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What is the quintessential men's navy blue blazer?

JIMIG

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Am I correct in thinking that you think navy sport coats are versatile, so you want to get them in the appropriate seasonal fabrics?

Can I ask if you also live in an area with very distinct seasons?
Both assumptions are correct.

Over the years, I have tried SC in different shades of brown, green and navy. I always feel most comfortable in a solid navy (or solid oatmeal). Maybe I am just not experienced enough with patterns and other colors though

I currently have a w/s/l navy hopsack that serves me very well in warmer weather. However, winters here are -10 to -20 C, so need something for the colder days.
 

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Mahatma Jawndi
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I believe most people understood what I meant and the context in which in said it. I didn’t mean to assign exclusivity to hopsack of those characteristics.

The links I’ve referenced refer to “loose” and even “open”. Hopsack is not the only material to be able to claim this and I’m not a weaver or fabric engineer so my statement wasn’t meant for technical accuracy.

Most here would agree that:

A) Hopsack is an “open” or “looser” weave, in that it allows for airflow and breathability

B) That it is a good choice for summer jackets

thank you for the dissertation however.
I think you said above that hopsack isn't ideal for fall. And that it's somehow a seasonal cloth. I've never heard such a thing. I think if you posed this in the Unfunded Liabilities thread, most people would disagree with you.
 

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Mahatma Jawndi
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Both assumptions are correct.

Over the years, I have tried SC in different shades of brown, green and navy. I always feel most comfortable in a solid navy (or solid oatmeal). Maybe I am just not experienced enough with patterns and other colors though

I currently have a w/s/l navy hopsack that serves me very well in warmer weather. However, winters here are -10 to -20 C, so need something for the colder days.
I don't recommend this. Meaning, thinking that just because a navy sport coat is versatile, that you should get it in seasonal fabrics.

The idea of a navy sport coat is that it's a versatile, "do everything" garment. It's something you can wear on multiple days in a row and no one will notice. It's also easy to pair with nearly anything.

A navy sport coat in linen or flannel will not have these properties. People will notice that you're wearing a navy linen sport coat two days in a row. You will also find it challenging to pair them with certain pants. Some men don't like how the crumply texture of linen sits next to wool trousers. Flannel sport coats are bad for a similar reason -- the texture doesn't work well as a sport coat. Men who want flannel sport coats are better with doeskin. That's basically flannel without the nap.

There are some very heavy fall/winter cloths that are suitable for a very easy-to-wear sport coat, however. Fox has a very heavy serge, I think 18oz weight. If you use custom tailors, they should be able to order this for less than what you will pay online.



CT5_FoxMidnightSerge_Overcoating_FoxBrotherCloth_1800x1800.jpeg




You can see how the fabric above will do what you want -- it will pair with most trousers (unlike flannel or linen). It's also basic enough so that you can wear it two days in a row. It hangs well, too.

I would start with your needs. If you want a versatile sport coat that behaves like the Platonic ideal of a navy sport coat, and you live in an area with very cold temps, search for a fabric that will achieve that. I think it's a bad idea, however, to go down the list of seasonal fabrics, like stereotypes (e.g. linen is for summer, flannel is for fall, etc). IMO, this will lead you down the wrong path.
 

Phileas Fogg

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I think you said above that hopsack isn't ideal for fall. And that it's somehow a seasonal cloth. I've never heard such a thing. I think if you posed this in the Unfunded Liabilities thread, most people would disagree with you.
I offered an opinion. Nothing more.
 

JIMIG

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I don't recommend this. Meaning, thinking that just because a navy sport coat is versatile, that you should get it in seasonal fabrics.

The idea of a navy sport coat is that it's a versatile, "do everything" garment. It's something you can wear on multiple days in a row and no one will notice. It's also easy to pair with nearly anything.

A navy sport coat in linen or flannel will not have these properties. People will notice that you're wearing a navy linen sport coat two days in a row. You will also find it challenging to pair them with certain pants. Some men don't like how the crumply texture of linen sits next to wool trousers. Flannel sport coats are bad for a similar reason -- the texture doesn't work well as a sport coat. Men who want flannel sport coats are better with doeskin. That's basically flannel without the nap.

There are some very heavy fall/winter cloths that are suitable for a very easy-to-wear sport coat, however. Fox has a very heavy serge, I think 18oz weight. If you use custom tailors, they should be able to order this for less than what you will pay online.



View attachment 1617077



You can see how the fabric above will do what you want -- it will pair with most trousers (unlike flannel or linen). It's also basic enough so that you can wear it two days in a row. It hangs well, too.

I would start with your needs. If you want a versatile sport coat that behaves like the Platonic ideal of a navy sport coat, and you live in an area with very cold temps, search for a fabric that will achieve that. I think it's a bad idea, however, to go down the list of seasonal fabrics, like stereotypes (e.g. linen is for summer, flannel is for fall, etc). IMO, this will lead you down the wrong path.
This is good insight, and very helpful. Thanks a lot! I will continue look for, and try out, non-navy alternatives
 

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Mahatma Jawndi
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This is good insight, and very helpful. Thanks a lot! I will continue look for, and try out, non-navy alternatives
Personally, I think you'd be better off with

- One navy sport coat in a year-round cloth, such as a midweight hopsack.
- One navy sport coat for very warm days, if you live in an area where the temps go above 85 degrees or so. Mock Leno can be nice in this regard.

Then for days that go into -10C, as you described, I would just wear an overcoat over that one year-round navy sport coat. If you're indoors, a year-round navy hopsack sport coat will still be fine. If you're outdoors, the difference between a 14oz and 18oz fabric won't change the fact that you'll still need a heavier piece of outerwear.
 

JIMIG

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Personally, I think you'd be better off with

- One navy sport coat in a year-round cloth, such as a midweight hopsack.
- One navy sport coat for very warm days, if you live in an area where the temps go above 85 degrees or so. Mock Leno can be nice in this regard.

Then for days that go into -10C, as you described, I would just wear an overcoat over that one year-round navy sport coat. If you're indoors, a year-round navy hopsack sport coat will still be fine. If you're outdoors, the difference between a 14oz and 18oz fabric won't change the fact that you'll still need a heavier piece of outerwear.
Yeah that sounds very reasonable.

So if I might ask for even more advice: I am in academia, ie no strict dress codes. I am in my 30s. My trousers are in shades of grey and shades of beige/tan/cream (linen, fresco, flannel). I like (and take inspiration from) both ivy and the more “Italian” side of CM. With this in mind, what 3-4 non-navy SC would you start off with?
 

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Mahatma Jawndi
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Yeah that sounds very reasonable.

So if I might ask for even more advice: I am in academia, ie no strict dress codes. I am in my 30s. My trousers are in shades of grey and shades of beige/tan/cream (linen, fresco, flannel). I like (and take inspiration from) both ivy and the more “Italian” side of CM. With this in mind, what 3-4 non-navy SC would you start off with?
I also work in academia. The sport coats I rely on the most:

1. A navy sport coat. Usually alternate between a winter hopsack from Caccioppoli and a warm-weather tropical wool (used to be Fresco for me, but now I like Mock Leno)


tumblr_f0e9c171826e31aaf4f8430cecd0cab9_fc6f5270_540.jpg



2. A solid brown wool-silk-linen. For me, this is a three-season cloth. I wear it fall, spring, and summer. But I'm in the Bay Area, where things are a bit more casual and the weather is very temperate. I think it works with grey flannel trousers, taupe whipcord or cav twill trousers, and tan chinos (although, I don't wear chinos that often).


darkdonegal.jpg
donegaltweed.jpg



3. A brown tweed, and often Donegal. I just find it's easier to coordinate. A speckled Donegal also feels very discrete to me, especially when compared against chunkier herringbones, houndstooth, and loud plaids. The shade depends on my trousers and how I'm feeling that day. Typically wear these with grey flannel or tan whipcords/ cav twills. But often no tie, as my campus is very casual.


herringbonetweed-1024x764.jpg



4. That said, I also wear this brown herringbone a lot (again, often no tie).


IMG_0549.JPG



5. I don't have a good photo of this sport coat, but it's a chunky hopsack with an oatmeal-colored base and off-white check. I wear it on warmer days with grey trousers that don't have any nap.

I think dress norms really vary depending on the campus and department. I've noticed that on some campuses, mainly on the East Coast, it's easier to wear tailored clothing. On the West Coast, things are much more casual and you have to find ways to dress things down. I would just aim for conservative fabrics in comfortable materials. Personally, while I own things like a corduroy sport coat, I try to avoid wearing overly stereotypical "academic" cloths like corduroy on campus (although, I think a brown corduroy sport coat is also totally fine. Mine is just a personal preference).

IMO, it's nice to have two tweeds in the fall/ winter, and then supplement with a navy sport coat. In the spring, I would do a wool-silk-linen and a conservative check in a comfortable material, then supplement again with that navy sport coat. If you're buying RTW, The Armoury has very nice "citified" fabrics for both fall/winter and spring/summer that I think work well for academia.
 

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Mahatma Jawndi
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Philip Bobbitt, a Columbia University law professor, is very well dressed. Although he often wears suits. If you can't wear a suit often, you can try to get the SC alternatives to these suit jackets -- something with a chunkier weave, for example.



Screen Shot 2020-11-02 at 8.02.41 AM.png
Bobbitt.jpg
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seated.jpeg


 

JIMIG

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This is great! Thanks a lot for taking the time (and for including pictures). This post will be very helpful for me going forward
 

AndrewST

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I ordered the J. Press trim fit, and I do not recommend it to anyone. Not worth the money---very thin and "cheap" feeling (after all it was the cheapest option I could find). And mine came only partially manufactured! (See pictures.) An outrage that they had initially insisted I pay return shipping.

I will be taking my money to my hometown O'Connell's and investing in their Southwick blazer.
 

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Mahatma Jawndi
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And mine came only partially manufactured! (See pictures.) An outrage that they had initially insisted I pay return shipping.
Are you referring to the basting thread or the lack of buttonholes? Both are pretty normal. Basting thread is used to hold certain parts of a coat together while it's being shipped. Unfinished sleeves are common on high-end suits and sport coats to allow for easier alteration. The buttons should be in your in-breast pocket and you're supposed to take that to your tailor for the usual touch-ups and adjustments.
 
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AndrewST

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Are you referring to the basting thread or the lack of buttonholes? Both are pretty normal. Basting thread is used to hold certain parts of a coat together while it's being shipped. Unfinished sleeves are common on high-end suits and sport coats to allow for easier alteration. The buttons should be in your in-breast pocket and you're supposed to take that to your tailor for the usual touch-ups and adjustments.
Not anything I had encountered in a J Press coat, then again, I rarely buy online. I checked the pockets and did indeed find the buttons. Perhaps I was put off by the icky feel of the jacket, which made me toss it back in its packaging box after only a few minutes (before I thought to check interior pockets in the first instance). Oh well.

ETA: I still do not recommend this coat---its unfinished sleeves are an attempt to fool people into thinking it is nicer than it is, IMO.
 

Bavo

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Not anything I had encountered in a J Press coat, then again, I rarely buy online. I checked the pockets and did indeed find the buttons. Perhaps I was put off by the icky feel of the jacket, which made me toss it back in its packaging box after only a few minutes (before I thought to check interior pockets in the first instance). Oh well.

ETA: I still do not recommend this coat---its unfinished sleeves are an attempt to fool people into thinking it is nicer than it is, IMO.
The version I have is a merino flannel. It’s several years old so may be different. Although they had discounted it from $795 to $200 when I bought it at the DC J Press several years ago so probably is “cheap”. For a while now, J Press’ main value has been access to traditional styling and unique or harder to find materials. What this version does perfectly is the natural shoulder, a key concern for most J Press customers. The tropical blazer I bought there around the same time has much better material. But since it was made in the S Cohen era, it had huge shoulder pads. I wound up taking it to an excellent tailor who was able to improve them.
 

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