ce Garcon (Japanese brand), 5351 Hommes (or something like that, Japanese brand), Burberry, and Armani.


However, these jackets are reallly expensive--in the $400-$1,200 range--and I don't know if such a big investement would be worth it for how small my budget is and considering how many articles I need to purchase and FAST.  For example, H&M has jackets for like $60 bucks, but I don't know if girls would find that cheap or if they would last long enough or worth the investment or what.


Any advice would be appreciated for gray blazers.  Thanks a lot.

post #2 of 25

There are a couple pieces of information that would help your cause.  First, what city do you live in?  There are members from all over, so if you live near someone, they may be able to help.  Second, what is your budget?  You mentioned prices ranges from $60-1200, but didn't specify what you are looking for in price.


 Don't stoop to H&M, you can find something much better (lightly used, obviously) at a thrift store.  If you are on a tight budget like me, I recommend checking the thrift shops, you never know what you will find.  There is a great thread here about what folks find while thrifting, check it out.  If you read around the forum you will pick up what brands are good and which ones are not, and you might get lucky and find someone who is selling just what you need (again, refer to the thread on thrift finds).  Good luck, and welcome to the forum.  I recommend taking the time to read (use the search function, too) what is here, you will find a lot of answers to your questions.

post #3 of 25
post #4 of 25

I try to look for a nice soft feel of the blazer with the right structure but not stiff. If not H&M, there's alwaya Gap, or Topman

post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 

Jeff M:


Thanks for the response.  I live in Tokyo, Japan.


What's my budget?  Good question, what IS my budget?  I have a credit card that maxes at 200,000 yen ($2,000).  I have about 150,000 ($1,500) in savings, and I currently have 40,000 yen ($400) in my bank account.  Pay day is Halloween, and that's going to be 250,000 yen ($2,500).  If you calculate all of that up I have 640,000 yen ($6,400) at my disposal.


Now, obviously I need to eat, and I have expenses to pay, so I can't use all of that money.  The point is I HAVE it, and depending on how important a gray blazer is I can spend accordingly.  If I can get by well enough with a gray blazer from H&M, then I will get a gray blazer from H&M.  If I seriously cannot get by with a gray blazer from H&M and girls will laugh at me, then I will not be getting a jacket from H&M.  The key is how important is a gray blazer?


I went shopping again today, and I found more gray blazers.  One was from Banana Republic for $300.  Another was from H&M for $150.  I went to a custom-made place that sells for $600.  And you know what, I can't tell one bit of difference from one to the other because those, and all of the other hundreds of jackets I've tried on from Gucci to Uniqlo are ALL ROUGHLY THE SAME.


For instance, let's say I have an H&M jacket and an Armani jacket.  If I opt for the H&M jacket are 40% of girls going to see me as cheap?  If I get an Armani jacket, does that mean 100% of girls will see me as stylish?  


Or let's say I have an H&M jacket and a mid-range jacket like the one at Banana Republic for $300.  If I pay the $150 extra for the Banana Republic, does that mean 30% of girls will see me as cheap instead of 40% for the H&M?  Or is it 35%?  Or will will 95% of girls not even be able to tell the difference once I hit a certain brand/price range?  If 95% won't be able to tell the difference, and that jacket costs $300, then there is no reason for me to pay $400, $500, or the Armani $1,200.  


This is my dilemma.




That jacket has a really nice fit but a little expensive.  I've been keeping an eye out for nice fits on my shopping excursions, and not a whole lot of the jackets I've tried on hug the midriff like the one in that link.  In my fashion book it says that when the jacket is unbuttoned you should see a nice silhouette of your body, but as of now I've only been seeing slight and almost unnoticeable silhouettes.  I don't know if that's just because I need tailoring, or if the silhouettes I'm seeing are enough, or if I'm not seeing much of a silhouette because when a jacket is unbuttoned it just naturally hangs the way it hangs by law of gravity...




I couldn't find very good blazers at GAP, and I haven't been to Topman yet.  It's interesting that you say, "Not stiff" because that's the kind I've been looking for.  I've been looking for one that resembles a suit jacket with shoulder padding (to make my shoulders look meatier) and somewhat of a shine to it.  


What do you think about shine to gray blazers?  Is it too gaudy?  In my book it says the blazer should be timeless, and flashy clothing looks cheap and dates very easily.  Is a shiny gray not what I want to be looking for?


Thanks, guys!

post #6 of 25
Originally Posted by Gray Blazer View Post

all beginners must have

2)  Gray Shoes


post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 

cold war painter:


Yeah, serious about the gray shoes (well, sneakers).  He says that they're both original and versatile.  

post #8 of 25
Check out the Streetwear and Denim forum if you're looking for sneakers.Grey sneakers sound good.

By the way, if you're on a budget and you "need" raw denim, then you're in luck living in Tokyo. Uniqlo sells raw denim jeans at their larger stores for about $100 (in fact, I think it's 10 thousand yen). This is a budget option that most Americans (or, well, non-Japanese) don't have.

As for your search for a gray jacket - you're in a tough spot. You don't know what you're looking for, and you don't want to spend a lot of money, AND you want it right away? That's a bad combo.
post #9 of 25

Gray shoes does not sound like something you should try to get....  :-) 

post #10 of 25
Try Azabu Tailor. Search the net or google maps. Walk in, they'll show you around. The staff are very helpful and I suspect their taste is right up your alley. Their prices start cheap and they have a lot of options. Tell 'em what you want, they'll make the process easy for you.
post #11 of 25
Originally Posted by Gray Blazer View Post

Yeah, serious about the gray shoes (well, sneakers).  He says that they're both original and versatile.  

Fair enough, grey sneakers as a streetwear basic make sense I guess.
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 

Wow, thanks, Makoto Chan!  There's an Azabu Tailor right down the street from my house!  So I'm thinking that this would be a great option because not only will I get the jacket I'm looking for, I'll also get it tailored all in one go!  The only problem is what to say when people ask where it's from...


As for the Uniqlo raw denim, that would be great as long as nobody cares that it's from Uniqlo.  If I get the OK from the forum to make these purchases, problem solved.  But please feel free to chime in and say this is a BAD IDEA.  Please, I want all of the perspectives I can get.

post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 

Also, let it be known that it's not that I don't know what I'm looking for, it's that I don't know the value of what I'm looking for.  I also don't know the difference between one place that sells the thing that I'm looking for and any other place that sells what I'm looking for.  I know design comes pretty heftily into play, but to be honest all of the designs look roughly the same.  So is paying a couple hundred extra dollars only going to mean something to me, or are people not going to notice either way?   

post #14 of 25
Originally Posted by Gray Blazer View Post

So is paying a couple hundred extra dollars only going to mean something to me, or are people not going to notice either way?   

If it means something to you, do it. Honeslty most people won't notice. But who exactly are you trying to impress?

Your request is a bit absurd, mate. It sounds like you're not asking with a very level head. You want high quality but you don't know what it looks like. When asked for a budget you tell us your credit limit, your total paycheck, and the amount in your savings, and then admit you don't even know how important this jacket is to you. Sounds like you need to cool your jets.
post #15 of 25

Take a deep breath, spend some more time reading and looking at tumblrs, then take another deep breath and buy something that meets your needs for today and tomorrow.
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