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Just how much can I "dress up" a cotton blazer

62443

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My wife recently bought me a very well fitting cotton blazer from bananna republic. It's dark blue, with narrow peaked lapels, and a very subtle (and extremely narrow striping) - you would not notice it at a distance.

My question is this: How "dressy" can I make this blazer. Can I wear it with some wool slacks and a tie? At a distance it appeared pretty nice with a grey slacks, a blue shirt, and a white pocket square. However, I'm a lawyer and I want to be age appropriate and professionally suited (36 years old). I've seen far worse from other guys in court, ...

Any advise as to how to pull this off? Or, would you recommend I take it back?

Thanks
 

hyt123

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My wife recently bought me a very well fitting cotton blazer from bananna republic. It's dark blue, with narrow peaked lapels, and a very subtle (and extremely narrow striping) - you would not notice it at a distance.

My question is this: How "dressy" can I make this blazer. Can I wear it with some wool slacks and a tie? At a distance it appeared pretty nice with a grey slacks, a blue shirt, and a white pocket square. However, I'm a lawyer and I want to be age appropriate and professionally suited (36 years old). I've seen far worse from other guys in court, ...

Any advise as to how to pull this off? Or, would you recommend I take it back?

Thanks
Short answer: It depends, and it has nothing to do with a security guard uniform or groupthink.

Long answer: A cotton blazer is casual, while by tradition, a courtroom requires conservative business attire. If you're an urban trial lawyer working big corporate cases and want to be taken seriously by your client, the judge, and the jury, a dark (not black) worsted wool suit is the way to go. If you've seen far worse than weekend casual wear from other lawyers in court, why would you want to stoop to that level? If the opposing attorney is dressed like shit then you're supposed to use it to your advantage, not join in on the ignorance/stupidity.

On the other hand, if you're arguing speeding tickets in a rural courthouse that doubles as an elementary school cafeteria then you might get it to work, and in fact, showing up in a suit in such a situation might make you appear overdressed. That's the other end of the spectrum and then you've got all that stuff in between the two ends. It all depends on the context and you're going to have to make the call.

In any case, no, you don't need to take it back, since a) it's very well fitting (although, without pictures, I'll have to take your word for it on that one), and b) you wouldn't want to insult your wife who was a honey to be thinking of you when she bought it. You'll at least be able to save it for weekend dinner dates with her even if it won't work professionally.
 
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joeman

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I would be best to wear a suit though.
 

Off My Rack

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I would suggest swinging by the store and checking to see if there were pants that went with it. A stripe on the coat, although subtle, indicates that it was likely made to be part of a suit. Banana often sells suit separates, and perhaps your wife did not fully grasp that both should be purchased.

In either case, I would wear it in a more casual social setting as opposed to court. Oddly enough, it looks more appropriate to wear to court ill-fitting sportcoats with old tennis shoes (which I've seen in my local small-claims court) than it does to wear the younger styled clothing such as is sold in Banana Republic. It simply emphasizes your youth (or makes you look like you're trying too hard to stay young). Take this from an attorney a few years younger that spends quite a bit of time in court (and has heard plenty of shots at his youth in the past). My mistakes have mainly come in the "five-o-clock shadow beard" in the same sense. Once you become a professional, you have to learn what is appropriate for every setting, and that coat is likely not the conservative look that is appropriate for the courtroom. I wear solid grey or navy suits in court at all times, even for quick appearances in small-claims court.
 
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add911_11

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My wife recently bought me a very well fitting cotton blazer from bananna republic.  It's dark blue, with narrow peaked lapels, and a very subtle (and extremely narrow striping) - you would not notice it at a distance.

My question is this:  How "dressy" can I make this blazer.  Can I wear it with some wool slacks and a tie?  At a distance it appeared pretty nice with a grey slacks, a blue shirt, and a white pocket square.  However, I'm a lawyer and I want to be age appropriate and professionally suited (36 years old).  I've seen far worse from other guys in court, ...

Any advise as to how to pull this off?  Or, would you recommend I take it back?

Thanks

It will be impossible to make the blazer for court's wear. Best to dress it up is with smart causal without tie, a ascot tie would be at its highest formality

I would keep it for weekends and causal time with your lovely wife

probably don't take it back because a causal cotton blazer 'jumper' is very useful for daily causal
 

mason

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It is more appropriate to wear it casually than in a courtroom. Remember, wearing something like a suit will command more presence and power than anything else.
 

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