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Jacket Basics?

Ennius

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Hi Gents,

In the last couple of years I have acquired the basic suit requirements. SF has been very helpful in guiding me along the way.

Spring/Summer: one mid grey suit and one navy blue. Both solids.
Fall/Winter: one charcoal suit and one navy blue suit. Both solids.

I only wear a suit a couple times a month so this lineup has worked well. I am about to take a new job where I may wear jackets more often than I do now which is rarely. Either open collar or with tie. I would guess a couple of times per week.

Could I get some thoughts on the basic jackets to start with, say, for fall/winter? In terms of fall trousers I have several mid/dark grays, one navy blue flannel, one brown flannel and one grey donegal tweed. So I have a decent set of basic fall trousers (I think).

I am guessing I should get the following fall/winter jackets:
(1) Navy blue blazer. Thoughts on material/weight/style?
(2) Some type of mid/gray? I dont have a good sense here. Tweed is likely a bit too casual?
(3) Not sure what would be sensible after the first basic two jackets.

Thanks
 

Ennius

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ter1413

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In your case, I would go brown vs the traditional/everybody has one navy.

Step outside the "basics" would be may advice.
 

GBR

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TER1413 offers wise advice - be very careful with navy paired with grey trousers unless you want to be mistaken for the door keeper of security guard in some down market place.
 

Ennius

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In your case, I would go brown vs the traditional/everybody has one navy.

Step outside the "basics" would be may advice.
would you actually avoid having/wearing the navy blue blazer? I know its too common but it seems very versatile.

If you had only two fall jackets, what would they be?
 

ter1413

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would you actually avoid having/wearing the navy blue blazer?  I know its too common but it seems very versatile.

If you had only two fall jackets, what would they be?

You have 2 blue suits and 2 grey/charcoal suits.

Ok. Get a blue blazer. What's next? A grey blazer? Didn't see that coming.
 
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EliodA

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TER1413 offers wise advice - be very careful with navy paired with grey trousers unless you want to be mistaken for the door keeper of security guard in some down market place.
Nonsense, it's the favourite iGent combo and you can find a zillion pics of navy SC + grey trouser combo's here on SF, Instagram and Tumblr. None of them look like a security guard.

If you do want to look like a security guard, make sure everything is at least two sizes too big and very ill fitting. The center vented jacket and the trousers should be of the cheapest poly/wool mix available. Trouser legs should be wide enough to be flapping around happily when you cruise the mall corridors. Of course, make sure you have a generous break and no cuffs.
Your shirt should be a white, non-iron poly/cotton monstrosity with a sorry looking skimpy point collar. Your tie should be 100% polyester and preferably tied with a poorly executed windsor knot.
Shoes have to be black, square toed with thick rubber soles. Also, at least two sizes too big. Don't forget to wear your phone in a belt holder!
 

turkoftheplains

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Keeping the pents mid-grey or lighter for me is the key to avoiding the security guard look. Texture also helps. Navy blazer and mid-grey worsted pents will always scream rent-a-cop.

@GBR, would a pair of mid-grey flannels still look too security guard-ish for you?
 

RogerC

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I'd say like you have four suits, you need four jackets as well: two for spring/summer and two for autumn/winter. One of each should be navy/blue, the other tan/khaki for S/S and brown for A/W.

Here in Europe, the blazer is often seen as somewhat caricatural, worn typically by an elderly and somewhat dodgy Englishman. Think the Major from Fawlty Towers. Nevertheless, navy and blue are great for sports coats and easily combined with a variety of trousers, shoes and accessories. So how can you de-blazer the blazer? Think about using a non-typical fabric, such as fresco or a linen mix for spring/summer, or a donegal tweed, cashmere or flannel for autumn/winter. Also, get rid of the shiny buttons or at least replace them with antique silver.

The winter brown should be an unobtrusive tweed (herringbone, donegal, modest windowpane) and a the summer one a khaki/beige linen (mix) for the warmest days in summer, if applicable in your climate. From thereon, you can go into the more rock'n'roll tweeds (gun clubs are a particular favourite of mine), some of the somewhat less essential classics (such as the camel jacket), other fabrics (such as corduroy) and colourful spring jacketings. You could also consider less typical jackets, such as the Norfolk.

Don't forget to invest in decent odd trousers: corduroy, moleskin, flannel and cavalry twill for autumn/winter, chinos, linen and fresco for spring/summer. Lastly, some accessories work better with suits than odd jackets. In general, I'd say stick with striped, textured or madder ties, for instance. Also: brown shoes and hold the French cuffs.
 
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turkoftheplains

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@RogerC pretty much nailed it. I'd only add that it's useful, budget permitting, to have 2 seasonal blue odd jackets. It's a personal choice as to whether they have traditional blazer features (brass or white mother-of-pearl buttons) or not. Either way, buttons are cheap to change.

I'd probably go for a flannel (fall/winter) and hopsack/fresco (spring/summer), both in solid navy-ish blue with brown horn buttons. These can easily be dressed up for business-- other than maybe black shoes and French cuffs, you can pretty much wear the same things as you would with a suit. You can also wear them more casually by combining them with more casual/"country" items. I'm cribbing all of this shamelessly from vox's excellent "coherent combinations" thread which pretty much describes exactly this kind of jacket in the section on city odd jackets.

If you don't have decent pants, it might be worth sacrificing one jacket to get 3 or so pairs.
 
Last edited:

Ennius

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I'd say like you have four suits, you need four jackets as well: two for spring/summer and two for autumn/winter. One of each should be navy/blue, the other tan/khaki for S/S and brown for A/W.

Here in Europe, the blazer is often seen as somewhat caricatural, worn typically by an elderly and somewhat dodgy Englishman. Think the Major from Fawlty Towers. Nevertheless, navy and blue are great for sports coats and easily combined with a variety of trousers, shoes and accessories. So how can you de-blazer the blazer? Think about using a non-typical fabric, such as fresco or a linen mix for spring/summer, or a donegal tweed, cashmere or flannel for autumn/winter. Also, get rid of the shiny buttons or at least replace them with antique silver.

The winter brown should be an unobtrusive tweed (herringbone, donegal, modest windowpane) and a the summer one a khaki/beige linen (mix) for the warmest days in summer, if applicable in your climate. From thereon, you can go into the more rock'n'roll tweeds (gun clubs are a particular favourite of mine), some of the somewhat less essential classics (such as the camel jacket), other fabrics (such as corduroy) and colourful spring jacketings. You could also consider less typical jackets, such as the Norfolk.

Don't forget to invest in decent odd trousers: corduroy, moleskin, flannel and cavalry twill for autumn/winter, chinos, linen and fresco for spring/summer. Lastly, some accessories work better with suits than odd jackets. In general, I'd say stick with striped, textured or madder ties, for instance. Also: brown shoes and hold the French cuffs.
Thanks for a very insightful reply.

I will review this before meeting with tailor.
 

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