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First Blazer Purchase, for Travel

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I am new here — hello!

 

Purchasing a blazer for the first time. My use-case is for travel, for extended periods in all climates, living out of one carry-on backpack that also holds camping, cooking, and general adventuring gear. Normally, I choose apparel based on performance/function first, constructing efficient and adaptable layering systems for outdoor pursuits, and style second. I have until now made the best of my smart but decidedly outdoorsy clothes for all situations, and so I sometimes end up a little inappropriately attired in some settings (dinners, operas, clubs, that sort of thing). I'd also like a little more range for the smart-casual end of things. Hence the addition of a blazer to my pack (in addition to one new set of footwear, a nice shirt or two, a cravat, and possibly a tie and a waistcoat).

 

After doing some research, I settled on a few criteria for my new jacket, and have given reasons for them below. Then, I narrowed down my selections on Yoox.com to two jackets. Please note, I am new to all of this, and could have understood some information wrongly, so feel free to correct anything I've put down. I'd be appreciative of some guidance — let me know whether you think I am on the right track, or provide suggestions if you can.

 

  • Plain navy blue: traditional; most repeatable colour when only jacket; should work well with greatest diversity of clothing items; patterns/checks would jive with fewer other clothes.
  • Single-breasted: preference and seems more adaptable
  • Dual vent: preference despite slightly increased formality
  • Lightweight weave of 100% wool, or close to it: comfortable for broad temperature range (do not need to depend on jacket for warmth); least susceptible to wrinkling/creasing (or is this only true if excess twist is added to the fibres to spring-load them?); adulterants like silk and linen seem only to compromise wool's qualities for little/no gain; cotton and linen wrinkle and stink; synthetics apparently look cheap and do not breathe well; wool also less prone to stinking.
  • Half-lined or unlined: lower mass and smaller packed volume; makes jacket useable in hotter climates; somewhat casual drape with rounder shoulders for broader style adaptability but still passable for semi-formal settings; versus unlined, half-lined adds some durability and smoother sliding/drape over underlayer.
  • Under $300: though my budget could go higher, and I have lusted over some in the $1300-1600 range from LBM 1911 and others (even my untrained eye can detect the greater attention to detail given to producing these jackets, and the higher quality, more refined look they project), I will limit the financial outlay as I familiarise myself with this style of jacket, and taking into consideration the abusive and neglectful conditions it is likely to encounter as a travel companion.

 

I don't know the finer points of blazer style (I've seen terms like 'old-style' and 'modern fit' thrown around) or even lapel shapes, so I haven't accounted for them. I am fit, and would like a well-fitting jacket to suit.

 

Here are the two contenders from an original field of about eight.

 

http://www.yoox.com/us/49201803PR/item#cod10=49201803PR&sizeId=3

http://www.yoox.com/us/49198886FP/item#cod10=49198886FP&sizeId=3

 

I am a little puzzled by the lack of plain navy blue blazers, and both of these seem somewhat darker than I was looking for, but it could just be poor photography. Neither of them is of a brand that I can find much, if any, information about. The fit looks baggier on the Durini Milano one, and it appears kind of boxy and shlumpy, a look I am not keen on (again, could be attributable to the way it's been photographed). But I prefer its bluer shade. I like the texture of the fabric on each for different reasons and would be happy with either texture.

 

I'm inclined to give Durini Milano a chance, but am also drawn to the more modern appearance of Futuro. I am also open to refutations of the above selections and to suggestions. I think I am looking for a size 38.

 

Thank you kindly for your assistance.

post #2 of 4

Welcome! In general you're pretty much right on. Totally agree that a plain navy/dark blue, single-breasted jacket will be the most versatile choice. Also agree with a half/quarter-lined or possibly an "unconstructed" jacket over a fully lined jacket.

 

Also agree with a 100% wool jacket. Blends like wool-linen and wool-silk-linen can add texture and breathability but have disadvantages for travel (in general, linen and linen blends wrinkle more than 100% wool). If possible, look for a fabric with a more open weave (e.g. a hopsack) as the openness of the weave and (lack of) lining are important factors in determining how cool the jacket will wear. There are also 'traveler' fabrics using high-twist wool that are more resistant to wrinkling. If you are willing to consider paying a bit more you can also consider these choices:

 

http://us.suitsupply.com/en_US/jackets/havana-navy-plain/C4760I.html

http://www.spierandmackay.com/product_information/4946_navy_hopsack___contemporary_fit

 

Yoox is a great site but as you found out, staple items like navy sportcoats will be relatively less common since those are less likely to go unsold and make it into the hands of discount retailer. 

post #3 of 4
I would vote for a navy blazer. Not much else that is a flexible with a y outfit
post #4 of 4
I'd go with a classic hopsack blazer like the Traveler from Orvis. http://m.orvis.com/p/travelers-hopsack-blazer/4907
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