• We would like to welcome Sprezzabox to the Styleforum family as an official Affiliate Vendor! SprezzaBox is a monthly subscription service for men, delivering a unique selection of fashion and lifestyle accessories right to your doorstep.

  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

What SB blazer details will pass for English?

Bird's One View

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Messages
1,342
Reaction score
6
I would like to have a blazer made that, should I ever travel internationally, would not stand out as American. I know it must have side vents. I would like patch pockets and swelled edges. I am on the fence as to whether the hip pockets should be open or patch-and-flap. Open looks better but flaps seem practical.

Suggestions about these details are welcome, but my main question is the number of buttons. I am not sure if I want two buttons or three rolled to two. I am wondering which (if either) is more usual in the UK.

EDIT: I see I have misspelt "Anne Hathaway". Sorry. She is in the poll so that members with no knowledge of English blazers need not feel left out.
 

Manton

RINO
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Apr 20, 2002
Messages
41,583
Reaction score
2,856
I almost never see SB blazers in the UK. I do see DB blazers, but never worn for business, and rarely in London. My limited experience is that the English look down on the SB blazer as something common and American.

I recently got an SB, 3 button, swelled edge, patch pocket "blazer" with brown horn buttons. It has matching trousers, so I can wear it as a suit or as an odd jacket. I find that in Europe, people mistake me for Italian when I wear it. At least, they do not assume I am American. When I (used to) wear my old SB brass button blazer everyone pegged me as American at a glance.

FWIW, I did not get my recent jacket as a disguise or anything, I just like the way it looks. But it works for international travel, which was part of the point for me.
 

maxnharry

Distinguished Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
1,403
Reaction score
15
+1 What Manton said. We have a misconception about the blazer and it's acceptance in Britain.
 

Bird's One View

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Messages
1,342
Reaction score
6
Thanks.

I've long been averse to blazers, and I've never owned one. But it seems like a practical thing to have as it would work with nearly every pair of trousers I own ... which is more than I can say of any jacket I have now.

I don't want or expect a disguise exactly; but, if I should travel outside the US, I'd rather not wear anything that leads others to shake their heads and mutter "there goes an American" from across a crowded room.

Perhaps the SB blazer is not as good for this as I had hoped.

I shall probably get one anyway for use within the US ... in which case, is there any good argument for the hooked center vent? I think there is not, but if I am wrong I would like to hear it.
 

voxsartoria

Goon member
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
25,756
Reaction score
157
Originally Posted by Manton
I recently got an SB, 3 button, swelled edge, patch pocket "blazer" with brown horn buttons. It has matching trousers, so I can wear it as a suit or as an odd jacket. I find that in Europe, people mistake me for Italian when I wear it. At least, they do not assume I am American. When I (used to) wear my old SB brass button blazer everyone pegged me as American at a glance.

Here's a similar but different take on what Manton is describing: flannel, SB, 3 button, brown horn buttons, but flap outpockets and without swelled edges:



It's a bit more English than the jacket from M's Blazer Suit (TM), but I'm not sure that a real Englishmen would order such a thing.

I can't bring myself to doing brass buttons...on my summer blazers, I use plain or smoked mother of pearl. I'm using the word "blazer" to refer generically to a navy or dark blue odd jacket, which is not correct but you get the drift.


- B
 

Metlin

Distinguished Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2008
Messages
3,043
Reaction score
14
Originally Posted by voxsartoria
I'm using the word "blazer" to refer generically to a navy or dark blue odd jacket, which is not correct but you get the drift.

So, this is a question that I've had for a while -- what exactly does constitute a blazer? I always thought that it was either an odd jacket, or a jacket with brass buttons (simplistic, I know).

Is there some set of characteristics that needs to be true for a jacket to be considered a blazer?
 

voxsartoria

Goon member
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
25,756
Reaction score
157
Originally Posted by Metlin
So, this is a question that I've had for a while -- what exactly does constitute a blazer? I always thought that it was either an odd jacket, or a jacket with brass buttons (simplistic, I know).

Is there some set of characteristics that needs to be true for a jacket to be considered a blazer?


I'll defer to Manton or Sator on this, but basically, the type of jacket we know as a blazer in SB form originated from Oxbridge rowing clubs (the Margaret club? can't remember). There's a parallel history with DB jackets derived on the the reefer jacket of midshipman in the British navy (I think Prince Philip often sports a reefer-esque 8x4 jacket). They both share the use of metallic buttons, although with the boating jackets it isn't always so.

- B
 

voxsartoria

Goon member
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
25,756
Reaction score
157
Originally Posted by Bird's One View
I don't want or expect a disguise exactly; but, if I should travel outside the US, I'd rather not wear anything that leads others to shake their heads and mutter "there goes an American" from across a crowded room.

Dude, embrace your American-ness:



- B
 

Gus

Stylish Dinosaur
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Sep 18, 2007
Messages
20,330
Reaction score
5,579
I really like Manton's reply and suggestion for the suit/jacket option. Although the brass button look is very American and fun under the right circumstances, when traveling I want suits and jackets with the most flexibility.

That being said, go with the patch pockets without flaps. IMO, they are a bit more sporty, stylish and younger looking.
 

Bird's One View

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Messages
1,342
Reaction score
6
Originally Posted by voxsartoria
Dude, embrace your American-ness:
- B

I like this one a lot. What is the cloth? Perhaps this notion of blending in is a fool's errend. I think part of my problem is that I still react negatively to the blazer in general. This is left over from high school (late 80s) when a bunch of guys I didn't like wore blazers and khakis to events that I wore suits to. Hell, it was probably a single event! Those blazers were all OTR American ones in mostly plain cloths with flapped pockets and single vents. Only after seeing e.g. the above and Manton's Blazer Suit™ did I seriously consider that I might ever wear a blue blazer. For whatever reason the brass buttons are not a big problem for me (as long as they are not branded -- which further rules against OTR), although I like the horn and MOP as well. Are the MOP buttons on yours shanked or do they have the usual four holes (or two?) through the center? I have no problem with seersucker suits, which are arguably just as stereotypically American ... actually I'm very fond of them.
 

passingtime

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2006
Messages
526
Reaction score
7
If it's a sporting blazer that's ok casually or worn in context like a nautical event. The details that make it a blazer in the UK are patch pockets without flaps and a solid fabric. The buttons are less important although metal will nail it as a blazer. In a lot of the Ealing comedies the fall guys wore blazers and Kenneth Williams cemented the association in the Carry On films. Between being associated with schoolwear and a huge negative press nobody really wants to wear a plain blazer. Sports jackets generally acceptable though so you might be better going down that route.
 

AndrewRogers

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2008
Messages
1,617
Reaction score
25
Originally Posted by Manton
I almost never see SB blazers in the UK. I do see DB blazers, but never worn for business, and rarely in London. My limited experience is that the English look down on the SB blazer as something common and American.

I recently got an SB, 3 button, swelled edge, patch pocket "blazer" with brown horn buttons. It has matching trousers, so I can wear it as a suit or as an odd jacket. I find that in Europe, people mistake me for Italian when I wear it. At least, they do not assume I am American. When I (used to) wear my old SB brass button blazer everyone pegged me as American at a glance.

FWIW, I did not get my recent jacket as a disguise or anything, I just like the way it looks. But it works for international travel, which was part of the point for me.


I'm sure I sound like an idiot, but what do swelled edges look like? Is it where there's a bit of a ridge at the edge, a bit like 'self'-piping?
 

Bird's One View

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Messages
1,342
Reaction score
6
Yes. But where piping is a separate piece of material sewn onto the edge, a swelled edge just has a seam about half an inch in from the edge. One sees it occasionally on some trad stuff. It was more common in the 1960s. It's obviously done by machine on the things I have. See pictures and Manton's post in this thread.
 

JLibourel

Distinguished Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2004
Messages
8,754
Reaction score
467
What exactly is wrong with being recognized as an American, if that's what you are, so long as you are decently dressed? I am not particularly in sympathy with much of the chauvinism and jingoism that currently passes for patriotism, but, hell, I'm still proud to be an American: My cousin Lucy Payne married George Washington's nephew. Her sister Dolley married James Madison. Abe Lincoln was my great-great (or maybe great-great-great) uncle's attorney for many years.

Curiously, I have sometimes had people say they assumed I was English from the manner of my dress, even though the reality was that my attire was so characteristically American that to a discerning eye I might as well have been in cowboy attire, Daniel Boone buckskins or an Uncle Sam costume!
 

Xiaogou

Distinguished Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2008
Messages
3,798
Reaction score
54
Originally Posted by voxsartoria
Dude, embrace your American-ness:


No doubt. As soon as you open your mouth to speak you will be disappointing somebody.
 

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Featured Sponsor

How wide do you like your leg opening on your trousers?

  • 7”

    Votes: 86 17.4%
  • 7.5”

    Votes: 158 32.0%
  • 8”

    Votes: 143 28.9%
  • 8.5”

    Votes: 57 11.5%
  • 9”

    Votes: 25 5.1%
  • 9.5”

    Votes: 11 2.2%
  • 10”

    Votes: 5 1.0%
  • 10.5”

    Votes: 9 1.8%

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
433,837
Messages
9,318,295
Members
195,523
Latest member
GLAN leather
Top